Buccaneers vs. Raiders: Bucs win 42-32

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10 Things We Think We Learned - Bucs vs. Raiders

Doug Martin had a game for the ages against Oakland and the Bucs defense nearly gave it away. What did we learn from Tampa Bay's crazy 42-32 win on the left coast?


Doug Martin and Bucs bulldoze Oakland, 42-32

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers grab their fourth win of the season, propelled by Doug Martin's dominant performance.


GIF: Doug Martin's third long touchdown

45 yards and a touchdown.
67 yards and a touchdown.
70 yards and a touchdown.

Those were the three main runs for Doug Martin this game, who has just destroyed the Oakland Raiders on the ground. Absolutely, positively destroyed them. Martin is making a very strong case to be offensive rookie of the year over the past four games.

Martin was accused of not having enough long speed, but that's pretty hard to maintain right now. Breakaway speed? Breakaway speed!

This run is also a great example of, well, good blocking. Despite missing Carl Nicks and Davin Joseph, the Bucs' offensive line is getting it done today. They're creating big holes through good double teams - and it certainly doesn't hurt that the Raiders are absolutely awful in their gap control.

And despite all of that, the Bucs lead by just three points at the end of the fourth quarter, because the defense hasn't been able to stop anyone. And, of course, because Legarrette Blount fumbled a hand-off in field goal territory. Yep. That won't help his case for more carries this year, even though it might be Freeman's fault.


Doug Martin bulls over Oakland for 35-17 lead

Doug Martin has easily been the most productive running back in the NFL over the past four games, but this game blows away everything he's done. A 45-yard touchdown, a 67-yard touchdown and a 70-yard touchdown on the ground. He's amassed 244 yards on the ground, and he looks like one of the best running backs in the NFL.

The Bucs are up 35-23 and while the Raiders are clawing to get back in this game, it feels like this game is over already.


Freeman leads Bucs to 21-10 lead

Josh Freeman is having his best game of the season. Without Carl Nicks, facing more pressure than he has all season, he's delivering consistently accurate balls and making good decisions. He hasn't missed open receivers, he's been efficient with his throws, and he's still productive. He's currently completed 16 of 27 throws for 225 yards and two touchdowns, with no turnovers. Those numbers underrate his performance, but he's been outstanding this game.

That showed up on the last drive, when Mike Williams got to make the big plays. A 37-yard catch-and-run on third down and a four-yard touchdown a few plays later put the Bucs up by two scores, as they now lead 21-10. The Raiders were driving, but an interception by undrafted rookie (!) Leonard Johnson put Tampa Bay back in control of this game.


Doug Martin for Rookie of the Year

Doug Martin has gone over 100 yards from scrimmage for the fourth straight game, and he's making one great case to win the offensive rookie of the year award. He's rushed for 92 yards on 11 carries and added 21 yards on 4 catches this game, and just put the Bucs up 14-10 with his latest 45-yard touchdown run.

Doug Martin has a lot of attributes to like: he has a low center of gravity, giving him tremendous balance and he's got outstanding vision to find the right holes (a major reason why he's starting over Legarrette Blount). But one thing that has gone over looked is his stiff-arm. See for yourself:

Without that stiff-arm, this is a 30-yard run with no touchdown as he gets taken down around the 15-yard-line. But despite his short arms, he times his stiff-arm perfectly: right as the Raider is about to tackle him, he holds him off. That allows him to dance into the endzone, putting up the Bucs 14-10. Martin has consistently used a stiff-arm to turn short gains into much longer gains, and it may be his most potent weapon as a running back.

More of that kind of running will get the Buccaneers this game - and possibly more down the stretch.


Raiders take 10-7 lead over Buccaneers

The Bucs have given up the lead in their game against the Oakland Raiders. Tampa Bay has been inconsistent on offense, but they've done well on defense. Until the last series, that is, when a couple of big passes got the Raiders a lead. Twice the Raiders went after E.J. Biggers, netting them a total of 71 yards on two passes to Darrius Heyward-Bey and Rod Streater.

Surprisingly, rookie Leonard Johnson is holding up well in coverage, as is Eric Wright. But E.J. Biggers is getting victimized this game, and Carson Palmer is exposing the limited depth in the secondary for the Bucs.


Darren McFadden out, questionable to return

The Buccaneers are down to the Raiders 7-10, but the latest injury news certainly will help them. Star Oakland running back Darren McFadden has an injury to his left leg and is questionable to return. McFadden wasn't very productive this game, running at 2.4 yards per carry, but they will now have to lean on Mike Goodson.


After blocked field goal, Bucs up 7-3

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are up 7-3 in Oakland, and they're keeping their playoff hopes alive. A big, 20-yard touchdown to Vincent Jackson was what put the Bucs up 7-3, but they had a chance to go up before - only to have something entirely new happen: a blocked field goal.

That's a good indication of how this season has gone, really. The defense and offense have been inconsistent, but not so special teams, which has just been consistently awful. It's a bit odd, for a team that has had pretty good special teams for years on end, but the production has just been terrible.

The entire right side of the offensive line just collapsed there, and there was nothing Connor Barth could do about that. Usually, poor special teams are caused by poor depth on the team, but that's not really the case here. Jeremy Zuttah and Jeremy Trueblood are pretty good players to have on your field goal unit, but they just get blown off the ball.

The Bucs still look like they're far and away the best team, but they're still up by only four points. Moments like this could certainly come back to bite them

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