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Bills-Lions, NFL Week 5 2014: Buffalo's snap counts on offense, defense

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Marcell Dareus had a career game against the Detroit Lions, with three sacks - but that may not have been as impressive as the sheer number of snaps he played with Kyle Williams sidelined.

Joe Sargent

We are keeping fastidious track of the Buffalo Bills' snap counts, as compiled each week by the NFL, for the 2014 season. Following yesterday's 17-14 win over the Detroit Lions, our page dedicated to snap counts has been updated to reflect every snap played during the team's 3-2 start.

Be sure to check that page out for full-season data. Here are some quick notes for the offense and defense from Sunday's road win in Detroit.

Offense

A Bills quarterback has now attempted 39 or more passes in three straight games, which continues to widen the playing time divide between Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller. No one will care if Jackson continues to outperform Spiller the way he has lately, but the Bills might be playing with fire asking their 33-year-old running back - and, arguably, their most valuable player - to see the field (and take huge hits) so often.

The Bills began fiddling with their third and fourth receiver slots in this contest, with Mike Williams, Marquise Goodwin, and even Chris Hogan working into the rotation. It'll be interesting to see if that continues, or if it was a one-week adjustment to ease Kyle Orton into the flow of the game with receivers he hadn't been practicing with much.

Chris Hairston, the third tackle and the sixth lineman in short-yardage looks, has taken at least one snap in every game this season - but he hasn't come close to approaching the whopping nine he took in Week 2 against Miami, which occurred in part because blocking tight end Lee Smith was injured.

  • QB Kyle Orton - 71
  • RB Fred Jackson - 46
  • RB C.J. Spiller - 25
  • FB Frank Summers - 19
  • WR Sammy Watkins - 70
  • WR Robert Woods - 67
  • WR Mike Williams - 26
  • WR Marquise Goodwin - 14
  • WR Chris Hogan - 9
  • TE Scott Chandler - 43
  • TE Lee Smith - 26
  • TE Chris Gragg - 9
  • OT Cordy Glenn - 71
  • OT Seantrel Henderson - 71
  • OT Chris Hairston - 1
  • OG Erik Pears - 71
  • OG Cyril Richardson - 71
  • C Eric Wood - 71

Defense

Prepare and execute a slow clap for Marcell Dareus, who played 92 percent of snaps - an enormous figure for a 330-plus pound lineman - and was flat-out dominant, more than making up for the absence of his running mate, Kyle Williams. (Also, give Stefan Charles some credit, too, as he made several nice plays with his increased playing time.)

Jarius Wynn continues to be the preferred third end, as he has taken a commanding lead on Manny Lawson in terms of the number of snaps played among the two backup defensive ends.

Preston Brown played on every defensive snap for the fourth time in five games - but in an interesting twist, the team used far less of Keith Rivers (17 snaps; 58 in Houston) and far more of Brandon Spikes than they had been with Nigel Bradham out of the lineup.

Corey Graham has settled into a utility infielder-type role in the Bills' defensive backfield. He's a definitive fourth in the pecking order at cornerback, but saw some rotational reps at safety when Aaron Williams and Da'Norris Searcy were dealing with dings. (He also continued to see an increase in playing time on special teams in the absence of Marcus Easley, logging 19 snaps in that phase, three off of the team lead for the game.)

  • DE Mario Williams - 47
  • DE Jerry Hughes - 45
  • DE Jarius Wynn - 26
  • DE Manny Lawson - 11
  • DT Marcell Dareus - 57
  • DT Stefan Charles - 36
  • DT Corbin Bryant - 20
  • LB Preston Brown - 62
  • LB Brandon Spikes - 51
  • LB Keith Rivers - 17
  • CB Stephon Gilmore - 62
  • CB Leodis McKelvin - 54
  • CB Nickell Robey - 41
  • CB Corey Graham - 29
  • S Duke Williams - 57
  • S Aaron Williams - 50
  • S Da'Norris Searcy - 17