Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Doug Martin gave Bucs 'a lift' in return from suspension

Doug Martin rushed for 74 yards on 13 carries in his return from a four-game suspension. [MONICA HERNDON | Times]

Doug Martin rushed for 74 yards on 13 carries in his return from a four-game suspension. [MONICA HERNDON | Times]

It came in a losing effort, but Bucs running back Doug Martin played well Thursday night in his return from a four-game suspension, rushing for 74 yards on 13 carries.

Martin's average of 5.7 yards per carry is his best in any game since 2015 -- he didn't even average 4.0 in a game last year -- and bodes well for the boost he can give the Bucs offense moving forward.

"It felt good to be out there -- to hear the crowd, the fans again, to be out there with my brothers, it's definitely a good feeling," Martin said. "It's unfortunate we got the loss, but we almost came back. I'm just going to learn from this and come back and get ready for the Cardinals."

Bucs coach Dirk Koetter, striving for balance between the run and pass offensively, said he was pleased with what Martin brought in his first game back.

"Doug looked good. He definitely gave us a lift," Koetter said. "He looked fast. Doug, you can tell, he's explosive. He's going to help us."

Martin was especially strong on the Bucs' first touchdown drive in the second quarter -- he had runs of 11 and 17 yards back-to-back, then 9, then a 10-yard run to the 1-yard line that was initially ruled a touchdown. Given a shot from the 1, Martin dived over the top to give the Bucs a 7-3 lead. Martin extended the ball at the goal line as he leaped, and then a second time before he went down to be certain.

"I thought I got it the first time, but just in case, I went over the second time," he said. "The linemen did a good job today, and I'm going to keep getting better."

Martin was targeted on three passes as well but only caught one, with two others just out of his reach to miss out on potential big gains.

"It's surprising how fast it all comes back to you," Martin said. "I'm probably a little rusty, wish I had those two passes back, but I'll get there."

Martin was used less in the second half, but the Bucs were trailing the Patriots the whole time, and by two scores for some of that. Martin had runs of 3, 4, 4, 4 and 4 yards in the third quarter, but was stopped for no gain on third-and-2 on the opening play of the fourth quarter -- that missed opportunity led to a field-goal attempt that was missed by kicker Nick Folk. The Bucs gained 229 yards of total offense in the fourth quarter, so it's hard to question the move to a pass-heavy play call at that point.

Sign up for Bucs Red Zone

A daily report of whats happening inside the locker room and on the field.

 

Sign up for our other newsletters

(View our Privacy Policy)

Doug Martin gave Bucs 'a lift' in return from suspension 10/06/17 [Last modified: Friday, October 6, 2017 12:17pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Charlie Strong, Gulf High and the best (old) Jon Gruden-Tennessee rumor

    Blogs

    As Butch Jones keeps losing, Tennessee Vols fans are turning to one of the media's favorite pastimes.

    Jon Gruden coaching rumors.

  2. Lightning edges Red Wings on road

    Lightning Strikes

    DETROIT — The digs were different, the Lightning seeing the masterfully-done new Little Caesar's Arena for the first time.

    Lightning center/Red Wings’ killer Tyler Johnson gets past defenseman Trevor Daley on his way to the first goal of the game.
  3. Armwood pulls away to defeat Plant 27-7, remain undefeated

    Footballpreps

    SEFFNER — First-year Armwood coach Evan Davis pulled out all the stops to get his team psyched for Monday's annual grudge match against Plant.

    Armwood defensive end Malcolm Lamar (97) gets fired up before the start of the game between Plant High School Panthers and the Armwood High School Hawks in Suffer, Fla. on Monday, Oct. 16, 2017.
  4. Bucs journal: Dirk Koetter says Vernon Hargreaves needs to improve

    Bucs

    TAMPA — The Bucs now rank 31st in the NFL in pass defense, allowing 301 yards per game in their 2-3 start, and coach Dirk Koetter was asked Monday how concerned he is with the play of second-year CB Vernon Hargreaves.

    Ryan Fitzpatrick, throwing an incompletion under pressure after replacing injured Jameis Winston against the Cardinals,  would start this Sunday in Buffalo if Winston’s shoulder is still bothering him.
  5. Backhand shot makes Nikita Kucherov's offense even more dangerous

    Lightning Strikes

    DETROIT — Nikita Kucherov is on a historic streak, just the fourth player in the past 30 years to score a goal in each of his first six games.

    Nikita Kucherov’s backhand shot adds to his strong scoring.