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So far, the Bucs have relied on Doug Martin to lead the way to victory

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For all the talk about rookie quarterback Jameis Winston, the key question for the Tampa Bay Bucs is this:

If they cannot run, can they win?

So far, you can make a fine case that it’s tailback Doug Martin who has led the Bucs to their wins against New Orleans and Jacksonville with Winston playing the supporting role. Martin had 78 yards against the Saints and 123 against the Jags.

Winston has thrown only 40 passes in the two wins, barely breaking the 200-yard barrier each time. Instead, the Bucs focused on field position, running and defense.

Oh, Winston’s time is coming. There will come a game when the opponent works overtime to take the run away and forces the ball into his hands, and Winston will have to throw it 40 times or so. But this year, the comeback of Martin has been bigger than the breakout of Winston.

Could it happen Sunday, when the Bucs visit the Washington Redskins? Perhaps. The Redskins are eighth in the NFL in defense and 10th against the run.

Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit

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