Buccaneers: Winners and losers following road loss to the Packers
The Buccaneers need to press the restart button on their running back group, but Peyton Barber is doing his best to prove that he should be an exception. With Doug Martin concussed, the 23 year old Auburn product was given a full slate of carries, and answered big time with a career high 102 yards rushing, along with four receptions for 42 yards.
Barber scored twice last week, and considering how poorly the Bucs offensive line has played, he’s more than earned an increased carry load. If Martin is able to return next week we could potentially see Barber given the majority of touches for a second straight week.
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I personally think that Martin has a lot left in the tank, but Barber seems to be running with more confidence and as a young player it’s important that the Bucs get a clear view of what they’ve got.
Few players were impacted more from Jameis Winston’s absence than Cameron Brate. In three games that Winston missed, Brate totaled three catches for 28 yards and zero touchdowns. Against the Packers, Brate secured two passes for 39 yards and two touchdowns, including one that may have been the best play of the entire game. Brate now has six touchdowns on the season, and he’s on track to tie or surpass his total of eight from last year.
Brate and Winston truly have a special connection, and I’d expect the Bucs to make sure Brate remains a Buccaneer after he hits free agency this off-season. There will be a ton of demand for the Harvard product, but his connection with Winston is invaluable and the Bucs need to find a way to get a deal done.