For those of us who were able to watch or those of us stuck watching the stat line Sunday when the Bucs took on the Raiders, we all somehow saw Bucs rookie running back, Doug Martin, absolutely go off.
Martin finished Sunday’s game with 251 yards on the ground and four touchdowns (70, 45, 67, and 1 yard runs).
Martin set many records during his brilliant performance, such as compiling the most rushing yards ever in a game in Bucs history, becoming the first player ever in NFL history to score three touchdowns on runs of 45-plus yards, and putting together the fourth best fantasy football performance since 1970.
Martin’s 51 points (standard scoring leagues) on Sunday is tied with Corey Dillon’s 1997 performance, and only behind Clinton Portis (54 points), Shaun Alexander (52 points), and Jerry Rice (52 points).
In fact, Martin is now the #1 RB in fantasy (1point ahead of Foster). But, can he maintain this level of play? I am of course no referring to Sunday’s performance, and I do not expect him to continuously put up over 50 points, but can he keep himself in the mix of the top RB?
I say why not? Some may argue that with Carl Nicks out, Martin will not have the same blocking, but I say that it didn’t seem to bother him Sunday. It’s also worth noting that not only Martin, but also Freeman and the Bucs offense as a whole is on fire!
The Bucs currently have the 9th total overall offense, averaging 376.6 yards of offense a game, with 131 (9th in NFL) of those coming on the ground and the reaming 245 (12th in NFL) through the air. They are also 5th in the NFL in scoring, averaging 28.3 ppg that puts them ahead of New Orleans, New York and Atlanta.
With that offense so hot, teams cannot just key in on Martin, or Freeman will burn them deep. Martin’s schedule also speaks well to his chances, as 5 of his 8 remaining games are against teams that rank in the bottom half of the NFL in rush defense.
Do not be shocked to see Martin as a top 5-7 RB come season’s end.