The Buffalo Bills handily won their matchup this past Sunday against a hapless Houston Texans team 40-0. Thanks to a strong defensive effort, as well as an overmatched rookie quarterback, the team recorded their second shutout of the season. The offense was easily able to move in the ball—both passing and rushing—but bogged down a couple times in the red zone early in the game. The game was also notable in how much time on the field several of the rookies received. More about how each rookie performed against Houston below.
DE Gregory Rousseau
More a function of how much the coaches consider him a “starter” on defense, Rousseau only played 18 snaps against the Texans. This is due to the game’s status as a blowout. However, the rookie very clearly struggled in comparison to his defensive linemates, thanks to the presence of Laremy Tunsil at left tackle. The veteran stonewalled the rookie on most pass rushing snaps, although Rousseau held his ground in the run game on most snaps.
DE Carlos Basham Jr.
Both active and in his Buffalo Bills debut, Basham out-snapped Rousseau on the day while coming away with a sack. The sack was mostly the result of hustle and Star Lotulelei flushing David Mills. Basham was noticeably sluggish in his burst off the line, and his bull rush was usually not enough to threaten tackles. There is a reason he’s been inactive for most games.
OT Spencer Brown
Brown made his season debut as a starter, in replacing Daryl Williams at right tackle. The rookie third rounder acquitted himself well, with a few signature blocks in the run game—including executing a key reach block that sprung Singletary for nine yards in the second quarter—and more than held his own in the passing game. Brown’s smooth feet and movement skills are clearly evident, although he had some breakdowns in hand usage. It mostly didn’t matter because Josh Allen was able to get the ball out so quickly. An impressive first showing for Brown.
OT Tommy Doyle
Like his fellow classmates, Doyle saw some playing time as well, with nine whole snaps. Stiffer in comparison to Brown, the rookie displayed some good strength at the point of attack on several run attempts.
WR Marquez Stevenson
Stevenson was still listed on IR with a head injury, despite this week being the first that he could be activated. It will be worth seeing how long this continues.
S Damar Hamlin
The rookie safety was both active this week and saw the field on defense due to the game’s status as a blowout. In his 13 defensive snaps, he did manage to record a very pretty deep pass breakup that was perfectly timed. He also saw some action on special teams.
OG Jack Anderson
On September 21, the Eagles signed Anderson to their 53-man roster and off of the Bills’ practice squad.