clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Bills vs. Eagles Week 12 snap counts: The offense is back but... the defense?

95 offensive snaps, 505 total yards and a loss

Buffalo Bills v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

After saying “We’re back, America! Deal with it.” after last week’s convincing win over the New York Jets, I can confirm that the Buffalo Bills are in fact, not back after losing another “game of the year” in heartbreaking fashion in overtime to the Philadelphia Eagles. Buffalo led 24-14 in the third quarter and still managed to let the game slip away. Quarterback Josh Allen totaled over 420 total yards and four touchdowns, yet all I’m seeing on social media is that he can’t win overtime games. Something seems off, no?

Wide receiver Deonte Harty was a healthy scratch as the Bills gave practice squad call-up Andy Isabella an opportunity to suit up and return kicks. Both cornerback Dane Jackson (head) and safety Taylor Rapp (neck) were ruled out following Friday’s practice, opening the door for cornerback/safety Cam Lewis to get some run.

As always, let’s talk snap counts from Week 11, and talk position battles on both sides of the ball.

Bills offensive snap counts (95 snaps)

Well, the Bills logged 95 offensive snaps — the most since the “heat game” against the Miami Dolphins in 2022, where they logged 92 snaps and also lost the game. While Buffalo has many issues to address at the moment, at least the offensive line has really seemed to put it together as the season has progressed. The Bills’ line held the Eagles’ pass rush to one sack and four QB hits but, as expected, struggled to create running lanes, resulting in just a combined average of 3.1 yards per carry from running backs James Cook (43%), Latavius Murray (44%) and Ty Johnson (12%). Cook dropped a would-be touchdown pass in the first quarter and was seemingly placed in the doghouse for a few drives — similar to when he fumbled the ball on the first play of the game in Week 10 against the Denver Broncos. One could argue Buffalo preferred Murray’s blocking ability against Philadelphia’s defense, though.

Allen was amazing except for one bad decision to try and force it into wide receiver Stefon Diggs’ (92%) hands, resulting in an interception. Bills fans were seemingly losing their minds when Diggs periodically left the field on certain third-down conversions — but at least to me, it looked like he was subbing himself out, not the other way around. Wide receiver Gabe Davis (96%) made his presence known in the play-making department and not the blocking department, hauling in 6-of-12 targets for 105 yards and a touchdown, but he had a crucial miscommunication error with Allen in overtime on the would-be game-winning touchdown. Khalil Shakir (80%) continues to see his snaps increase each week while tight end Dalton Kincaid (61%) was quieter than usual, but still continued his streak of at least five receptions in six straight games. Does wide receiver Trent Sherfield (20%) still not know the playbook? He’s barely targeted and when he is, he isn’t running the right route.

One thing worth noting is the use of the interesting backfield formation of Murray and tight end Quintin Morris (26%) with the occasional sub-in of guard David Edwards (18%). Buffalo was getting dominated at line of the scrimmage all game and it was encouraging to see interim offensive coordinator Joe Brady implement some different looks to see what worked.

Bills defensive snap counts (66 snaps)

While the offense held onto the ball for a whopping 40:30 time of possession (and still lost!), the defense played just 66 snaps. It’s safe to say that the Bills have found their go-to secondary rotation at this point with cornerbacks Taron Johnson (100%), Rasul Douglas (100%), Christian Benford (100%) along with safeties Jordan Poyer (100%) and Micah Hyde (100%) all logging every snap and keeping the Eagles’ pass-catchers in check... for the most part. Once the Eagles started the comeback, head coach Sean McDermott gave their receivers cushion and eventually killed the defense’s confidence. No adjustments were made, either.

Linebackers Terrel Bernard (100%) and Tyrel Dodson (74%) held it down at the linebacker position while rookie Dorian Williams (2%) logged just one snap. I’ve praised Dodson’s run-stuffing ability, but his coverage is extremely suspect and opposing quarterbacks purposefully target him. Bernard, on the other hand, still remains a stud and unsurprisingly, was the one to jump on the deflected pass for an interception. Philadelphia is a downhill running team, which is likely why Dodson was in so often but Williams is slowly being completely phased out of the defense.

In the first half, Buffalo’s pass rush looked unstoppable. Defensive ends Leonard Floyd (70%), Greg Rousseau (55%) and A.J. Epenesa (45%) brought some consistent heat off the edge that allowed the interior line to record two sacks on quarterback Jalen Hurts. Defensive tackle Ed Oliver (91%) unsurprisingly led the line in snaps but defensive tackles Tim Settle (20%) and Linval Joseph (24%) wreaked havoc, each recording a sack and tackle for loss. Defensive tackle Jordan Phillips (48%) logged the second-most snaps of all DTs but only did cardio and talked smack to opposing players and fans, if we’re being honest. I don’t know if it’s just me but Phillips’ after-the-whistle antics are becoming... unnecessary.

Do I even need to say anything about edge rusher Von Miller (32%) at this point? He hurts the defense just by being on the field and hasn’t made an impact whatsoever. I will say he made a few plays last night that created opportunities for other pass rushers to get to Hurts but still, give me a sack or two every once in a while. Defensive end Kingsley Jonathan has fresh legs and could bring some juice, but maybe that’s just me.

Bills special teams snap counts (36 snaps)

  • 31 snaps (86%): FB Reggie Gilliam
  • 28 snaps (78%): CB Siran Neal, LB Tyler Matakevich
  • 24 snaps (67%): CB Cam Lewis, TE Quintin Morris
  • 23 snaps (64%): LB Dorian Williams, LB Baylon Spector, SS Damar Hamlin
  • 19 snaps (53%): DE Kingsley Jonathan
  • 15 snaps (42%): K Tyler Bass
  • 12 snaps (33%): LS Reid Ferguson, P Sam Martin, WR Andy Isabella
  • 11 snaps (31%): CB Ja’Marcus Ingram
  • 9 snaps (25%): LB Tyrel Dodson
  • 8 snaps (22%): G David Edwards, C Ryan Bates, G Connor McGovern, T Dion Dawkins, G O’Cyrus Torrence, T Spencer Brown
  • 7 snaps (19%): WR Trent Sherfield, RB Ty Johnson
  • 5 snaps (14%): WR Khalil Shakir, SS Jordan Poyer, FS Micah Hyde, LB Terrel Bernard, DE Greg Rousseau, DE A.J. Epenesa, DT Tim Settle, DE Shaq Lawson