Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Charles Sims Could Join Rare 5-10 Group

Stat Shots presented by Air Force Reserve: Fewer than one NFL player per season since the 1970 merger has averaged five yards per carry and 10 yards per catch…Charles Sims could become the first Buc ever to do it.

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Doug Martin came into Week 16 in a virtual dead heat for the NFL rushing title with Minnesota's Adrian Peterson. Martin will still have a shot at that title in the final week of the regular season, but he lost a little bit of ground to Peterson after putting up his lowest rushing total since Week Nine. Martin carried 17 times for 49 yards against Chicago while Peterson recorded 104 yards against the New York Giants. Martin's 1,354 yards now trail Peterson's 1,418 by 64 yards with one game to play.

However, the Buccaneers still got 172 yards from scrimmage from their running backs on Sunday, which is almost exactly par for the course in 2015. Martin and running mate Charles Sims have combined for 2,566 yards this year, or an average of 171 per game. They are the most productive tailback combo in the NFL, and it's not particularly close.

Most Yards from Scrimmage, Two RBs on the Same Team, 2015

Team

RB #1

Yards

RB #2

Yards

Comb.

TB

Doug Martin

1565

Charles Sims

1001

2566

MIN

Adrian Peterson

1639

Jerick McKinnon

396

2035

CHI

Matt Forte

1177

Jeremy Langford

802

1979

ATL

Devonta Freeman

1540

Tevin Coleman

406

1946

PIT

DeAngelo Williams

1253

Le'Veon Bell

692

1945

NYJ

Chris Ivory

1206

Bilal Powell

701

1907

SD

Danny Woodhead

1029

Melvin Gordon

833

1862

GB

James Starks

951

Eddie Lacy

905

1856

AZ

David Johnson

979

Chris Johnson

872

1851

CIN

Giovani Bernard*

1111

Jeremy Hill*

697

1808

** Prior to Cincinnati's Monday Night Football game.

As is evident in that chart, the Buccaneers are the only team with two running backs who have surpassed 1,000 yards from scrimmage this year, although the Green Bay Packers have an outside chance at joining them in Week 17. This is just the second time in the Buccaneers' four-decade history that they've had a pair of backs achieve that feat. Warrick Dunn (1,205) and Mike Alstott (1,188) did it first in 1999.

*

It would be a stretch to refer to a pair of 1,000-yards-from-scrimmage backs as a "rare" feat; it's been done 62 times in the 46 seasons since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger, or about 1.35 times per year. Twenty-nine of the 32 current teams have had at least one such pairing since the merger, the exceptions being Philadelphia, Tennessee and the New York Jets.*

*That per-year rate has stayed steady over the last decade. Here are the 13 running back tandems with more than 1,000 yards from scrimmage each over the last 10 seasons:

Season

Team

RB #1

Yards

RB #2

Yards

2015

TB

Doug Martin

1565

Charles Sims

1001

2014

CIN

Giovani Bernard

1029

Jeremy Hill

1339

2013

BUF

Fred Jackson

1277

C.J. Spiller

1118

2013

DET

Joique Bell

1197

Reggie Bush

1512

2013

SD

Ryan Mathews

1444

Danny Woodhead

1034

2011

HOU

Arian Foster

1841

Ben Tate

1040

2010

KC

Jamaal Charles

1935

Thomas Jones

1018

2009

CAR

Jonathan Stewart

1272

D. Williams

1369

2008

NYG

Brandon Jacobs

1125

Derrick Ward

1409

2007

JAX

M. Jones-Drew

1175

Fred Taylor

1260

2007

MIN

Adrian Peterson

1609

Chester Taylor

1125

2006

JAX

M. Jones-Drew

1377

Fred Taylor

1388

2006

NO

Reggie Bush

1307

Deuce McAllister

1255

Martin and Sims have something else in common: They both have a very real shot at breaking the team's single-season record for yards per carry. By the usual single decimal point display of that statistic, both Martin and Sims are at 5.0, though Sims is actually a bit ahead at 4.99 to Martin's 4.96. The Buccaneers' record is 5.01, set by LeGarrette Blount in 2010 (201 carries for 1,007 yards); Sims and Martin would rank second and third on the list, respectively, if their averages stayed the same through one more game.

If Martin and Sims can each finish north of five yards per carry, they would join a much shorter list than the 1,000-yard pairings discussed above. In fact, only 14 RB teammates have ever done that, and only eight since the 1970 merger.

Year

Team

RB #1

Yds.

Avg.

RB #2

Yds.

Avg.

