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Buffalo Bills vs. Cleveland Browns: Rookie review

Buffalo’s offensive rookies go underutilized against the Browns

The Buffalo Bills lost 16-19 to the Cleveland Browns in a game that saw a severe lack of offensive prowess from Buffalo. While Stephan Hauschka missed two field goals, it didn’t help that Brian Daboll and the offensive coaches made some baffling coaching and lineup decisions, including limiting rookie Devin Singletary’s touches, despite having limited success on the ground.

More about how each rookie performed against Cleveland below.

DT Ed Oliver

Oliver continues to see his snaps reduced in the hopes that doing so will improve the team’s debilitating run defense. As such, the rookie didn’t accumulate any actual stats, although he did his job more often than not. As the team still hasn’t solved the run defense problems, it’ll be interesting to see if Oliver’s snaps change moving forward.

OT Cody Ford

The rookie continued to share starting snaps with Ty Nsekhe after being out with an injury against Washington. Ford’s day was mostly positive overall, thanks to being given extra blocking support if and when Myles Garrett lined up in his vicinity. He also had some signature down blocks on the defensive tackle that aided some short Devin Singletary runs. The only blemish really was during the third quarter, after the rookie lost ground to Chad Thomas and gave up a sack of Allen.

RB Devin Singletary

With only eight rushing attempts for 42 yards (5.3 yards per carry) fans were justifiably dismayed at the rookie’s usage on the field. The plan seemed to be to utilize Singletary in the short passing game, challenging Cleveland’s linebackers and safeties to tackle him one-on-one. They seemed to be up for that challenge, as the running back was targeted seven times in the passing game, but none went for more than seven yards.

TE Dawson Knox

Knox had a productive day with four catches for 55 yards, but his day could have been even better had he come down with a long back-shoulder catch in the first quarter. The rookie tight end continues to struggle with drops. Another missed opportunity came late in the game, during the team’s second touchdown drive. Knox ran a fantastic route, with defenders getting tangled up, and found himself wide open in the end-zone. Had Allen thrown with better anticipation and more force, Knox would have been celebrating a touchdown.

LB Vosean Joseph

The former fifth-round linebacker remains on injured reserve following shoulder surgery.

S Jaquan Johnson

Johnson was active in Cleveland, but only for his role on special teams.

TE Tommy Sweeney

With the return of Tyler Kroft, Sweeney was again a healthy scratch this week against the Browns.

DE Darryl Johnson

Last week’s reduction of Johnson’s snaps to the single digits became a trend Sunday against Cleveland. It seems the coaches are intent in not exposing Johnson’s lack of ability to hold the edge in the run game. Johnson remains one of the team’s mainstays on special teams coverage.