In 2012, Doug Martin was unstoppable rushing for 1,454 yards, while gaining an additional 472 yards through the air. His performance that season earned him Pro Bowl honors. With much hype going into the 2013 season, Martin suffered injuries to his shoulder and his labrum, which derailed his season. This week versus the Rams, Martin rushed for 91 yards on 18 carries, and gained another 6 yards on a pass by Jameis Winston. Let’s take a look at some of his plays from this match.
Situation: 2nd and 7 at TB 23
Description: (11:19 – 1st) D.Martin left end pushed ob at TB 31 for 8 yards (J.Laurinaitis)
- Martin and the the Buccaneers run outside zone to the left from singleback formation.
- The Buccaneers bring an extra offensive lineman, RT#64 Pamphile, on the left side of the formation, while lining up TE#88 Stocker outside of him.
- The Rams counter by walking safety SS#31 Alexander into the box to bring eight men total on the defensive side.
- After the snap, LG#70 Mankins attempts to reach block DT#99 Donald, but Donald swim moves past him effortlessly.
- Martin sees Donald, sheds his tackle, and then works his way outside.
- TE#88 Stocker and RT#64 Pamphile combo-block DE#97 Sims (highlighted in the red box) before Stocker releases to drive block Alexander in the second level.
- It’s actually Stocker’s second block on Sims and his block on Alexander that opens the hole for Martin.
- Martin stays on his feet as the Rams force him out-of-bounds after an 8 yard gain.
Speaking of Aaron Donald. The star defensive tackle, in his second year, broke into the backfield on numerous passing plays and running plays recording three tackles for loss. This is an example of the Buccaneers running lead off-tackle to the weakside (left). Credit completely goes to Aaron Donald (#99) here for bullrushing LG#70 Manking backwards on this 4th and 2 play call halfway through the second quarter while the Rams were up 21-3.
Situation: 2nd and 10 at TB 38
Description: (4:08 – 3rd) D.Martin left tackle to SL 45 for 17 yards (E.Sims)
- In the 3rd quarter, the Buccaneers run counter power lead to the right.
- The Buccaneerse pull tight ends #84 Brate and #88 Stocker across the formation to seal the front-side edge defenders.
- At the point of attack RT#78 Cherilus and RG#74 Marpet combo-block DT#90 Brockers.
- Marpet, then, releases to lead block for Martin up the hole created between the right guard and the right tackle.
- The center and the left guard combo-block DT#99 Donald before the left guard releases to block the blitzing cornerback #20 Joyner. Give credit to the center for handing Donald in one-on-one duties after Mankins releases.
- From Martin’s perspective he takes his initial counter step to the left setting up the pulling tight ends on the edge defenders.
- Martin, then, sprints through the weakside B-gap. He sees LB#55 Laurinaitis to his right, so he cuts to his left avoiding his tackle.
- He dodges CB#21 Jenkins in the open field and gains 17 yards on the play on 2nd down.
- This play highlights Martin’s vision, cutting ability to change directions quickly, and his ability to make people miss in the open field. Additionally, the blocking by the Buccaneers offensive line was excellent.
The longest run on the day was actually by backup running back #34 Charles Sims. Sims ended the game with 50 yards on seven carries. This is a power crack toss run to the left, where the Buccaneers pull left tackle #76 Donovan Smith and tight end #88 Luke Stocker. Both of their cut blocks create a large hole for Sims to burst through for the 35 yard gain.
The last play we will look at is the fumbled handoff exchange between Winston and Martin in the third quarter. Winston takes the snap on this inside zone run to the left, but they fumble the exchange right after the snap. Officially, the fumble was accredited to Winston. In my opinion, it should have been Martin. Winston puts the ball in the running back’s hands, but it’s a judgment call by the booth that determines who “earns” the fumble.
Overall, Doug Martin helped the Buccaneers move the chains very effectively in the first half, but since the score got away from them, the Buccanners were forced to pass using rookie Jameis Winston. Martin is in second overall in rushing yards only 9 behind Adrian Peterson with 1,305. The Buccaneers face the 32nd Chicago Bears’ rush defense according to DVOA rankings, which gives him an ideal match-up for a big performance.
Follow Samuel Gold on Twitter: @SamuelRGold.