RB Spencer Larsen - Tampa Bay Buccaneers
|6-2, 243||Born: 3-4-1984||College: Arizona||Drafted: Round 6|
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Week 9: at Cleveland Browns
Mark and Joe say: Good matchup. The Doug Martin era in Tampa may be over soon as he is posting anemic numbers week after week (most recently, 10/27/0 rushing with 2/-1/0 receiving vs. Minnesota), and though there was speculation that Martin might be traded on Tuesday, October 28, he stuck with the team (while S Mark Barron and LB Jonathan Casillas were both shipped off, to St. Louis and New England, respectively). Charles Sims returns from injury this week and will have a big role in the rushing attack, although he was originally considered more of a third-down, receiving-back sort of player. In short, the Buccaneers have gone into full rebuilding mode at 1-6. They will be evaluating all kinds of players on their roster with an eye to next year/going forwards. That means that under-performing players (like Martin) will get little regard on this losing team.
Meanwhile, the Browns are in the thick of the AFC North fight and despite averaging 143.4 rushing yards allowed per game (30th in the NFL), with seven rush TDs given up to date. They coughed up 35/182/2 in Jacksonville two weeks ago, but bounced back to hold the perennially anemic Darren McFadden-led Raiders' attack to 3.2 yards per carry (22/71/0 rushing as a team). Usually teams are able to get well above 100 yards rushing against the Browns, but the Raiders are an especially bad basket case in this phase of the game.
Sims and company have a good matchup to work with here, but realize that the Tampa roster is in transition and there are no guarantees about who will get the most touches in Sims' first week back in the mix.
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