Rookie RB Doug Martin may have been the most dominant player in the entire NFL during Weeks Eight and Nine combined, so it’s fair to call him the single biggest factor in Tampa Bay’s two-game winning streak. But is Martin the Bucs’ most valuable player so far?
CBSSports.com says so, at least on offense. They tab Martin as the Bucs’ Offensive MVP at the halfway point, with safety Ronde Barber taking the honors on the defensive side. Offensive Coordinator Mike Sullivan also gets some serious praise for his first season at the helm of the Bucs’ attack, and the team’s ability to cause and avoid turnovers is highlighted. Read the entire piece here.
The question is, do you agree with those two MVP selections? Martin and Barber certainly seem like excellent choices, but each one does have some competition.
On offense, one could also consider:
- QB Josh Freeman: The NFL’s eighth-leading passer with a 95.1 rating, Freeman is near the top of the charts with an 8.1-yard average per attempt and has directed a largely mistake-free offense, particularly over the last month.
- WR Vincent Jackson: Jackson ranks eighth in the league in receiving yardage, at 710, has a team-leading six touchdown catches and is number one in the entire NFL with an average of 22.9 yards per grab.
- T Donald Penn: The Buccaneers’ offensive line is slowly beginning to draw some praise after allowing no more than two sacks in any game this season and blocking for Doug Martin’s breakout performances. The only opening-day starter on that O-Line still in the same position is Penn, the stalwart left tackle.
WR Mike Williams and C/G Jeremy Zuttah might also draw some votes.
On defense, the potential candidates include:
- DE Michael Bennett: Bennett leads the team with six sacks and on several occasions this season has been nearly relentless getting to the quarterback. He is also one of the highest-rated defensive ends in the NFL against the run.
- DT Gerald McCoy: He has three sacks and five tackles for loss and has provided the instant penetration in the middle that has caused so much disruption for the NFL’s leading tackles-for-loss team.
- LB Lavonte David: Along with strong safety Mark Barron, the rookie second-rounder is one of the few new pieces on a defense that has gone from 32nd in the NFL against the run last year to first this year, and David leads the team with 67 tackles and an incredible 11 tackles for loss.
Barron and Roy Miller would likely deserve consideration as well. Discuss.