This game reminded me of a poll/question I saw posted on Twitter earlier this year that asked something to the effect of “Would you take a Super Bowl win now if it meant guaranteeing your team wouldn’t win another for at least 40 years?” Most people enthusiastically said “yes.” I was a lonely dissenter. The win would be nice, but then you’re relegating yourself to decades of ultimate futility. But the worst part is that you would KNOW there’s no chance for 40 years.
Can you imagine watching the Buffalo Bills for decades in what is essentially a predetermined outcome? I can’t speak for anyone else but, despite the loss, I was glued to the TV until the final snap Monday night. We watch in large part because of the drama. The unknown. That comes with games like this one. Now that I’ve waxed all the philosophy that’s fit for a snap count article, here’s the playing time notes...
Offense (77 snaps)
One positive takeaway is the continued health of the 100 percent club who all made the cut this week. Spencer Brown, Daryl Williams, Mitch Morse, Jon Feliciano, Dion Dawkins, and Josh Allen all stayed in the entire time.
In the comments last week I hinted that Cole Beasley’s drop off in time might have been game plan specific and hold off on any judgement until we saw what happened moving forward. I wish I had remembered to put that in the actual article rather than saving it for the discussion because here you go. Beasley’s counts jumped right back up, behind only Emmanuel Sanders. Stefon Diggs fell off, likely due to being looked at by trainers during the game. He did return and no news is likely good news right now.
The tight end and fullback usage dropped this week with Dawson Knox and Reggie Gilliam both falling off a bit. If you hadn’t heard yet, Knox suffered a fracture to his hand—BEFORE he threw a pass to Josh Allen for a two-point conversion. Zack Moss continues to get the nod over Devin Singletary.
It’s sad not seeing Micah Hyde on the offensive ledger.
Defense (53 snaps)
Buffalo was almost perfect for their usual 100 percent club here too. The exception is Taron Johnson who appears to have been pulled in favor of A.J. Klein for three snaps (without re-watching the game just yet, I’m betting near the goal line). Jordan Poyer, Micah Hyde, Tremaine Edmunds, Matt Milano, Levi Wallace, and Tre’Davious White all stayed in the entire time on defense.
Jerry Hughes led the way for defensive ends, followed by fellow veteran Mario Addison. Greg Rousseau wasn’t far behind him, and Efe Obada wasn’t far behind Groot. The defensive tackle pecking order was a similar rotation with Ed Oliver, Star Lotulelei, Harrison Phillips, and Justin Zimmer. There was one “extra” defensive end snap, suggesting a line play in “Wooden Dime” defense.
A bigger story this season is the inactives, with A.J. Epenesa and Boogie Basham both riding the bench this week. My hunch is that the Bills see Epenesa and Basham as pass-rush specialists, with Phillips more of a run-game support player. I tend to see this as a positive. The Bills have so much depth on the defensive line this year they’re able to call up specialists for specific game plans.
Special teams (29 snaps)
Not too much in the way of notes here. I don’t see any names that are surprising on the list, and Tyler Matakevich remains the king of the special teams hill. I would add that 29 is a lot of special teams snaps, but when both teams put up a lot of points that’s to be expected. Specifically, drives ending in punts have one special teams play. Drives ending in a score have two in most cases (either FG or XP try plus kickoff).