Buffalo Bills Offense
By looking at some Sean McDermott-coached teams from the past we can find some trends and determine how much run he gave his starters in prior preseason Week 1’s. Things will be a little different this year but his past tendencies should provide us with a good baseline for how he views the first preseason game going into the 2021 preseason.
There’s a chance that some coaches will play their top guys even less in the 2021 preseason after seeing that their guys could get through an entire season without a preseason last year. In a press conference on Wednesday head coach Sean McDermott stated that playing time for the starters would be determined on an individual basis Friday night.
He also revealed that the team would not be playing their franchise quarterback Josh Allen Friday night against the Lions. While the franchise QB is out there is still a good chance we will see some other Bills stars on Friday night. Allen being held out means there is probably ongoing discussions about holding out other Bills stars like Dion Dawkins, Stefon Diggs, Tre’Davious White, and Tremaine Edmunds.
While the starting offensive lineman will only be out there for a couple of drives the lack of roster spots dedicated to the offensive line means we will see the second-stringers a bunch on Friday night. In 2017 and 2018 the Bills preseason Week 1 snap count leader was an offensive lineman, Cameron Jefferson in 2017, and Ike Boettger in 2018. We can expect a heavy dose of rookie offensive tackles, Tommy Doyle and Spencer Brown. McDermott has a tendency for letting his rookie lineman play big-time snaps in the preseason opener with Dion Dawkins receiving 33 snaps in the 2017 opener and Wyatt Teller getting 56 snaps a year later.
The starting wide receivers also seem to be good to play a couple of drives, catch a pass or two and then end their day around the end of the first quarter. Stefon Diggs hasn’t been in Buffalo for a preseason yet, but in in his last preseason with the Vikings Diggs was held out of the preseason opener which could be the case again on Friday. The Buffalo Bills treasure trove of wide receivers means that even without Diggs we could still see some special talents in Cole Beasley, Gabriel Davis, and maybe even Emmanuel Sanders.
In the 2019 opener, the coaching staff gave some extended run to rookie running back Devin Singletary who ended up leading the team in carries with nine so Singletary and Matt Breida could likely play into the second quarter. This is a spot Zack Moss likely would have seen extended playing time but he suffered a hamstring injury and the Buffalo Bills should be cautious with rushing him back.