This season, Peyton Barber has paid off every opportunity given to him. With Doug Martin missing this past week’s game due to a violation of team rules, Barber has to be the guy going forward. Martin is almost surely gone after this year, which means it makes zero sense to continue featuring him. The Bucs need to build for the future. Barber is the only running back on the team that should still be on the roster in 2018.
The Buccaneers need a good run game to be successful. Martin’s struggles coincided with the downfall of Tampa Bay’s offense. He wasn’t getting it done, but Barber is. Nowadays, the Auburn product is cementing his spot on the roster. He went for 102 yards a couple of weeks ago in Green Bay, marking the first 100-yard rushing game by a Buc since last October. Barber runs hard and is putting up some impressive yards after contact. He has earned his shot as a starter as of right now.
Heading into Sunday’s game, the Bucs need Barber to be at his best once again. He can’t turn the ball over like he did against the Falcons. If he holds onto the ball and continues to run hard, it will work out well for Tampa Bay. It won’t be easy, though, as Carolina holds the fifth-best run defense. But if Barber can run well, it will open up play-action and give the Bucs a great chance against a very tough Panther defense.