Coming into Sunday, the Jaguars defense was among the top defenses in the NFL when it came to stopping the run. After Sunday, they should be reassessing just how good they think they are.
The combination of Doug Martin and Charles Sims totaled over 170 yards rushing and 120 yards receiving in the Bucs 38-31 win over the Jaguars.
“Doug Martin, I’ve talked about how well Doug Martin has played every game this year, through the offseason, training camp," Lovie Smith said. "He’s supposed to be having success right now. He ran hard. That move in the open field where he made the guy miss, it’s just not in between the tackles that we’ve seen him excel. It’s out in space too. Just an outstanding job by him.”
When the Bucs are able to get the run game going on the ground, the entire offense seems to click. In the end, it leads to 38 points and control of the game.
“We like that combination," Lovie said. "We brought Charles here because we thought he could catch the ball out of the backfield, split him out, whatever it might be. I liked the way he ran the ball also. That’s a good one-two punch we have going with our running backs. We dressed three running backs today. I’m putting Bobby Rainey in there too, when he got his hands on the ball. We got a lot of production from them.”
With two weeks to prepare for the next game, the Bucs need to solidify their offensive line and figure out ways to establish the run in every game. A successful run game allows for successful playaction passes and keeps your defense fresh in the 4th quarter.
Perhaps more offensive performances like today will lead to more wins on the season. Of course, the Bucs won't be playing the Jaguars against this season, so that may be tough to do.