- Pat Yasinskas, ESPN Staff Writer
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With some help from ESPN Stats & Information and Tampa Bay’s media relations department, let’s take a look at some of the many statistical highlights from the Buccaneers’ 36-17 victory against the Minnesota Vikings on Thursday night.
Rookie running back Doug Martin had the game of his life, rushing for a career-high 135 yards. Martin was at his best running between the tackles, with 121 of his yards coming in that area. It was the first 100-yard rushing game of Martin’s career.
Martin also had 79 receiving yards on three catches, giving him 214 yards of total offense. That marked just the eighth time in franchise history that a running back generated 200 yards of total offense, and the first time since Warrick Dunn had 221 yards on Dec. 3, 2000. Martin’s total was the fifth-highest in franchise history. James Wilder set the record (229 yards) in 1983.
Josh Freeman became the first quarterback in franchise history to throw for three or more touchdown passes in three consecutive games. Freeman completed 19 of 36 passes for 262 yards and also ran his streak of consecutive games with a touchdown pass to 10.
The Bucs finished with 416 yards of total offense. They had 513 yards against New Orleans on Sunday and 463 yards against Kansas City the previous week. That marks the first time in franchise history that the Bucs have had three straight games with at least 400 yards of total offense.
Defensive end Michael Bennett quietly continues to put together a nice season. Bennett recorded his third forced fumble and fifth sack of the season. Defensive end Daniel Te'o-Nesheim, who took over the starting job after Adrian Clayborn suffered a season-ending injury, recorded his first sack of the season and only the second of his career.
Rookie cornerback Leonard Johnson made his first career start and also produced his first interception.
Tampa Bay’s defense had its best outing against the deep passing game against Minnesota quarterback Christian Ponder. He completed only three throws of more than 10 yards downfield. In the first six games, the Bucs ranked No. 26 by allowing opposing quarterbacks to complete 56.1 percent of such throws.