Concern shifts from Peyton Barber to Ronald Jones
Eduardo Encina, Tampa Bay Times, published 29 October 2018

The biggest question about the Bucs running game going into Sunday's game in Cincinnati was the health of starting tailback Peyton Barber, who was banged up last week with an ankle injury and limited in practice this week. But the Bucs went to Barber often, especially early in the game looking to establish the run, and he ended the day with 85 yards on 19 carries, both season highs. Barber also scored on a 1-yard run, his first touchdown of the season.

Instead, the concern shifted to rookie running back Ronald Jones, who left the game with a hamstring injury and didn't return. The Bucs have been trying to get Jones a bigger role in the running game, and they looked to him as a receiving option out of the backfield early. Before he left, Jones made one reception for four yards, but logged minus-3 yards on two carries.

Mixon and match
Speaking of running games, the Bucs rushing defense — which entered the game ranked sixth in the NFL with 90 yards per game allowed — was getting gashed early by Bengals running back Joe Mixon. In the first half, Mixon averaged 8.1 yards a carry, reaching the 100-yard mark before halftime. He had 114 yards on 14 carries — including a 43-yard run — at the half. The Bucs managed to stop Mixon in the second half. He had just nine yards on seven carries after halftime.

Penalty on Adarius Taylor costly on Bengals’ game-winning drive
Randy Bullock's 44-yard field goal as time expired was the difference after the Bengals drove the ball 50 yards downfield, but it was a costly penalty that allowed Bullock to line up five yards closer to nail the game winner. Adarius Taylor, who took over the middle linebacker spot for injured star Kwon Alexander this week, was flagged for a five-yard delay of game penalty following Andy Dalton's 11-yard completion to A.J. Green that gave Cincinnati the ball at the Tampa Bay 30.

That was the difference between Bullock having to make a 49-yard kick and the 44-yarder he made. Bullock entered the game having converted eight of his 10 field-goal attempts, and his only non-blocked miss this season came at 53 yards.

After the game, Taylor was still confused by the call, saying that he didn't think Green was down because, the way he saw the play, he rolled over on top of the defender. So when Green put the ball on the ground — and Taylor never heard a whistle to rule the play dead — he scooped it up and ran toward the end zone.

"That's what it looked like to me, and there was no whistle," Taylor said. "So I don't know how they called a delay of game when there was no whistle. … I was clearly running to the end zone, thinking it was a fumble."

In his first full game replacing Alexander, Taylor made three tackles while playing 54 snaps, tied for his second-most in a game this season. He played 62 snaps in last week's overtime win over Cleveland.