There’s nothing about what he put on the stat sheet that jumps out and tells you running back Doug Martin had an especially good game during the Buccaneers 31-14 victory over the Falcons last week.
Look a little deeper, though, and you’ll see that the two-time Pro Bowler was actually one of the more impactful players for the Bucs on either side of the ball.
For starters, Martin ranked second on the team and second overall among non-quarterbacks in total yards with 96, gaining a team-best 62 on 18 carries on the ground and 34 more on five catches as a receiver.
Those five catches, by the way, tied Mike Evans for the team lead and Martin’s five targets as a pass-catcher were two more than Charles Sims received, which is worth noting.
Sims is considered to be a better pass catcher than Martin and it’s usually Sims who is on the field in those situations late in the half or late in the game in which the Bucs are scurrying to score.
Indeed, it was Sims who was on for the final two minutes of the first half Sunday, when he turned a short check down into the 23-yard touchdown reception that proved to be the game’s turning point.
Martin’s workload, though, suggests he may become a bigger part of those two-minute drills moving forward. One other thing to note about Martin was the number of tackles he forced defenders to miss on.
Martin led the league last year by forcing 57 missed tackles, according to the numbers crunchers at Pro Football Focus and his attempt to retain that title got off to a good start in the opener.
Per PFF’s analysis, Martin forced seven missed tackles against the Falcons, tops in the league.