The Buffalo Bills were in great shape to take the AFC East with any win, or Miami Dolphins loss, leading to the crown in the last three weeks of the season. That said, there’s a difference between “leading to the crown” and “taking the crown.” Against the Denver Broncos, the Bills did the latter. Let’s see who pitched in on a division-clinching victory.
Offense (73 snaps)
It’s slim pickings for the 100 percent club this week with injuries and some of the starters being pulled for one snap. Which also happened to be a touchdown drive. Way to lead the team Matt Barkley! Ike Boettger and Mitch Morse were the only two to make the cut. Dion Dawkins, Josh Allen, and Jon Feliciano were pulled out at the end. Darryl Williams suffered a groin injury in the third quarter and was replaced by Ty Nsekhe.
Gabriel Davis outpaced Stefon Diggs by one snap. While Diggs reportedly had an injury to his foot, he was in the game with the exception of the last touchdown drive of one play. Cole Beasley, Isaiah McKenzie and Jake Kumerow followed in the usual pecking order. Kumerow became the 13th player on the team to catch a touchdown this season, tying the NFL record. The Bills have a clear path to sole possession of this stat with players like Devin Singletary and Andre Roberts currently with a zero in the receiving touchdown column.
Speaking of running backs, Zack Moss continues to outpace Singletary in
counts and carries (EDIT: thank you to bosoxaddict1915 for the catch). A large part of this seems to be the Bills’ preference for Moss to close out games when they have a lead. The Bills usually have a single running back in on every play. With Taiwan Jones seeing the field one time on offense, that gave the Bills a single play with two on the field.
The Bills fell back to around their baseline for overall tight end use with two TEs on the field about 10 percent of the time. Lee Smith’s 30 snaps are an increase over last week however, where they used two on 24 percent of plays. Dawson Knox did leave briefly with an injury, which likely helped Reggie Gilliam’s counts. Smith’s high percentage despite the low number of 2TE sets does appear to have been deliberate.
Defense (64 snaps)
Injuries and the score led to the dismissal of the 100 percent club on defense this week. Jordan Poyer was the closest. Tre’Davious White and Levi Wallace were both impacted by injuries that should be monitored closely this week. Micah Hyde, Taron Johnson, and Tremaine Edmunds hovering near the 80 percent mark tells quite the story in and of itself however.
With the game playing out as it did, there’s not much to be learned for tendencies with player splits so we’ll cut it a bit short this week. I will add that Tyler Matakevitch saw the first significant playing time he’s seen on defense since Week 2 when he had seven. His 15 snaps here are four more than the rest of his season combined.
Special teams (32 snaps)
Tyler Matakevitch led the way of course, hitting 75 percent of snaps in addition to his defensive reps. There aren’t any surprise names either so let’s focus on the fact that Corey Bojorquez had a single punt, which isn’t the first time that’s happened this season.