Tampa looked dominant against the Jaguars yesterday, keeping their (though nearly nonexistent) playoff hopes alive. If the Bucs win out, they have a one percent chance to make the playoffs. Though not yet eliminated, it’s time to focus on improvement, and the Bucs showed plenty yesterday.
Running Back Roller Coaster
For the running backs, it’s been a roller coaster. For the team, a carousel. And for the fans, it’s been a whole lot of confusion. After combining his rushing and receiving yards for a pair of hundred-yard outings, Jones had a bad day against New Orleans and a sub-par performance in Atlanta. Arians benched Jones in the third quarter after missing a blitzing DJ Hayden. Until then RoJo had rushed for only eight yards on six attempts.
Peyton Barber, on the other hand, made the most of his opportunity. He rushed for 44 yards on 17 attempts but added two touchdowns. It seems likely he will start next week, as Bruce Arians seems to have a particular disdain for lack of effort and accountability.
Jameis is Pick-Free
No, this is not The Onion. Jameis Winston threw no interceptions. It’s unfortunate that this is even worth noting, but if you follow the NFL you know his track record with picks. Other than that, Winston didn’t have a particularly good game, with 268 yards on 21 of 33 attempts, no touchdowns, and a fumble. Although it’s not good when your quarterback has minimal contributions to your victory, it’s better than them actively harming the team, which Winston has done more often than not recently. The theme is “improvement”, and this is a temporary improvement in that category.
Devin White Shines
If December 1 is any indication of the rest of the month, Jacksonville is in for a White Christmas. Rookie linebacker Devin White had a phenomenal day, spending most of it tasked with containing former LSU teammate and Jags running back Leonard Fournette. White recorded seven tackles, an interception, and a fumble recovery for a touchdown. The Bucs picked White fifth overall in the 2019 draft, but his rookie season had a few hiccups early on. If he continues down this path, White will be a fearsome defender and great locker room presence for years to come.
The Buccaneers looked good but not great in this outing. The Jaguars are by no means a powerhouse, but it was reassuring to see Tampa put together a relatively complete performance on both sides of the ball.
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