Adrian Peterson, Brandon Marshall and Matt Ryan all stood out among the ranks of offensive performers in the NFC in Week Nine. Doug Martin, however, had a day for the ages.
Following his 251-yard, four-touchdown rushing performance against the Oakland Raiders on Sunday, Martin has been named the NFC Offensive Player of the Week for Week Nine of the 2012 season. He is the first Buccaneer to win that award since quarterback Josh Freeman in Week Nine of the 2010 campaign. Moreover, he is the first Tampa Bay running back to be thus honored since Michael Pittman in Week Nine of 2004.
The selection of Martin comes as no surprise after his record-breaking performance in his hometown of Oakland. Martin's 251 rushing yards set a new Buccaneer single-game record and tied for the 10th-highest total in NFL history. He joined Denver's Mike Anderson (Dec. 3, 2000) as the only two players in NFL history to rush for at least 250 yards and score four touchdowns in a single game.
Martin racked up his incredible total on 25 carries, giving him a per-tote average of 10.0 that is the third-highest in league annals among players with at least 25 attempts. He also caught four passes for 21 yards, setting a new Buccaneer standard with 272 total yards from scrimmage.
Martin is practically in uncharted territory as a Buccaneer rookie. The only other rookie in team annals who has won an Offensive Player of the Week award is Warrick Dunn, who got the nod in just his second game, in Week Two of the 1997 campaign.
Martin is the second rookie to win that award this season, however. Washington quarterback Robert Griffin III was the recipient in Week One. Four other rookies have won Player of the Week awards this year in the two conferences: Minnesota kicker Blair Walsh, St. Louis kicker Greg Zeurlein and St. Louis punter Johnny Hekker for NFC Special Teams and Miami defensive end Olivier Vernon for AFC Defensive.
Martin's exploits led the Buccaneers to a 42-32 victory over the Raiders and included touchdown runs of (in order) 45, 67 and 70 yards before his one-yard score put the game away in the fourth quarter. He is the first Buccaneer ever to put up four rushing touchdowns in a single game, and only the second to score four TDs of any kind in one outing. TE Jimmie Giles had four receiving scores against Miami on Oct. 20, 1985.
Martin's three longest scores made him the first player in NFL history to produce a trio of rushing touchdowns of at least 45 yards in the same game. He also had the second-highest rushing yardage total in a single half in league annals, with 220 of his ground yards coming after the intermission.
Martin is the second Buccaneer to be named a conference Player of the Week this year. Ronde Barber took the Defensive award home in Week One after strafing Carolina with five tackles, two tackles for loss, a sack, an interception, two passes defensed and yet another defensive touchdown.