The Tampa Bay Buccaneers lost to the St. Louis Rams on Thursday Night Football, and they did so while shuffling their lineups on offense and especially defense, in large part because of injuries. Here are the main takeaways from yesterday's play counts.
Secondary shuffle continues
The Bucs still hate all of their cornerbacks, except for Sterling Moore who continues to play well. Johnthan Banks got the chance to play almost the entire game, with Jude Adjei-Barimah's snaps reduced, and then being benched after a giving up a 60-yard touchdown to Kenny Britt. Meanwhile, Major Wright got more snaps at safety than Bradley McDougald, while Chris Conte had to leave with injury. Keith Tandy got some slot cornerback snaps, but the Bucs played base defense for most of the game.
The constant shuffling indicates that the Bucs aren't exactly confident in many of their defensive backs. Expect big changes in that unit this offseason.
Very run-heavy game plan
After ditching the heavy packages last week, the Bucs came in with a purpose and wanted to pound the St. Louis Rams. Sixth lineman Kevin Pamphile got 21 snaps (three as Logan Mankins' replacement), Luke Stocker dominated the tight end groups with 43 snaps (54%) and Austin Seferian-Jenkins managed just 29, again reduced to mostly a receiving role.
The Bucs managed those numbers despite being forced to play catch-up for the entire second half. That mode saw the Bucs turn to Charles Sims, but they had given Martin the vast majority of the plays before that and he ended up playing 65% of the snaps, to Sims' 36%.
Injury adjustments galore
The Bucs had to adjust to three starters being out on a short week. That's a tough thing to do, and the snap counts reflect that. Linebackers Orie Lemon and Josh Keyes, who'd barely gotten any playing time at all this season, played a combined 33 of 52 defensive snaps. Signed this week, Da'Quan Bowers got 12 snaps at defensive tackle on a unit that struggled to get anything done in the passing game. Danny Lansanah was forced to play 98% of the defensive snaps as the team's middle linebacker with both Kwon Alexander and Bruce Carter out. A lot of the defensive struggles came down to backups.
Offensive play counts
Defensive play counts