The Buccaneers have to moved to 2-0 on the season after a 48-25 win against the Falcons, which means that a new game's worth of snap counts are here to analyze.
Chris Godwin led the skill position players for the second straight week. Expect that to be the norm throughout the year. Mike Evans saw a dramatic decrease in playing time compared to Week 1, but he appeared to be dealing with some sort of injury or cramping issue in the second half. Throw Antonio Brown into the mix, whose playing time also went down this week.
Tyler Johnson and Scotty Miller both saw an increase in snaps from Week 1, as well, which is interesting when you juxtapose that with the decrease in snaps among the Bucs' starting wide receiver trio. Whatever the reason, Miller and Johnson combined for just one catch for five yards on two targets. Johnson looks to have found a role on special teams through two weeks, as well.
Leonard Fournette out-snapped Ronald Jones II for the second straight week, but there was no fumble to send Jones to the bench this time around. Fournette was in for just five more snaps, but he garnered most of the work in Week 2, even if the difference is small.
Giovani Bernard saw a big drop in snaps, which is a bit odd considering the Bucs faced 12 third downs (the 12th was a Blaine Gabbert kneel). One has to wonder if Bernard should've been in on the 2nd and 20 that saw Jones fail to pick up a blitzing Deion Jones which led to Tom Brady getting sacked and a subsequent 3rd and 27.
Cameron Brate out-snapped O.J. Howard for the second straight week. We won't know until about midseason as to whether or not this is due to Howard's recovery from his Achilles injury. Josh Wells recorded a few snaps in the jumbo package.
Vita Vea came in at fullback for two plays on offense, which is always fun to watch. Carlton Davis III played 97% of defensive snaps despite getting hurt early in the game. Jordan Whitehead was on the field for an impressive 79% of defensive snaps after his return to the lineup while Mike Edwards - the game's hero - played 54% of defensive snaps. It's clear the Bucs' "Big Nickel" package played a big role in this game.
Jason Pierre-Paul and Shaquil Barrett both saw their snap counts decrease from Week 1, while William Gholston and Rakeem Nunez-Roches' snap counts rose. This is probably due to the fact that Gholson and Nacho excel in run defense and the Falcons were deploying a healthy mix of 12, 21, and 22 personnel throughout the game. JPP and Barrett can defend the run, but it makes sense to swap them out for Gholston and Nacho when needed. The extra safety presence probably contributed to a decrease in snaps for JPP and Barrett, too.
Ross Cockrell's snaps went down in this game, but that corresponds with the return of Whitehead. The Bucs are likely to rotate players in and out of the nickel position throughout the year, so expect inconsistency among the snap counts on the back end. Jamel Dean saw five more Special Teams snaps this week.
Nothing changed in terms of the core players on Special Teams.
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