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Bills Today: Milano could see more playing time

Posted Dec 6, 2017

Here's the Bills news of note for Dec. 6th.


1 - Milano could see more playing time
Buffalo’s fifth-round pick in 2017, Matt Milano, has shown some promise in his brief amount of playing time this season. The coaching staff could potentially boost his workload in the coming weeks.

Milano played a significant amount in Weeks Four, Five, Seven, and Eight as Ramon Humber was dealing with injury. Since Humber’s return, his snaps have understandably been reduced.

“I think in those games earlier when he had the start, he showed that he could handle a pretty good workload,” said defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier. “He did some good things in those ball games and we’ve continuously got him in games.”

Milano’s played in 31-percent of the defensive snaps this season. Coincidentally, he also played in 31-percent of the snaps this past Sunday. During his 234 snaps played this season, he’s accounted for 24 tackles, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery, one interception and a 40-yard touchdown on the FR.

Milano’s provided a positive spark during his sparing amount of playing time. We’ll see if the rookie gets more reps in Week 14 against the Colts.

“We’ll look at it this week and see if we can get him in more,” said Frazier. “He’s done a good job when he’s been out there. Nothing to do with Matt, he’s done a good job.”

2 - What Williams thinks of the Colts
The Buffalo Bills (6-6) are back home in Week 14 for a matchup with the Indianapolis Colts (3-9). Defensive tackle, Kyle Williams, is familiar with a few of their premier players on offense.

Colts quarterback, Jacoby Brissett, was a member of the Patriots last season. While Tom Brady served his suspension, Brissett led their offense for a couple of games after Jimmy Garoppolo was injured. One of those games came in Week Four against the Bills. He completed 17-27 passes for 205 yards and zero touchdowns. Buffalo shutout Brissett and the Patriots by a score of 16-0.

Last season the Colts current starter was just a rookie. The 6-4, 235-pound QB has shown signs of progress in his second season.

“Totally different game plan on offense with what they’re trying to do. They were being very protective of him when we went to New England last year. He’s basically had a full year, give or take, of being the starting quarterback in Indy,” Williams said on the John Murphy Show. “Started [watching film] of him on Monday. I see a lot of good things from him. Obviously he’s mobile, has a strong arm, very tough to bring down. He’s a big, strong, and elusive guy. Getting pressure on him isn’t always the end of it. You really have to wrap him up and put him on the ground.”

This season, Brissett has flashed his potential at times. He’s thrown for 2,542 yards, 10 touchdowns, and seven interceptions. He’s also tacked on 47 rushes for 206 yards and three touchdowns.

Another Colts player Williams is familiar with is running back Frank Gore. The two are both 34-years-old and have been in the NFL for 10-plus years.

Through 12 games, Gore has tallied 174 carries for 632 yards and three touchdowns.

“How can you not love Frank Gore? The guy’s just a warrior,” said Williams. “He’s been at it for such a long time. He’s still productive. He’s tough. He always seems to find the little seam in the defense. Wherever the little breakdown is he seems to find it. Which is really aggravating, but fun to watch at the same time.”

The most recent matchup between the Bills and Colts came in 2015. Indianapolis traveled to Orchard Park in Week One and left with a 27-14 loss. Buffalo will look for more of the same in an attempt to move to 7-6 on the year.

3 - How Dawkins has made a difference
On Sunday, rookie Dion Dawkins recorded his fourth straight start at left tackle. The Bills rushing totals have seen a healthy increase since his stretch of starts.

In Dawkins’ four starts, Buffalo has averaged 132.3 rushing yards per game. Only four teams in the NFL average over 130 yards on the ground in a game.

The Bills run game is a top-10 unit in the league. At 122 yards per game this season, they respectively rank eighth. Dawkins emergence on the line has only boosted those numbers.

In Week 13 against the Patriots, the Bills rushed for the most yards (183) with Dawkins as a starter. According to Pro Football Focus, he had the second-highest grade (82.0) among Bills players. Here’s what PFF had only the rookie's performance against the defending Super Bowl champions.

In what is looking like a transitional year for the Bills, they can take solace in the play of rookie Dawkins. He’s come on strong the past four weeks, surrendering just nine pressures over his last four games while looking at home in the run game. The second-rounder didn’t have many problems with the Patriots’ pass rush and ended the day with just one hit and two hurries allowed.

Dawkins has taken full advantage of filling in for LT Cordy Glenn as he’s dealt with injury. With Glenn’s return a mystery, it’s looking like Dawkins will hold down the left side of the line.

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