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Buffalo Bills snap count notes: Jordan Poyer back, linebacker rotation against the Jets

In a disappointing loss, what stood out regarding playing time?

Buffalo Bills v New York Jets Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

The Buffalo Bills (5-3) fell to 1-3 on the road in 2017 with Thursday’s 34-21 setback to the New York Jets. It was a dismal performance all-around on the national Thursday Night Football stage. Let’s take a look at who contributed to the disappointing defeat.

Offense (75 total plays)

QB Tyrod Taylor - 75
T Cordy Glenn - 75
G Richie Incognito - 75
C Eric Wood - 75
G Vlad Ducasse - 75
T Jordan Mills - 75
WR Jordan Matthews - 71
TE Nick O’Leary - 58
RB LeSean McCoy - 55
WR Deonte Thompson - 52
WR Zay Jones - 40
WR Andre Holmes - 35
TE Logan Thomas - 21
RB Mike Tolbert - 20
FB Patrick DiMarco - 9
G Ryan Groy - 8
QB Joe Webb - 3
TE Khari Lee - 2
RB Taiwan Jones - 1

  • So much for Ducasse being the weak link on the offensive line. The former second-round draft pick of the New York Jets signed a three-year contract worth $3.5 million on the first day of free agency, and after struggling to make a good impression during the preseason, Ducasse has clearly earned the trust of first-year head coach Sean McDermott, as Ducasse has started the past four games at right guard after John Miller started the first four games.
  • Playing in their final game without Kelvin Benjamin, Matthews once again led the receiving corps, followed by Thompson, who saw his snaps rise from 23 vs. Tampa Bay to 52 vs. the Jets. Thompson bounced back nicely from his one catch for five yards vs. Tampa Bay to record seven catches for 81 yards, including a 26-yard touchdown strike in the loss. Thompson and Jones both had their first TDs in a Buffalo uniform in the loss.
  • Despite the struggles of Ducasse and the rest of the offensive line to open holes for LeSean McCoy and the Bills rushing attack, DiMarco saw his snap count drop from 28 against the Oakland Raiders to only nine snaps vs. the Jets. In a game where the Bills failed to provide enough running room for Shady, and failed to give Taylor any time to find open receivers, DiMarco’s blocking ability could have been better utilized Thursday night.

Defense (67 total plays)

S Micah Hyde - 67
LB Preston Brown - 67
S Jordan Poyer - 67
CB Tre’Davious White - 67
CB Shareece Wright - 67
LB Lorenzo Alexander - 51
LB Ramon Humber - 50
DE Jerry Hughes - 49
DT Kyle Williams - 43
DE Shaq Lawson - 40
DT Adolphus Washington - 39
CB Leonard Johnson - 31
DE Ryan Davis - 25
DT Jerel Worthy - 23
DE Eddie Yarbrough - 21
DT Cedric Thornton - 20
LB Matt Milano - 10

  • Brown remains the iron man of the defense, as he is the only defender who has played in all of the team’s 541 defensive snaps this year.
  • Poyer returned from his knee injury to appear on the field for all 67 snaps, finishing second to Brown in tackles with seven (six solo).
  • The Bills continue to rely on a deep rotation along the defensive line, as all eight of the team’s defensive tackles and ends logged at least 20 snaps, led by Hughes (49). Both Worthy (23) and Yarbrough (21) saw a spike in snaps. When it came to stopping the run, it didn’t matter who defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier put on the field, as Matt Forte, Bilal Powell, and Elijah McGuire gashed Buffalo for 194 rushing yards on 41 carries, an average of 4.7 yards per rush. In the season-opener, the Jets mustered only 38 yards on 15 carries, an average of 2.5 yards/rush.
  • In his return from a broken thumb, Humber resumed his role as Buffalo’s weakside linebacker, amassing seven tackles (five solo) with a pair of tackles for a loss. As a result of Humber’s return, Milano saw his snaps plummet from 52 (with a 40-yard fumble return for a touchdown) vs. Oakland, to just 10 snaps vs. the Jets.

Special Teams Notes

  • While his playing time decreased at linebacker, Milano tied for second on the team in special teams snaps (23). Rookie linebacker Tanner Vallejo once again led the special teams unit with 29 snaps, followed by Milano, linebacker Deon Lacey (23), and QB/WR Joe Webb (23).
  • This unit has been remarkably consistent through the first nine weeks of the season, as Vallejo, Lacey, and Webb continue to provide excellent coverage on special teams. Alexander, one of the oldest members of the Bills at 34 years old, and Holmes continue to contribute on special teams despite their seeing significant time on Buffalo’s defense and offense, respectively.