Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Martin, Sims Combine for Historic Performance

Stat Shots pretented by Air Force Reserve: Doug Martin and Charles Sims combined to accomplish a feat only seen six times before in team history…That and other statistical takeaways from Sunday's game against Carolina.

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The Tampa Bay Buccaneers defeated the Jacksonville Jaguars, 38-31, Sunday at Raymond James Stadium, improving their 2015 record to 2-3. Here are some of the more notable statistics and milestones from Sunday's game:

What a day it was for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' running backs.

Starting tailback Doug Martin ran 24 times for 123 yards and two touchdowns, giving him 405 rushing yards on the season. With Monday night's game between Pittsburgh and San Diego still to be played, Martin is tied with Atlanta's Devonta Freeman and Arizona's Chris Johnson for second in the NFL in rushing yards. All three are just 33 yards behind the NFL's leading rusher, Chicago's Matt Forte.

Martin is on pace for 1,296 rushing yards, which would be the fourth-highest single-season total in team history and Martin's second-best season output. As a rookie in 2012, Martin ran for 1,454 yards, second only to James Wilder's 1,544 in 1984. If Martin does get to four digits, he'll join Wilder (1984, 1985), Errict Rhett (1994, 1995) and Warrick Dunn (1998 and 2000) as the only backs in team history to crack 1,000 yards twice. No Buccaneer has ever led the league in rushing yards.

Martin's 123-yard performance followed a 106-yard outing against Carolina in Week Four, giving him the first back-to-back 100-yard rushing games for Tampa Bay since he did it as a rookie in 2012. Martin had 134 rushing  yards at Minnesota on Oct. 25, 2012 and then a franchise-record 251 at Oakland on Nov. 4. The last Buccaneer to have 100-yard rushing performances in consecutive home games was LeGarrette Blount, who ran for 110 against Detroit on Dec. 19, 2010 and then 164 seven days later against Seattle. After a bye week, the Buccaneers will travel to Washington on Oct. 25 and Martin will have a chance to be the first Buc with three consecutive 100-yard rushing games since Cadillac Williams began his career with three straight in 2005 (at Minnesota, 9/11; vs. Buffalo, 9/18; at Green Bay, 9/25).

Martin's 100-yard game on Sunday was the ninth of his career, which ties him with Williams for the third most in team history in the regular season:

Player, Seasons

100-Yd. Games

GP

1. RB James Wilder, 1981-89

14

113

2. RB Warrick Dunn, 1997-2001, 2008

11

91

3t. RB Doug Martin, 2012-15

9

38

3t. RB Carnell Williams, 2005-10

9

70

5. RB Errict Rhett, 1994-97

8

52

6t. RB Ricky Bell, 1977-81

7

60

6t. RB Michael Pittman, 2002-07

7

87

6t. FB Mike Alstott, 1996-2007

7

158

6t. RB LeGarrette Blount, 2010-12

7

40

6t. RB Reggie Cobb, 1990-93

7

60

The third column in the above chart is each player's total games played as a Buccaneer. Martin has created nine 100-yard performances in roughly half the number of total games as it took Williams to get to that mark. With one 100-yard game for every 4.2 contests, Martin has by far the highest incident of such performances. LeGarrette Blount is next at one every 4.7 games.

Martin scored two touchdowns among his 24 carries on Sunday, and also added just the second receiving touchdown of his NFL career on a 10-yard pass in the second quarter. Martin joins Bobby Rainey as the only players in team history to have two rushing TDs and one receiving score in the same contest. Rainey did it against Atlanta on Nov. 17, 2013. Martin also leap-frogged Ricky Bell on the team's all-time rushing touchdown list:

