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Snap count notes: Miami Dolphins at Buffalo Bills

An examination of the playing time as the Bills survive the Dolphins to reach 5-1

The Buffalo Bills took down the Miami Dolphins in a tighter game than most people thought they were going to see. As Ryan Fitzpatrick was looking for the finishing blow, it was instead Tre’Davious White who pressed →, ↓, →, High punch. In addition to White, here’s who contributed and how much.

Offense (56 snaps)

Before we go into the usual spiel on the 100% club, go back up a second and look at the number of snaps it took to get there. That’s a really low number of offensive plays, driven in large part thanks to Miami’s seven-minute advantage in time of possession. Five scoring drives in about 26 minutes of play time and 56 snaps is pretty darn good actually.

The bye week did the Bills good as their 100% club on offense came back intact. Dion Dawkins, Quinton Spain, Mitch Morse, Jon Feliciano, and Josh Allen played on all 56 snaps. Cody Ford played most of the game at right tackle, but continues to share time with Ty Nsekhe.

John Brown nearly hit the 100% club himself and is the clear number-one receiver. Duke Williams fell one snap short of Cole Beasley. Williams left in the third quarter with a shoulder injury, suggesting he could have been the number-two receiver on Sunday. Isaiah McKenzie and Andre Roberts round out the group, McKenzie’s 21 snaps is a major increase and may be something to keep an eye on.

Frank Gore continues to be the workhorse back...kinda. At 54% of playing time, the Bills aren’t counting on any one player. Devin Singletary’s 22 snaps are indicative of a “committee” style for the Bills. Doing some quick math, the Bills had at least two plays without a running back. Those two snaps were likely part of Patrick DiMarco’s seven.

If the running backs are by committee, the tight ends are even more so. Dawson Knox edges out the top spot, followed by Tyler Kroft and Lee Smith. All three players reached 20+ snaps. Smith’s time fluctuates based on game plan and is subject to change. Kroft made his debut in a Bills uniform this week and could surpass Knox before too long, especially if the coaching staff feels his hands may be more reliable at the moment.

Defense (73 snaps)

The 100% club on defense was a little shakier. This is the second game in a row where most of the group fell a snap or two short. Only Jordan Poyer and Tremaine Edmunds hit the mark. Tre’Davious White, Micah Hyde, and Levi Wallace were close. Matt Milano was held out to further rehabilitate his hamstring injury. In his place, Lorenzo Alexander and Maurice Alexander subbed in. Lorenzo nearly joined the 100% club as a result of his multiple roles in the defense. Maurice exited briefly due to injury, but returned to the field.

A rotating cast of defensive backs included Taron Johnson returning from injury, Kevin Johnson who went to the locker room early with a head injury, and Dean Marlowe. All told, they made up the three snaps missed by the starting defensive backs and added 46 extra, meaning the Bills used a nickel defense about 23 of the game.

Trent Murphy edged out Jerry Hughes in snaps, but both played a typical amount for defensive ends. Hughes worked a tiny bit on the left side—a tactic the Bills used sparingly last year. As a result of that and other shenanigans, the numbers don’t work out perfectly between Murphy/Hughes and the rotation that includes Shaq Lawson and Darryl Johnson.

The big news at defensive tackle is a decrease in Ed Oliver’s time on the field. Oliver has been seeing time in the 60% range. Jordan Phillips seems like the biggest beneficiary of this, with Kyle Peko and Star Lotulelei putting in pretty standard amounts of time.

Special teams (27 snaps)

Another week, another special teams shakeup. Last week Darryl Johnson, Lorenzo Alexander and Kevin Johnson took over the top three spots from Julian Stanford, Maurice Alexander, and Kurt Coleman. Both those trios broke 70% of playing time. Darryl Johnson was the only player breaking 70% this week with 78%. The Super Alexander Bros had a lot more time on defense and fell off in special teams reps this week. Julian Stanford and reacquired running back Senorise Perry both came in at 63% to create a new top trio.

Micah Hyde had four snaps that you probably didn’t think twice about and one snap that I hope you’ve seen at least 30-40 times by now.