On Thursday night football, the Minnesota Vikings were looking to move to 6-2 in their Cinderella season, but Doug Martin of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers had something to say about it.
The rookie running back from Boise State showed why the Bucs traded back into the first round to get him, touching the ball 32 times and gaining 214 yards of total offense. Martin scored on a 64-yard touchdown pass from Josh Freeman, and also had a rushing touchdown.
The “Mighty Hamster” was unstoppable for the Vikings from the very start of the game. He had over 100 yards prior to halftime, and was gaining big chunks at a time. Martin’s dominance on Thursday night was a great thing for the Buccaneers, who have a high powered offense as it is (when they choose to). The Bucs have playmakers across the board, with Josh Freeman at quarterback, Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams at receiver, and Dallas Clark at tight end, but the reason they took Martin in the first round was to fortify their rushing attack.
If he keeps playing like he did on Thursday night, I’d say the Bucs found themselves a good one. Martin was one of my favorite running back prospects coming out of the 2012 NFL Draft, and he looked like he was running for the Boise State Broncos on THursday night. He showed off his vision, power, quickness, speed, hands, and overall ability to be a three down back.
This was a coming out party for a guy I think could become one of the best backs in the league.