Hats off if you took him in fantasy football last week. Kudos if you took him again this week. The running back out of Boise State, the second running back taken in the 2012 NFL Draft, the one with the colorful nickname, was all over the Week 9 highlights after his second stellar outing for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Martin was the 31st pick in the draft — a steal now, it turns out. After rushing for 214 total yards and two touchdowns against the Minnesota Vikings, he topped himself, running for 251 yards in the Bucs’ 42-32 victory over Oakland. He struggled in the first half, rushing for only 31 yards in the first half, and then turned it on in the second, scoring on runs of 45, 67, 70 and 1 yards. In the process, he became the first NFL player with at least three rushing TDs of over 45 yards in a game. As Shutdown Corner’s Frank Schwab put it, he showed an “impressive arsenal of skills on each run, with the shiftiness to make some tacklers miss, good open field speed and the strength to break free when he had to beat someone.”
Over 60 family members and friends watched the “Doug Martin Show,” in which the running back set a number of Bucs team records and joined Mike Anderson, the former Denver Broncos’ running back, as the only NFL players to rush for at least 250 yards and score four touchdowns in a game.
“I really have to take a step back here and just look at it all,” Martin said (via TBO.com). “It’s just surreal right now. I mean, I’m just trying to do my job out there.”
During the first half, Coach Greg Schiano saw something he didn’t like and told Martin that that he was dropping his head as he hit the hole at the line of scrimmage. Martin listened and promptly ran for 61 yards and a touchdown on his next three carries. Then he had his 67- and 70-yard TD runs.
“I was getting to the line stumbling on a few runs and then coach told me, ‘Just keep your head up,’ ” Martin said. “After that, I did what he said and it helped me keep my balance and then, it was off to the races.”
Martin’s records (via TampaBay.com):
251 – rushing yards, a Bucs franchise record and the 10th most in NFL history
3 – number of rushes of longer than 45 yards, a Bucs franchise record
51 – fantasy points scored by Martin on Sunday
486 – Martin’s combined total yards (rushing, receiving) in the past two games
794 – rushing yards this season for Martin, third most in the NFL
5.2 – Martin’s per-carry average in 2012
8 – number of games Martin has played as pro
Next up for Martin, now a strong candidate for Offensive Rookie of the Year? The San Diego Chargers’ defense Sunday. And, possibly, a new nickname.