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NFL Philadelphia EaglesTampa Bay Buccaneers

Philadelphia Eagles Brace for Tampa Bay Buccaneers Stud Rookie RB Doug Martin

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

One of the biggest surprises in this 2012 NFL season has been the great success and production of Tampa Bay Buccaneers rookie RB Doug Martin.

Luckily for the struggling Philadelphia Eagles, it’s their turn to try and slow down the beast on Sunday.

Martin, a Boise State University product, was selected 31st overall by the Buccaneers with the second-to-last pick of the first round in this year’s draft.

Even though Martin was high up on many team’s draft boards, current Cleveland Browns RB Trent Richardson stole most of the spotlight when it came to this year’s rookie running backs. But, Martin would not let Richardson’s lone stardom stand for long, as the Bucs’ rookie has catapulted into NFL glory.

Just 12 games into his first professional season, Martin is 3rd in the NFL with an incredible 1,106 rushing yards, and 2nd in the league with 9 rushing touchdowns. He has also been more than a legitimate threat in the receiving game, catching 32 balls for 374 yards and a score.

It’s not like Martin is just doing well for a rookie, or just doing better than fellow freshman Richardson – he is proving to be one of the best running backs in all of professional football.

Martin draws a lot of comparisons to Baltimore Ravens RB Ray Rice, because they are both short and stocky, while also possessing amazing speed and strength. Due to this skill set, along with a low center of gravity, Martin and Rice are like little bowling balls who just bounce off of defenders, while always moving forward.

And considering the Eagles allowed Rice to rack up 152 yards from scrimmage (99 rushing) against them in Week 2, Martin should be looking forward to a very productive afternoon.

In all, the Eagles’ rushing defense has been relatively respectable this season in comparison to their awful passing defense. While they have allowed a decent amount of rushing yardage per game this year (117.9), they have not allowed huge, break-out performances by opposing running backs.

While I doubt Martin will put up a game like he did against the Oakland Raiders, where he scampered for an absurd 251 rushing yards and 4 touchdowns, I think he will certainly be a nuisance to the Eagles.

In the wake of former d-line coach Jim Washburn‘s firing, the Eagles’ new-look defensive front will have one of their biggest tests of the season on Sunday.

Prepare as you will Eagles, but rest assured that Martin will keep the cannons blasting at the ‘New Sombrero’ in this Week 14 NFC duel.

 

Please follow Joe on Twitter @Joe_RantNFL for all Eagles/NFL insight.