The Buccaneers built their 20-10 first-half lead at Minnesota on Thursday night on two Josh Freeman TD passes and a pair of Connor Barth field goals. However, it was rookie running back Doug Martin who was arguably the most effective offensive force for either team in the first two quarters.
In fact, the former Boise State star has already rushed for 100 yards in a game for the first time in his career, with two quarters to go. In a game that featured Viking star Adrian Peterson running very well – 10 carries for 60 yards – Martin managed to outdo his veteran counterpart with 106 yards on 14 carries. That included a 41-yard jaunt on the Bucs’ second drive that set up Erik Lorig’s one-yard touchdown catch.
Martin also caught two passes for 15 yards in the first half, giving him a total of 121 combined yards and putting him over 100 in that category for the third game in a row. Martin came into Thursday’s game on pace to set a rookie record with 1,474 combined rushing and receiving yards, and it looks like that projection will go up after Week Eight. Even if he doesn’t gain a single yard in the second half, which is obviously unlikely, Martin will be on pace for 1,540 by season’s end.