Week 2 is in the books for the Buffalo BIlls! Some odd things went down on Sunday, starting with the decision to run with fairly thin numbers at wide receiver and cornerback. The lack of depth (four players in each group) likely had some impact on playing time, along with injuries and...some other stuff. Data is courtesy of Pro Football Reference.
Offense (62 snaps)
The Josh Allen era began on Sunday, and the rookie played every offensive snap for the Buffalo Bills. That’s expected for a starting quarterback, but it does mean no injuries—and that’s a good start; the same applies for the starting offensive linemen.
The skill positions shook out fairly similar to last week. Although his count dropped, Zay Jones saw the most amount of time on the field out of the skill players. Kelvin Benjamin and Charles Clay swapped percentage positions. Overall, the wide receivers saw a little less time and the tight ends more snaps.
Marshall Newhouse doubled his rep count and Patrick DiMarco saw an impressive 700% increase in playing time! This, combined with the extra tight end time, suggests more emphasis on having the heavies hit the field to get the run game going. Their playing time may have also doubled as “don’t let our seventh-overall pick get killed” insurance.
Defense (57 snaps)
The usual group of omnipresent players went as expected. Tremaine Edmunds, Jordan Poyer, Tre’Davious White and Micah Hyde had a grand total of one snap lost (Hyde). Typically, another corner would be in that group. Phillip Gaines was injured early and it’s a safe bet you heard about Vontae Davis by now. Lafayette Pitts was definitely not expected to see 47% of snaps.
The nagging injuries to Trent Murphy and Star Lotulelei appear to be in the past. Murphy’s playing time nearly doubled from the week before and 67% lands him right around the ideal range for McDermott’s defensive line. Lotulelei’s increase wasn’t as drastic but again lands him right around the desired amount.
Special Teams (30 snaps)
Against the Chargers, 35 players took at least one snap on special teams. Milano had exactly one, after playing 25 snaps the week before. Of the 35 players, 26 saw five or more reps. There wasn’t much tinkering with the core group besides Milano. Ramon Humber, Andre Holmes Deon Lacey and Lafayette Pitts were all over 60%. Julian Stanford found himself in that group as well this week. Siran Neal hit 60% exactly. Patrick DiMarco remains heavily featured as well at 53%. Taiwan Jones likely missed a few after injury, with the primary concern being his health.