Oakland Raiders Unable to Contain Doug Martin; Fall to Tampa Bay Buccaneers 42-32


October 4, 2012; Oakland, CA, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Doug Martin (22) rushes for a gain during the first quarter at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Ed Szczepanski-US PRESSWIRE

Before the game started, if someone had told you that Doug Martin would rush for 251 yards and four touchdowns, what would you have said?

Well, I would have said that they’re crazy. Doug Martin? C’mon man, that guy is just a rookie.

But Doug Martin is much, much more than just a rookie. Martin, who is an Oakland native, was coming off an amazing performance, as he rushed for 151 yards to go along with two touchdowns last week against the Minnesota Vikings. Today, he absolutely destroyed the Raiders’ defense, as he rushed for 251 yards and four touchdowns. Greg Schiano had compared Martin to another prolific running back that he has coached, Ray Rice. Many people were probably in disagreement, but after today’s performance, they might want to think again.

For the Raiders, there were a lot of good things to take away from the game. And also some really bad things to improve on.

Positively, Carson Palmer really had it going. He threw for 414 yards to go along with four touchdowns. He wound up throwing three interceptions, and the biggest one came in the final minutes of the game, when the Raiders were down 35-32 trying to complete the 18-point comeback. But it was good to see Palmer connect with several offensive players and improve the team chemistry.

Another good thing to see was the production of the receivers and tight ends. Brandon Myers had a big game, as he reeled in his first two touchdowns of the season. Juron Criner stepped up and caught a tough jumpball on a huge 2-point conversion late in the game. Rod Streater caught four passes for 54 yards, including a beautiful 25-yard touchdown. All across the board, it was players rising to the occasion to make the right play. Unfortunately, they just didn’t have enough of it.

And negatively, well, what else is there to say? Take a glance at the box score and you’ll see what went wrong. Doug Martin rushing for 251 yards and four touchdowns? He’s not Adrian Peterson, Chris Johnson, or Maurice Jones-Drew, this is a rookie we’re talking about. Obviously, Martin is loaded with talent, but the Raiders’ defense against the Buccaneers’ running game was awful to watch.

But perhaps the biggest negative of the game for the Oakland Raiders was that star running back Darren McFadden left the game in the first half due to a leg injury and never returned. He did take X-rays, and those came out negative, but nobody wants to see McFadden re-injured, especially because of how last season went. For those of you who don’t know, McFadden led the league in rushing through six games until a Lisfranc injury sidelined him for the rest of the season. The Raiders hope that no long term damage has been done to him.

And so the road from here doesn’t get any easier for the Oakland Raiders. Their next three games will feature three tough opponents, as they will play the New Orleans Saints (who are still lethal), Baltimore Ravens, and Cincinnati Bengals. With this loss, the Oakland Raiders stand weakly at 3-5, and if they don’t get their act together, they could see their season flushed away. I personally don’t know how the Oakland Raiders will beat a team like the Saints, Ravens, or Bengals. All three have tremendous offenses and will be tough to cover, but you never know. The Raiders upset the Pittsburgh Steelers earlier in the year, so hopefully they can bring back some of that magic and use it in the following weeks.

The Oakland Raiders will be on the road for next week’s match-up, as they will travel to Baltimore to take on the Ravens. On game day, tune into CBS at 10 AM PT to catch all the action. But until then, stay tuned on our site for more Oakland Raiders coverage.