The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have been struggling to find consistent units to go with both on offense and on defense, but for the first time in weeks they've settled on fairly uniform units both on defense and on offense. On defense, the Bucs finally stopped shuffling defensive backs in and out of the game on every other snap, with Johnthan Banks, Mike Jenkins, Braldey McDougald and Chris Conte playing the vast majority of the snaps. And on offense, a clear commitment to running the ball is showing.
The Bucs don't know what to do with their cornerbacks
At the start of the season, the Bucs brought in Tim Jennings and used him to replace Alterraun Verner. They gave Mike Jenkins a whole bunch of snaps in Johnthan Banks' place -- before quickly changing their minds. Then they moved Sterling Moore to the outside as a backup and Verner to the slot. And this week, they deactivated Jennings, gave Verner basically every snap in the slot and Banks and Jenkins most of the snaps on the outside. And all of that over the course of six weeks.
All that moving around has only produced one consistent element: the Bucs can't cover anyone. This wasn't any better this week, despite Jennings' benching, despite Moore playing exactly two snaps all game, despite Verner now playing reasonably well in the slot, despite going with Banks and Jenkins as the clear top two cornerbacks for almost the entire game. It doesn't matter how they apportion the snaps, it seems, everyone simply sucks.
Donteea Dye played 75% of the offensive plays
This is what happens when injuries strike. Louis Murphy played two snaps before leaving with injury, and Vincent Jackson managed 36. The Bucs had no receivers on the field outside of Dye and Evans for most of the game, and it's not like they have any healthy tight ends as serviceable weapons. Given the state of the receiving corps, it's a minor miracle that Jameis Winston and Mike Evans kept connecting for crucial first downs even late in the game.
Murphy is likely done for the year, while Jackson's injury appears to be less serious. But the Bucs now desperately need Austin Seferian-Jenkins to return, and they'll have to rely on undrafted rookies at receiver for a large part of the rest of the season.
Doug Martin is getting more and more snaps
This week, the Dougernaut managed 40 snaps compared to Charles Sims' 23. Clearly the Bucs are increasingly committing to their main running back, and they're doing so by giving him a lot of blockers to work with. Kevin Pamphile got 20% of the snaps as an extra blocker, while the team spent most of the game with just two receivers on the field. The Bucs want to run the ball, and it shows.