The Buccaneers ended their 2021 season on a strong note by sweeping the Panthers via a 41-17 win in Week 18.
Who played a big role in franchise-record 13th win?
All Bucs breaks down Week 18's snap counts for offense, defense, and special teams below:
Tampa Bay outscored the Panthers 41-10 after the Panthers went up 7-0 early in the first quarter, which gave Tom Brady and the rest of the starters a short day.
It's still surprising to see Tyler Johnson lead all skill players in snaps, but it makes sense. He will continue to see a lot of playing time moving forward, especially when considering Cyril Grayson Jr.'s hamstring injury. Grayson Jr.'s hamstring injury occurred early in Sunday's game, which is why he finished with just six snaps on the day. The same goes for Breshad Perriman and his playing time. Perriman played the most snaps he's played since Week 13 against Atlanta and finished with five receptions for 44-yards that included a clutch sideline grab in the second quarter. Scotty Miller saw the most playing time he's seen since Week 15, but it was mainly in garbage time. He did manage to make the most of his opportunities, though, scoring a 33-yard touchdown run on a reverse toss and making a nice grab over the middle for nine yards.
Bruce Arians said Monday that Grayson's hamstring injury isn't as serious as the team initially thought. How that pans out will go a long way in determining how much playing time the aforementioned receivers will see moving forward.
What's really interesting is the small disparity between Ke'Shawn Vaughn's and Le'Veon Bells offensive usage. Vaughn out-snapped Bell by just four snaps and had 41 total yards to Bell's 15. Bell did find his way into the end zone for his first touchdown of the 2021 season, which was nice to see. It will be interesting to see how the Bucs use these two in the playoffs if/when Ronald Jones II and/or Leonard Fournette return.
It's also interesting to see Darren Fells receive one less snap than O.J. Howard on offense. Both players didn't see a target the entire game.
All Tampa Bay's defense is missing Lavonte David in that upper tier of players. Regardless, the Bucs' top defenders appear to be healthy into the postseason.
Anthony Nelson and Joe Tryon-Shoyinka saw starter snaps again due to the absences of Shaquil Barrett and Jason Pierre-Paul. Nelson continued his strong season with his fifth sack of the year and Bruce Arians said Monday he earned a game ball for the second straight week. Arians also told reporters Monday that Barrett and JPP "should be back" for this week's playoff game, so it will be interesting to see how the Bucs divvy up snaps between Nelson and JTS moving forward. The same goes for Cam Gill, who recorded a season-high 34 snaps in this game.
Will Gholston and Steve McClendon led all defensive linemen with their snap counts, which makes sense considering the game was so lopsided. As a result, McClendon had his best game of the season, recording four tackles and two quarterback hits.
And finally, Jamel Dean's limited playing time is due to a hamstring injury that took him out of the game early. Dean has been very good this year and Arians told reporters Monday that the hamstring is a bit of a concern, right now. If Dean can't go Sunday then Richard Sherman would take his place, but Sherman has missed the last two games with an Achilles injury, so the Bucs could be looking at a postseason start for Pierre Desir or even Dee Delaney.
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