Martin’s historic 251-yard, four-touchdown performance sparked Tampa Bay to a 42-32 win over the Oakland Raiders on Sunday afternoon, giving the Buccaneers their first ever win in Oakland and just fourth overall in 28 games played in the state of California.
Martin became the second player in NFL history with at least 250 yards rushing and four rushing touchdowns in a game. Martin matched Mike Anderson's 251-yard, four-touchdown performance in 2000 against the New Orleans Saints.Martin also etched his name among the Buccaneers legends, setting the franchise record for rushing yards and rushing touchdowns in a game.
The 31st pick out of Boise State followed in Andrew Luck’s footsteps on Sunday with another historic rookie performance.
Only DeMarco Murray and Adrian Peterson have rushed for more yards in a game as a first-year player than Martin’s 251.
What is perhaps most impressive about Martin’s final tally is that he had 31 yards in the first 30 minutes. His 220 rush yards in the second half are the most in a half since Adrian Peterson ran for 253 of his NFL-record 296 yards in the second half in 2007 against the San Diego Chargers.
Martin’s day was highlighted by three electrifying touchdown runs of 45, 67 and 70 yards. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, he is the first player in NFL history with three touchdown runs of at least 45 yards in a game.
It’s not surprising that Martin’s big day came against the Raiders. Over the last three seasons, Oakland has allowed 12 rushing scores of at least 40 yards. No other team has allowed more than four in that span.The key to his near-record-breaking performance was his ability to find holes when paired with a skill player in the backfield.
Martin rushed for 268 yards on 19 carries when the Buccaneers lined up with a lead blocker. Martin had a negative rushing play on five of his six attempts without a lead blocker.
Despite the loss of pro bowl guard Carl Nicks, the Buccaneers offensive line opened up huge holes for Martin. He picked up 197 of his 251 rushing yards before contact, the second-most yards before contact in a single game over the past four seasons.