Bucs at Cardinals Week 16 Snap Count Analysis

Each week after each Bucs game, we take a closer look at the quick count distribution for Tampa Bay’s offense and defense. We will assess what we can learn from who has played the game the most and the least.

Here’s a closer look at which players received the highest and lowest number of snaps in the Bucs’ 19-16 Christmas Night road win against the Cardinals in Week 16.

Bucs attack

Bucs Qb Tom Brady

Bucs QB Tom Brady – Photo by: USA Today

For the first time in weeks, Mike Evans beat Chris Godwin for the lead in shots by a wide receiver and yet his chemistry with Tom Brady looks worse than ever. Julio Jones only played in 22 of 81 snaps, and while he only made one catch for 5 yards, he felt like he had more impact than what the stat says.

Jones pulled a pass interference penalty on the first play of the game, was wide open in the end zone on the same drive Brady knocked him over, and scored a touchdown in the second half that was nullified by an illegal shift penalty. Russell Gage played in 43 of 81 snaps and made his mark on the game as both a receiver (five receptions for 65 yards) and a blocker in the run game.

In the never-ending saga of wildly off-base distribution of snaps and touches, Leonard Fournette accounted for 20 more snaps than Rachaad White. Fournette had 29 touches for 162 yards, but when you break it down, it wasn’t as great as you think. Fournette had 20 rushes for 72 yards, which is a low average of 3.6 yards. Meanwhile, White gained 36 yards in just seven tries for an average of 5.1. Fournette had the game of the game taking a swing pass for 44 yards that helped set up the White touchdown.

Not to take anything away from a great playing from Fournette, but it was a huge chunk of playing that made up the bulk of his received output. Fournette’s nine receptions for 90 yards gave him an average of 10 yards per reception, but when you pull out the one big play, his numbers drop to 5.75 yards per catch. White’s average was 4.3, so he would only have beaten him by just over a meter in the game.

It was hard to see Josh Wells leave the game early due to what is being reported as a season-ending knee injury. He played 16 snaps before Brandon Walton filled in for the other 68. Walton struggled to hold his own, allowing Tom Brady to take multiple hits. The Bucs also didn’t help him by not giving him another tight end or running back to help the double team. When everyone is sane, Wells is usually the swing tackle in jumbo packs, but when he started the game they used Luke Goedeke in that role for three plays. We’ll see what the plan is for that role when and if Donovan Smith can return to the lineup.

Box defense

Week 16 Bucs Defense Snap Count

After Antoine Winfield Jr. playing only a small number of snaps last week and Mike Edwards had a number of throws saw both their snaps skyrocket over Christmas. Neither played all 76 snaps, but Edwards played 97% of the plays and Winfield was involved 93%. You could immediately see how much better the defense is when Winfield can play.

Bucs Olb Anthony Nelson

Bucs OLB Anthony Nelson – Photo by: USA Today

Remarkably, the Bucs can manage with only two healthy linebackers outside who would also play 100% of the snaps. Joe Tryon-Shoyinka and Anthony Nelson both went the distance, which is even braver when you consider that Tampa Bay typically flips their edges and each player averages around 30-55 plays. Nelson came out big early in the game with a strip sack on Trace McSorely who was recovered by Devin White in the first quarter.

Rakeem Nunez-Roches stepped up his game and led the Bucs domestic defense line with 44 snaps. Will Gholston also had a key moment recovering from a fumble in the second half. Pat O’Connor got a little longer play and had a big push late in the game that forced an incompletion to get the Bucs back on the ball.

We don’t know how long Vita Vea will be out, so it will be a collective effort from everyone else in that role.

#Bucs #Cardinals #Week #Snap #Count #Analysis

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