TAMPA BAY (42) d OAKLAND (32)
The Headline: Doug Martin destroys the Raiders
Does anyone still doubt the theory that running back is the easiest position to come into the league and have an immediate impact? Taken 31st overall in April’s draft, Buccaneers rookie Doug Martin ploughed through the ‘vaunted’ Raiders defense for a total of 251 yards and 4 touchdowns (and also half my fantasy team’s points in the TSHQ NFL league so thank you for that) to guide Tampa to a win and a solid 4-4 record. Amazingly, the game was rather defensive for most of the first half with the Raiders holding a slender 10-7 lead at halftime. The second half saw all hell break loose as Martin began to run wild on the tiring Raiders defense. The Buccaneers scored 21 unanswered points in the third quarter before the Raiders pulled a score back through Brandon Myers who had a career day. Tampa did nearly manage to blow their seemingly unassailable lead with Oakland bringing themselves back to within three points before Martin added his fourth touchdown of the day to seal the 10 point victory.
Key Stat: Oakland’s leading receivers: Marcel Reece and Brandon Myers with 8 catches each.
Carson Palmer threw 61 passes on the afternoon, completing 39 of them, a rather impressive ratio all things considered but the Raiders have to be concerned that his favourite targets on the afternoon were his fullback and tight end, with the next most catches being recorded by the running back Mike Goodson with 6 grabs. Now, until the coach’s film is released you can’t say definitively that Palmer was just taking what the defense was giving him but the fact he seems so willing to check down to the safe option has to be worrying since it has been an issue before (see week 1 against San Diego).
Key Play: Doug Martin 70 yard touchdown run
Your team has just given up a touchdown to cut your lead to 28-17 and get the home crowd back in the game. The best solution to that, score a touchdown on the offense’s first play on the responding drive. Martin took the ball, ran right and was gone, 70 yards and a score, the lead is back to 18 points and things are looking up once more.
Man of the Match: Doug Martin
25 carries, 251 yards, 4 touchdowns, 4 catches, 21 yards
This whole column has been a rather large Doug Martin blow-fest but when you have a performance like he did, you have to give the man credit for his efforts. We have already covered his performance running the ball and for that, good job. Here I will say well done for his 4 amazing catches for 21 yards. They were phenomenal and his team would probably not have won without him so for the 4 amazingly critical catches, Doug Martin is the man of the match (yes I am taking the piss by this point)!