On Thursday, the NFL selected Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Doug Martin as its Offensive Rookie of the Month on the heels of a dominant performance against the Minnesota Vikings that capped Martin's outstanding October.
On Friday, Martin was also named the league's Ground Player of the Week for Week Eight thanks to that prime-time outing in Minnesota, and this time it was NFL fans who made the decision.
Based on fan balloting on NFL.com from Tuesday through Friday, Martin took his first Ground Player honors over fellow nominees Stevan Ridley of the New England Patriots and Trent Richardson of the Cleveland Browns. This was the first time that Martin had been nominated for that specific award.
Martin is also just the second Buccaneer to win a Ground Player of the Week fan vote. His current teammate, LeGarrette Blount, was the choice in Week 16 of the 2010 season. Buccaneers have earned three Air Player of the Week awards since 2005, one by Chris Simms (2005, Week 10) and two by current starter Josh Freeman (2010, Weeks 16 and 17).
On just pure rushing totals, Martin was the NFL's top producer in Week Eight, racking up 135 yards and a touchdown on 29 carries. His 41-yard burst in the first quarter set up a Connor Barth* *field goal for the game's first points, and he also capped the scoring with a rugged one-yard run on third down midway through the fourth period. Martin had 103 rushing yards by halftime to record the first 100-yard game of his NFL career.
With an additional 79 yards and a touchdown on three receptions, Martin finished the game with a career-best 214 yards from scrimmage. That was the NFL's best total by nearly 50 yards (Jason Witten, 167) in Week Eight. It was also the fifth-best single-game total of the entire season so far, just behind teammate Vincent Jackson's 216 yards in Week Seven. Martin is one of only three running backs (also Kansas City's Jamaal Charles in Week Three and New York's Ahmad Bradshaw in Week Five) to surpass 200 yards from scrimmage in a single game this year.
The Buccaneers believe there are more NFL awards in Martin's future.
"We couldn't be more pleased with how he has developing and his contributions and looking forward to seeing what the future holds for him," said Offensive Coordinator Mike Sullivan.