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October 25, 2012 @ 11:15 pm
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Martin Powers Bucs Past Vikings In Convincing 36-17 Win

Written by Scott
Scott Reynolds


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The Buccaneers showcased rookie running back Doug Martin in a huge, 36-17 win at Minnesota that snaps Tampa Bay's nine-game losing streak on the road. Martin rushed for 135 yards and a TD and had 79 yards receiving and a TD as Josh Freeman threw three touchdowns in the victory to moves the Bucs to 3-4 on the year.
Tampa Bay loves playing at Minnesota. The Buccaneers’ 36-17 victory over the Vikings, who are now 5-3, before a nationally televised audience on NFL Network snapped a nine-game road losing streak. In fact, the last road win the Bucs had was at Mall of America Field in last year’s 24-20 comeback win against the Vikings.

Rookie running back Doug Martin powered Tampa Bay’s offense, rushing for a career-high 135 yards – including 103 before halftime – and a touchdown on 29 carries (4.7 avg.). Martin also hauled in three catches for 79 yards, including a career-long 64-yard touchdown catch on a screen pass from Josh Freeman.

“I just came out here and did my job,” Martin said.

Martin accounted for 214 yards of total offense while Freeman was spectacular and became the first QB in Bucs history to throw for three touchdowns in three straight games.

Freeman completed 19-of-36 passes for 262 yards and three scores with no interceptions as Tampa Bay amassed 416 yards of total offense. Wide receiver Mike Williams hauled in a team-high six catches for 68 yards and a touchdown. Fullback Erik Lorig got the scoring started, catching a 1-yard pass from Freeman as the Buccaneers jumped out to a 20-10 halftime lead – thanks to two Vikings fumbles that Tampa Bay converted into 10 points – and never looked back.

The Bucs are 22-1 in their last 23 games in which they’ve led by 10-plus points at the end of the first quarter.

“It was great how our guys rebounded after the tough loss last Sunday,” Freeman said. “I have to give it up to my teammates.

“Anytime you can get the running game going, especially with a guy like Doug, who is a rookie, it’s great. … He’s a tremendous addition to our team.”

The Bucs defense did a reasonably good job containing Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, who had 123 yards on 15 carries. Yet Peterson got half of those yards on a 64-yard touchdown run in the second half.

After failing to record a sack in the last two games, the Bucs recorded three tonight against Christian Ponder, who completed 19-of-35 passes for 251 yards and one touchdown, an 18-yarder to Percy Harvin, who led all receivers with seven catches for 90 yards. Defensive end Michael Bennett had one to push his team-leading total to five on the season. Defensive end Daniel Te’o-Nesheim and middle linebacker Mason Foster, who also recovered a fumble, also had their first sacks of the season for Tampa Bay.

Bucs rookie Leonard Johnson, who got his first NFL start at nickel cornerback, recorded his first career interception in the fourth quarter.

The Bucs improved to 3-4 on the season and travel to Oakland to play the 2-3 Raiders next Sunday.

First Quarter – Bucs 3, Vikings 0

After a 20-yard punt by Vikings punter Chris Klewe, rookie running back Doug Martin ripped off a 41-yard run down to the Minnesota 21. But the drive stalled on third-and-3 at the Vikings 15-yard line and Tampa Bay had to settle for a 28-yard field goal by Connor Barth to give the Bucs a 3-0 lead.

First Quarter – Bucs 10, Vikings 0
The Bucs took over at the Minnesota 47 and got a great 26-yard catch from Vincent Jackson on third-and-10 down to the 22. A 10-yard catch by tight end Dallas Clark set the Bucs up with a first-and-goal at the Minnesota 1. On the next play, Josh Freeman hit fullback Erik Lorig for a 1-yard touchdown to put the Bucs up 10-0.

Second Quarter – Bucs 13, Vikings 0
Martin ripped off runs of 12 yards and eight yards down to the Minnesota 34 to start the drive, and then picked up a first down on third-and-2 with a 2-yard run down to the Minnesota 32. But the drive stalled on third down and Barth was called on to connect on a 40-yard field goal that increased Tampa Bay’s lead to 13-0.

