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2014 Buffalo Bills offense review: snap counts, play time percentages, stats

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Where do the Buffalo Bills need to improve offensively? How is their system structured from a personnel standpoint? Who are their most productive and valuable players? Let's break it down.

Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

With the 2014 Buffalo Bills season officially in the books, we now have time to crunch some numbers to get a better feel for the 9-7 outfit, how they're built, and where they need to improve moving forward. We'll do so, to start, in the most basic way possible: breaking down snap counts. Let's go. (Players in italics are either already gone, or are scheduled for free agency.)

Offense

QB: 1,062 snaps (1.00 per play)

Player Pos. Snaps % total Stats
Kyle Orton QB 803 75.6% 287-447 (64.2%), 3,018 yards, 18 TD, 10 INT; 15 att, 14 yards, 1 TD
EJ Manuel QB 259 24.4% 76-131 (58.0%), 838 yards, 5 TD, 3 INT; 16 att, 52 yards, 1 TD

The sudden retirement of Orton leaves the Bills in a bit of a bind this offseason: they must either get comfortable with handing the starting job back to Manuel, or they need to go out and acquire a new starter, one way or another.

RB: 1,200 snaps (1.13 per play)

Player Pos. Snaps % total Stats
Fred Jackson RB 548 51.6% 141 att, 525 yards, 2 TD; 66 rec, 501 yards, 1 TD
Anthony Dixon RB 219 20.6% 105 att, 432 yards, 2 TD; 8 rec, 49 yards
C.J. Spiller RB 188 17.7% 78 att, 300 yards; 19 rec, 125 yards, 1 TD
Frank Summers FB 128 12.1% 6 att, 17 yards, 1 TD; 5 rec, 9 yards
Bryce Brown RB 117 11.0% 36 att, 126 yards; 16 rec, 176 yards

This is essentially a one-back offense in Buffalo, particularly after the release of Summers eliminated the fullback position altogether. As long as Doug Marrone and Nathaniel Hackett are in charge of the offense, the dream of using two backs simultaneously on more than a handful of plays should be gently laid to rest.

Also: Spiller is an upcoming free agent. If the Bills want to bring him back, they should probably do so with some sort of idea of how to use him properly.

WR: 2,669 snaps (2.51 per play)

Player Pos. Snaps % total Stats
Sammy Watkins WR 1,027 96.7% 65 rec, 982 yards, 6 TD; 2 att, 8 yards
Robert Woods WR 899 84.7% 65 rec, 699 yards, 5 TD
Chris Hogan WR 461 43.4% 41 rec, 426 yards, 4 TD
Mike Williams WR 188 17.7% 8 rec, 142 yards, 1 TD
Marquise Goodwin WR 89 8.4% 1 rec, 42 yards; 3 att, 8 yards
Marcus Easley WR 3 0.3%
Deonte Thompson WR 2 0.2%

This is a young group that still has a bunch of untapped potential. It's fairly safe to assume that if the coaching staff returns, the top three receivers on the depth chart won't change, either. (It's worth pointing out that Hogan is an exclusive rights free agent; he'll easily be retained.)

TE: 1,418 snaps (1.34 per play)

Player Pos. Snaps % total Stats
Scott Chandler TE 749 70.5% 47 rec, 497 yards, 3 TD
Lee Smith TE 335 31.5% 7 rec, 42 yards, 1 TD
Chris Gragg TE 213 20.1% 7 rec, 48 yards, 1 TD
MarQueis Gray TE 121 11.4% 8 rec, 118 yards

Throughout the course of the 2014 season, the Bills became highly reliant on the tight end position in their offense - with very little production to show for it. If they want to continue using tight ends in this fashion, a complete overhaul of the position may be justified.

OL: 5,331 snaps (5.01 per play)

Player Pos. Snaps % total Notes
Seantrel Henderson RT 1,062 100.0% 16-game starter
Erik Pears RG 1,062 100.0% 16-game starter
Eric Wood C 1,059 99.7% 16-game starter
Cordy Glenn LT 1,046 98.5% 16-game starter
Kraig Urbik LG 622 58.6% 9-game starter
Cyril Richardson LG 312 29.4% 4-game starter
Chris Williams LG 131 12.3% 3-game starter
Chris Hairston OT 37 3.5% Backup, goal line duty

You don't need anyone to tell you that the Bills need to improve dramatically up front, because you're already keenly aware. Guard seems like the most obvious place to start, what with one starter headed for free agency and the other a continued revolving door. The team could also look at improving the tackle position, but there is at least athletic talent there, and the Bills may not have the resources for significant upgrades at three or four positions up front.