Week Seven Analysis:
Last week I told you that if Doug Martin struggled against Philadelphia, you were officially in trouble. Well, Doug Martin struggled against Philadelphia. He ran hard, but he hasn't scored since the opener, and he's only averaged 87 combo yards in his last three games. His only saving grace has been his league-high 25.4 touches per game. Martin totaled 223 combo yards and three scores in his two meetings with Atlanta last year, but the Falcons haven't allowed a back to top 64 rushing yards all season. Granted, they've faced arguably the easiest running back schedule in the entire league, and they're still giving up 130 combo yards per game to the position. It's now or never for Martin. Again.
Week Six Analysis:
Despite receiving a monstrous 27 touches per game, Doug Martin is only averaging 94 combo yards, and he's scored just one touchdown. His last game was easily his worst, and it's no coincidence that it came with rookie Mike Glennon under center. Martin managed just 45 yards on 27 carries, and it could be a harbinger of things to come. He's at a crossroads this week, as he comes out of his bye to face a vulnerable Philadelphia run defense. The only back in Martin's class that the Eagles have seen is Jamaal Charles, who totaled 172 combo yards and a score. I'm optimistic for a good game here. But if Martin can't get it going this week, you're officially in trouble.
Week Four Analysis:
Although Doug Martin has either scored or topped 100 combo yards in all three games, he's yet to put it all together. Martin has now touched the ball at least 22 times in five straight games, while averaging a hefty 27 touches during that span, so by sheer volume, he's keeping his head above water amidst the sinking pirate ship. Josh Freeman has walked the plank, and it's hard to imagine rookie Mike Glennon being worse, so Martin's value remains status quo for now. Arizona has faced the Rams, Lions and Saints, surrendering averages of 69 rushing yards and 67 receiving yards to opposing backfields, but they haven't seen a traditional bell cow like Martin. Consider this a neutral matchup.
Week Three Analysis:
Although the Bucs are imploding faster than Miley Cyrus' integrity, Doug Martin quietly leads the league in carries, and trails only LeSean McCoy in rushing yardage. In fact, Martin has touched the ball at least 25 times in five of his last six contests. The rub is that he's only scored three times in that six-game span, and he's contributed nothing in the passing game so far this season. New England has given up a very charitable 147 combo yards per game to opposing backfields, and star guard Carl Nicks looks like he'll finally make his season debut, so Martin remains a strong start.
Week Two Analysis:
The good news is that Doug Martin scored and amassed a robust 26 touches against the Jets. The bad news is that he turned those 26 touches into just 64 total yards. He should find more room to run this week, especially if Carl Nicks makes his expected debut. Last season against opposing backs, the Saints ranked 32nd in rushing yards, 29th in receiving yards, and 31st in total touchdowns with 18. Steven Jackson steamrolled them for 122 total yards in the opener, and Martin also went for 122 combo yards and a score when these teams met in Tampa Bay last season.
Week One Analysis:
As a rookie, Doug Martin was the only back in the NFL to finish top-5 in rushing yards, receiving yards and total touchdowns. And that was without his two road-grading guards! The better half of that tandem, Carl Nicks, looks doubtful for the opener with a staph infection, but it shouldn't even matter. The Jets ranked 26th against the run last season, and they lost key contributors on all three levels of their defense. Fittingly, it's a complete dumpster fire in New York, and assuming Martin avoids the Buccaneers team showers, he's a lock for a big box score.
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If you were to chart Doug Martin's rookie season, it would resemble a bell curve—he started slow, peaked in the middle and tapered off down the stretch. He padded his stats in a two-game midseason binge against the Vikings and Raiders, in which he totaled 486 combo yards and six touchdowns! That represented roughly a quarter of his total yardage and exactly half of his touchdowns over a 16-game slate! While that may seem concerning on the surface, Martin's coach, quarterback and system all remain in place, and the return of road-grading guards Carl Nicks and Davin Joseph should lead to a very productive sophomore season.
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