Second Quarter – Bucs 13, Vikings 7
Minnesota traveled 80 yards in six plays to score their first touchdown of the game. Christian Ponder hit Percy Harvin with a screen pass for 32 yards. Adrian Peterson ripped off an 11-yard run before defensive tackle Roy Miller gave the Vikings 15 yards with a roughing the passer call. Ponder found Harvin for an 18-yard touchdown pass on third-and-6 to cut into Tampa Bay’s lead.

Second Quarter – Bucs 20, Vikings 7
Free safety Ronde Barber forced a fumble on running back Adrian Peterson that was recovered by linebacker Quincy Black at the Minnesota 36. Martin had a 16-yard run and Clark had a 13-yard catch down to the Vikings 8-yard line. Three plays later, wide receiver Mike Williams scored on a 3-yard TD catch vs. rookie cornerback Josh Robinson. That put the Bucs up 20-7 with 4:30 left before halftime.

Second Quarter – Bucs 20, Vikings 10
Tight end Kyle Rudolph caught a 12-yard pass on third-and-10, and wide receiver Jerome Simpson picked up 33 yards on third-and-12 down to the Tampa Bay 37. But the Vikings’ third down luck would run out and the team would have to settle for 51-yard field goal from Blair Walsh to cut Tampa Bay’s lead to 20-10 right before halftime.

Third Quarter – Bucs 27, Vikings 10
Martin's huge night continued as he caught a 64-yd screen pass from Freeman for his first receiving touchdown to put the Bucs up 27-10 in the third quarter. Clark caught a 17-yard pass on first down to get the drive started.

Third Quarter – Bucs 30, Vikings 10
Martin rushed for gains of six, nine and four yards before Freeman hit Williams for a 12-yard gain down to the Minnesota 27. After three plays the drive stalled and Barth’s 38-yard field goal extended Tampa Bay’s lead to 30-10.

Third Quarter – Bucs 30, Vikings 17
On second-and-10 from the Minnesota 36, Peterson scored on a 64-yard touchdown run, picking up a great block by Simpson on linebacker Lavonte David to cut into Tampa Bay’s lead and make the score 30-17.

Fourth Quarter – Bucs 36, Vikings 17
The Bucs drove 87 yards on 16 plays and chewed up nine minutes of game clock on their fourth touchdown of the night. Freeman hit four passes to convert third-and-long situations. Williams had catches of 34 yards and 11 yards down to the Minnesota 5. Martin picked up four yards on his first two carries in goal line situation and then scored a touchdown on third down to put the Bucs up 36-17. Tampa Bay’s two-point conversion failed.

Running back Doug Martin had a career-long 41-yard run in the first quarter. … Fullback Erik Lorig recorded his first NFL touchdown with a 1-yard TD catch in the first quarter. … Rookie cornerback Leonard Johnson got his first NFL start against Minnesota and recorded his first career interception. … Defensive end Michael Bennett forced his third fumble of the year in the first quarter at Minnesota. Bennett leads the team with three forced fumbles. He also recorded his fifth sack of the season, which also leads the team. … Defensive end Daniel Te'o-Nesheim recorded his first NFL sack and the first sack by the Bucs in 10 quarters. … Josh Freeman became the first quarterback in Tampa Bay history to throw for three touchdowns in three straight games.

Bucs rookie rusher Doug Martin was Tampa Bay’s offense, especially in the first half as he rushed for 106 yards on 14 carries, which set a career-high after just two quarters of play. Martin’s previous best was a 95-yard effort in Week 1 against Carolina.

Tampa Bay’s first-round pick scored his first career receiving touchdown in the third quarter, hauling in a 64-yard screen pass from Josh Freeman. Martin finished the game with three catches for 79 yards and a TD, and 214 yards of total offense.

