The numbers are going to be skewed this week as the Buffalo Bills subbed in some depth players after decimating the New York Jets. Wait. I already did the Jets game. This is the Indianapolis Colts? Ah crap. Well the starters still got pulled so that first sentence is still semi-accurate.
Offense (56 snaps)
I want to begin this week with a shoutout to the rest of the Rumblings crew. There’s a lot of interplay between articles that’s only possible because everyone is so good at what they do. For instance, I rely on the weekly Rapid Recap to get injury information to speak to any impact on snap counts here. That leads us to our positive takeaway from the game. No one new was injured.
Most of the 100 percent club was intact with Daryl Williams, Cody Ford, Dion Dawkins, and Mitch Morse all playing the entire game. On offense that was 15 minutes less than defense in case you were wondering, in what was a preposterously lopsided time of possession. Josh Allen was pulled for Mitch Trubisky and there appears to have been some Ryan Bates tinkering for Ike Boettger.
Last week I noted that the numbers suggested two snaps using two TE sets and that this was rare. This week it jumped to 12. It appears that the Bills tried to mitigate their offensive line woes to some extent. Reggie Gilliam added another seven snaps to that mix.
The running-back-by-committee approach continued but became a veritable Cerberus with Matt Breida officially joining Devin Singletary and Zack Moss. All three had pretty even snaps.
The wide receivers followed a pretty typical rotation of Emmanuel Sanders, Stefon Diggs, Cole Beasley, Gabriel Davis, and Isaiah McKenzie albeit with a small bump down for all with the tight ends getting more work.
Defense (69 snaps)
For the sake of not reliving what happened to this unit, let’s just stick with the global numbers. A lot of depth players saw time when the starters were yanked late.
Defensive backs took 342 snaps, or 496 percent of 69 snaps. Put in my usual terms, that means the Bills played nickel 96 percent of the time, which is less than normal. That works out to three snaps less than usual.
Linebackers only had one “extra” snap above the two-player count the Bills usually use, not quite making up for the low nickel count.
Defensive tackles were six snaps lower than the 138 you’d expect from a two-position rotation. That means we have six “missing” snaps here to go with the two we’re still looking for from the defensive backs.
And that of course means the defensive ends rotated inside at tackle on six snaps, and filled in at linebacker for the “huge nickel” defense twice.
Special teams (23 snaps)
Tyler Matakevich reclaims the top spot, but tied with Taiwan Jones. Reggie Gilliam slid down the charts this week.