Key for Bucs: Martin, Freeman's firsts
October, 26, 2012
By ESPN Stats & Information | ESPN.com
Adam Bettcher/Getty ImagesDoug Martin had an awesome game in the Buccaneers' win on Thursday.
Let's take a snapshot look at three statistical keys to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers win over the Minnesota Vikings on Thursday night.
1-- Running back Doug Martin carried the load, becoming the first player in Buccaneers history with 135 rushing yards and 75 receiving yards in the same game.
Martin ran for 121 of those yards between the tackles, the second-most by a Buccaneers running back in the last five seasons (LeGarrette Blount had 126 in a game against the Indianapolis Colts last season).
Martin’s 65 yards after contact, between the tackles, are the fifth-most by a rusher this season.
2-- Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman became the first quarterback in team history to throw at least three touchdown passes in three straight games.
Freeman was 10-19 for 124 yards and three touchdowns on passes traveling five or fewer yards downfield. It was the first time Freeman has ever had three touchdowns in a game on passes of that distance and only the third time it has been done in the NFL this season.
3--The Buccaneers buckled down against passes thrown down the field. Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder was 3-for-10 on throws of at least 10 yards down the field.
Through the first six games, the Buccaneers defense had allowed quarterbacks to complete an average of eight throws of 10 or more yards downfield, with a completion rate of 56 percent of such passes (the third-worst rate in the NFL).
They were burned repeatedly by New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees last week.