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Tampa Bay Buccaneers Win Shootout Over Oakland Raiders Thanks to Doug Martin’s Record Performance

November 4th, 2012 at 10:43 PM
By Wolf Heard

Last week, rookie Doug Martin took the NFL by storm on primetime by displaying his elusiveness, quickness, and big play ability en route to racking up 214 total yards and two touchdowns in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' beatdown win over the Minnesota Vikings.

So how did Martin follow up that breakout performance on Sunday against the Oakland Raiders?

By breaking a number of team records and threatening the NFL single game rushing record.

Martin was absolutely electrifying in Tampa Bay's 42-32 win over the Raiders. The Muscle Hamster averaged over 10 yards per carry and finished with a team-record 251 rushing yards and team-record four rushing touchdowns, including scores of 45, 67, and 70 yards.

But it wasn't just Martin that had a big game offensively for the Bucs. Quarterback Josh Freeman was solid and went 18-of-30 for 247 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions.

Defensively, the Bucs still had their issues in the secondary. With star running back Darren McFadden leaving the game in the second quarter with a foot injury, the Raiders went almost exclusively to the air and quarterback Carson Palmer had a big game. The former No. 1 overall pick threw for 414 yards with four touchdowns and nearly led the Raiders to a late game comeback before a pair of interceptions sealed the game for the Bucs.

For a game that had a total of 74 points, things started off very slow in the first half.

The Bucs tried to get on the scoreboard first with a Connor Barth field goal in the first quarter, but defensive end Lamar Houston kept them off of it. Houston sliced through Jeremy Zuttah and Jeremy Trueblood on the field goal attempt and blocked the kick to set the Raiders up with good field position.

Palmer would get Oakland's offense into the red zone, but Tampa Bay's defense stiffened up and held its ground. The Raiders had to settle for a short Sebastian Janikowski field goal, which gave them an early 3-0 lead.

The Raiders' lead would be short-lived. Wide receiver Vincent Jackson continued his play-making ways with a 64-yard grab to get the offense into scoring position. Jackson cost the Bucs 15 yards with an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty after the play, but he made up for it a few plays later with a gorgeous 21-yard catch over Michael Huff in the back of the end zone to put his team up 7-3.

It looked like the Bucs would be going into the halftime break with that 4-point lead, but the Raiders had other plans. Palmer went to work on cornerback E.J. Biggers and got big gains on passes to Darius Heyward-Bey and Rob Streater, who caught a 25-yard dart along the sidelines for a touchdown to give the Raiders a 10-7.

The Bucs moved the ball well enough to get into field goal range for Barth thanks to a big-time third down catch by wide out Mike Williams. However, Barth's rough first half continued as his 54-yard attempt went wide left.

The second half is when the fireworks started for both teams. Martin decided to turn the third quarter into his own personal highlight reel with some amazing touchdown runs.

Martin started things off with a 45-yard scamper in which he broke a few tackles and stiff-armed a defender before high-stepping into the end zone to regain the lead for the Bucs.

On the next drive, Williams pushed the Bucs' lead to two scores with a nice tip-toe catch in the end zone from six yards out.

Down 21-10, Palmer tried to get his team back into the game with his arm. He was doing a nice job moving the chains until rookie cornerback Leonard Johnson picked off his second pass in as many games. The interception put the Bucs offense back in control and they turned the keys over to Martin, who got into the end zone again with a 67-yard touchdown run right up the gut.

Palmer and company answered back with a quick 9-play scoring drive that ended with a 4-yard touchdown catch by tight end Brandon Myers.

But Martin was determined to put up video game-type numbers and went bananas on the next drive with a 70-yard touchdown run on first down. With that score, Martin became the first player EVER in NFL history to have three touchdowns of 40 yards or more in a game.

The Raiders continued to fight and made things very interesting. Palmer continuously exposed Tampa Bay's shoddy secondary and cut the deficit to 11 points again with another touchdown to Myers.

After a terrible fumble by running back LeGarrette Blount, Oakland got within three points after Palmer found Marcel Reese from 13 yards out for his fourth touchdown pass of the game. The Raiders would get the two-point conversion and suddenly the score with 35-32 in favor of the Bucs.

The Bucs failed to get a first down and had to punt it back to Oakland. Palmer tried to get the Raiders into scoring position, but was picked off by safety Ahmad Black after defensive tackle Gerald McCoy applied pressure up the middle.

From there, Martin muscled his way down to the goal line and scored his franchise-record fourth touchdown to give the Bucs a 42-32 lead late in the game. The defense would finish things off with another interception, and the Bucs got their first ever in Oakland thanks to Martin and his big day.

Next week, the 4-4 Bucs go back home to Raymond James Stadium and take on the San Diego Chargers.

Tags: Football, NFL, Tampa Bay, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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