This easily could have been another performance review of wide receiver Mike Evans, who posted his second-consecutive 180+ yard game with a touchdown on Sunday. Just how impressive a season Evans is having was just detailed by Scott Smith in his latest Data Crunch, in fact.
It's why this performance review is about an entirely different offensive player: Ronald Jones. The second-year running back got his first start this season in Seattle – a product of the explosiveness and consistency he's shown his head coach and coordinators. It led to a productive day for Jones, who had 67 yards on the ground and the team's first touchdown of the day, occurring on the opening drive. Here are a couple plays in which Jones showed off his aforementioned explosiveness and the help he got along the way.
2nd & 7 @ TB 45 (13:50)
Bucs in 12 personnel
The Bucs have a two tight end set with both Tanner Hudson and Antony Auclair starting attached to the left side of the formation. Jones is aligned directly behind Winston, who's under center, about six yards back. The play looks like it could be a run up the middle but Auclair then motions to the opposite side and ends up offset and behind the outside shoulder of right tackle Demar Dotson just as Winston snaps the ball. Winston goes for the hand off as Jones goes in motion, looking to follow Auclair's block. Notice wide receiver Chris Godwin, who's stacked on top of the hash to the right side comes over on an end around route as Winston sells the delayed fake.
Seattle is in zone coverage, showing a two-deep look before the play-side safety starts to roll down. The trickery is enough to get the defensive backs to sit on the back side, waiting to see what actually develops. Auclair does a great job containing the linebacker, coming in off a wide-9 alignment, but he also takes on the defensive tackle coming from the back side as Jones whizzes past to get to the outside. Wide receiver Mike Evans throws a block from there on the corner and center Ryan Jensen has disengaged from the defender to block downfield in front of Jones. He breaks a tackle from veteran linebacker Bobby Wagner before Shaquill Griffin wraps up Jones' ankles from behind, but not before Jones gained 10 yards and the first down.
1st & 8 @ SEA 8 (11:37)
Bucs in 12 personnel
At the goal line and the Bucs attach both Hudson and Auclair to either side of the line as extra blockers. Jones is lined up directly behind Winston under center, about five yards back this time. Winston snaps the ball as the line slides to the left as Jones makes a beeline for the A-gap. He slips through before the defensive tackle can get a good grip on him with Alex Cappa leading the way.
From there, it's all Jones, who makes a quick cut to his left and shakes off the free safety, doing a full 180 all the way into the end zone for the eight-yard score. Also, shout-out to Hudson playing through the whistle on his block and Mike Evans for heading off a defender to clear the way for Jones.
1st & 10 @ TB 40 (00:20)
Bucs in 11 personnel
The Seahawks are in man coverage in some sort of split formation up front, both defensive tackles lined up in the four overtop of the Bucs' offensive tackles. Winston is lined up in the shotgun, flanked by Jones to his right while tight end Tanner Hudson is attached to the right side of the line.
Upon the snap, Winston hands it off to a waiting Jones who then takes off through the open side B-gap, getting a lane from both Ali Marpet and Donovan Smith.Check out center Ryan Jensen, who was left alone given the split formation by the defense so he takes off to his left and gives Jones some help as Jones bounces outside. With an eye on the clock, Jones elects to cut out of bounds afrer gaining 12 yards rather than stay in and cut behind Evans, who was ready to block the corner. It resulted in a first down in Seattle territory that set up a field goal try before the expiration of the first half.