Stats Unkind To 300-Club

July 31st, 2013

Raheem Morris says stats are for losers. Joe never bought into that nonsense. Stats can be valuable when they’re not twisted, turned, massaged, invented and/or manipulated. And some stats are downright telling.

Doug Martin had the fourth-most carries in the NFL last season with 319. He also caught 49 balls.

The folks at took a look at the production of every running back over the past 11 years in their season following a 300-carry workload. The data was revealed as it relates to real football and fantasy football.

The message was that landing a spot in the 300-club often means a drop in production the next season.

Joe’s not predicting a decline in anything for Martin. Joe suspects Martin will get more work — carries and receptions — if his offensive line is healthy and playing up to its capabilities. Keep in mind a punishing running game will limit the snaps of Darrelle Revis and friends, something the Bucs would love to do early as they work Revis back into top form.

18 Responses to “Stats Unkind To 300-Club”

  1. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    There are many reasons listed for the drop-off…age, injury, changing teams, suspensions etc.
    One that wasn’t listed is predictability. It is entirely possible that opposing teams key the run more after they witness a large number of carries.
    This is one of the reasons I’d like to see us throw more to Martin. The other reason is to get Martin in space is to open him up for longer plays.
    I’d also like to see us shovel-pass to Martin on occaision.
    Also…it would be nice to get a decent lead with the defense’s help and then we could use a backup to eat clock.

  2. Biff Barker Says:

    Martin’s workload came up a week or so ago I had commented that his workload should include more receptions and less carries.
    With Leonard and Hillis, we should be able to both soften up the middle and keep the chains moving.
    Most say Martin is able to avoid the big hits, and I agree. But his workload should be limited to around 300 touches this season.

  3. robert Says:

    Leonard and Hillis will lighten his load, especially if we get a good lead. We have a 6th rounder with potential. Captain inactive should brush up the resume.

    I like our RB situation. It will be unpredictable unlike when blount came in and they knew damn sure we weren’t gonna pass it.

  4. the_buc_realist Says:

    The scary thing is that Jfro-6pak’s performance is tied to the running game. It is now surprise that JFro-6pak’s best games happen when the running game is strong. Because he can not read defenses, he needs the playaction to reveal the coverages and open routes so his inaccurate passes have a higher percentage of being caught by the Bucs Wrs.

  5. WestCoastBucsFan Says:

    Yes, imagine that, we are stuck with the only quarterback in the league that needs a good running game to be successful. Why us?!

    I am sorry but what you described, “realist”, applies to ~80% of starting quarterbacks.

  6. Buc1987 Says:

    Having Martin sets up a beautiful play action, which is where I’ve always noticed Freeman thrives. That and when Freeman is rolling out or passing while on the run. Sully PLEASE look at the 2010 tapes PLEASE!

  7. robert Says:


    I’ll give you that. free does sell the play action well and is a baller on the run!

  8. BamBamBuc Says:

    Realist: Let’s keep it real here. I’ll put up the numbers, first half and final, for the 5 game stretch of Freeman’s “best games” last year. Let’s see if Freeman only benefited from Martin’s running, or if Martin’s running benefited from Freeman’s good game?

    KC: Martin 5/27yds Freeman 5/13 122yds, 1TD, 1INT 1st half
    Martin 13/76yds Freeman 15/26 328yds, 3TD, 1INT Final stats

    So, Martin didn’t score, didn’t get a lot of touches. Freeman stepped up in the 2nd half, went 10/13 for 206yds and 2TDs. It was actually Blount that finished out that game at RB

    NO: Martin 7/66 1TD Freeman 9/15 122yds, 2 TD, 0 INT, 125.6 rating
    Martin 16/85 1TD Freeman 24/42 420yds, 3TD, 0INT, 115.2 rating

    We lost that one after opening a nice lead early. Martin ran 9 times in the 2nd half only getting 19 yards, yet Freeman had nearly 300 yards in the 2nd half. It wasn’t enough, but it wasn’t because of Martin running so well either.

    MIN: Martin 14/106 Freeman 10/22 85 yds, 2 TD, 0 INT
    Martin 29/135 2TD Freeman 19/36 262yds, 3TD, 0INT, 104.2 rating

    This one I’m more likely to give to Martin. 1 TD was rushing, the other receiving. He added 79 yards receiving on 3 catches. Freeman finished strong, but more likely due to Martin’s ability than his own.

    OAK: Martin 8/31 Freeman 12/21 160yds, 1TD, 0INT, 97.3 rating
    Martin 25/251 4TD Freeman 18/30 247yds, 2TD, 0INT, 108.6

    Looking at that, Freeman was doing fine in the first half without a lot from Martin. Martin took off in the 2nd half, and Freeman continued to do well. I can’t say it was due to Martin’s running though, as he was doing well early in the game too.

