- RB Bobby Rainey's 163 rushing yards and three total TDs make him the top offensive player in the conference for Week 11
- Rainey is the fourth Buccaneer to win NFC Offensive Player of the Week in the last 10 years
- Rainey's breakout performance came less than a month after he was claimed off waivers by the Bucs
On Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons, Bobby Rainey manufactured a performance that only three other NFL players had matched in the last 10 years. As a result, he now has a piece of hardware that only three other Tampa Bay Buccaneers have won in the past decade.
Rainey's 163 rushing yards and three touchdowns in the Buccaneers' 41-28 victory over the Falcons has earned him the NFC Offensive Player of the Week award, as revealed by the NFL on Wednesday morning. Rainey joins LaDainian Tomlinson, Chris Johnson and Darren McFadden as the only four players in the last 10 years to put up more than 160 rushing yards, two rushing touchdowns and
one receiving touchdown in a single game.
Rainey is the first Buccaneer to win the NFC Offensive Player of the Week award since running back Doug Martin
took it home in Week Nine of last season for his 251-yard, four-touchdown outburst in Oakland. Over the last 10 seasons (2004-13), four Buccaneers have won that particular honor: Rainey, Martin, quarterback Josh Freeman (Weeks Five and Nine of 2010) and running back Michael Pittman (Week Nine of 2004).
In leading the Buccaneers to their second consecutive win on Sunday, Rainey ran 30 times for 163 yards and two touchdowns and added two catches for four yards and a third score. His rushing total is the ninth-highest single-game mark in franchise history. Rainey averaged 5.4 yards per carry and posted the Buccaneers' longest run of the season, a 43-yard touchdown in the second quarter.
-- RB Bobby Rainey's combination of yards and touchdowns on Sunday puts him in rare NFL company
Rainey's breakout performance – his career NFL totals prior to Sunday's game included 21 carries for 79 yards – restored hope to a Buccaneers' backfield that had been decimated by injuries. Martin's season was ended by a Week Seven shoulder injury suffered in Atlanta, but not before he ran for 144 yards against New Orleans in Week Two. His replacement, rookie Mike James
, ran for 158 yards in Seattle in Week Nine but was then felled for the rest of the season by an ankle injury in Week 10. Rainey, Martin and James are the first trio of players in Buccaneer history to each record a 100-yard rushing game in the same season.
The Buccaneers claimed Rainey off waivers from the Cleveland Browns on October 21. He had rushed 13 times for 34 yards in six games with the Browns and got 45 yards and a touchdown in his first action as a Buccaneer, in a Monday night win over Miami in Week 10. At Western Kentucky, Rainey ran for 4,523 yards and 39 touchdowns, but he was not drafted in 2012. He began his career as an undrafted free agent with the Baltimore Ravens.
Rainey has also been nominated for the NFL's Ground Player of the Week award, which is determined by fan voting on NFL.com