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Doug Martin pursues rushing title and other Bucs goals

So, beyond the Bucs trying to end a three-game losing streak at the Panthers, what should you be looking for in Sunday's game? Several Bucs records are in play, starting with RB Doug Martin and rookie QB Jameis Winston.

Martin is trying to become the first Bucs player to lead the NFL in rushing, but he enters the game 64 yards behind Minnesota's Adrian Peterson, who has the added advantage of playing Sunday night and knowing exactly what he'll need for the title.

Martin has 1,354 yards on the season, and can pass some relevant marks even without beating Peterson. If he can rush for 101 yards, he'll set a career high, passing the 1,454 he rushed for as a rookie, and if things go really well, he still could eclipse James Wilder's franchise record (1,544 in 1984) if he rushed for 191.

Martin is also close to the Bucs' record for average yards per carry in a season — he's at 4.96 yards per carry, trailing only the 5.01 yards averaged by LeGarrette Blount in 2010. Basically he needs to finish with about 13 yards better than a 5-yard average against the Panthers to set the record.

Winston? In addition to a chance to become just the third NFL rookie to throw for 4,000 yards, if he can throw and pass for 289, he'll set the Bucs' franchise mark for total yards passing and running — Josh Freeman had 4,204 in 2012. It's less likely, but if Freeman were to throw for 349 yards, he'd break Freeman's team record of 4,065 passing yards.

• DT Gerald McCoy needs 1 1/2 sacks to give him 10 for the season, which would be the first time for a Bucs player since Simeon Rice in 2005.

• WR Mike Evans, already 10th in Bucs history with 1,107 receiving yards, can finish in the top five all-time for the team if he gets 142 yards or more.

• It'll be hard for the Bucs to avoid the team's season record for penalty yards — 7 more clinches that. They already have the team record for penalties (138).

Bucs Doug Martin (22) breaks free for a 23 yard run in the Bucs last drive during the Tampa Bay Buccaneers game against the New Orleans Saints at Raymond James Stadium Sunday afternoon in Tampa 12/13/15. JIM DAMASKE   |   Times 


Bucs Doug Martin (22) breaks free for a 23 yard run in the Bucs last drive during the Tampa Bay Buccaneers game against the New Orleans Saints at Raymond James Stadium Sunday afternoon in Tampa 12/13/15. JIM DAMASKE | Times

Doug Martin pursues rushing title and other Bucs goals 01/02/16 [Last modified: Friday, January 1, 2016 3:12pm]
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