Found October 26, 2012 on Fox Sports North:
MINNEAPOLIS In order to understand the Metrodome, one has to understand stagnancy. Scraps of trash flutter from the upper deck, directly down, down, down. Paper airplanes fly dead straight, coasting on the absence of breeze. But the building is more complicated than that. In the best and loudest of moments, it is stagnancy exploded. There's no air to carry away the piercing cheers, and that balloon-like roof pushes them back to the turf. You'd think it would pop, but instead, it compresses the volume. To Doug Martin, it was loud. To Greg Schiano, it was cranked. To Josh Freeman, it was deafening. Any halfway sane bystander would have demanded earplugs to dull the kind of noise that leaves ears ringing into the night. And it was there, in the most hostile of atmospheres, that Martin burst forth. His team was the underdog. His opponent was still riding its surprising 5-2 start. He'd been building all season, adjusting to the pace of the NFL, which can leave rookies like him scrambling to catch up. But on Thursday, the running back out of Boise State put forth his best performance yet as a pro, finishing the night with a Buccaneers rookie record 214 yards from scrimmage. He had a 41-yard rush and a 64-yard reception, scoring two touchdowns on the way to a 36-17 win. Welcome to the NFL, Doug Martin. It's not as if Thursday's performance was a fluke, and that's what makes it even more special. Martin has been working toward this since Schiano named him the team's starting running back in the preseason. Since then, he's averaged more than 100 total yards in four of seven games, and on Thursday, he surpassed the 100-yard rushing mark for the first time in his short career. No one was shocked. "When you get to a game, it's a big game, it's a Thursday-night, nationally-televised game," Freeman said. "In the NFL, it's Doug's first big primetime game. It's been a short week, a lot going on, and that guy gets ready to go. The moment's never too big for Doug." On paper, this shouldn't have happened now. The Vikings have been too good, and their defense has kept them in games when Christian Ponder has faltered. Martin hadn't hit his stride yet, and what odds would say he'd do it on just three days rest? Only these odds, the ones that account for the Buccaneers' growing chemistry and the impatience of a rookie to get himself on the track toward greatness. Since Tampa Bay's bye three weeks ago, the team has gone 2-1, winning against the Vikings and the Chiefs. Their loss last week to New Orleans was close, 35-28, the result of a blown lead against one of the league's best quarterbacks. In fact, the Buccaneers are far better than their record; all four of their losses have been by seven points or less against solid teams. It doesn't take a football genius to see that they're the kind of team that can play spoiler. On Thursday, they were that and more. "I just think that guys are getting more comfortable with what they're doing and with each other," Schiano said. "I think we're getting better. That's what you're supposed to do. "I thought overall, they just battled. What they did was they answered the bell when we needed them to." In Schiano's mind, his team responded. But that's not how Martin sees it. To the rookie, it was less about responding than accepting. The game came to him, he said, his eyes crinkling with the kind of smile that dares you to disagree. But it makes sense. Seven games in, Martin has been adjusting for months. He's been transitioning from college, learning the pace of his new team and its offense. He's been figuring out whatever it means to play "Buc football, that physical football," which the stage for a night like Thursday. And then it came. "It's just a feel thing," Martin said. "You've got to have a rhythm at running back and get comfortable with the offense and have that game-time experience." When the highlights roll, we'll remember the big plays from Thursday's game, that 64-yard touchdown run chief among them. But at that point, the game was close enough to turn, 27-10 with two full quarters remaining. Martin had his theatrics, but it was his eke into the end zone a quarter later that sealed it. "Doug Martin, 1 Yd run" the stat sheets read. Boring? No. that was the moment the life seeped out of the Metrodome. Deafening became just stagnant. The air finally moved, as body after body churned toward the exits. The Vikings fan in section 123 who'd been acting out the game in his own silent monologue was still. No more lurching forward with the offense or pointing in thanks toward some imaginary football god lodged in the Metrodome roof. No more referee signals or pantomimed tackles from this fan or any. The coats were on, the scarves bundled. The Vikings' bubble had burst, thanks to Martin and Freeman, and the Minnesota cold bit that much harder. Follow Joan Niesen on Twitter.

Buccaneers' rookie RB Martin enjoys breakout game

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers did more than shake off a nine-game losing streak at Minnesota on Thursday night. They also put to rest questions about trading up into the first round last spring to draft 5-foot-9, 223-pound running back Doug Martin out of Boise State. Martin broke out with a huge game in the Bucs' 36-19 victory against the Vikings, running for 135 yards and a touchdown...

