Eagles vs. Buccaneers: Philadelphia Must Shut Down Running Back Doug Martin

By Ryan Wenzell
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

It will key for the Philadelphia Eagles defense not to allow Pro Bowl running back Doug Martin to get going if they want to pull out a road victory against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Martin is a big time talent, with size and explosiveness. He runs like a bowling ball barreling over defenders in his wake. He had a monster rookie season finishing with almost 1500 yards and 11 touchdowns. Curiously, though, this season he has been quiet. He’s only averaging 3.5 yards per carry and has struggled to find running room. Much of this has to do with the Bucs’ offensive line which simply hasn’t been very effective this season. For Martin’s game to get back on track that needs to change.

Martin is especially effective at shedding tackles and churning out extra yardage by shrugging off and overpowering defenders. The Eagles defense will need to stay disciplined. For a running back as stout and powerful as Martin a gang tackling mentality will be needed with all 11 men flowing to the ball.

Keeping Martin in check will be key, and there’s no doubt a big part of the Bucs’ game plan with a rookie quarterback starting in Mike Glennon will be running the rock. If that is rendered ineffective then head coach Greg Schiano and company will have no choice but to throw. This is where the Eagles defense can potentially pin their ears back and feast on a rookie quarterback who is still learning on the fly.

The key to all of this is shutting down the run. If Martin is quiet you can bet that an Eagles victory is in order.

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