Doug Martin was nominated for the NFL's Rookie of the Week award twice in the season's first seven weeks but didn't come out on top of the final voting either time. Perhaps the third time will be the charm.
Martin has once again been nominated for Rookie of the Week honors following his explosive performance in the Buccaneers' 36-17 win at Minnesota on Thursday night. This time, it's fair to call Martin a strong favorite, given that his 212 yards from scrimmage against the Vikings led not just all rookies but the entire NFL in Week Eight. If that's not enough, Martin was also one of just seven players, and the only rookie, to score two touchdowns last week.
Martin does have a strong field to contend with this week, which means he will be relying on the votes of Tampa Bay Buccaneers fans to carry him to his first Rookie of the Week victory. The award is chosen each week by fan balloting on NFL.com, which begins every Tuesday morning. Click here to visit the voting page, where you can also watch highlight videos of Martin and his competitors.
Voters for the Week Eight rookie award will be choosing between Martin, Cleveland Browns RB Trent Richards, Minnesota Vikings S Harrison Smith and a pair of Indianapolis Colts in QB Andrew Luck and RB Vick Ballard. Luck threw for 297 yards and a single touchdown and Ballard scored the game-winning touchdown for Indy among his 71 total yards; Richardson ran for 122 yards and scored once; and Smith had 13 tackles, though he didn't slow down Martin too much on Thursday night.
Martin's night eclipsed all of those fine performances. Leading the Buccaneers to a critical win in front of a national audience, the rookie out of Boise State carried 29 times for 135 yards and a touchdown and added three receptions for 79 yards and another score. He had his first 100-yard rushing game as a pro by halftime, and he put the Bucs in full command shortly after the intermission with a 64-yard catch-and-run for a TD. In the fourth quarter, Martin powered in a one-yard run on third down through would-be tackler Jared Allen to seal Tampa Bay's victory.
Martin's 135 rushing yards led all players in Week Eight. His 214 total yards from scrimmage were the NFL's best by nearly 50 yards (Jason Witten, 167). 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.
Doug Martin had his best game to date as an NFL player in the Buccaneers' victory on Thursday night. This time, it might result in his first NFL Rookie of the Week award. Help out by casting your vote for Martin now.
Voting for Rookie of the Week will continue on NFL.com through 3:00 p.m. ET on Friday, and the winner will be announced on Friday evening.