Barber rushed 16 times for 22 yards in the Buccaneers' 27-21 win over the Eagles on Sunday. He also secured one of two targets for seven yards. After gaining a respectable 69 yards on 19 carries in the opener versus the Saints, Barber could barely muster a yard per carry versus a tough Eagles defensive front. However, the passing attack took center stage for the second consecutive contest with Ryan Fitzpatrick once again eclipsing the 400-yard mark, so Barber's lack of production wasn't overly noticeable. Nevertheless, with 2018 second-round pick Ronald Jones II in the wings, Barber may need to step up his production Week 3 against the Steelers in order to keep a firm grasp on the No. 1 job.
Barber rushed 19 times for 69 yards in the Buccaneers' 48-40 win over the Saints on Sunday. As expected, Barber served as the unquestioned lead back, with Jacquizz Rodgers and Shaun Wilson accounting for the only other three running back touches on the ground. The passing game surprisingly took center stage Sunday courtesy of Ryan Fitzpatrick's record-setting performance, but Barber served as a highly effective complement to his exploits. While he wasn't targeted in the passing game with the downfield aerial attack working so effectively, the third-year back has proven his worth as a serviceable receiver out of the backfield in the past. Barber will look to build on his solid initial effort against the Eagles in Week 2.
Barber took five carries for 34 yards and a touchdown in Friday's preseason game against the Lions. Barber once again proved far more effective than Ronald Jones in the running game, though the rookie made up for his lack of rushing production -- six carries for seven yards -- with a 37-yard gain through the air. Barber got the start and did all his damage on the opening drive, with Jones and Jacquizz Rodgers filling in thereafter. Barber seems to have locked down the Week 1 starting job, but any struggles early in the season could reopen the door for Jones to mount a challenge. The Bucs will travel to New Orleans in Week 1.
Barber is performing like a starting running back so far this preseason, according to coach Dirk Koetter, Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times reports. Barber has totaled 53 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries through the Buccaneers' first two exhibition outings. He's done so while rookie second-rounder Ronald Jones has managed just 11 yards on his 12 totes. Along with that superior production, Barber's ability in the passing game currently trumps that of Jones, who caught 32 passes in three seasons at USC. With Jones still figuring out how to showcase his explosiveness in the NFL, Barber is poised to enter the regular season as the team's starting tailback -- a notion Koetter seems comfortable with. In his final five appearances last season, Barber rushed 78 times for 335 yards, showing what he's capable of in an expanded role.
Barber rushed six times for 32 yards and secured his only target for three yards in the Buccaneers' 30-14 preseason win over the Titans on Saturday. Earlier in the week, reports emerged that Barber was viewed as the leader in the clubhouse for the No. 1 running back job to open the season over second-round pick Ronald Jones II. Saturday's results seemed to lend further credence to that notion, as Barber once again outpaced his rookie competition by a notable margin. The third-year pro led the Bucs' backs in both carries and yards and displayed some of his newfound quickness with an 18-yard rumble on the second play of Tampa's second possession. Barber will look to put an even more definitive stamp on his status in what will likely be extended action during next Friday night's "dress rehearsal" game against the Lions.
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|11||11/18||@New York Giants||19||16.00|
|12||11/25||San Francisco 49ers||12||13.00|
|14||12/09||New Orleans Saints||3||9.00|
|3 Year Avg||82||323||2||10||71||0||51|