Found November 07, 2012 on Checkdown Chatter:
We face the same challenge every week with our power rankings. The elite of the league seem to be pretty well entrenched, the top 10 is holding strong, but, when you get down through teams 11-20 it becomes increasingly complex.  This season, more than any I can remember, it feels like these middling teams are competing to fail, rather than to win. Whenever a team has an opportunity to make a statement, they shrink in the moment rather than seize it (see the recent NFC East commentary). However, in fairness to the muddled middle there are some teams making waves. Most notably the unbeaten at home Seattle Seahawks and the recently electric Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Coming into the season the Bucs were a trendy sleeper pick to make a run at the playoffs but they came out of the gates a little sluggish and many jumped off the bandwagon as quickly as they got on. Now, with 2 convincing road wins in as many weeks to their credit they may becoming fan friendly again. The Buccaneers are doing it with a renewed attitude of accountability under Greg Schiano (goodbye, Aqib Talib), solid quarterback play from 4th year pro Josh Freeman who is getting contributions from Vincent Jackson both in terms of his production on the targets he receives but also his presence on those that he doesn't which helps out Mike Williams, and, electric running from Doug Martin. Martin, or 'Muscle Hamster' as many refer to him despite his preference otherwise, has added a new element to the Bucs run game. He, like the team, starter a little slow out of the gate but the rookie rusher began to turn the corner in week 6 against Kansas City. Not coincidentally, his team is 3-1 during his 4 game hot streak and they look to build upon that momentum in the coming weeks.  Following their prime time victory over the Minnesota Vikings on week 8's edition of Thursday Night Football host Rich Eisen referred to the Tampa offense as 'frightening'. No one was willing to buy it. This week, after 250 yards from Martin, a solid performance from Freeman and another week of touchdowns from Jackson and Williams I don't think you can say otherwise. Tampa posted 42 points against the Raiders, and, while their defense allowed 32 the offense did enough to carry the team. The Buccaneer defense yields almost 400 yards per game, good for fourth most in the league, but we have seen teams win with a similar formula and they still rank in the middle of the league in points allowed. The second half schedule poses some challenges, but, if Tampa's offense continues its frightening pace we may see them continue to vault up the ranks....

Doug Martin hates his nickname

If you are one of the people who took a gamble with your fantasy football team on Tampa Bay Buccaneers rookie running back, Doug Martin, you really lucked out. Martin has put up some impressive numbers. Halfway through the year, he has … Continue reading →

Around the state: Bucs rookie making plays

Doug Martin ran home. And ran, and ran, and ran. The Buccaneers rookie running back, a native of nearby Stockton, Calif., rushed for 251 yards and four touchdowns to lead Tampa Bay to a 42-32 victory at Oakland on Sunday. Playing before more than 60 family and friends, Martin joined Denvers Mike Anderson as the only backs with at least 250 yards rushing and four TDs in a single...

Bucs’ midseason review and prediction

Tampa Bay is eight games into the 2012 regular season and have already impressed many with their .500 record alone. But after starting 1-3 and winning three of their last four, the Buccaneers are beginning to make some noise around the league. Where the team ranks Total Offense – 9th (376.4 ypg) Rushing Offense – 9th (131.0 ypg) Passing Offense – 14th (245.4 ypg) Total Defense...

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Week 10 NFL Power Rankings (#11)

Last week: 11 (+8) Record: 4-4 The Buccaneers are surging thanks to Doug Martin’s improved play and the improved chemistry between Josh Freeman and new free agent acquisition Vincent Jackson. They’ve won 3 of 4 and sit at 4-4 with a +41 points differential that ranks 6th in the loaded NFC (for reference, it’d be 4th in the AFC). They rank 12th in yards per play differential...

Luck, Martin Have Record Days

Both Luck (left) and Martin (right) were on their ‘A’ game yesterday, earning places in the record books with their performances.   This past Sunday was clearly the day for rookie standouts.  Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck threw for 433 yards and two touchdowns, topping the previous rookie record for yardage of 422 set by Cam Newton last season and becoming just...

Monday Musings: Doug Martin’s heroic effort, Peterson’s big day for naught, another Dallas disappointment; and other notes from week 9

There  is no other way to lead a recap of Sunday’s games than with a discussion of Doug Martin’s effort. I spent the week talking about how the loss of the best guard in football may have an impact on this line (lets give Tampa’s o-line some credit, too) and the run game. Martin and his teammates proved me wrong on game day. Oakland fought valiantly to stay in this game, but...

Despite better play, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers face another blackout in Week 10

As someone who has followed the Tampa Bay Buccaneers since their addition to the NFL in 1976, I have seen some very poor teams hit the field. The 2011 version of the Buccaneers were a unit among some of the worst football the Bay area has ever seen. This year however, with the addition of rookie head coach Greg Schiano, the team has rebounded and actually are playing some of the...

NFC vs. AFC: NFC Continues To Dominate AFC

With three key wins in Week 9, the NFC expanded its lead over the AFC 23 to 13 in head-to-head match-ups. The only win for the AFC came via the Pittsburgh Steelers' 24-20 victory over the New York Giants.The NFC continues to dominate the AFC West. The Atlanta Falcons already went 4-0 over this division and in Week 9 the Tampa Bay Buccaneers also picked up a win against the...

Week Nine (9) Start ‘em & Sit ‘em RECAP

In this short post I go over the Sit ‘em & Start ‘em picks that I made before the weekend. I also go over players who had a breakout game and could be worth a waiver wie pickup. Get a hold of me on Twitter: @Blackie_Mike Start ‘em: Freeman had another solid fantasy performance as his Buccs scored more than 40 points against the Oakland Raiders and is looking like a top...
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