With a defense as stout as the Seattle Seahawks coming to town, the Buccaneers are going to have to rely heavily on Doug Martin and the run game. To have a chance to win, we’re going to have to see the 2015 Doug Martin.
It’s no accident when you run for 1,400 yards in the NFL. It’s no accident when you’re the second leading rusher in the league. And it certainly won’t be an accident when Doug Martin is the primary focus for the Buccaneers when the Seattle Seahawks come to Ray Jay Sunday.
Doug Martin has had an immediate impact on this team. Not just because he is leaps and bounds better than any other running back on this roster. It’s because this offense plays differently when he’s in there. Defenses have to play differently when he’s in there.
Seeing Jameis Winston pass the ball thirty or more times this week plays right into the hands of Seattle. Richard Sherman will shadow Mike Evans all game long and although the supporting offensive cast has played well the last two weeks, they certainly aren’t good enough to pick up any slack from Winston avoiding looking Sherman’s way.
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The Seahawks’ secondary isn’t called the Legion of Boom for no reason. They’re the best in the league at what they do, and what they do is shut down opposing teams’ passing attacks and win games.
Dirk Koetter talked about the importance of maximizing Doug Martin’s work load moving forward, as he will likely have to do this weekend;
"“Well, Doug makes our offense go. All you’ve got to do is look at all the tape from last year. We spin a lot of stuff off of how Doug plays and it was great to have him out there, even though he wasn’t breaking as many long ones as maybe we’re used to seeing [from] him. I think that will come as he plays more and that makes everybody else around him better. I think Peyton Barber’s one of the most improved guys on our team right now. We’ve had to play more guys than we would’ve liked to this year, but as I said, we’re happy that we’re getting healthier.”"
Utilizing a heavy dose of Doug Martin will wear down the defense and limit their opportunities to make splash plays and force drive – and game – killing turnovers. After two weeks of seeing live action, Doug will be pretty darn close to normal, so the Buccaneers will have to lean on him heavily to have any shot at the upset.