Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Rainey aims to break century barrier against 49ers

The Bucs’ Bobby Rainey seeks to become the first 100-yard rusher against the 49ers this season.

WILL VRAGOVIC | Times

The Bucs’ Bobby Rainey seeks to become the first 100-yard rusher against the 49ers this season.

TAMPA — Statistically, the Bucs have faced tougher defenses. But the 49ers come to town on Sunday as one of just two teams that hasn't allowed a 100-yard rusher in a game this season.

"That's a challenge. We love challenges," said Bucs RB Bobby Rainey, who has topped 100 yards twice over the past four games. "It's only going to elevate your game to do better when you're facing a defense like that. (You want) to be the first to do that against them and get the win. Challenges, you have to rise up and face them."

The other team not to allow a 100-yard rusher is Cleveland. Denver hadn't done so until San Diego's Ryan Mathews on Thursday night, and Detroit and Jets gave up their first Sunday. San Francisco, ninth at 104.0 yards allowed per game, has let backs get awfully close: Seattle's Marshawn Lynch and Houston's Arian Foster went for 98 and Indianapolis' Ahmad Bradshaw 95. Last season, the 49ers allowed only four on their way to the Super Bowl.

The Bucs, who have lost backs Doug Martin, Mike James and Jeff Demps to season-ending injuries, rank 21st in the league at 110.7 rushing yards per game and 24th at 3.9 yards per carry. Only the Browns (two) have rushed for fewer touchdowns than the Bucs' five.

G Davin Joseph said he isn't worried about statistical milestones but understands the importance of establishing the run game Sunday.

"We have to play a balanced offense and consistently get first downs," he said. "If (getting a 100-yard game) comes along with it, I'll take it. We have to stay on the field, put some consistent drives together, get in the red zone and score."

TWO HALVES: The Bucs and Jaguars, having won four of five after 0-8 starts, are one win from the league's best 0-8 turnaround since the then-St. Louis Cardinals finished 6-10 in 1978.

Of course, being the league's best team after an 0-8 start is hardly what a team aspires to do, but it does speak to the progress Tampa Bay and Jacksonville have made over the past month.

Of the 25 teams to open 0-8 since those Cardinals, only two mustered so much as four wins. The 2010 Bills finished 4-12 and the 2008 Bengals 4-11-1. The 25 teams finished with an average of 2.04 wins.

Injury report: All of the Bucs' injured players, except G Carl Nicks (toe), were upgraded to full participation Friday, so it looks good for Joseph (shoulder), WR Vincent Jackson (hamstring) and C Jeremy Zuttah (shoulder).

History: The Bucs went 1-12 in their first 13 meetings with the 49ers but are 4-4 since, including a 35-3 win in the last meeting in Tampa, in 2004 when WR Joe Jurevicius and RB Michael Pittman scored two touchdowns. San Francisco won the last meeting overall, 48-3 in 2011.

Greg Auman can be reached at auman@tampabay.com.

Rainey aims to break century barrier against 49ers 12/13/13 [Last modified: Friday, December 13, 2013 9:11pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rays see the Blake Snell they've been waiting for in win over Mariners

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — It was a one-run game Sunday when the Mariners' Robinson Cano singled with one out in the seventh inning, bringing the dangerous Nelson Cruz to the plate.

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Blake Snell (4) throwing in the third inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, Aug. 20, 2017.
  2. Bucs journal: Demar Dotson (mild groin strain) expected back for opener

    Bucs

    TAMPA — The Bucs got good news Sunday on starting right tackle Demar Dotson, whose MRI exam showed only a mild right groin sprain and who should be back at practice next week.

    Tackle Demar Dotson has only a mild groin strain.
  3. Bucs counting on better health creating better pass rush

    Bucs

    TAMPA — Ask Bucs coaches about the improved depth and health of their defensive line, and they'll look around for a piece of wood to knock on.

    Retired All-Pro defensive end  Simeon Rice, right, the last Buc to have double-digit sacks in a season,  works with defensive end Ryan Russell, who last season was promoted from the practice squad for the second half of the year as injuries piled up. He is competing for a backup job this year.
  4. Rays journal: Jake Faria heads to DL with left abdominal strain

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — RHP Jacob Faria made the trek he didn't want to take after his last start. It was to the trainer's room. The pain in his left abdominal went from nagging to an issue during his start that night in Toronto.

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Jacob Faria (34) throwing in the first inning of the game between the Milwaukee Brewers and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Friday, August 4, 2017.
  5. Rays up next: vs. Blue Jays, 7:10 p.m. Tuesday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Tonight: Off

    Up next: vs. Blue Jays, 7:10 p.m. Tuesday, Tropicana Field.