Sifting through the rubble of a Buffalo Bills loss is never a ton of fun on a Monday morning, but we'll trudge on nonetheless. Here are the team's offensive and defensive snap counts from yesterday's gutting 27-20 loss to the New York Jets, with a few snippets of analysis after each group.
Buffalo did not play fullback Frank Summers at all in Week 1, and struggled to run the football. He played 22 snaps in last week's win over Carolina, and the Bills - Spiller in particular - were excellent running the ball. Yesterday, Summers saw zero snaps on offense, and the Jets completely erased Buffalo's running game. Anyone else sensing a pattern here? The clear takeaway here: the Bills don't think they can consistently win playing smash-mouth football out of a run-oriented formation.
I don't recall Johnson ever leaving the game, but he did have another personal foul (taunting) penalty in the fourth quarter, and also injured his hand early in the game. Woods saw more playing time, but Johnson was really the Bills' only productive wide receiver.
There's not much to say here, because things didn't change much from the first two games: the Bills use 11 personnel most of the time, and their wrinkles this week were a two-tight end formation that they opened the game with and a two-running back formation foiled by Spiller's injury (but not completely abandoned, as evidenced by Choice's workload).
Injuries to Dareus and Mario Williams in the front seven led to increased playing time for this year's defensive free agent signings, Branch and Lawson. The latter paced the team with 14 tackles, but it's worth pointing out that the Jets ran all over the Bills in this contest, ripping off several big runs. (We'll be hitting the film to look at those breakdowns when the All-22 comes out tomorrow.)
Yet another slow week for Nigel Bradham, whose sub-package must be pretty specific to only see a handful of reps each week. Arthur Moats is the run-down linebacker, and teams will continue to exploit his presence with misdirection, as has happened in each of the last two weeks.
When McKelvin exited early with a hamstring injury, Aaron Williams slid down to cornerback - and he played every snap, while Justin Rogers didn't. Until McKelvin, Stephon Gilmore and Ron Brooks are ready to return to the lineup, it's looking like the third-year player out of Texas will be the team's top cornerback. Not that that matters, necessarily - if Rogers is in the lineup, that's where teams will be throwing until further notice.
Jim Leonhard replaced Williams at safety, and Duke Williams became the dime back as the Bills used just two cornerbacks (Rogers and Robey) when McKelvin went down, utilizing four safeties at times. Holy cow, are they thin at corner - and holy cow, did their existing corners make Geno Smith look awesome.