The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are hoping that Doug Martin, Charles Sims and Bobby Rainey will be able to carry their offense. I'm not sure that's going to work out, though. Especially Doug Martin, even though Lovie Smith has said that we have not seen the real Doug Martin yet.
Football Outsiders' put out their annual broken tackles statistics yesterday, and the result is unsurprising: Doug Martin was one of the worst backs in the league at breaking tackles last year, managing just seven broken tackles on 134 runs, and 44 receptions or producing a broken tackle on just 4.8% of his touches. Only six running backs managed to produce a worse average than that.
There's no better example of Doug Martin's sudden and still unexplained decline than this statistic. Back in 2012, he put up the third-most broken tackles in the NFL with 41, breaking a tackle on 11.1% of his touches. That was Martin at his best: consistently displaying patience behind the line, hitting the hole with authority when it appeared, and producing extra yardage by making people miss in the open field. We've seen none of that since his rookie season.
Martin's dismal production fits with the team's overall inability to make anybody miss: overall, the Bucs produced broken tackles on just 4.9% of offensive plays, the third-lowest rate in the NFL behind only the Arizona Cardinals and Oakland Raiders.