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Buffalo Bills snap count notes from Week 3 win over Denver Broncos

Are the Bills looking to spread the offense out a bit more?

The Buffalo Bills came away with a 26-16 win at home over the Denver Broncos on Sunday. There were a couple of interesting notes that came out of it, especially when it came to wide receiver usage.

Offense (65 total plays)

QB Tyrod Taylor - 65
RB LeSean McCoy - 43
RB Mike Tolbert - 21
FB Patrick DiMarco - 15
WR Zay Jones - 55
WR Jordan Matthews - 50
WR Andre Holmes - 22
WR Kaelin Clay - 15
WR Brandon Tate - 5
TE Charles Clay - 52
TE Nick O’Leary - 34
TE Logan Thomas - 11
T Jordan Mills - 65
T Dion Dawkins - 65
G John Miller - 65
G Richie Incognito - 65
G Ryan Groy - 1
C Eric Wood - 65

  • After using wide receivers Clay and Tate a combined six times through the first two games, Rick Dennison did a much better job of spreading out the defense against the vaunted Broncos secondary. There were a couple of plays where the receivers were as wide open as one could hope for, including Clay’s red zone catch that set up the Bills’ first touchdown.
  • Another player who was barely utilized in the first two weeks was Thomas, who played 11 snaps after seeing six through the first two games. He didn’t register on the stat sheet, but he was another target the Broncos needed to account for and helped spread the defense out a bit.
  • Taylor and Jones clearly don’t have a whole lot of chemistry just yet, but it’s not for a lack of trying. Jones has played 86.7% of the team’s offensive snaps this year, the highest outside of Taylor and four offensive linemen, yet he was held off the stat sheet against the Broncos. He was targeted twice: one was an off throw by Taylor while he was on the run, and the other was the deflection that Holmes corralled for the first touchdown.
  • Groy is counting $1.5 million against the cap this year, but Sunday marked his first play with the offense as a tackle-eligible lineman. None of the interior linemen have missed a snap so far this year.

Defense (70 total plays)

DT Kyle Williams - 54
DT Cedric Thornton - 37
DT Adolphus Washington - 34
DE Shaq Lawson - 43
DE Jerry Hughes - 47
DE Ryan Davis - 27
DE Eddie Yarbrough - 18
LB Preston Brown - 70
LB Ramon Humber - 65
LB Lorenzo Alexander - 41
CB Tre’Davious White - 70
CB E.J. Gaines - 69
CB Leonard Johnson - 54
CB Shareece Wright - 1
S Micah Hyde - 70
S Jordan Poyer - 70

  • Brown and Poyer remain the only two Bills defenders to have played in every snap this year. Hyde (99.0%), White (99.0%), Humber (94.4%), and Gaines (91.8%) have all been in heavy rotation through three games as well.
  • Thornton received the start in place of the injured Marcell Dareus, but there wasn’t a huge difference between him and Washington when it came to total playing time. Both have played in 81 snaps through the first three weeks.
  • Eddie Yarbrough played about one-fifth of the snaps in his return to Denver, where he started his career. He finished with one tackle and two hurries, one of which forced White’s essentially game-sealing interception in the middle of the fourth quarter.
  • Gaines has had the trainers come out in every game this year, but he’s only missed 14 snaps. Not coincidentally, that’s the same number of snaps Wright has seen through the first three weeks. The dime look is apparently not a thing with the Bills this year.

Special teams notes

  • With Tate returning to the, um, returner role after sitting last week, Kaelin Clay was left out of special teams. Taiwan Jones continued to fill his primary roles on coverage as a gunner.
  • The “core four” of special teams this year has officially taken shape with Joe Webb, Colt Anderson, Deon Lacey, and Matt Milano all playing 22 special teams snaps while not appearing in a play from scrimmage. Newly-signed safety Robert Blanton played 17 coverage snaps, while tackle Conor McDermott played six in his first game action of the season.