Buccaneers Career Rushing Touchdowns

Player, Seasons

Rush TD

  1. Mike Alstott, 1996-2007

58

2. James Wilder, 1981-89

37

3. Errict Rhett, 1994-97

24

4. Reggie Cobb, 1990-93

21

5. Carnell Williams, 2005-10

20

6. Warrick Dunn, 1997-01, 2008

19

7. Doug Martin, 2012-15

17

8. Ricky Bell, 1977-81

16

9t. Earnest Graham, 2004-11

15

9t. Lars Tate, 1988-89

15

Overall, Martin's performance in the win over Jacksonville may have been the second-best game of his career. In the aforementioned Oakland game of 2012, Martin not only set the team record for rushing yards in a single game but also joined former TE Jimmie Giles as the only players in franchise annals to score four touchdowns in one contest. Giles caught four TD passes at Miami on Oct. 20, 1985. Thus, Martin is obviously the only Buc with four rushing touchdowns in one outing, but until Sunday Mike Alstott was the only player in franchise history to have more than one three-touchdown performance. Alstott did it at Cincinnati on Dec. 28, 1998 and versus Minnesota on Oct. 28, 2001. Martin now joins Alstott on that list.

As a team, the Buccaneers finished with 183 rushing yards, the most they have compiled in one day since getting the same amount against New Orleans in last year's season finale (Dec. 28). They approached 200 yards because second-year back Charles Sims proved to be a great complement to Martin throughout the day. Not only did Sims rush for 51 yards on 12 carries but he also led the team with four receptions for 85 yards. In all, Sims had a career-high 136 yards from scrimmage, and his 85 receiving yards were the most by a Tampa Bay back since Earnest Graham got 99 at Detroit on Oct. 21, 2007.

Martin added 35 yards on three receptions to push his yards from scrimmage total to 158 on the day. He and Sims gave the Bucs the sort of combined production out of the backfield they haven't seen the Super Bowl era. In fact, the last pair of Buccaneer backs to each surpass 100 yards from scrimmage in the same game were Mike Alstott and Michael Pittman, who did it against Cleveland on Oct. 13, 2002.

That's a rare achievement in team history. In fact, two Buccaneer backs had each cracked 100 yards from scrimmage in the same game just six times before. A total of five other RB pairs have done it, because the Thunder & Lightning duo of Mike Alstott and Warrick Dunn are on their twice. Martin and Sims joined Alstott and Pittman as the only Buc backs to each surpass 130 yards from scrimmage in the same game. Here's the entire list, sorted chronologically:

Opp., Date

RB #1

Yards

RB #2

Yards

@DAL, 9/21/80

Jerry Eckwood

105

Ricky Bell

103

DET, 12/26/82

James Wilder

120

Melvin Carver

100

OAK, 11/10/96

Mike Alstott

121

Errict Rhett

101

MIA, 9/21/97

Warrick Dunn

123

Mike Alstott

115

MIN, 11/1/98

Warrick Dunn

164

Mike Alstott

128

CLE, 10/13/02

Michael Pittman

148

Mike Alstott

139

JAX, 10/11/15

Doug Martin

158

Charles Sims

136

Having two running backs produce at least 125 yards from scrimmage in the same game is a rare accomplishment even when the scope is widened to the entire NFL. In fact, one might expect it not to be duplicated this season, since it seems to occur about once a season. Martin and Sims are the only pair to do it so far in 2015, and over the decade of seasons prior to this one, it was accomplished exactly 10 times across the NFL. Here's the list, again chronologically:

Team

Opp., Date

RB #1

Yards

RB #2

Yards

WAS

HOU, 9/24/06

Clinton Portis

164

Ladell Betts

151

NO

SF, 12/3/06

Reggie Bush

165

Deuce McAllister

140

JAX

IND, 12/10/06

Maurice Jones-Drew

181

Fred Taylor

131

SD

DEN, 10/7/07

Michael Turner

147

LaDainian Tomlinson

140

NYG

BUF, 12/23/07

Ahmad Bradshaw

151

Brandon Jacobs

149

TEN

KC, 10/19/08

Chris Johnson

172

LenDale White

156

BAL

DAL, 12/20/08

Le'Ron McClain

143

Willis McGahee

129

NYJ

BUF, 10/18/09

Thomas Jones

227

Leon Washington

145

NO

CAR, 9/16/12

Pierre Thomas

143

Darren Sproles

128

DET

GB, 11/28/13

Reggie Bush

182

Joique Bell

128

TB

JAX, 10/11/15

Doug Martin

158

Charles Sims

136

The third tailback on the Bucs' roster, Bobby Rainey, was on the field for a handful of offensive snaps but did not have a run or a catch. However, he still made a big impact in the game thanks to his work on punt returns.

