Devin White was the Tampa Bay Buccaneers X-Factor heading into Week 2. The results? Two tackles in less than one quarter of play, and a three-week injury. However, we gave it a second run in Week 13. The results? Seven tackles, an interception and a fumble recovery returned for a touchdown.
Now, we’re not taking credit for the outburst White exhibited on the field of course, but we can’t ignore the fact the Buccaneers linebacker made up for lost opportunities after getting his second chance to be the X-Factor.
So, let’s run it back.
Ronald Jones was the Buccaneers’ X-Factor heading into Week 6. A game the Bucs lost to the New Orleans Saints and Jones had nine carries for just 35-yards and two catches for 21. Not good, all around.
But if Jones can do with his second chance what White did, then it should play well into a successful outing for Tampa Bay as a whole. So, here we are. And Ronald Jones is our X-Factor for Week 14 against the Indianapolis Colts.
If you look at the season as a whole, it’s hard not to believe getting Jones involved early and often is one of the keys to this team’s success. In the five games where Jones has touched the football at least fifteen times, the Bucs are 3-2 with those two losses coming at a combined deficit of four points.
When Jones gets at least three of his touches in the passing game, Tampa Bay is undefeated. Although, that’s only happened twice.
Not overly profound numbers which should have fans flooding Raymond James with ‘Feed Rojo’ signs, but good numbers nonetheless. Made more positive feeling by the fact head coach Bruce Arians stated the team would look to get Jones going early against the Colts this weekend.
But what about the Colts? What can we expect?
Well, at 6-6, the Indianapolis Colts are giving up an average of 20 points per game over the last four. Their season average is 21.4 and ranks 18th among NFL teams this season. So, they’re a middle of the pack squad when it comes to points allowed.
Against the run however, they’re a little worse. Ranking 13th in yards per carry, allowing 4.4 each time an opposing player rushes the ball against them. Over the past four games, they’re giving up a little less than that number actually, but are coming off a game where they surrendered 149-yards to Derrick Henry with a 5.73 yards per carry average.
The positive coming out of the last four games happened against the Jacksonville Jaguars. In the lone win in the last quarter of the season, the Colts saw the Jaguars run the ball just nine times.
Tampa Bay is trying to stack their third win in a row after winning back-to-back victories coming into this weekend. This seems like a game the Buccaneers should win on paper, but we’ve all seen this story unfold before.
If, like last week, our redo X-Factor can turn in a big performance then it should result in positive results for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. And that’s why Ronald Jones is this weekends X-Factor.