As the final whistle blew, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers would go down in the season opener against the San Francisco 49ers. The game was hot, muggy and overall very sloppy. Countless penalties and negated touchdowns were layered all throughout the game. And despite a season-opening loss, 31-17, the Buccaneers may have found their silver lining in Ronald Jones. Here’s a snippet of his third and seventeen conversion.
— The Checkdown (@thecheckdown) September 8, 2019
Jones, in just his second season as a pro, finished the game with 13 carries for 75 yards (many of which came after contact). He simply looks better this year. He put on weight in the offseason and it’s paying dividends as he was breaking through tackles all game. I realize it’s early, but Bruce Arians may need to reconsider a bigger role for Jones if Peyton Barber can’t get it together.
Barber finished with 8 carries for 33 yards, but was considerably less explosive. Granted, he still managed over four yards a carry, but the amount of 2-4 yard gains from Barber could grow old on the fans. Now, considering it’s only the first week of the season, Peyton will still line up as the starter Thursday night when the Bucs take on the Carolina Panthers.
Even with nod from the coaching staff, Barber should take note of Jones’ breakout game. It was already noted from Jones himself, who said he wanted to lead the Buccaneers in rushing this year. If Barber has a coming out gain against Carolina, all should be well and the 1-2 punch of Barber and Jones will be a treat to watch. If Jones has another great game on the ground and Barber stalls again in Week 2, changes may have to be made. Ronald Jones is here to take jobs in 2019.
Photo credit: Fox Sports