Before an injury at the NFL Combine, the USC star had been ranked as high as second among all backs in the draft
Knowing what Ronald Jones II is capable of and believing that this year would be his breakout campaign, I’ve been anticipating him breaking a long one as an exclamation point on a huge rushing day. It wasn’t just the long one that was impressive. He had several runs on the day that showcased his talent. Like I said a few articles ago, he has more talent than most realize. I have also been begging Arians/Leftwich since last season to give Jones 25-30 carries a game. I don’t know if he reads our site, but I’m sure my begging has gone unnoticed. You can only hold that kind of talent down for so long; eventually, it’s going to bust loose. Sunday was that day. I think the Bucs coaches will discover that if they make it a regular thing by giving Jones 23-27 carries a game that they will be pleased with the results. So you know. Jones had the same number of carries in the last three games combined as he did in just Sunday’s game against the Panthers(23). Another thing to note: In the game before, in the loss to the Saints, the Bucs rushed only 5 times setting an NFL record. Jones got three of those attempts, next game Jones sets his own record. It couldn’t have come at a better time. This was a must-win game for many reasons. So It was refreshing to see him be the catalyst for a change. Not that Brady didn’t also have a big day. When they both are clicking, forget about it!!!
Sunday was a landmark game for Jones in two ways
For the rest of his career, until the end of time, Sunday’s 98-yard-taking-it-to-the-house moment will be his signature run. The one with him watching the play on the jumbotron to view his pursuer closing. I swear I thought three separate times he was going to get caught from behind during those last ten yards. It would also be his breakout game and one that set a record. This game will forever be etched into his and all our minds as belonging to Ronald Jones. The game where he stood up and gave us all a good look at what the star in him looked like. It looks like 23 carries for 192 yards with an average of 8.3 yards per carry, and it looks like a Bucs All-Time record of 98 yards and the touchdown on the rushing play.
I’ve said it before that it’s looking to me like the Bucs have their Franchise back. Jones joins three other backs as being the only ones to have run for touchdowns of 98 yards or more (Tony Dorsett, Derrick Henry, and Ahman Green). Let’s all hope that Arians keeps this volume of rushing attempts coming to Jones. If they do that, they will see more production out of him more consistently.