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Bills-Raiders snap counts: The beginning of the O’Cyrus Torrence era!

Christian Benford was the only defensive player to log 100%

Las Vegas Raiders v Buffalo Bills Photo by Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images

Are the Buffalo Bills back? After a disappointing start to the season, the Bills came out and put on a show for their home fans on Sunday when they rocked the visiting Las Vegas Raiders, 38-10. Josh Allen, the offensive line, the defense, and coaching were all awesome — it was an all-around great home-opener win. Let’s hope they bring the same dominance on the road next week when they face the Washington Commanders.

As always, let’s take a look at the Bills-Raiders snap counts from Sunday and see what personnel and game plan changes made the difference in putting up 38 (and it should’ve been more) points in front of the home crowd.

Bills offensive snap counts (78 snaps)

Let’s start by giving right tackle Spencer Brown (100%) and right guard O’Cyrus Torrence (100%) some praise for 1) being the only offensive players to log 100% of snaps and 2) completely shutting down a top pass rusher in edge rusher Maxx Crosby, who registered zero sacks and QB hits despite logging 71-of-78 total defensive snaps. It was easily Brown’s best game of his career and it’s just the beginning for Torrence to become the guy on Buffalo’s offensive line. The rest of the offensive line performed well, too, as the Raiders sacked Allen just twice with one coming from a blitz up the middle and the other coming while scrambling. The pocket was clean.

Something a bit unusual happened in the receiving room this week — Stefon Diggs (87%) out-snapped Gabe Davis (74%). Trent Sherfield (41%) logged the third-most snaps by a receiver but still hasn’t caught a ball nor been targeted in two games for the Bills. Khalil Shakir (15%) logged just 12 offensive snaps but hauled in a tough touchdown catch at the end of the first half. The commitment to two tight ends is real and I’m here for it! Both Dawson Knox (71%) and Dalton Kincaid (60%) logged 55 and 47 snaps, respectively, and both made contributions when it mattered. Kincaid is going to be a stud the more he learns the offense and increases his reps, but Knox remains a serious red zone threat and certainly one of Allen’s favorite targets in that area.

One last moment of praise for the offense: the running back room. Their names may not be flashy but this trio of Bills’ running backs is the best they’ve had in a long time. Each back has their own role in the offense and it all starts with James Cook (59%), who was cookin’. He totaled 159 yards from scrimmage and averaged an impressive 7.2 yards per carry. If Damien Harris (18%) maintains his health throughout the season, he will keep making plays like he did on Sunday.

Bills defensive snap counts (40 snaps)

Thanks to the excellence from Allen and the offense, the Bills had a whopping 40:04 time of possession and the defense was able to enjoy the game just like the thousands of Bills fans in attendance. Buffalo’s defense was on the field for just 40 snaps, with Christian Benford (100%) leading the defense for a second straight week. The CB2 conversation is over at this point because Kaiir Elam was yet again a healthy scratch and Dane Jackson (15%) logged a total of six defensive snaps — and that’s only because key starters were pulled during the fourth quarter. He did force a fumble, though!

The linebacker production was evident on Sunday with both Matt Milano (85%) and Terrel Bernard (85%) intercepting Jimmy Garoppolo. Bernard led the team in tackles for a second straight week (6) and Milano recorded his second interception in as many games — lots to look forward to when it comes to these two. One thing to note: Tyrel Dodson (20%) was subbed in occasionally when going up against the Raiders’ power formations, but he was in on the field for Taron Johnson (80%) when the Raiders scored their only touchdown.

The defensive line recorded zero sacks and just two QB hits but applied pressure on both of the interceptions, and absolutely shut down the Raiders’ running game. As a unit, the defense recorded three tackles for loss and held Josh Jacobs to just -2 yards on nine carries. Ed Oliver (60%) and Greg Rousseau (60%) were the most noticeable all game long, but Da’Quan Jones (42%) and A.J. Epenesa (45%) also deserve their flowers for making great plays.

Both Micah Hyde (85%; hamstring) and Leonard Floyd (40%; ankle) picked up injuries during the game and if they aren’t able to suit up against the Commanders, this would be quite the gut punch to this Bills’ defense. Depending on the severity of his hamstring injury, it’d be hard to see Hyde not suit up.

Bills special teams snap counts (22 snaps)

  • 20 snaps, 91%: TE Quintin Morris, FB Reggie Gilliam
  • 16 snaps, 73%: LB Tyrel Dodson, LB Tyler Matakevich, CB Siran Neal, CB Cam Lewis
  • Others: LB Dorian Williams (14 snaps — 64%), K Tyler Bass (13 snaps — 59%), CB Dane Jackson (12 snaps — 55%), SS Taylor Rapp (11 snaps — 50%), WR Trent Sherfield (10 snaps — 45%), RB Damien Harris (7 snaps — 32%)

The special teams unit looked like its usual self and didn’t have any bad punts or miscommunications this time around. Both Quintin Morris (91%) and Reggie Gilliam (91%) continue to be the leaders while Jackson’s role seems to be increasing with the CB2 spot not up for grabs anymore.

Tyler Bass (59%) did his job, of course, and even Harris (32%) was able to record a 41-yard kickoff return in the second quarter. Buffalo stays committed to testing out as many different returners as possible this season but Harris showed some explosiveness.