By Jay Skurski
The Buffalo Bills went big in an effort to protect quarterback Thad Lewis on Sunday in Miami.
No. 2 tight end Lee Smith played 32 of 67 offensive snaps for the team against the Dolphins, which was 48 percent. Smith, as he usually is, was used almost exclusively in a blocking role, although he did make his second catch of the season, for 18 yards.
Even with the bigger lineup, the Dolphins still managed to get four sacks of Lewis, and hit him six times.
The Bills also used Frank Summers on 11 snaps (16 percent). He got his first two carries of the season, and gained 14 yards.
Most interesting among the snap counts for the Bills' offense was the use of rookie receiver Marquise Goodwin. Coming off his huge 40-yard touchdown catch against the Bengals in Week Six that sent the game to overtime, Goodwin saw only five offensive snaps (7 percent) against Miami. Robert Woods (63 snaps, 94 percent) and Stevie Johnson (60 snaps, 90 percent) played almost the entire game, most often joined by T.J. Graham (34 snaps, 51 percent) when the Bills went three wide.
Running back Fred Jackson (39 snaps, 58 percent) came back from a knee injury in the first quarter to lead the team with 11 carries for 36 yards and a touchdown and four catches for 49. Jackson's leadership, however, doesn't show up in the stats book. C.J. Spiller managed just 14 snaps (21 percent), while third back Tashard Choice played 12 snaps (18 percent).
The starting offensive line -- including left guard Doug Legursky in his first start of the season -- played the entire game (67 snaps).
Rookie tight end Chris Gragg (six snaps, 9 percent) also saw his first action of the season.
Defensively, Kiko Alonso took every one of the 66 defensive snaps -- the seventh straight game he's done that.
The defensive line trio of Mario Williams (62 snaps, 94 percent), Kyle Williams (53 snaps, 80 percent) and Marcell Dareus (52 snaps, 79 percent) played extensively, while defensive tackles Corbin Bryant and Alan Branch got an identical workload, with each playing 25 snaps (38 percent).
In the secondary, safety Jairus Byrd saw his workload increase from his first game of the season in Week Six against Cincinnati. Byrd played 41 snaps (48 percent) against the Bengals, and saw that number rise to 51 snaps (77 percent) against the Dolphins. Cornerback Stephon Gilmore also saw his workload increase. He took 36 snaps (55 percent) in Miami, up from 26 snaps (30 percent) against the Bengals.
Linebacker Nigel Bradham went back to being buried on the depth chart. He got only four snaps (6 percent) and had some bad luck when he was in there. Bradham registered a nice sack of Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill in the fourth quarter, but the play was negated by a defensive holding penalty on Gilmore.
taggedAlan Branch | C.J. Spiller | Doug Legursky | Frank Summers | Fred Jackson | Jairus Byrd | Kiko Alonso | Kyle Williams | Lee Smith | Marcell Dareus | Mario Williams | Marquise Goodwin | Nigel Bradham | Robert Woods | Stephon Gilmore | Stevie Johnson | T.J. Graham | Tashard Choice | Thad Lewis