Doug Martin: Buccaneers Star RB Sealed Rookie of the Year Award in Week 9

Donald WoodFeatured ColumnistNovember 5, 2012

OAKLAND, CA - NOVEMBER 04:  Doug Martin #22 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers rushes for a touchdown against the Oakland Raiders at Coliseum on November 4, 2012 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Tampa Bay Buccaneers star running back Doug Martin was just another rookie name in a great crop of 2012 NFL draft picks, but his last two games prove he is more than just a flash in the pan.

Martin’s continued success will yield him the AP’s 2012 Offensive Rookie of the Year Award.

After slowly proving that he was the more efficient and reliable of the two running backs in Tampa Bay, Martin has taken his chance as the Buccaneers’ starting RB and literally ran with it in Week 9 against the Oakland Raiders.

In his last two games, the rookie has amassed 54 carries and seven catches for 486 all-purpose yards and six touchdowns. That’s unbelievable.

While most voters will look to rookie quarterbacks like Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III for the award, Martin has not only forced himself into the competition, he has sealed his fate as the favorite for the rest of the season.

The starting job in Tampa Bay is Martin’s to lose, and the team's dedication to running the ball will only continue to give the rookie premium chances to put up the huge numbers he is capable of obtaining.

Getting acclimated to the NFL was a task that took some time to figure out for the rookie, but Martin told the AP via the Washington Post about the changes he made running the ball to achieve such monumental numbers:

A few of those I got through the line and kind of stumbled and my head went down. Coach kept telling me, ‘Get your head up, get your head up,’ because that will increase your balance. So after that I kept my head up and kept my balance and I was on to the races.

With an amazing set of games under his belt and the confidence of his head coach and the offensive line in front of him, Martin and the Buccaneers’ easy schedule are setting up for the most impressive second-half showcasing in NFL history.

While Martin may not be the Rookie of the Year favorite right now, as long as he continues to run the way he has over the last few starts, he will be soon enough.

If Tampa Bay can sneak into the playoffs via a wild-card spot led by their rookie running back, the calls for Martin to win the AP Offensive Rookie of the Year Award will be too loud to ignore.

Move over Luck and Griffin, there is a new favorite for Rookie of the Year: Doug Martin.


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