This week the snap counts were impacted by a few factors. Pulled starters, sitting a rookie for a mistake and, unfortunately, some injuries too. We’ll have notes as needed but for this week it’s a celebratory mood for fans of the Buffalo Bills!
Offense (70 snaps)
The (yet again) reshuffled offensive line was hit-and-miss making the 100 percent club. Cody Ford, Ike Boettger, and Mitch Morse all made it. So did the banged up Josh Allen. Daryl Williams came off for two plays as did Spencer Brown. In the case of Brown, his 42nd penalty of the day for taunting was one too many for head coach Sean McDermott who took the rookie off the field for a stern lecture I assume. Tommy Doyle subbed in and managed to avoid taunting.
New this week! A feature back. Devin Singletary nearly hit the 100 percent mark. And that’s pretty much it. Matt Breida had three snaps, meaning the Bills did not always have a RB on the field.
Reggie Gilliam did see the field, albeit briefly, as did Ryan Bates. Add that to Buffalo having Dawson Knox on the field almost the entire time plus some Tommy Sweeney pitching in. After an early season push toward having the fastest offense on the field, the Bills have generally gone a bit bigger. Some of this may be to mitigate offensive line woes.
Gabriel Davis comfortably led snaps at wide receiver, making a bit of an odd situation with Stefon Diggs coming in second. Cole Beasley is no shock at three, nor is Isaiah McKenzie at four. It is, however, the highest percentage of time this season for McKenzie on offense. He’s hit the 20 percent mark or higher in only three other games. Beasley was impacted by injury before halftime but returned to the game on the same drive.
Defense (76 snaps)
First off, the bad news. Micah Hyde was demoted this week. Despite taking a knee to end the game, Buffalo had Marquez Stevenson behind Allen in the “in case of fumble” role, rather than Hyde.
There was no 100 percent club this week as Buffalo pulled the starters late. The backups did fine with A.J. Klein picking off Cam Newton to add the final nail to the feline coffin. Dane Jackson and Levi Wallace were both dinged up. As Dan noted in his recap, Jackson returned and was fine, Wallace is a little more questionable as the starters were pulled shortly after his injury.
Adding up the counts, the Buffalo Bills played in nickel the entire game. They elected to play fast rather than heavy. Star Lotulelei and Vernon Butler were a bit de-emphasized in playing time. Overall, there were 16 snaps that did NOT have two defensive tackles on the field. That’s around 21 percent of the time. For these plays, the Bills had three defensive ends on the field.
I don’t know if you caught this week’s Wingin’ It recipe, but go take a look here. Not only is it delicious, but it was oddly prophetic on defense. The Ex-Panthers put in a lot of work. The big story is Efe Obada who had two sacks and two tackles for a loss. A.J. Klein had an interception and a tackle. In five snaps. Star Lotulelei had a sack and a TFL of his own with limited playing time. Mario Addison had three tackles, two for a loss. And Vernon Butler pitched in a couple tackles himself.
Special teams (22 snaps)
There’s not much to discuss here except the six-player tie at the top. Usually it’s only a couple. There’s a good chance that this was impacted by Carolina’s lack of a kicker. Each unit is pretty specialized with personnel and not needing the FG blocking unit is a likely culprit.