Perhaps the Buccaneers only gave Doug Martin 16 carries because they are playing a Thursday night game this week. Then again, if we look at his past three games, the coaching staff only called his number 13 times last week and eight times in the game before that.
Time will tell us what the Buccaneers think the ideal workload for Martin really is, but I have to believe his slow start—when he was getting the football 20 times or more—may have something to do with the reduction in touches.
If so, it would be a wise move to give him the football more as he’s clearly made big plays in recent weeks and is running tougher on contact.
Last week we watched two stout run defenses in Seattle and San Francisco surrender 100-yard performances on short rest, so even though Martin will face a Vikings defense that is strong at home, he might have an advantage because of the short week.
Let’s keep him in the lineup as a quality RB2, and hopefully LeGarrette Blount continues to run ineffectively like he did against the Saints.
What Did We Learn From Week 7?
It’s going to be awhile before I can say with true confidence that Chris Johnson is back to being the runner we used to know, but we can say he’s worth keeping in the lineup at this point. Following up on a 91-yard performance against the Steelers, Johnson went for close to 200 yards on the ground against the Bills with two touchdowns.
We did see backup Jamie Harper steal a couple touchdowns away from him, and it appears Johnson will continue to lose out on goal-line opportunities. Still, he’s a RB1 play against the Colts this week and should be in the lineup going forward.
Ahmad Bradshaw saved his day with extra work in the passing game and a goal-line touchdown as he carried the football only 12 times. Bradshaw was seen in an argument on the sidelines, apparently because the veteran wanted the football more.
Unless Bradshaw can put together multiple practices we should expect his workload to remain the same as the Giants work Andre Brown in behind him.
Anyone think Frank Gore is over the hill still? Well, there’s no denying he’s not the same player he once was in terms of workload, but Gore’s big day against the Seahawks is just a reminder that he has plenty left in the tank.
Unfortunately, like Steven Jackson, Frank Gore also had to spend his prime years on a bad team. Unlike Jackson, Gore is benefiting from playing on one of the better teams in football in his later years.
The Rams have been stout against the run this year, but Alex Green was just horrible against them. We should expect better things from the second-year tailback this week, but he’s just an emergency flex play option.
Sean’s Week 8 Watch List
Adrian Peterson was terrific against the Cardinals as he beat up on a good front seven. On short rest for a Thursday night game, let’s keep an eye on Peterson’s nagging ankle injury that has kept him out of some practice drills over recent weeks.
The Broncos need to get the running game going early on against the Saints. Playing at home, Peyton Manning will have the benefit of a quiet crowd (when he’s on the field), so audibles won’t be a problem. Let’s see if Denver feeds Willis McGahee over 20 times, as it would be wise to keep Drew Brees sitting on the sidelines.
Jonathan Dwyer stepped up and ran the football for over 100 yards against the Bengals last week. Hopefully, the Steelers will give him another big workload and keep Isaac Redman and especially Rashard Mendenhall out as they recover from injuries.
|5||Marshawn Lynch||@ Lions|
|6||Frank Gore||@ Cardinals|
|7||Ryan Mathews||@ Browns|
|9||Alfred Morris||@ Steelers|
|11||Darren McFadden||@ Chiefs|
|12||Doug Martin||@ Vikings|
|13||Stevan Ridley||@ Rams|
|14||Michael Turner||@ Eagles|
|15||Ahmad Bradshaw (I)||@ Cowboys|
|16||Trent Richardson (I)||Chargers|
|19||Darren Sproles||@ Broncos|
|22||Rashad Jennings||@ Packers|
|23||Felix Jones (I)||Giants|
|24||Reggie Bush||@ Jets|
|26||Vick Ballard||@ Titans|
|28||Shane Vereen||@ Rams|
|29||Jonathan Stewart||@ Bears|
|30||Pierre Thomas||@ Broncos|
|33||Danny Woodhead||@ Rams|
|36||Kendall Hunter||@ Cardinals|
|37||Andre Brown||@ Cowboys|
|38||DeAngelo Williams||@ Bears|