It’s official. Losing is now a streak after the Buffalo Bills fell to the Kansas City Chiefs on Monday
night dinner-time football. I had tacos. Let’s check in on playing time to see which players had trouble stopping the run and which ones had trouble putting up points.
Offense (53 snaps)
The 100% club was disrupted by a late injury to Cody Ford who was replaced by Ike Boettger. Dion Dawkins, Mitch Morse, Brian Winters, Darryl Williams and Josh Allen all hit their mark. On snaps.
Stefon Diggs nearly made the mark, which is no surprise at this point in the season. They’ve relied on his presence to be a disruption on nearly every play. John Brown matched Diggs’s total, which is a bit shocking as he returned from an injury that appeared to be lingering. Cole Beasley follows and the wide receiver group is rounded out with a handful of Isaiah McKenzie snaps and a single Andre Roberts one.
Tyler Kroft led the way and saw the field just over half the time for tight ends. Reggie Gilliam and Lee Smith technically saw the field but if you missed them it’s hard to blame you. Tight ends haven’t always hit 100% of playing time this year but against Kansas City the position group dipped below 70%.
The running backs hit exactly 100%, suggesting the team kept a single one on the field at all times. Devin Singletary saw the field three times more often than Zack Moss. Looking at the skill positions in totality the Bills heavily used 11 and 10 personnel groupings, heavily relying on their wide receivers.
Defense (73 snaps)
The 100% club can wait a second because sometimes the headings have important information. Please note the drastic disparity in snap counts between offense and defense. Kansas City ran 20 more plays than the Bills, providing even more proof that the defense couldn’t get off the field. Make no mistake though—this also means the offense couldn’t stay on it.
On to the 100% club! For the Bills they look to have six players on this list. Both safeties, the outside corners and their two linebackers (they run so much nickel it’s unfair to call them a 4-3 defense). These players should be your core of talent and quick math reveals that six of 11 potential spots is more than half. For the sixth member, the injured Matt Milano was replaced by A.J. Klein who fell a handful of snaps below the 100% mark.
I bring that up because when five of the anticipated six hit the mark (Jordan Poyer, Micah Hyde, Tre’Davious White, Josh Norman, and Tremaine Edmunds) you can’t avoid some of the blame for a woeful performance. Yes Norman is subbing in for the injured Levi Wallace but you’re left with a good amount of your main players on the field as planned.
The Bills appeared to have given Cam Lewis the third starter position for corner over Taron Johnson. Lewis was injured early in the game and Johnson was put back in the lineup. Their snaps equal 100% of the total, meaning the Bills were in at least nickel defense the entire game. Siran Neal is often brought in for big nickel looks. He appeared for nine snaps, seemingly at the expense of linebacker snaps for Klein. That means the Bills likely spent about 12% of the time in dime looks.
The defensive ends were led by Mario Addison and Jerry Hughes. Bryan Cox Jr. came in for the healthy scratch Trent Murphy but didn’t replace all of his snaps. A.J. Epenesa saw a bump in time as did Darryl Johnson to help fill in the gaps.
Defensive tackles saw Ed Oliver lead the way (barely) over Quinton Jefferson. The two have gone back and forth a bit this year. Harrison Phillips was a healthy scratch for Justin Zimmer who came in and slightly edged out Vernon Butler.
Special Teams (25 snaps)
Tyler Matakevitch led the way again with 84% of the special teams reps. Darryl Johnson was second in line again with 68%. A cluster of players at 64% included Siran Neal, Deon Lacey, Dean Marlowe, Taiwan Jones, and Jaquan Johnson. This group is mostly the same as last week. The core group seems to be mostly in place.