Rainey ran three punts back for a total of 85 yards, including a 58-yarder that set up Martin's touchdown catch in the second quarter. Rainey later added a 25-yard runback to the Jacksonville 40 to set up Martin's third score of the day. His third return, just a few minutes later, only netted him one yard, though he actually got 11 before 10 of them were erased by a holding call.

Rainey's 58-yard scamper was the longest punt return by a Buccaneer in six years, since Michael Spurlock scored a key touchdown in New Orleans on a 77-yard return on Dec. 27, 2009. Rainey's 85 yards of returns in total were the most by a Buc since Clifton Smith had 90 at Detroit on Nov. 23, 2008. Finally, Rainey's average of 28.3 yards per runback stands as the fourth-best single-game mark in team history, with a minimum of at least three returns.

Buccaneers' Highest Single-Game Punt Return Average (Minimum of 3):

Player

Opp., Date

Avg.

  1. Karl Williams

@IND, 11/2/97

33.0

  1. Karl Williams

BUF, 11/26/00

31.7

  1. Vernon Turner

DET, 10/2/94

30.7

4. Bobby Rainey

JAX, 10/11/15

28.3

  1. Jacquez Green

@NO, 10/25/98

27.7

**

There were a few other contributors to the Buccaneers win besides the running backs. For instance, there was the man handing and throwing the football to Martin and Sims, rookie QB Jameis Winston.

Winston had the most efficient day of his young career, completing 13 of 19 passes (68.4%) for 209 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions. That produced a season-best 122.5 passer rating for Winston, which is the fourth highest-single-game mark in team history. His teammate, Mike Glennon, had the three best marks in rapid succession in 2013. Here are the top 10 passer-rating performances by a Buccaneer rookie quarterback:

Player

Opponent-Date

Rating

  1. Mike Glennon

at DET-11/24/13

138.4

  1. Mike Glennon

vs.ATL-11/17/13

137.5

  1. Mike Glennon

at SEA-11/3/13

123.1

4. Jameis Winston

vs. JAC-10/11/15

122.5

  1. Josh Freeman

at ATL-11/30/09

118.5

  1. Jameis Winston

at NO-9/20/15

114.6

  1. Shaun King

at CHI-1/2/00

109.4

  1. Doug Williams

at KC-10/8/78

108.2

  1. Bruce Gradkowski

at NO-10/8/06

107.6

  1. Bruce Gradkowski

vs. WAS-11/19/06

104.9

With Winston's careful distribution of the ball, the Buccaneers snapped a string of 25 games with at least one turnover committed. Tampa Bay had its first turnover-free outing since Nov. 24, 2013, when they did it against Detroit. The lack of interceptions was one reason that Winston's passer rating soared, as was his excellent completion percentage. However, he also saw his numbers benefit from an average of 11.0 yards per pass attempt.

That yards per attempt mark is the 18th-best in a single game in team history, with a minimum of 15 passes thrown in the game, and the third-best by a rookie. Here are the top 20:

Player

Opp.

Date

Att.

Comp.

Yds.