    SD: Martin 6/32 Freeman 6/10 118yds, 1TD, 0INT, 134.6 rating
    Martin 19/68 0TD Freeman 14/20 210yds, 2TD, 0INT, 137.5

    This was definitely NOT Martin’s game. While Freeman’s #s weren’t spectacular, they were still pretty good. If anything, defense and special teams deserve credit this game, but Martin was not the reason Freeman had such a good QB rating this game.

    Now, I didn’t add in all the receiving stats for Martin, but those affect both Martin AND Freeman statistically. I did show TDs for Martin, whether receiving or rushing. So, you see, realistically Freeman’s good games were not always because of Martin, but Martin closed out some games really well when Freeman got off to a good start.

    That’s pretty typical, running backs run more when their team has a lead. Running backs usually have more success with a lead and late in the game as defenses wear down. If Martin is successful early, Freeman doesn’t always get great numbers later (usually not) because they are running the ball with success, usually have a lead and have no need to throw. Can you see the reality in this now?

  9. fridgebob Says:

    Way to do your homework BamBam

    Ya’ll can say what you will about Freeman, I think he’s going to thrive this season. Defense will not hang him out to dry this year, plus 2nd year in the same offense says everything.

  10. WestCoastBucsFan Says:

    As usual, good work BamBamBuc.

  11. BamBamBuc Says:

    I’m just tired of the selective memory, the fantasy realism. It’s just not true. And don’t get me wrong, I love Doug Martin and think he’s a great back for us. To compliment the pass game with his running ability is incredible. They work well together. No dogging on Doug at all.

    I think this year we’ll see him actually get a break more often than last year. I think Leonard and Hillis can carry part of the load, Leondard should be fantastic on 3rd downs (although I think Doug is too), and Hillis should be fine to give him a break on early downs, especially in the 2nd half of games. Blount did that some early last year, even had a pretty good finish against KC. I think Hillis and Leonard can do even more this year than Blount and Ware last year. Even if they let one of the two go and stay with James, we should still have fresh legs to put in and give Martin a break.

  12. WestCoastBucsFan Says:

    Agreed. Leonard + Hillis > DJ Ware + Blount.

  13. WestCoastBucsFan Says:

    Will also be interesting to see who makes the cut between Hillis, Leonard, Smith, and James. I feel like Leonard has already locked up a roster spot. If he can play fullback then maybe they go four or five backs. (Three or four runningbacks and one full back.) Then that last HB spot or two is between Hillis, James, and Smith. I think there is a decent chance it goes to Hillis. Then James if they go five backs. James and Smith (I think) can be put on the practice squad. Seems like Smith is the odd man here.

  14. WestCoastBucsFan Says:

    . . . odd man *out* here.

  15. BamBamBuc Says:

    I’m thinking Smith may end up on the practice squad. I think he has to have been on the gameday active roster for a certain number of games last year and I don’t think he was enough. He should be practice squad. As for roster spots, I think Martin, Leonard, Hillis and Lorig are pretty much a lock. James may make the roster but be captain of the inactive list this year. All depends on what they see in practice between Hillis and James, but Hillis has the experience and is a good short yardage back. He’s also a bruiser in the 4th quarter. James may get there, but probably not early on.

    It would be interesting to see, if James works his way up, if the Bucs see if they can trade Hillis (if he’s doing decently) to a team with a banged up RB before the trade deadline with his cap friendly one year deal.

  16. Kevin Says:

    We will have a REAL goal line back this year with either hillis or Leanard. Remember when Blount couldn’t punch it one yard in four snaps in a row and we turned over on downs…that woulda been another W last season.

  17. BamBamBuc Says:

    That would have been the Saints game with Jackson making the incredibly long catch and run, but getting tackled on the 1 yard line. Four plays later, the Saints have the ball and we go on to lose that game. Yes, another close game where we blew a lead, couldn’t punch it in in short yardage, etc. etc.

    I wonder if an extra 3 points at that point would have changed the play-calling of the Saints any later in the game in such a way that we may have won anyway. It’s possible that was a coaching mistake going for it instead of taking the easy 3. We did that 4 times in the Rams game, starting in the 3rd quarter.

  18. WestCoastBucsFan Says:

    I don’t have much faith in Hillis sticking. His last good season (I believe) was the same as Blount’s last good season, 2010. He is also at a bit of a disadvantage being signed late. Brian Leonard was talking about how this is the most complex offense he has ever had to learn. I get what you are saying about Hillis being trade bait though.