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Each week I’ll take a closer look at the snap count distribution for the Bucs offense and defense, assessing what we can learn from who played the most and who played the least on game day.

Here’s a look at which Bucs played the most – and the least – in the team’s 38-31 victory over the Indianapolis Colts in Week 12.

Bucs Offensive Snap Counts

Week 12 Bucs Offensive Snap Counts

The Bucs offensive line faced their first adversity of the 2021 season, and ultimately prevailed. With Ali Marpet out, backup Aaron Stinnie played 10 snaps before being ruled out with a knee injury. That loss thrust Nick Leverett into his first NFL action. Leverett gave up a sack and got beat a few times in pass protection, but played solid football overall.

At tight end, Rob Gronkowski is working his way back into a full-time role. Before his fractured ribs, Gronkowski was played 80-something percent of the Bucs offensive snaps. After landing at 59 percent in Week 11, Gronkowski jumped back up to 82 percent against the Colts. Cam Brate’s role diminished as a result, and O.J. Howard’s was almost non-existent.

Shockingly, Mike Evans and Chris Godwin played all but three combined snaps, yet barely produced. It’s not uncommon to see one or the other featured in the game plan, but both were quiet on Sunday. That’s rare. Tyler Johnson dominated the WR3 snaps once again, but struggled to get open. Johnson was targeted just one time, catching a single ball for nine yards. His production has been almost totally non-existent the past three weeks. Still, Scotty Miller played just four snaps on Sunday.

Out of the backfield, Leonard Fournette continues to take on the feature back role. Fournette’s big day was highlighted by 24 touches for 131 yards and four touchdowns. His improvements as a receiver and pass protector are keeping Giovani Bernard on the bench. The veteran back got just one snap on Sunday. Meanwhile, Ronald Jones revived his role a little bit, rushing for 37 yards on just seven carries in his 12 snaps.

Defensive Snap Counts

Week 12 Bucs Defensive Snap Counts

The headliner here is Devin White playing just 35 snaps due to a hip injury. Kevin Minter played the other 34 reps, while Lavonte David didn’t miss a play. At safety, Antoine Winfield Jr. and Jordan Whitehead essentially went the distance. Winfield is second on the team to White in defensive snaps played this season.

In the secondary, Sean Murphy-Bunting will have to play every snap for as long as Jamel Dean and Carlton Davis are out. It was an ugly day for the third-year cornerback, even with Pierre Desir on the field and Mike Edwards in the slot. Instead, the Colts still chose to attack Murphy-Bunting relentlessly in zone or man. Dean bowed out after five snaps, and Dee Delaney and Ross Cockrell saw just four reps apiece.

Finally, after waiting several weeks too long, the Bucs are beginning to reduce Jason Pierre-Paul’s workload. The outside linebacker is becoming a liability on the field while he plays through a torn rotator cuff. Pierre-Paul’s snap count dropped to 45 plays on 65 percent of the defensive snaps on Sunday. That’s the lowest percentage of snaps Pierre-Paul has played in any game this season except for the blowout against Chicago.

In his place, Joe Tryon-Shoyinka got 34 snaps, nearly half the defensive workload. Anthony Nelson retained his 14 reps, and Cam Gill even saw the field for three plays. Most notably, Shaq Barrett led the room in snaps with 55. He was the Bucs best defender in Week 12 as a result.

On the defensive interior, the Bucs were clearly being cautious in Vita Vea’s return from a knee injury. Vea played just 30 snaps, less than Will Gholston or Ndamukong Suh. A healthy rotation saw Steve McLendon and Rakeem Nunez-Roches each pick up 22+ snaps as well. And for the fifth straight week, Pat O’Connor got at least one defensive rep to make an impact.

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About the Author: Jon Ledyard

Jon Ledyard is PewterReport.com's newest Bucs beat writer and has experience covering the Pittsburgh Steelers as a beat writer and analyzing the NFL Draft for several draft websites, including The Draft Network. Follow Ledyard on Twitter at @LedyardNFLDraft
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1 month ago

Thank you Jon representing the only Pewter Report Article so far actually seeing what is going on! Here’s a challenge for the rest of Pewter Report? Review the game tape before writing! This is an injury riddled Team, but yet we are playing like the Champions we are. Go Bucs! Keep the Repeat Alive!

Mb Nfl Double Your First Deposit Football Team Vs Bucs Pewter 728x90 Jpg