Yds/Att

Jeff Garcia

NO

9/16/07

16

10

243

15.19

Vinny Testaverde

GB

9/13/92

25

22

363

14.52

Craig Erickson

IND

9/11/94

24

19

313

13.04

Josh Freeman

KC

10/14/12

26

15

328

12.62

Josh McCown

WAS

11/16/14

23

15

288

12.52

Doug Williams

CHI

12/20/80

29

16

350

12.07

Mike Glennon *

DET

11/24/13

21

14

247

11.76

Shaun King

MIN

10/29/00

23

16

267

11.61

Doug Williams

ATL

12/6/81

29

19

336

11.59

Steve DeBerg

MIA

10/20/85

32

19

365

11.41

Craig Erickson *

ATL

10/31/93

28

18

318

11.36

Trent Dilfer

NO

11/7/99

20

15

227

11.35

Trent Dilfer

PHI

9/3/95

19

11

215

11.32

Vinny Testaverde

DET

9/9/90

21

16

237

11.29

Doug Williams

OAK

10/18/81

30

16

335

11.17

Vinny Testaverde

IND

10/16/88

42

25

469

11.17

Josh Freeman

AZ

10/31/10

25

18

278

11.12

Jameis Winston *

JAX

10/11/15

19

13

209

11.00

Jeff Carlson

ATL

11/17/91

15

11

164

10.93

Doug Williams

MIN

10/28/79

25

12

267

10.68

* - Rookie

**

Like Rainey, K Connor Barth was a force on special teams. Barth was re-signed on Tuesday, and in his first regular-season game in a Buccaneers uniform since 2012 he gave the team the perfect placekicking it needed. Barth made all three of his field goal tries – from 35, 45 and 47 yards – and all three of his extra point tries (which are now the equivalent of a 33-yard field goal) for a total of 12 points.

Barth hit the 35-yard field goal at the end of the Buccaneers' game-opening drive, and those three points put him at exactly 500 on his NFL career (he would have 509 by game's end). Of those 509 points, 395 have come as a Buccaneer, putting him fifth in team history in the scoring category. Barth needs 22 more points to pass fellow kickers Matt Bryant and Donald Igwebuike (416 each) on that all-time list, and 38 to pass fullback Mike Alstott (432) for third. Martin Gramatica (592) and Michael Husted (502) are a bit farther ahead. Barth is already tied with Igwebuike for fourth with 94 field goals made, just four behind Bryant's 98.

Though the extra point has been made a more iffy proposition by the NFL's decision to move the line of scrimmage to the 15, Barth to this point is 113-113 on PATs as a Buccaneer. He is the only kicker in team history with at least 50 tries who has never missed an extra point. Counting his work with the Chiefs and Broncos, Barth has made all 152 of his career attempts. Among all active kickers, Barth is one of only five who currently sport a 100% success rate on extra points. Here's that list:

Kicker

Team(s)

Att.

Made

Nick Folk

DAL/NYJ

303

303

Ryan Succop

KC/TEN

199

199

Dan Bailey

DAL

190

190

Connor Barth

KC/TB/DEN

152

152

Justin Tucker

BAL

122

122

Barth came into the game as the Buccaneers' all-time leader in field goal percentage and he only made it better with his three-for-three performance. He's now up to 84.7% on field goals as a Buccaneer (94 of 111), which is actually a hair below his overall career mark of 85.6% (119 of 139). He made 15 of 16 during a five-game stint with the Broncos last year, and dating back to the beginning of the 2011 season, he's connected on 72 of 80 field goal attempts for a success rate of 90.0%. Barth is the second-most accurate field goal kicker in all of football since 2011. Here are the top five:

Player

Team

Made

Att.

Pct.

  1. Dan Bailey

DAL

122

135

90.4%

  1. Connor Barth

TB/DEN

72

80

90.0%

  1. Stephen Gostkowski

NE

140

156

89.7%

  1. Justin Tucker

BAL

108

121

89.3%

  1. Matt Bryant

ATL

121

136

89.0%

Barth also handled kickoffs for Tampa Bay on Sunday, doing so for the first time as a Buccaneer since 2010. While he was not known for his long kickoffs early in his career, that was before the line of scrimmage for the play was moved up from the 30 to the 35. Barth had just 11 touchbacks on 156 kickoffs for Kansas City and Tampa from 2008-10. He did get eight shots at that job for Denver last year but did not record a touchback.

Well, Barth definitely seems up for the job now. His first kickoff on Sunday sailed completely over the end zone for a touchback. Thanks to a high-scoring Buccaneer offense, he got to kick eight times and hit all eight of them into the end zone, five deep enough to encourage the returner to stay put. Barth got almost half as many touchbacks on Sunday in eight tries as he did on those 156 kicks from 2008-09.

Barth, in fact, is the first kicker in team history other than Michael Koenen and Kyle Brindza to have at least five touchbacks in a single game. Koenen, a punter who also excelled at the kickoff job (and was the reason Barth wasn't kicking off in 2011 or 2012), did it eight times and Kyle Brindza had a six-touchback game among his four contests with the Buccaneers.

