Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Martin & Sims the NFL's Top RB Duo

Stat Shots presented by Air Force Reserve: No team has had a more productive pair of running backs this season than the Bucs with Doug Martin and Charles Sims, who have a combined 2,394 yards from scrimmage.

In one of our Week 15 Stat Shot round-ups, we noted that, while he kept falling just short of 100 yards, Buccaneers running back Doug Martin was still in the midst of a rare streak of productivity. Martin had rushed for 235, 97, 95 and 81 games in his last four outings, which tied for the second-longest streak of 80-yard games in team annals. As it turned out, he would make it five in a row with 91 yards on 18 carries at St. Louis, giving him his own spot at second place on that list. His current run is actually the first time a Buccaneer running back has hit 80 yards in five straight games in the same season.

Most Consecutive 80-Yard Rushing Games, Tampa Bay

Player

Season(s)

Streak

Games

  1. James Wilder

1984-85

7

14-4*

  1. Doug Martin

2015

5

10-14

  1. Cadillac Williams

2005

4

10-13

  1. James Wilder

1984

4

9-12

  1. James Wilder

1984

4

3-6

** Streak covered Games 14-16 in 1984 and Games 1-4 in 1985.

Of course, 80 yards per game is a rather arbitrarily-set standard (as is 100 yards, actually). Still, Martin's continued game-by-game production, while not adding to his career total of 100-yard games, is keeping him right at the front of the race for the 2015 NFL rushing title. Martin actually took over the league lead during Thursday's game, though Minnesota's Adrian Peterson took it back with his 63 yards against Chicago on Sunday. Martin closed the gap in Week 15, however, and now heads into the final fortnight of the season just nine yards behind Peterson, 1,314 to 1,305. The Buccaneers have never had a player win the league's rushing, receiving or passing title.

*It was a busy night for Martin in terms of moving up a variety of NFL and Buccaneer lists. Not long after temporarily passing Peterson, Martin also leapt over two other former Bucs' list of single-season rushing yardage leaders. Martin surpassed Ricky Bell's 1,263-yard campaign in 1979 and James Wilder's 1,300-yard performance in 19985 to move up to third on that list. Martin now owns two of the top three rushing-yardage seasons in franchise annals, a distinction previously held by Wilder.

Most Rushing Yards, Single Season, Buccaneers

Player

Season

Yards

  1. James Wilder

1984

1,544

  1. Doug Martin

2012

1,454

3. Doug Martin*

2015

1,305

  1. James Wilder

1985

1,300

5. Ricky Bell

1979

1,263

  1. Errict Rhett

 1995

1,207

  1. Carnell Williams

2005

1,178

8. Reggie Cobb

1992

1,171

9. Warrick Dunn

2000

1,133

  1. Warrick Dunn

1998

1,026

** Through 14 games

*Martin needs 150 total rushing yards over the next two seasons to pass his own rookie total of 1,454 in 2012. He would need 240 yards in that span to set a new Buccaneer single-season record. That's an average of 75 yards per game to hit the first mark and 120 per game to hit the second mark. Tampa Bay's final two games are against Chicago and Carolina, teams with the 14th and third-best run defenses in the NFL, respectively.

Martin got his 1,454 yards on 319 carries in 2012, averaging 4.6 yards per tote. Wilder ran the ball a then-NFL record 407 times in 1984, picking up 3.8 yards per tote. Martin has topped 1,300 yards this year on just 256 carries and is on pace to run the ball 293 times in 2015. Obviously, he has been doing an even better job, on a per-carry basis, this year than in his outstanding rookie campaign. In fact, Martin's average of 5.1 yards per carry this year is second in the NFL among all players with at least 100 rushes, trailing only the 5.6 posted by Seattle's Thomas Rawls on 147 carries. Martin is the only player in the NFL with at least 150 carries and a rushing average of five yards per carry or better.

Martin is closing in on a new Buccaneer single-season record for yards per carry, as seen in the chart below. Even if one establishes a qualifier of at least 100 carries in a season, the Bucs could end up with two of the top seven performances in team history. Charles Sims needs just one more carry to hit 100 on the season, and he's averaging 4.74 yards per tote.

Player

Season

No.

Yds.

Avg.

1. Doug Martin*

2015

238

1214

5.10

  1. LeGarrette Blount

2010

201

1007

5.01

3. Charles Sims*

2015

99

469

4.74

  1. James Wilder

1987

106

488

4.60

5.Thomas Jones

2003

137

627

4.58

  1. Warrick Dunn

2000

248

1133

4.57

  1. Doug Martin

2012

319

1454

4.56

  1. Ricky Bell

1979

283

1263

4.46

  1. Warrick Dunn

1997

224

978

4.37

  1. Earnest Graham

2008

132

563

4.27

* Through 14 games

As we've noted the last two weeks, Martin and Sims have been the NFL's most productive running back tandem in terms of total yards from scrimmage, and it's not particularly close. It's worth updating that chart after those two combined for another 169 yards on Thursday in St. Louis.

Most Yards from Scrimmage, Top Two RBs, NFL, 2015

Team

RB #1

Yards

RB #2

Yards

Comb.

TB

Doug Martin

1510

Charles Sims

884

2394

ATL

Devonta Freeman

1450

Tevin Coleman

406

1856

MIN

Adrian Peterson

1520

Jerick McKinnon

299

1819

CHI

Matt Forte

1100

Jeremy Langford

719

1819

CIN

Giovani Bernard

1111

Jeremy Hill

697

1808

PIT

DeAngelo Williams

1100

Le'Veon Bell

692

1792

NYJ

Chris Ivory

1164

Bilal Powell

611

1775

GB

James Starks

940

Eddie Lacy

817

1757

SD

Danny Woodhead

921

Melvin Gordon

833

1754

AZ

Chris Johnson

872

David Johnson

852

1724

When Martin racked up 1,926 yards from scrimmage as a rookie in 2012, he was the only player on the team with 50 or more carries. This time, Martin has been just as productive but he's got a backfield partner in Sims who could help him set a new franchise record. Those 2,394 yards from scrimmage produced by Martin and Sims is already the second-highest total by a pair of running backs in team history. They only need to combine for 76 more to set a new Buccaneer record.

