By Eric Schmidt

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have been quite a surprise this season under the leadership of first-year head coach Greg Schiano. The former Rutgers head coach wanted to install a run-centric offense, but his offense has become one of the most prolific that Tampa Bay Buccaneers fans can remember in franchise history. The Buccaneers have averaged 35.6 points in their last five games and are currently on pace to shatter the single season points scored record. This offensive explosion has three players eyeing the franchise record books- QB Josh Freeman, RB Doug Martin and WR Vincent Jackson.

Josh Freeman is having a spectacular season. He is stretching the field with his vertical passing and has a renewed sense of confidence this season. Freeman looked indecisive last season while throwing 22 interceptions. This season, he is on the same page as his receivers and has reduced his turnovers. If his current production continues, he’ll find his way into the Buccaneers record books.

Freeman can eclipse the single season passing yardage record, currently held by Brad Johnson in 2003 (3,811 yards). Freeman is on pace to break the 4,000 yard mark with 4,021 yards. Freeman also top the record for the most touchdowns in a single season. Currently on pace for 32, he would surpass the 26 thrown by Johnson, also in 2003.

The single season record for 300-yard games is currently at 4, Freeman has two so far this season. Tampa’s best season for passing efficiency was set in 2004 by Brian Greise with a rating of 97.5. Freeman currently has a 98.2 rating, ranking him seventh in the NFL.

Rookie RB Doug Martin has already found his way into the franchise record book with his 251-yard effort last week against the Oakland Raiders. Martin could set a few more records before the end of the season. The Buccaneers single season rushing yardage total is 1,544 yards, set by Tampa’s most prolific running back, James Wilder. Wilder set the mark in 1984 while carrying the ball 407 times as the focal point of an abysmal offense. Wilder also set the single season touchdown record that season, reaching the endzone 13 times.

Martin is currently on pace for 1,532 yards on the ground with 12 scores. Add in another projected 526 receiving yards and two scores, Martin could set the single season touchdown record. A possible 2,058 all purpose yards would rank him second in franchise history. Martin is also currently averaging 4.98 yards per carry but could best the franchise record of 5.01 yards set by LeGarrette Blount in 2010.

Another Buccaneers player who is making an assault on the record book in his first year with the team is WR Vincent Jackson. Jackson is currently leading the NFL in yards per reception with 21.4 per catch. WR Kevin House leads the Buccaneers all-time with a 22.1 average. The franchise record for the most receiving yards in a single season was set by Mark Carrier in 1989. Jackson is on a current pace for 1,367. The free agent receiver is also on track for 11 scores this season, a mark that would tie him with fellow teammate Mike Williams for the most receiving touchdowns in a single season.

Whether the current trio of Buccaneers players re-write the record book remains to be seen with seven games left on the schedule, but Tampa Bay fans have been treated to some of the best offensive football the franchise has ever seen in recent weeks.





Filed under: NFC South, NFL, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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