Brian Leonard was the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' starting running back against the Atlanta Falcons, but that didn't exactly show in the statistics. Not only did Rainey get six times as many carries, Leonard was once again relegated to being a third-down back after getting one series of carries early in the game. Leonard would end the day with 20 snaps, almost all of them on passing downs, while Rainey managed 45. The Bucs may have started Leonard, but Rainey's clearly their new feature back.
The Bucs actually spent almost the entire game playing nickel defense, with Leonard Johnson taking just one snap fewer than Darrelle Revis and Johnthan Banks. With 23 snaps for Michael Adams and 19 for Keith Tandy, there were a significant number of dime defense snaps as well. That may be part of the reason why the Falcons seemed to be able to run the ball fairly consistently.
Gerald McCoy missed just two snaps of first-team defense, which is interesting. Last week he played the entire game, which is exceedingly rare for a defensive lineman. McCoy's playing at such a high level that taking him off the field for even a single snap hurts the defense significantly. He's racked up four sacks, six tackles for loss, seven quarterback hits (plus a few nullified by penalty) and a pass defensed over the past two games.
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