PORT ARTHUR — Rice’s day in ’90 would still be tops, however, among receivers. Jimmy Smith’s 15 catch, 291 yard performance with three TDs in 2000 against Baltimore would have come close, but Rice still ends up two points ahead.
What’s crazy, too, is that of the top players on this list, Martin, Dillon and Sayers were all rookies when they went crazy. Martin’s game also bookends a great stretch of games coming out of Tampa Bay’s bye that has seen him score double-digit points in four straight weeks.
Even more impressive is that Martin is having so much success after his offensive line has been ravaged by injuries. The Bucs were without both starting guards entering the season, as Davin Joseph was lost for the season with a knee injury in training camp and Carl Nicks was placed on injured reserve last week with a toe injury.
How will that affect Martin going forward? The Muscle Hamster has all but sidelined Tampa Bay’s starter last season LeGarrette Blount, who only has 35 carries and 121 yards this season. Martin has seven of the team’s nine rushing TDs this season while Blount hasn’t scored since Week 5.
The Bucs under new head coach Greg Schiano want to run the ball, so Martin will probably continue to get carries. He’s on pace now for 308 carries, which is still a huge workload for a rookie. In NFL history, only 12 backs have carries the ball more in their rookie season.
For now, though, Martin appears to be in a groove. He’s averaging over 5 yards per carry and has contributed in the passing game, too. That adds up to a very valuable player who should swing a few fantasy championships this season.