Welcome back to the snap report, a weekly feature where we look at the Chargers players involved in each offensive and defensive snap and track how players earn and lose playing time as the year continues. As always, these snap counts come from the NFL and the numbers are rounded to the nearest percent.
Despite all odds and multiple bouts with self-destruction, the Chargers are in the playoffs! For the final game of the season, the Chargers faced the backups of the Kansas City Chiefs and, in typical Charger fashion, played to the level of their competition. This was a very even game, with statistics like time of possession, total yards, and total plays way closer than they should have been considering the disparity between the two depth charts. The good news for Charger fans is that there are only good teams left in the playoffs, so the Chargers will play well from here on out...or something like that.
Here's a look at the offensive snap counts for Week 17:
As we head into the playoffs, it appears the Chargers have settled into a good rotation on the offensive side of the ball. No offensive player's snaps fluctuated by double digits, but we do have one new addition to the snap chart in tight end Jake Byrne. Byrne played in seven games with the Houston Texans earlier in the season (earning a total of five snaps) and will most likely only be asked to run block while filling in for the injured John Phillips. Byrne run blocked on all three of his snaps against the Chiefs.
Now here are the defensive snap counts:
The defense experienced a little more rotation against the Chiefs, including Melvin Ingram receiving increased snaps for the fourth straight week since returning from injury. With the Chargers making the playoffs, the decision to bring back Melvin Ingram this year could make a big difference in the outcome of the season.
Despite reports of Cam Thomas being benched for Sean Lissemore, it was Thomas who dominated the snap counts between the two players. Thomas had a good game against the Raiders in Week 16 and followed that up with probably his best game of the season, making three stops behind the line of scrimmage and just being an all-around beast defending the run. It will be interesting to follow his play throughout the playoffs, as he will be playing for a contract in front of a national audience.
With the regular season concluded, here's a look at the players who saw their snap counts change the most when compared to Week 1:
It's hard to think of this Chargers team without Keenan Allen, but yet the rookie did not receive a snap until Week 2. We can also see how the running back rotation shifted in Danny Woodhead's favor, with Ronnie Brown solely relegated to kickoff kneel down duties by Week 17.
On the defensive side of the ball, we can also see just how far Derek Cox has fallen since Week 1. Rookie Jahleel Addae has been a gem of a find for GM Tom Telesco, who signed Addae as an undrafted free agent in the offseason. Bront Bird's defensive snaps went pretty much kaput once Manti Te'o got up to speed with the defense.