2011

BUF

Fred Jackson

934

5.49

C.J. Spiller

561

5.24

2011

CAR

Jonathan Stewart

761

5.36

D. Williams

836

5.39

2009

CAR

Jonathan Stewart

1133

5.13

D. Williams

1117

5.17

2007

MIN

Adrian Peterson

1341

5.63

Chester Taylor

844

5.38

1995

CHI

Robert Green

570

5.33

Charlie Garner

588

5.44

1988

CIN

James Brooks

931

5.12

Ickey Woods

1066

5.25

1978

KC

Ted McKnight

627

6.03

Tony Reed

1053

5.11

1972

MIA

Larry Csonka

1117

5.24

Mercury Morris

1000

5.26

1966

CLE

Ernie Green

750

5.21

Leroy Kelly

1141

5.46

1964

KC

Abner Haynes

697

5.01

Mack Lee Hill

576

5.49

1963

SD

Keith Lincoln

826

6.45

Paul Lowe

1010

5.71

1955

CHI

Rick Casares

672

5.38

Bobby Watkins

553

5.03

1954

SF

John H. Johnson

681

5.28

Joe Perry

1049

6.06

1948

BUF

Chet Mutryn

823

5.60

Lou Tomasetti

716

5.34

Sims's 117-yard day against the Bears included a 50-yard touchdown catch and a 29-yard run, adding to a season of big plays for the second-year back. His receiving totals including 487 yards on 42 catches, giving him an average of 11.6 yards per reception, an excellent mark for a running back. In fact, Sims is the only player in the NFL currently averaging at least five yards per carry and at least 10 yards per reception (with a minimum of 25 of each).

Without rounding up, as we did with Sims' yards per carry, from 4.99 to 5.0, there have been only 69 instances in NFL history of a player meeting that criteria above, with five yards per carry and 10 yards per reception on at least 25 of each. Sims could become the first Buccaneer ever to do that and just the 36th player in the NFL since the 1970 merger.

Sims gets a lot of his receiving yardage after the catch. In fact, 369 of his 487 yards have come after the ball was in his hands, an average YAC of 8.79 that ranks eighth in the NFL. His three receptions of 25 or more yards this year is tied for sixth among all NFL running backs, just one behind the league lead of four shared by Cleveland's Duke Johnson, Arizona's David Johnson, Miami's Lamar Miller, Green Bay's James Starks and San Diego's Danny Woodhead.

It is Martin, of course, who has a chance to make his mark in some of the most heralded parts of the Buccaneers' record book. He increased his rushing total for 2015 to 1,354 yards on Sunday, which at least keeps him within striking distance of the top two spots in franchise annals. Martin needs 101 yards to surpass his own mark of 1,454 yards in 2012, and 191 yards to get past James Wilder's 1984 team record of 1,544. Here are the top five rushing yardage seasons in Buccaneer history:

Player

Season

Yards

James Wilder

1984

1,544

Doug Martin

2012

1,454

Doug Martin*

2015

1,354

James Wilder

1985

1,300

Ricky Bell

1979

1,263

** Through 15 games.

*Martin's 1,565 yards from scrimmage is already the fourth-highest total in team history, and he's got a shot to move as high as second on that list in the season finale.

Most Yards from Scrimmage, Single Season, Buccaneers                                                                                                                                                                  

Player

Year

Yards

  1. RB James Wilder

1984

2,229

  1. RB Doug Martin

2012

1,647

  1. RB James Wilder

1985

1,641

4. RB Doug Martin

2015

1,565

5. RB Warrick Dunn

2000

1,555

6. RB Ricky Bell

1979

1,511

7. RB Warrick Dunn

1997

1,440

  1. WR Mark Carrier

1989

1,422

9. RB Warrick Dunn

1998

1,370

  1. RB Michael Pittman

2003

1,348

Together, Martin and Sims (with a little help from quarterback Jameis Winston) have powered the NFL's fourth-best rushing attack, at 139.0 per game. The highest Tampa Bay has ever finished on that chart was also fourth, when it averaged 134.3 rushing yards per game in 1998. The team record for rushing yards per game is 152.3, set in 1979 in a ground game powered by Ricky Bell and Jerry Eckwood.

The current Bucs are not likely to catch the team record of 2,437 rushing yards set in that '79 campaign, but they already have the fourth-best mark in Buccaneer history, with an excellent chance to finish second. If they match their season average of 139 yards per game in Charlotte next Sunday, they'll finish with 2,224 ground yards.

Most Rushing Yards, Buccaneers, Team, Single Season1. 1979: 2,437
2. 1998: 2,148
3. 1978: 2,098
4. 2015: 2,0855. 2000: 2,066
6. 2010: 2,001

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