Most Combined Yards from Scrimmage, Two Tampa Bay RBs

Year

Player #1

Yards

Player # 2

Yards

Total

1979

Ricky Bell

1511

Jerry Eckwood

958

2469

2015

Doug Martin

1510

Charles Sims

884

2394

1999

Warrick Dunn

1205

Mike Alstott

1188

2393

1998

Warrick Dunn

1370

Mike Alstott

998

2368

1997

Warrick Dunn

1440

Mike Alstott

843

2283

2003

Michael Pittman

1348

Thomas Jones

807

2155

2000

Warrick Dunn

1555

Mike Alstott

558

2113

2012

Doug Martin

1926

LeGarrette Blount

154

2080

2005

Cadillac Williams

1259

Michael Pittman

736

1995

2002

Michael Pittman

1195

Mike Alstott

790

1985

Martin's 91 yards were part of a 509-yard evening for the Buccaneers' offense, marking the second time this season that Tampa Bay has surpassed 500 yards of offense in game. The Bucs also put up 521 yards in a win at Philadelphia in Week 11. Prior to 2015, Tampa Bay had posted a total of three 500-yard games in its first 39 seasons. Here are all of the 500-yard outings in franchise history:

Opponent

Date

Yards

  1. at Minnesota

11/16/80

573

  1. at Philadelphia

11/22/15

521

  1. at Oakland

11/4/12

515

  1. vs. New Orleans

10/21/12

513

  1. at St. Louis

12/17/15

509

Obviously, this is the first time a Buccaneers team has had two 500-yard offensive outbursts in the same season, let alone within roughly a month of each other. There have been a total of 17 500-yard games by all 32 teams through the first 15 weeks of the season (not including this week's Monday night game between Detroit and New Orleans). The Buccaneers are one of only two teams who have done that at least twice this season; Pittsburgh leads the way with three 500-yard games.

The Buccaneers' offense also produced a total of 30 first downs in Thursday's game, tying the franchise single-game record. They've only hit that mark on two other occasions, both against Atlanta, both at home and both in victories. Thursday's outing marked just the second time the Bucs have reached 30 first downs without the benefit of an overtime period.

Most First Downs, Single Game, Buccaneers

FDs

Opponent

Date

Outcome

30

at St. Louis

12/17/15

L, 31-23

30

vs. Atlanta

12/24/05

W, 27-24 (OT)

30

vs. Atlanta

9/13/87

W, 48-10

Tampa Bay got 283 of its 509 yards in the fourth quarter on Thursday night as they desperately tried to rally from a 28-6 deficit. (They would ultimately fall short, 31-23.) Most of that was courtesy of the powerful right arm of Jameis Winston, who recorded his first career 300-yard game with 363 yards on 29-of-50 passing. Winston completed 18 of 27 passes for 238 yards, two touchdowns and one interception in that final period alone. That is the most passing yards that any quarterback in the NFL has thrown for in any single quarter this season.

Most Passing Yards, One Quarter, NFL, 2015

Player

Team

Opp.

Date

Qtr.

Yards

  1. Jameis Winston

TB

STL

12/17

4

238

  1. Ben Roethlisberger

PIT

CLE

11/15

2

218

  1. Philip Rivers

SD

OAK

10/25

4

213

  1. Tom Brady

NE

NYG

11/15

4

193

  1. Cam Newton

CAR

ATL

12/13

1

187

Winston dropped back 50 times on his way to those 363 yards on Thursday night, and he was not sacked once. That marks just the fourth time in Buccaneer history that one of its quarterbacks has thrown for at least 350 yards in a game without incurring a single sack. That's the first time it's happened for Tampa Bay in more than seven years. The other three Buc QBs to have such a game are Brian Griese, 407 yards and no sacks on 67 dropbacks at Chicago on Sept. 21, 2008; Steve DeBerg, 365 yards and no sacks on 32 dropbacks at Miami on Oct. 20, 1985; and Doug Williams, 486 yards and no sacks on 55 dropbacks at Minnesota on Nov. 16, 1980.

[

As was noted on Buccaneers.com on Friday](http://www.buccaneers.com/news/article-1/Winston-Sets-Another-Bucs-Rookie-Record/b42e247f-9a1a-4b00-b313-0a259f6925d9), Winston's two touchdown passes against the Rams gave him 20 on the season, establishing a new franchise rookie record. Mike Glennon set the previous team record at 19 in 2013. Winston also has the sixth-most passing yards by a rookie in league history, at 3,422. He's on pace for 3,910, which would push him up to third on that list, and a little rise in that pace over the next two weeks could allow him to join Andrew Luck and Cam Newton as the only 4,000-yard rookie passers in league history.

That aforementioned pace would also put Winston second on the Bucs' single-season passing list, including all players, not just rookies. Barring an unforeseen circumstance, Winston is a near lock to break into the top five on that list, probably as soon as next Sunday.

Most Passing Yards, Single Season, Buccaneers

Player

Year

Yards

  1. Josh Freeman

2012

4,065

  1. Brad Johnson

2003

3,811

  1. Josh Freeman

2011

3,592

  1. Doug Williams

1981

3,563

  1. Steve DeBerg

1984

3,554

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