Martin became the first Bucs running back since Warrick Dunn to score a rushing and receiving touchdown in the same game. Dunn accomplished that feat on October 14, 2001 versus Tennessee. For his efforts, Martin is PewterReport.com Bucs MVP.

Bucs' inactives against the Vikings were: WR Chris Owusu, RB Michael Smith, C/G Cody Wallace, S Keith Tandy, TE Danny Noble, LB Najee Goode and CB Myron Lewis.

Vikings’ inactives against the Bucs were: TE John Carlson, QB McLeod Bethel-Thompson, WR Jarius Wright, CB Brandon Burton, LB Audie Cole and OL Mark Asper.

Defensive end Michael Bennett injured his right ankle/foot and was helped from the field late in the fourth quarter. He did not return.

• Rookie cornerback Leonard Johnson had a holding penalty and a facemask penalty on special teams.

• Attempts at ankle tackling by cornerback Eric Wright and free safety Ronde Barber on Adrian Peterson’s 64-yard touchdown run. Wright also gave up an 18-yard touchdown to Percy Harvin.

• Cornerback E.J. Biggers didn’t fare well against Vikings wide receiver Jerome Simpson.

• Running back LeGarrette Blount didn’t run with much authority in relief of Doug Martin, rushing for 16 yards on eight carries.

Tampa Bay (3-4) travels to Oakland to play the Raiders (3-4) on Sunday, November 4 at 4:05 p.m. The game will be televised on Fox.
Last modified on Friday, 26 October 2012 01:34

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  • avatar

    Doug Martin had a fantastic breakout game and we are all seeing why the coaches thought he had so much potential! I think this is a good time to find a new nickname for Doug. He hates Muscle Hamster, and truly it does sound like a schoolkid nickname. I suggest Muscle Martin as a modification that is accurate and shows more respect.
  • avatar

    I'm happy. CB's are still a problem. It's time to sit Biggers down. Time to bring in another CB to the PS and move one up to the Roster and cut Lewis.
  • avatar

    The Bucs "grew up" last night. It was clear that a new system, new coaches and new players would take some time to gel, and we fans needed to have patience. I'm super pleased with the way the Bucs players AND coaches played this game. It's a good win, with an improving team. It's still a long season and anything can happen. One thing is certain: all teams on the Bucs' future schedule need to erase that "W" they had penciled in against the Bucs. There's still issues in the secondary, but I don't see a lot of great defenses in the NFL. This Bucs team hits like a Mac truck and can compete with anybody. After one of the Bucs' earlier losses, PR questioned Martin's speed and ability to take it to the house. I hope they are changing their tune now. Several postings before last night's game said this is a 4 or 5 win team at best. Only one team remains on the schedule with a record above .500 (Atlanta). And an 8 - 8 seaason looks very achievable...and with some luck, who knows?
  • avatar

    Now all you guys doubting Muscle Mouse can now jump on his wagon. You had to realize the pro game had to slow up for him. I had a feeling he was going to break out and he did it with a vengeance ! All I know this young man hits his high gears instantly. His acceleration is crazy! its just a shame the line got so weak in the 4th and couldn't open up any more holes because he should have had a lot more rush yards. I can really now see why he won the starting job! Another note if I'm right almost every offensive weapon has atleast one td and caught one from Josh. Offense is starting to gel but got some clean up in aisle 10 so to speak. Sully needs to stop being so predictable at times.
  • avatar

    Shake the rust off Lewis and play him. I am really tired of watching Biggers get torched every game.
  • avatar

    I loved this game ! Our offense was on fire and the defense unmasked the Viking's two punch offense. Except for a couple of breakout plays Harvin and Peterson were negated by a hard nose defense that looked a lot like the great one we remembered. What was most satifying was the way the Bucs performed after the NFL Network pregame crew showed them so little respect. It looks like our rookie coaching staff may have learned some lessons from last Sunday's loss. I hope this will be the game we remember as a real turning point in the season.
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