The Tampa Bay Bucs have ridden a new weapon all the way to a 3-3 record.
Running back Jacquizz Rodgers, claimed off waivers during the season, has made it so the Bucs don’t miss running back Doug Martin — second in the NFL in rushing a year — nearly as much.
Rodgers ran 26 times for 154 yards Sunday as the Bucs beat San Francisco, 34-17. In less than two weeks, Rodgers has rushed 56 times for 255 yards to lead the Bucs.
With the running threat, quarterback Jameis Winston was able to throw at the right times, and he hit 21 of 30 for 264 yards and three touchdowns. Receiver Mike Evans caught eight passes for 96 yards and two scores.
“It was no secret,” said Bucs’ coach Dirk Koetter. “The 49ers have been giving up a lot of yards rushing. We would have been foolish if we didn’t run the ball.
“Jacquizz is durable, nifty. He can break tackles. He’s a solid player and a solid guy. He’s never had a chance to be the featured back. He’s a good between-the-tackles runner.”
The Bucs fell behind 14-0 in the first period, but came back to win its second game in a row. The defense sacked Colin Kaepernick four times. Kwon Alexander had 10 tackles.
Tampa Bay is home next week against Oakland.