Welcome to the Week 8 edition of Snaps, Pace, & Stats, where we examine trends in snap totals and no-huddle usage. It is meant to be a 30,000-foot view of upcoming games, with the goal of identifying which matchups will – and which will not – be played on fertile fantasy soil.
Up in pace
|Rank||Week 7 Snaps||2018 Snaps/Game||Opponent Wk 7 Snaps||2018 Opp Snaps/Gm|
|1||Tampa Bay (88)||Baltimore (74.1)||Cleveland (88)||Cleveland (74.9)|
|2||Chicago (77)||Cleveland (71.9)||New England (77)||Arizona (70)|
|3||Kansas City (70)||Green Bay (69.2)||Baltimore (70)||Cincinnati (69.6)|
|4||New Orleans (70)||Indianapolis (69)||Cincinnati (70)||Kansas City (68.9)|
|5||N.Y. Jets (69)||Philadelphia (68.6)||Minnesota (69)||Pittsburgh (68.3)|
The Buccaneers profile as a snap-generating offense, even if their totals have thus far flown just below the radar. They rank ninth in plays per game (66.7) and their contests average the eighth-most combined snaps. Since Jameis Winston took over, however, things are picking up (more in No-Huddle Notes). Tampa Bay’s ninth-best-graded run defense remains stout despite a rash of front-seven injuries. Their pass defense is a well-documented disaster and opponents are beginning to catch on, as they’re facing the 13th-highest pass rate during neutral situations – and it’s rising. The Bucs offense also skews pass-heavy when games are close (64%; sixth-highest), which makes sense considering their embarrassment of receiving riches and dearth of rushing talent. Facing a Bengals defense that’s being thrown at on 61.8% of situation-neutral snaps (seventh-highest) will keep Winston lubed up.
Cincinnati is apparently back to their old tricks. They finished last in the league with 57.9 plays per game a season ago, and after three weeks in which they averaged 56.7 snaps, the Bengals rank sixth-lowest this year (59.7). Of course, they allow 69.6 plays per game (third-highest), so this is not a Cowboys-esque universal snap drain. Despite the lack of play volume, there is hope for Cincinnati this week. The Bucs invite passing, and the Bengals are throwing at the third-highest situation-neutral rate (67.6%). Converting a few more third downs against Tampa Bay’s barely-there pass defense will do wonders for an offense’s snap volume. Considering the Bengals are scoring the sixth-most points on a per-snap basis, while the Bucs allow a league-high, loading a handful more plays into the red rifle should lead to a shootout.