Game Balls: Bucs 36, Vikings 17

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Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-US PRESSWIRE

OVERALL GAME BALL - Doug Martin|RB (29 car, 135yds, 2TDs)

No question Doug Martin was the best player on the field on Thursday night and that’s saying a lot considering what other talents were out there. When you out run Adrian Peterson and you blow past Jared Allen to do so, that’s a pretty big deal. But it wasn’t just that Martin was the best back on the field, he ran for 135 yards and over 200 all purpose yards in the win.

The last time a Bucs running back rushed for and caught a touchdown pass in the same game it was done by a guy named Warrick Dunn. Doug Martin is in his eighth career game and he’s already putting his name next to perhaps the best Buccaneers running back of all-time next to maybe Rickey Bell.

Martin was huge for the Bucs on Thursday and he finally had his breakout game. Not every game moving forward for the rookie will be as explosive as this one, but he’s a force and he showed why the Bucs traded back into the first round to draft him back in April. Defenses now have to account for Martin on an offense that has names like Williams, Jackson, Clark and Blount.

That’s beyond huge.

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