Life After Clements
For the second straight week, converted cornerback/strong safety Nate Clements had only one defensive snap. After starting nearly every game for the first 10 weeks at safety, Clements now has a whopping two snaps in the past two weeks. It would be easy to guess the team might be transitioning away from the 32-year old safety, but they’re playing the 32-year old Chris Crocker in his place now, who received every snap at strong safety. Both players are free agents next year, so it’s curious to see why Crock is getting more playing time.
Defensive end Carlos Dunlap was in for season-high 53 snaps (79%) and is really beginning to become an every-down DE after being a institutional pass-rusher his first two years in the NFL. Robert Geathers only received 40 snaps (60%), while Wallace Gilberry received 18 (27%).
Still no Still
After being active for nearly every game through the first nine weeks, defensive tackle Devon Still has been a healthy scratch the past four games. Pat Sims has take his snaps, though he only received 17 snaps (25%). The reason being was the Chargers running the ball only nine times yesterday, essentially negating Sims’ strengths as a run-stuffer.
It would be nice for the Bengals to have another DT suited for pass-rushing. With Geo Atkins (50 snaps) and Domata Peko (31 snaps) receiving so many snaps in games like Sunday where a constant pass-rush is needed, it would be nice to give those guys more rest heading down the stretch of the season.
Dre Kirkpatrick was in for just 8 special teams plays, but was forced from the game after suffering a concussion while making a block on special teams early in the 4th-quarter of yesterday’s win. If he misses next week, it would really hurt his chances at getting significant snaps in any remaining games.