Doug Martin shows Bucs what he can do

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- The Tampa Bay Buccaneers did more than shake off a nine-game losing streak at Minnesota on Thursday night. They also put to rest questions about trading up into the first round last spring to draft 5-foot-9, 223-pound running back Doug Martin out of Boise State. Martin broke out with a huge game in the Bucs' 36-19 victory against the Vikings, running for...

Road race: Martin, Bucs trample Vikings 36-17

After losing a bunch of close games, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers finally enjoyed a lopsided victory. At Minnesota, no less, where the Vikings watched their home-field advantage come crumbling down during a romp by rookie Doug Martin. Martin racked up 214 total yards - including a career-high 135 rushing - and two touchdowns, and the Buccaneers beat the Vikings 36-17 on Thursday night...

Martin explodes as Buccaneers roll

Traveling to Minnesota to play on Thursday night was supposed to be tough for Tampa Bay. Rookie Doug Martin ran around the field as if he didn't want to leave. Martin racked up 214 total yards and two touchdowns, and the Buccaneers romped to a 36-17 victory to hand the Vikings their first home loss this season. Martin took a screen pass 64 yards for a score, one of three Josh...

Thursday Night Football: The Doug Martin Show

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers jumped out to a 13-0 lead and never looked back in a 36-17 victory over the Minnesota Vikings on Thursday Night Football.

RB Doug Martin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers gash the Minnesota Vikings

From the moment the Tampa Bay Buccaneers hired Greg Schiano as their new head coach, the team’s offensive identity changed. Schiano wanted to make the Buccaneers a hard nosed defensive unit with an offense which focus on the run. That identity was on display last night as the Buccaneers gashed the Minnesota Vikings 36-17. The Buccaneers moved back into the first tound of the 2012...

Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Minnesota Vikings: Hero and Zero of the Game

The Minnesota Vikings were flying high with a 5-2 record coming in to their game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Undefeated at home, and looking like the real deal so far this year, most people probably had their Vegas bets in favor of a Minnesota win.Well, that's why they play the game. Tampa Bay came in, wreaked havoc on the Vikings, and ran through Minnesota for a 36-17...

Buccaneers Continue Thursday Night Road Streak

Buccaneers Gash Vikings 36-17 The streak for road-dog teams continued Thursday night as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers ran up the scoreboard on the Vikings in front of a very pissed off home crowd. Doug Martin had a massive fantasy night carrying the ball 29 times for 135 yards and a touchdown. The Tampa rookie RB also caught a 64 yard screen pass and bolted through the Vikings DEF as...

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly: Tampa Bay at Minnesota

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly Buccaneers 36 @ Vikings 17   10/25/12   By Eric Judd   @ericjuddTSHQ   The Good And away he goes!   Doug Martin. Trent Richardson, please allow me to introduce the best running back, class of 2012. Doug Martin. Go back and watch Boise St. You think their success was because of 4’8” Kellen Moore? That’s cute. Doug Martin is Ray Rice, 2...

Bucs hand Vikings first loss at home

In a game that many predicted would be dominated by Adrian Peterson and the Vikings, it was the opposing running back that stole the show. Bucs’ rookie running back Doug Martin put on an entire first half of highlights that helped the Bucs beat Minnesota convincingly.  The Bucs jumped out to a 10-0 lead in the first quarter after Josh Freeman hit fullback Erik Lorig from one yard...

2012 NFL Scouting: Week Eight's Top Match-ups, Rookies to Watch, and More

Doug Martin and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers put on an outstanding performance to get week eight underway. On paper, this week has some of the best match-ups we'll get the chance to see all season. Will this week live up to those lofty expectations? As we cross the half way mark of the 2012 regular season, what rookies should we keep an eye on for the rest of the year? Top Match...

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly: New Orleans at Tampa Bay

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly       Saints 35 @ Buccaneers 28   10/21/2012   By Eric Judd   @ericjuddTSHQ     The Good   Football! Go That Way! The Tampa Bay Offense. The Saints won? Oh right, like you had any doubt. You expect the New Orleans offense to fire on all cylinders. Tampa Bay on the other hand, not so much. Free Agent acquisition Vincent Jackson goes for 216...
NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.