The Buccaneers had their best day on the ground against the Carolina Panthers in Week 10 and the man who gained the bulk of the Bucs' 210 yards on the day has now aptly been named FedEx Ground Player of the Week. Third-year running back Ronald Jones won the award over the Raiders' Josh Jacobs and the Browns' Nick Chubb as voted by the fans. Jacobs had 112 yards on 21 carries and Chubb had 126 yards on 19 carries. But both numbers paled in comparison to Jones who ran for a career-high 192 yards on 23 carries, including a 98-yard touchdown run that marked the longest offensive score in franchise history.
The effort came as part of a 46-23 victory over the division foes in Charlotte and marked the first time the Buccaneers had over 200 yards on the ground and 300 yards in the air in the same game. Not-so-coincidentally, quarterback Tom Brady was nominated for FedEx Air Player of the Week for the second time this season. It was Pittsburgh' Ben Roethlisberger that ended up taking home the most votes this week, though.
Jones' 192 yards on Sunday tied for the fifth-most in a single game in franchise history. His 98-yard score tied with former linebacker Shelton Quarles for the longest score by a Buccaneer and is the longest offensive touchdown the team has ever recorded. Jones also became one of just four players in NFL history to records a run of 98 or more yards.
The former USC Trojan is on pace to have a career year, already tallying the third-most rushing yards this season of any player. His 730 yards on the ground put him on pace for 1,168 yards, which would by far and away eclipse his single-season high of 724 from 2019.
"The credit goes to him," said his running backs coach Todd McNair on Wednesday. "He's really matured since last year when we first came in. He's shown a lot of maturity [and] a lot of growth. People forget how young he was, even coming in last year. He hadn't really played the year before, so he was like a rookie and he's rookie age. So, a year in the system and I think the offensive coaches sticking with him [and] giving him a lot of positive reinforcement – I think he's just blossomed and his ceiling is still high. He's got a long way to go still."
It was Jones' fourth game this season eclipsing 100 yards rushing after it took him until Week 17 of 2019 to record his first. That means he's had five such games in his last 11 contests. Through Week 10, Jones ranks second in the NFL with his 5.1 rushing yards per attempt, among players with at least 100 rushes. He also ranks third in rushing yards (730), third in rush yards after contact (462) and fifth in scrimmage yards (854).
Jones is the fourth Buccaneer running back to win the FedEx Ground Player of the Week award, joining Doug Martin, LeGarrette Blount and Bobby Rainey. And though Brady didn't win FedEx Air Player of the Week, he did so in Week Four, making Brady and Jones the first pair of Buccaneer teammates to win the award in the same season since 2015.