Publish date:

Buccaneers vs. Dolphins: Snap Count Observations From Week 5

Taking a look at playing time from the Bucs' 45-17 win over the Dolphins.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Week 5 victory over the Miami Dolphins is easily the most well-rounded win of the season. So, let's break down who had a big hand in helping the Dolphins stay winless in Ray Jay for yet another year.


Tampa Bay's offensive snap distribution for Week 5.

Tampa Bay's offensive snap distribution for Week 5.

Only Alex Cappa and Tristan Wirfs logged 100% of snaps on the offensive line thanks to the blowout. It was cool to see Robert Hainsey get some playing time, even if it was just during garbage time. Tom Brady also didn't play every snap for the same reason. As a result, Blaine Gabbert logged some playing time and looked pretty good.

Mike Evans actually out-snapped Chris Godwin by seven snaps and Godwin also played a season-low 69% of snaps. Godwin was still targeted 11 times, which is the second-highest total of the season and finished with seven catches for 70 yards, which is the second- and third-highest total of 2021, despite the decline in playing time. Evans finished with six receptions for 113 yards and two touchdowns on eight targets. But it's Antonio Brown who stole the day. He matched his season-high of 42 snaps and as a result, finished with a team-leading and season-high seven receptions for 127 yards and two touchdowns on eight targets. Is it a coincidence that Brown's best games (Dallas, Miami) have each seen him record 42 snaps?

Tyler Johnson was in for 51% of snaps, which is the same rate in Week 3, but AB was out for that game. He looks to be carving out a role and that should continue if he continues to make plays. Jaydon Mickens even got in, but I'd guess was that more during garbage time when Gabbert came in. Either way, the Bucs are doing just fine without Scotty Miller.

The Bucs' pecking order at running back is pretty much set at this point. Leonard Fournette played the most snaps and totaled over 100 yards from scrimmage again, but he got into the end zone this week. Giovani Bernard played the second-most after returning from a knee injury and Ronald Jones II played around 10 snaps. RoJo is pretty much the guy who comes into to give Lenny a breather at this point.

O.J. Howard out-snapped Cameron Brate for the second straight week, so it's clear the staff still has a ton of confidence in the former first-round pick. Howard turned in his best game of 2021, catching two passes for 19-yards on two targets. Brate caught his lone target for 12-yards. It will be interesting to see how this shakes out once Rob Gronkowski returns.


Numbers on the far right represent special teams snaps.

Numbers on the far right represent special teams snaps.

Devin White was on the field for every defensive snap, as usual. It's impressive that Jamel Dean played every snap in his return from the knee injury that caused him to miss last week. He recorded his first interception of the season, so I'm sure the Bucs hope that continues to happen. Usually Lavonte David is on the field the entire time, but he left the game with what Bruce Arians later called a high ankle sprain about midway through. Kevin Minter filled in for David and finished with three tackles on 48% of snaps.

Mike Edwards played 98% of snaps in place of Antoine Winfield Jr., which is no surprise. Richard Sherman played all but one snap for the second straight week, which is still pretty amazing considering how he got to Tampa Bay. Jordan Whitehead saw the most playing time of his 2021 season and Ross Cockrell was on the field 85% of the time, which continues to back up the idea that he is the team's primary nickel.

Shaquil Barrett logged his lowest playing time of 2021, but had his most productive day, finishing with 1.5 sacks and one forced fumble. Jason Pierre-Paul played 76% of snaps in his return, but was rather absent. Joe Tryon-Shoyinka was relegated to his reserve role and as a result, played 31% of snaps.

The trio of Vita Vea, Ndamukong Suh, and Will Gholston all saw drops in playing time compared to Week 4. I'm not sure why, but the Dolphins were throwing a ton, so the Bucs need more speed/cover guys on the field. That would be my guess.

And it looks like the Pierre Desir/Dee Delaney debate will rage on for another week, as both players played only on special teams. The only way to solved this debate is if another big name goes down in the secondary, so I'm sure Bucs fans are OK with waiting this one out.

Stay tuned to AllBucs for further coverage of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and other NFL news and analysis. Follow along on social media at @SIBuccaneers on Twitter and Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sports Illustrated on Facebook.