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    • michael89156

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      The Buccaneers Running Game Was Better With Doug Martin Healthy in 2013 By Leo Howell?@LeoHowell8 Jun 26 2014, 4:59pmdoug_zpsb66c7e7c.pngDoug Martin is back on the field, and the numbers show that the Bucs offense is better when that happens. Kim Klement-USA TODAY SportsMike James and Bobby Rainey caught everyone's attention last season by running well after Doug Martin was sidelined with an injury. But was the offense actually better without the Dougernaut? The Tampa Bay Buccaneers had plenty of issues on offense last season, with injuries taking away two top skill position players in Mike Williams and Doug Martin, the oft discussed Josh Freeman saga, and even the injuries to the tight ends and Mike James that took away more and more depth from the offense. But through all of the chaos and frustration, hope flowed from the fanbase thanks to positive performances from Mike James and Bobby Rainey in place of Doug Martin as the starting tailback in Tampa. This led many fans and writers (myself included, I'll admit) to consider Martin tradable and not essential to the Buccaneers success. I mean, after all, the rushing offense was better without him on the field, right? To the numbers! To answer that, we'll consult the numbers. And not just yardage numbers, or point scoring numbers, because those don't paint the whole picture. Rushing for 15 yards on 3rd and 30 helps no one, while a two-yard gain on fourth and one is a game-saver. Those are the situations that prompted numberFire to come up with Net Expected Points data (click the link to learn more). Net Expected Points, or NEP, attempts to give a value to everything done on a football field in terms of the amount of expected points gained or lost. So if being 1st and 10 at the 20 is worth one point value, and being 2nd and 8 at the 22 is worth another, the difference between those two values is what the players involved in that play would have gained as NEP. The general idea behind NEP is to find out the real impact a player has on his team's production, and how efficiently that player makes positive plays for his team. This data is then compiled at the team level, and that shows us how the Buccaneers did as a team, when compared to a theoretical average. And the numbers are fairly convincing. During the six games in which Doug Martin was healthy, the Buccaneers Adjusted Rushing NEP (adjusted means the figures take into account the strength of the opponent played) was better than the 10 games following, when Mike James and Bobby Rainey were carrying the load. Not by any huge margin, but better all the same. And what makes this improvement even more staggering is that the passing offense during Martin's games was SIGNIFICANTLY worse than for James and Rainey. On a per-game basis, the passing offense for games in which Martin was the lead back was more than 6 Net Expected Points worse per game than the passing offense in games for James and Rainey. It's all in the passing game In other words, the passing game for Martin was actively taking away a touchdown per game as compared to the passing offense for James and Rainey. So with no passing game to respect (or even think twice about), Doug Martin and the Buccaneer offense were able to produce on the ground and put the Bucs in better scoring situations. The link between the passing game and running game is clear when it comes to the Buccaneers' lesser backs. Mike James enjoyed playing alongside Mike Glennon at his best, as the Bucs' passing game was much better during James' games than it was for even Bobby Rainey's. As a result, the rushing offense was better for James' games than it was for Rainey's games, thanks in part to the improved passing game, and the stiff competition James faced (The Panthers and Seahawks, namely). So over a 16 game season, how would the offense have fared with Doug Martin, versus without Doug Martin? Let's extrapolate the NEP numbers and find out. doug1_zpsc2cb47e8.gifThese numbers are the NEP data for the "with Doug Martin" offense and "without Doug Martin" offense when multiplied over a full 16-game season. As you can see, the Martin rushing offense is a touchdown better in terms of Rushing Net Expected Points, while it's more than 100 points worse in Passing NEP. To give the numbers some perspective, the Martin rushing offense would have finished four spots higher in the final rankings than the Not Martin rushing offense, while the passing offense with Martin healthy would have been the worst in the league... by a wide margin. The passing game was a disaster, yet Martin was still able to outshine his teammates by leading a more productive rushing attack. Doug Martin is still the best Doug Martin is by far the best back in Tampa Doug Martin was partially responsible for the woes in the passing game, as he was pretty much useless as a receiver in 2013, but clearly he wasn't the main issue with that aspect of the team. So the fact that he was able to lead a more productive rushing offense with a dumpster fire of a passing game shows that he's more than poised to return to his rookie ways in 2014. He might not touch the ball 400 times, and he might not set records and be the greatest running back of all time, but Doug Martin is by far the best back in Tampa, and a new offense with a hopefully not quite as disastrous passing game will help him shine as he did in 2012.link

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    • Anonymous

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      Post count: 295

      Ive never seen 5 games more overanalyzed in my lifeDoug Martin is a beast. He played average in a handful of games, behind a porous OL, and inept offense that was very sluggish as a whole to start the year.  Cant believe Ive seen so many question Martin

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    • Anonymous

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      Post count: 4274

      He was out of breath and sluggish during third downs.  I saw him alligator arm passes because he was exhausted running into 8 man fronts on downs 1 and 2 early on. 

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    • Anonymous

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      To me, Martin seemed reluctant to hit the hole last year.  8 in the box gets tough after awhile.

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    • Anonymous

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      Post count: 295

      The last 2 posts are te type of overanalyzing Im seeing. Josh Freeman was as bad as a QB can possibly be. The offense had no cohesion and didnt appear to have a plan at any point in the beginning of the year. I didnt see Martin looking sluggish or acting reluctant, he just looked avg in a well below avg offense. That happens. We will find out soon enough who the supposed “real Martin” is tho

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    • Anonymous

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      The last 2 posts are te type of overanalyzing Im seeing. Josh Freeman was as bad as a QB can possibly be. The offense had no cohesion and didnt appear to have a plan at any point in the beginning of the year. I didnt see Martin looking sluggish or acting reluctant, he just looked avg in a well below avg offense. That happens. We will find out soon enough who the supposed "real Martin" is tho

      No I agree with you.Martin isn't a three down back which is what Schiano was trying to do.He looked sluggish and isn't a bell cow you can ride consistently.  Martin doesn't have the consistency of the good to great RB's of the past (eg Curtis Martin, Emmitt Smith).

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    • Anonymous

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      Post count: 499

      All metrics aside, he didn’t do too hot last year. I think he’s more of a 2 back system guy personally. He’s still a very good back, I just don’t think he’s very consistent and he’s carries were ridiculously high early on. No need to run him into the ground because he is a good runner.

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    • Anonymous

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      Post count: 11506

      He sucks as a receiver . You need to compliment him with a 3rd down back , which is what Sims should provide.Having him run wheel routes like the one he got injured on last year was stupid and a waste of everyone's time .

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    • Anonymous

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      Post count: 246

      He sucks as a receiver . You need to compliment him with a 3rd down back , which is what Sims should provide.Having him run wheel routes like the one he got injured on last year was stupid and a waste of everyone's time .

      I wouldnt go as far as saying he sucks, though hedid under perform. I think he will improve this season. He has to be in really good shape with the time off and should have a good spring to his step.

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    • Anonymous

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      Post count: 9128

      He sucks as a receiver . You need to compliment him with a 3rd down back , which is what Sims should provide.Having him run wheel routes like the one he got injured on last year was stupid and a waste of everyone's time .

      He had 49 receptions for 472 and a TD his rookie year. I wouldn't necessarily say that sucks. The way he was used last year as far as the routes, yeah, that was a joke.

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    • Anonymous

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      Post count: 739

      With

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