Before the season, a lot of NFL writers thought that Doug Martin's best days were behind him, and that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers should start grooming Charles Sims as their future premier back. Well, they spoke too soon.
Not only has Martin met expectations thus far in this fairly young NFL season, he has exceeded them. Two straight weeks of 100-plus yards a game has him on pace for 1,296 yards this year. That is, if he stays healthy.
And that's not to say Sims has not performed well. Last Sunday against Jacksonville, he caught 4 balls for 85 yards, and rushed for another 51 as the Buccaneers beat in their in-state rivals 38-31. It was a nice day for the offense, as they got 369 yards and 3 offensive touchdowns in the game. It's definitely a morale booster heading into their game this Sunday against Washington.
I'm not saying Charles Sims should be starting immediately, because that would be ridiculous.What I am saying is this tandem of Martin-Sims has potential and could really elevate Tampa's offense, especially considering that Austin-Seferian Jenkins has been hurt for most of his NFL career.
Sims' rushing numbers are nothing to write home about (135 yards on 3.6 per carry), but he does have his moments running the football. He is a nice receiver who takes the pressure off Vincent Jackson and Mike Evans. Sims knows his role and does it well. Jacksonville didn't know what to expect when Sims got the ball. His 85 receiving yards were the most by a running back since Earnest Graham did it in 2007.
According to Jake Bogardus of Roto Baller.com, Sims had a nice day against Jacksonville.
It's really unfortunate that Doug Martin had such a great Sunday because Charles Sims continues to show flashes of being a very effective running back. Martin scored all the touchdowns on Sunday, but Sims was no slouch, carrying the ball 12 times for 51 yards and adding 4 catches for another 85 yards. Sims is explosive in the passing game, and will be a capable bye week fill in while having RB2 upside if the oft-injured Martin were to ever go down. He carries more value in PPR leagues at the moment, but is a good player to stash on your team if you have the roster space even in standard leagues.
This Sunday, the Buccaneers take on the Washington Redskins. You know that Redskins defensive coordinator Joe Barry will have his team looking to sack Winston often, and also go after Doug Martin, who right now is tearing it up for the Buccaneers. What better way to confuse Washington's defensive scheme than to mix Sims in a few running plays, and also line him up as a receiver as well?
Sims is one of the most lethal second options in the NFC South. He can run. He can catch. He can do it all. Maybe Dirk Koetter can plan on using him in the slot more, giving Jameis another option at the position. I'm not saying he could be the next Marshall Faulk, but he gives Tampa Bay more offensive punch on the run and pass.
The Buccaneers have all sorts of weapons at Jameis Winston's disposal-Martin, Mike Evans, Vincent Jackson, Austin Seferian-Jenkins (when he isn't injured) and perhaps Sims, who had a pretty nice college career at both Houston and West Virginia. In 2013, he ran for almost 1,100 yards with 11 touchdowns, so you know this guy has excellent potential.
It's up to him and Dirk Koetter to try and realize it.
If guys like Kevin Pamphile, Joe Hawley and the rest of the Buccaneers can protect Jameis from guys like Dashon Goldson, Keenan Robinson and the rest of the Redskins defense, they have a chance to win. The Redskins pretty much let Chris Ivory and Ryan Fitzpatrick score easily on Sunday. They couldn't even stop key runs from Fitzpatrick, who finished the game with 31 running yards and a rushing TD. Most of the Redskins defenders were just letting the Jets go through them like a knife through swiss cheese. It was very unlike the Washington Redskins, who are solid on the defensive side of the football.
The secret weapon to Sunday's game might be Charles Sims. If he can get into the passing game like he did against the Jaguars, and also chip in with 40-50 yards, the Buccaneers have a good shot at winning. Plus, with Washington experiencing an iffy quarterback situation, the defense might be able to get to Kirk Cousins, Colt McCoy or whomever might be starting the game.
Things are starting to get very interesting for these young Bucs.