Welcome to the day after a big win. How does it feel? The Tampa Bay Buccaneers went into Atlanta and beat the Falcons in their own home. It wasn't pretty, and it was very close, but they finally got the job done in the end. Here are the main takeaways from the team's snap counts.
Stability in the secondary
The Bucs' secondary is playing like garbage, but at least they know which players they're going to line up. For the second straight week, Johnthan Banks and Mike Jenkins were the outside cornerbacks, Alterraun Verner played the slot, Jude Adjei-Barimah came in as the first cornerback off the bench, and Chris Conte and Bradley McDougald were the starting safeties. There was very little shifting around and they at least seem to have found a group of defensive backs they want to stick with.
Now if only they can get them to play well.
The rise of Howard Jones
With Jacquies Smith (42 snaps) suffering a sprained ankle in the second half, Howard Jones got a lot of opportunities. He ended up playing 38 snaps to George Johnson's 52 and William Gholston's 18 (also limited by injury). Josh Shirley got 11 to round out the group. The Bucs aren't exactly getting reliable production out of these players, though, and while Jones has a knack for big plays he hasn't exactly looked good outside of those plays.
Interestingly, the Bucs didn't move Gholston or Johnson to defensive tackle much, despite missing Tony McDaniel and Clinton McDonald in this game. Gerald McCoy, Henry Melton and Akeem Spence played almost every defensive tackle snap there was to be had in this game.
Whither Russell Shepard?
Mike Evans played 52 of the team's 70 offensive snaps, Donteea Dye played 50, Adam Humphries 43 and Russell Shepard? Four. Not that Shepard is a world-beater, but he's at least looked competent when he's gotten on the field. But it seems the Bucs see him exclusively as a special teamer.
The Bucs wanted to run the ball, obviously, but they weaned themselves off the run-heavy formations a little bit. Kevin Pamphile played just 13 of 70 snaps, while no tight end got more than 40. Certainly the Bucs still spent a lot of downs with two or more extra blockers on the field, but it wasn't quite as bad as we saw the last few weeks.