Buccaneers: Ronald Jones is on the cusp of top-5 status

Ronald Jones, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
Ronald Jones, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) /

After another week of efficient play, Tampa Bay Buccaneer running back Ronald Jones makes a case for acknowledgment at the highest level.

Ronald Jones is one of the best running backs in the league? Who could’ve expected this? Oh, wait, we did.

After a tumultuous start to the season that saw three new running backs join the roster, Jones has solidified himself as the clear starter for the future in Tampa Bay despite the multiple other options.

The Buccaneers made the right decision when they chose to ride Jones as the workhorse, and Jones has benefited from the best year of his career statistically.

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Jones currently sits at fourth place in the league in rushing yards with 900 and is tied for sixth place in yards per carry amongst backs with more than 100 carries with 5.0, both season highs in his career.

Jones has emerged as an excellent back at making the most of bad situations, and he is forced into that position more often than not in Tampa Bay.

The offensive play-calling for the Buccaneers, tied explicitly to the run, has been abysmal this season. Every coordinator in the league knows Jones is running through the A gap on first down almost every time, yet Jones still finds a way to make some positive gains.

If the Bucs shifted away from the awful play-calling that has marred this season, Jones could probably already be over the 1,000-yard mark, but the diversity just makes the success more impressive. Jones is emerging as a top RB with an arm and a leg tied behind his back, just imagine what he could do with a little bit of help from Byron Leftwich.

Jones does have some drawbacks, specifically in the passing game, but the Buccaneers should just take solace in the fact that their run game looks better than it has in years. Jones is better than most between the tackles, and the receptions will hopefully develop down the road.

When Jones can get on the same page as Tom Brady on third down, he could fully cement himself as one of the best and most productive running backs in the NFL.

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