**

Tampa Bay's defense did a good job of pressuring Jacksonville quarterback Blake Bortles, recording a season-high six sacks against the young passer. That is the third time in the least three seasons that the Buccaneers have had at least six sacks on defense (also at Washington, 11/16/14, and vs. Buffalo, 12/8/13) and they have won all three of those games. Over the last 20 years (1996-2015), the Buccaneers have a 14-5 record in games in which they have sacked the opposing QB at least six times.

Two of those sacks belonged to rookie Howard Jones, who made his NFL regular-season debut on Sunday after being promoted from the practice squad earlier in the week. Jones got his first sack on Bortles' very first drop-back of the game, then got his second one to end another drive in the second quarter.

Jones is just the third player in franchise history to have two sacks in his very first regular-season NFL game. Curt Jarvis did it for the 1987 team against the Rams in Los Angeles on Nov. 29, 1987. Santana Dotson matched the feat in the 1992 season opener, recording two sacks against Phoenix on Sept. 6, 1992.

Gerald McCoy recorded 1.5 of the Bucs' six sacks, giving him 4.5 on the season. That pushed his season total to 4.5 sacks, which puts him on pace for just over 14 in 2015. McCoy is tied for third in the NFL in the sack category, just 0.5 behind co-leaders Ziggy Ansah of Detroit and Carlos Dunlap of Cincinnati. McCoy leads all defensive tackles in sacks this year and is one of only two who has already reached four QB takedowns. Here's the leaderboard:

Player, Team

Pos.

Sacks

1t. Ansah, DET

DE

5.0

1t. Dunlap, CIN

DE

5.0

3t. Matthews, GB

LB

4.5

3t. McCoy, TB

DT

4.5

3t. Morgan, TEN

LB

4.5

3t. Peppers, GB

LB

4.5

3t. Ware, DEN

LB

4.5

8t. Atkins, CIN

DT

4.0

8t. Cox, PHI

DE

4.0

8t. Quinn, STL

DE

4.0

8t. Sheard, NE

DE

4.0

8t. J. Smith, TB

DE

4.0

8t. Watt, HOU

DE

4.0

Note that the Bucs' Jacquies Smith is also on that list with four sacks. Tampa Bay is tied for fifth in the NFL in team sacks with 15, in part because they are one of three teams (also Cincinnati and Green Bay) that already has two individual four-sack players.

The Buccaneers' other sacks on Sunday went to Kwon Alexander (1.0), Lavonte David (1.0) and Alterraun Verner (0.5). The sacks were the first of Alexander and Verner's careers, while David's marked his first this season and the 11th of his career.

Odds and Ends:

  • Tampa Bay's 20 points in the first half were the most they have scored in a first half this season and the most since also scoring 20 in the first half at New Orleans last season (10/5/14).
  • The Buccaneers finished the game with 38 points, the most they have scored since totaling 41 against Atlanta in 2013 (11/17/13).
  • WR Vincent Jackson had just one reception for 14 yards in Sunday's game but that was still enough to move him up one more spot on Tampa Bay's all-time receiving yardage list. Jackson pushed his Buccaneer total to 3,916 yards, four more than the 3,912 Joey Galloway recorded from 2004-08.
  • The Buccaneers ran the ball a total of 40 times on Sunday, their highest total of the season so far. That marked the 61st time in team history that the Bucs have run the ball at least 40 times in a game; Tampa Bay is 52-9 in those games. The last time the Buccaneers ran the ball 40 times in a game and lost was nearly a quarter century ago, against Buffalo on Sept. 22, 1991.
  • Tampa Bay's defense held Jacksonville to 55 rushing yards, 21 of which came on a late-game scramble by Bortles. Tampa Bay finished the game with 128 more rushing yards than its opponent, the team's best margin in that category since Nov. 11, 2013. Against Miami on that day, the Buccaneers ran for 140 yards allowed just two, going on to win by a 22-19 score. Out-rushing the opponent by at least 100 yards has usually been associated with victory for the Buccaneers; they've done it in 49 games and won 44 of them.
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