Tyrod Taylor triumphantly returned to the Buffalo Bills’ lineup this week after missing the incredible snowvertime victory over the Indianapolis Colts last week. A few tweaks were made to the roster, with details below. Sean McDermott made a puzzling decision for the second week in row that was practically begging for disaster.
Offense (63 total plays)
- There’s no question on the starting linemen this week, as all five made it through without leaving the field for a single snap.
- Tight End Charles Clay seems to have been the go-to guy on offense this week. With 76% of offensive snaps, he saw the field more than any receiver.
- Receivers Zay Jones and Deonte Thompson had the same number of snaps this time around, and their relative playing time could look a little different from week to week.
- WR Kelvin Benjamin returned from injury and was in on more than half the offense’s snaps, which bodes well for his knee.
- Mike Tolbert was a healthy scratch for the game, and he was replaced by Travaris Cadet. You might notice that Cadet’s and McCoy’s snaps add up to 100% with no other running backs listed. Rather than double back sets, they schemed Patrick DiMarco in to block. DiMarco had two receiving targets and zero rushing attempts.
Defense (75 total plays)
- Matt Milano started at linebacker for the second week in a row over Ramon Humber. When both have been healthy, they’ve been around a 70/30 split all season. Milano ended with two tackles and one assist. Despite limited playing time, Humber closed the day with two and two.
- Cornerback E.J. Gaines had limited snaps following an injury in the middle of the third quarter. Seen as a bit of a revelation this year (when healthy), his status will be closely monitored going forward.
- The defensive line’s rotation is old news, but Kyle Williams had a bit of a boost in snap count this week. He hovered in the 70% range in the early part of the season, but fell off into the 60% and even 50% range. This was his first game breaking 70% since Week 7.
Special Teams (27 total plays)
- Lorenzo Alexander continues to have a major special teams role (74% this week). However, this has notably increased in recent weeks. Conversely, he has seen his time on defense decrease, taking on a more specialized role. Alexander saw a drastic cut in defensive snaps following the defensive meltdowns against the New York Jets and New Orleans Saints.
- Matt Milano took just over a third of special teams snaps this week, and rounds out his playing time here. As noted last week, Ramon Humber flipped with Milano here as well, and saw 70% of special teams play.
- Joe Webb was the backup quarterback for the second week in a row. Also for the second week in a row, he still saw multiple snaps on special teams. Webb hit 59% of special teams snaps, despite being the backup in case of injury to Tyrod Taylor. As we saw last week, we’re one snap away from Joe Webb leading the offense. McDermott is making sure it’s a bit of a banged up Joe Webb in that event.