The second time was the charm. The Buffalo Bills returned to the scene of the crime in Arizona, this time to play the San Francisco 49ers, and put forth what was perhaps their most complete game of the season in a 34-24 win. It was a game largely dominated by Josh Allen and the offense, but the defense was able to stiffen and come up with big plays when necessary, as well. More about how each rookie performed against the 49ers below.
DE A.J. Epenesa
Epenesa continued to see an uptick in snaps over an inactive Trent Murphy, and while his performance wasn’t exactly encouraging on paper, it’s when you dig into the tape that you see some nice hidden plays. For one, he had a solid tackle on the wide receiver when he dropped into a shallow coverage in the third quarter. On that same drive, he cleanly beat Trent Williams with a swipe move, but was blatantly held and unable to sack Nick Mullens as a result. Not a huge impact, but decent for 26 snaps going up against a strong opponent.
RB Zack Moss
It was a day to forget for Moss, who was punished by the coaches for his early fumble deep in Buffalo territory. As a result, he only saw three carries for the rest of the game. He was utilized later in the game on a third-down run, but the play was blown up at the line by Dion Jordan. Hopefully this will be a learning experience for the young man.
WR Gabriel Davis
The rookie fourth rounder continues to have a penchant for big plays, and finding himself completely wide-open in the end zone. Despite only pulling in three catches against San Francisco, they amounted to 68 yards and a touchdown. All three were clutch catches that eventually led to Bills scores. Although it isn’t as evident to most observers, the tape has shown that he continues to thrive in the run-blocking department, as he had some key blocks there throughout the night. His 422 receiving yards have now surpassed Zay Jones’s entire rookie season.
QB Jake Fromm
As with the previous games, Fromm was again a healthy scratch. This should remain the case throughout the season.
K Tyler Bass
With two more successful field goals—one 37 yards and one 29 yards— Bass continued his streak of perfection. He has now made ten of his last 11 field goals, with the lone miss being the 61-yard attempt during the game against Seattle.
WR Isaiah Hodgins
Hodgins remains on Injured Reserve. He recently had surgery on his shoulder.
CB Dane Jackson
Despite being active for the game, Jackson did not see the field against the 49ers, with both Josh Norman and Levi Wallace now healthy.
TE/FB Reggie Gilliam
Seven snaps for Gilliam in his usual goal line, decoy fullback role. No targets unfortunately, but you can feel it coming. He did maintain his regular presence on special teams.