For the many who have been advocating for tight end Mike Gesicki to get more snaps for the Miami Dolphins because of his production in recent weeks, it was wish come true against the Buffalo Bills in Week 8.
Of the 69 offensive snaps the Dolphins took against the Bills, according to the official gamebook, Gesicki played 67 of those for a whopping 97 percent.
Both figures represented a career high for Gesicki, whose previous high in snaps was 64 — ironically, also at Buffalo (in the 2020 season finale).
The Dolphins again made heavy use of 12 personnel (one back, two tight ends), even though one could argue that Gesicki is more like a slot receiver. Adam Shaheen played 41 snaps (59 percent), while Durham Smythe played 29 snaps for a second consecutive week.
The fourth tight end who was active Sunday, Cethan Carter, played strictly on special teams, while rookie third-round pick Hunter Long was inactive for a fifth time eight games this season.
PARKER AND WADDLE SHOW AT WIDE RECEIVER
With DeVante Parker back in the lineup after missing three games with a hamstring injury, it again was pretty much him and Jaylen Waddle and little else at wide receiver.
Parker played 63 of the 69 offensive snaps, while Waddle played 65, with no other wide receiver getting more than eight snaps — and that was Isaiah Ford.
Mack Hollins went back to being primarily a special teams guy with only four snaps on offense, while Albert Wilson again might as well been inactive as he got only two snaps on offense (he doesn't play special teams).
HOLLAND AND THE SECONDARY
On defense, what stood out what the utilization of young players in the secondary as well as the extended role for Duke Riley at linebacker.
We'll start with the secondary, where rookie second-round pick played every defensive snap (73) for a third consecutive game. That wasn't surprising given that Holland now clearly is established as a full-time player.
What was surprising was seeing second-year player Brandon Jones get 70 snaps (96 percent), which likely had to do with the Dolphins making heavy use of the blitz against Buffalo.
Jones' playing time came largely at the expense of veteran Eric Rowe, who played only 22 snaps. It was the third time in four games that Rowe had played 22 or fewer, which is an odd development considering how effective he was in 2020 and remains a largely effective cover defensive back.
As for Riley, he was the one who got the bulk of the snaps lost when Jerome Baker was made inactive because of his knee injury. Riley ended up playing 67 defensive snaps, this after playing a total of 19 defensive snaps in the first seven games combined.
The Dolphins had at least one extra DB on the field pretty much the entire game against Buffalo, with Nik Needham and Justin Coleman splitting time in the slot with both struggling to cover Cole Beasley.
Back to linebacker, it was a busy game for rookie first-round pick Jaelan Phillips, who played a season-high 61 snaps, beating his previous mark of 57 against Tampa Bay.
WATCHING TIME FOR IGBINOGHENE, BIEGEL
As expected, cornerback Jamal Perry was used only on special teams after being elevated from the practice squad Saturday for the third time this season — one of those came as a COVID-19 replacement and doesn't count against the limit of two.
Perry actually got more work than linebacker Vince Biegel, who also was elevated from the practice squad Saturday because Biegel was one of four players who were active but did not play.
The others were CB Noah Igbinoghene, QB Jacoby Brissett and G Robert Jones.
This could be seen as the latest disappointment for Igbinoghene, who had missed the Atlanta game with a knee injury, because the Dolphins never saw fit to put him on the field on defense despite the coverage issues that surfaced in the second half when Josh Allen passed for 169 yards after being held to 80 in the first half.
Along with Perry and Carter, the non-specialists who got snaps only in the kicking game against Buffalo were special teams captain Clayton Fejedelem, Elijah Campbell, Solomon Kindley and Greg Mancz.