With Josh Jacobs out for the second week in a row, the Las Vegas Raiders were still looking for their run game to take off.
Running back Peyton Barber became a large part of the offense Sunday, as he found his groove and notched a career-high 111 yards on 23 carries and one touchdown in the Raiders' 31-28 overtime win against the Miami Dolphins. In fact, he finished with just 23 yards less than the Raiders' total season rushing yards entering the game.
Running back Kenyan Drake added 24 yards of his own on eight carries as the Raiders totaled 140 rushing yards on the day.
Barber, a six-year NFL veteran out of Auburn, went undrafted in 2016 before signing with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He spent last season with the Washington Football team, where he accumulated 258 rushing yards on 94 carries for the season. He was released by Washington this past August before landing on their practice squad, signed with the Raiders on Sept. 4 and 22 days later, scored his first TD in the Silver and Black.
"It's been a crazy rollercoaster. I wasn't sure where I was going to be at after Washington cut me and then... signing here just seeing how the coaches believe in me," Barber said.
"I love playing for Coach Gruden. He's been straight with me so far. He said, 'Just be ready to go. When your number's called, be ready to go,'" Barber added.
Getting ready to go meant learning quickly from those around him, including quarterback Derek Carr, who noted that Barber needed a little extra clarification on a few plays.
"I'm proud of him," Carr said. "Coming in here, he's working his tail off, he's fighting to learn everything, which is darn near impossible. We've been able to help him, Alec's [Ingold] helping him, I'm helping him.
"And that's the cool thing about our team is, hey, maybe some guys are farther along on the learning curve because we had OTAs, we had camp, but man, we'll help you out. We've got a veteran team that knows the system. ... Credit to him that he can come into a scheme and a system and still be able to produce."
On Sunday, Barber showed his fight as a hard runner, pushing through defenders often to find that extra yardage and extend the play. Head Coach Jon Gruden was impressed with Barber's efforts and awarded him the game ball.
"He caught the pass out of the backfield, he picked up some blitzes, he was helpful in protection, he didn't blow any assignments. He ran hard. ... I gave him a big hug and a game ball, I'll tell you that," Gruden said postgame.
That resiliency Barber displayed is something the rest of the team is proving as well — as proven by their two overtime wins in Allegiant Stadium. The Raiders aren't going to give up easily, as they continue to strive toward success early in the season.
"We appreciate each other," wide receiver Hunter Renfrow said. "We appreciate the work everyone puts in. The biggest thing that jumps out to me is we care about each other and we're selfless. I think that's huge. Being on a team like that — I've been on some good teams in college and high school and whatever, but selflessness and love are the two main ingredients, and I feel like we have that."
View photos from the Raiders' Week 3 matchup against the Miami Dolphins at Allegiant Stadium.