For the second week in a row, Doug Martin has contributed over 100 combined rushing and receiving yards to a huge offensive outburst by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. And, for the second time this season, he has been rewarded with a nomination for the NFL's Rookie of the Week Award.
Martin had a big day in the Buccaneers' Week Six win over Kansas City, with 131 combined yards, but it was his fellow 2012 first-rounder, Mark Barron, who snagged a Rookie of the Week nomination. This time around, Martin will try to take home the Bucs' first such honor of the year by vying for the Week Seven award with New England LB Dont'a Hightower, Indianapolis QB Andrew Luck, Washington RB Alfred Morris and Minnesota S Harrison Smith.
The Week Seven winner from among those candidates will be chosen by fan balloting on NFL.com. Voting is already underway and will continue through Friday at 3:00 p.m. ET. The winner will be announced on the "Total Access" show on the NFL Network on Friday. You can watch highlights of Martin's exploits against the Saints and cast your vote for the Buccaneer back here.
Tampa Bay has exploded for 976 yards and 66 points the past two weeks, recording the most prolific two-game stretch in team history in terms of yards. Martin has been a key part of that effort over the last fortnight. Against New Orleans, he ran for 85 yards on 16 carries, averaging 5.3 per tote, and added three receptions for 37 yards. In addition to those 122 combined yards, he scored the second touchdown of the game on a 36-yard breakaway, giving the Bucs a 14-0 lead in the first quarter.
Martin helped the Bucs establish a strong running game in the first half but showed his versatility late in the game when his team was fighting against the clock. On a long fourth-quarter touchdown drive that pulled Tampa Bay back within one score, Martin caught all three of his passes, each time turning short throws into substantial gains. With his combined rushing and receiving prowess, Martin is on pace for 1,474 total yards in 2012, which would set a new record for Buccaneer rookies.