Teammates of the Week: Running backs

Mike Ehrmann

The running backs are the foundation of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' offense, and they're doing well in the face of adversity.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers love to run the ball. You may not think that given their lack of an effective running game this year, but their ideal offense is carried by a running back and a deep passing attack. That's why it seemed like a disaster when Doug Martin went down with a shoulder injury two weeks ago. Now the Bucs had to rely on sixth-round rookie Mike James to carry the load.

Somehow, James has made it work. With Brian Leonard handling most of the passing down work, the two backs created a foundation for the offense against the Carolina Panthers. Unfortunately limited by a large deficit throughout the game, James and Leonard still managed to run for 46 yards on 11 carries and added 10 catches on 12 targets for 57 yards. They weren't dominant, but they did manage to create a solid foundation and an opportunity for the rest of the offense -- an opportunity that everyone else failed to grasp, but they can't be faulted for that problem.

Which is why they win the Teammates of the Week award.

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