NFL Teams are Playing More Dime Defense than Base

Luke Easterling

We all knew NFL teams had been going with nickel looks on defense more than their base alignments for quite some time now, but it turns out they're adding more defensive backs than ever before.

Not only were NFL teams in nickel more than any other formation last season, they also presented a dime look (with six defensive backs) more often than they were in base (via USA Today's Doug Farrarr):

How does this impact the Tampa Bay Buccaneers? Well, they have plenty of young, promising talent at the safety position, and they could feature more of them at a time this season if they go with this trend, as The Athletic's Greg Auman points out:

The Bucs have invested high picks in recent drafts in Justin Evans, Jordan Whitehead, Mike Edwards and Antoine Winfield, Jr., all of whom are talented and versatile enough to be effective in different roles if they're all on the field at the same time.

With a creative defensive coordinator in Todd Bowles, who prioritizes versatility and loves presenting different looks to opposing offenses, the Bucs have the personnel to make this latest trend work to their advantage in 2020 and beyond.

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