1. Bucs

Bucs get Peyton Barber going early, but not late

The running back averaged 5.2 yards in the first half, but his second half was remembered by a costly three-yard loss.
Bucs running back Peyton Barber (25) dives into the end zone for a touchdown in the first half. [AP Photo/Gail Burton]
Published Dec. 17, 2018
Updated Dec. 17, 2018

BALTIMORE — Whether you believed that Peyton Barber would have to play a major role in the Bucs' offensive plans on Sunday through rainy weather, Barber statistically provided Tampa Bay with some of its most productive offensive plays.

It's just there weren't enough of them.

The Bucs looked to establish Barber early — he received 13 of his 19 carries in the first half — but he became less of a factor as the game progressed.
Barber's 85 rushing yards Sunday were the second-most the Ravens have allowed this season. They allowed 107 to Pittsburgh's James Conner.

And of the Bucs' seven plays of 10 yards or more, Barber had three of them, all coming in a first half that saw him run for 5.2 yards per carry.

But as the Ravens offense dominated time of possession and the Bucs fell behind, Barber became less involved. He had just two carries in the third quarter and four in the fourth. Meanwhile, Barber had to watch Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson and running backs Gus Edwards and Kenneth Dixon control the game with 247 combined rushing yards

"It's definitely tough when you're going up against the three-headed monster they have," Barber said. "It's hard. When we were in good position, we didn't get the points we needed. When we were on the field, we needed to convert more when we got into the red zone."

Barber's last carry of the game was his most forgettable. On a third-and-1 at the Ravens' 30, he was swallowed up by Brandon Williams for a 3-yard loss, forcing the Bucs into a fourth-and-4 they wouldn't convert. After the game, Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter said that play included two blocking errors.

"That was ridiculous that Peyton had a free runner at him and we had two guys miss assignments," Koetter said.

Contact Eduardo A. Encina at Follow @EddieInTheYard.