The Bucs’ running backs vs. Lions’ subpar run defense… and themselves
The Buccaneers and running the football has been a mystery at times this season as they have not gotten the ball rolling on the ground. Between who was the starter who is the hot hand, no one knows who is going to be on the field at any given time between Peyton Barber, Ronald Jones, and Dare Ogunbowale. This week against the Lions will probably be another mystery.
Ronald Jones has been listed as the starter but hasn’t been treated like one. The Lions have the 23rd ranked rush defense, meaning they can be beaten on the ground. With a possible, less than 100 percent Jameis Winston or even Ryan Griffin playing, the run should be a priority.
The Bucs should be trying to see if Jones has what it takes to be a three-down guy, but it appears that won’t happen with Barber spelling him deep into opponents’ territory and Ogunbowale coming in on third downs and in the red zone at times.
Regardless of who is in, the Bucs should be able to run effectively come Sunday. If they cannot find a way to run the ball here, then maybe a bigger answer to what they might do at this position come the off-season could be addressed.