On Tuesday, the NFL revealed its list of nominees for this week’s Ground Player and Rookie of the Week awards and, not surprisingly, the Bucs’ Doug Martin was on both. Martin led all players in Week Eight with 135 rushing yards and 214 yards from scrimmage and was one of just seven players in the league to score two touchdowns.
That marked the second straight week that Martin was among the Rookie of the Week nominees, and indeed he has been hot throughout the month of October. The same can be said for QB Josh Freeman, perhaps even more emphatically, and for the Buccaneer attack as a whole. In fact, there weren’t too many players or entire units that were more productive in October than Freeman, Martin and Tampa Bay’s offense.
In addition to its round of weekly awards, the NFL will soon be announcing its Players of the Month for October. Despite playing just three games in the month due to a Week Five bye, Martin and Freeman have some compelling numbers for the award-givers to consider.
For instance, Freeman led the entire league in the month of October with 336.7 passing yards per game. He also tossed three touchdown passes in all three of the Bucs’ games in the month while leading his team to a 2-1 record.
Freeman also led the NFL with an average of 9.71 yards per pass attempt in October. Overall, he completed 58 of 104 passes for 1,010 yards, nine touchdowns and just one interception. His passer rating in October of 113.9 ranked was third in the NFL and second in the NFC behind Denver’s Peyton Manning (126.7) and Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers (121.5).
Tight end Dallas Clark, who had eight catches for 91 yards during the Bucs’ two games in five days last week, said Freeman’s October surge came on the heels of a pretty good September, as well.
“He’s definitely playing really well, and he hasn’t been playing bad all year,” said Clark. “He’s just been making some big-time throws for us.”
Indeed, Freeman’s 2012 season as a whole has put him in the upper echelon of the NFL’s quarterbacks. In fact, he now ranks eighth in the league with a passer rating of 93.3. Freeman is also second in yards per pass attempt (8.07), sixth in touchdown percentage (6.3%) and 11th in interception percentage (2.2)
At the same time, Martin led all NFL players in the month of October with 155.7 yards per scrimmage per game. The next closest player was Minnesota’s Adrian Peterson, at 129.5 per game. With those two leading the way, Tampa Bay’s offense was the NFL’s best in October on a per-game basis. To wit:
|Category||Bucs Avg.||NFL Rank|
|Yards Per Play||9.6||1st|
That’s a good month. Everyone is looking forward to Halloween on Wednesday night, but the Bucs might be sad to see October go.