Which players provided the spark needed for the Buccaneers to even their record to 4-4? What players will need to rebound before the Chargers come to town next week? Find out what Mark Cook thinks in this weekly post game feature, The Most Impressive and Disappointing List.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers exploded in the second half scoring 35 points, and held off a late Raider comeback to get their first ever win in Oakland 42-32. The victory was another franchise setting signature win, with running back Doug Martin setting the team record for rushing with 251 yards and four touchdowns. The win evened the Bucs' record to 4-4, and surely will have many around the league begin to take notice of the Buccaneers. Most ImpressiveRB Doug Martin
Wow. In the history of the Buccaneers franchise, Tampa Bay fans have never seen an output close to Martin’s incredible day on Sunday at Oakland. Pewter Report advocated the Buccaneers drafting Martin after spending a week watching him in Mobile at the Senior Bowl last January, but we would be lying if we said we expected anything like we have seen the last two weeks. Martin was phenomenal, literally carrying the Buccaneers on his back in the second half. Martin finished the game on Sunday with a franchise-record 251 yards on 25 carries and added four receptions for 21 yards. With TD runs of 45, 67 and 70 yards, Martin had a career game that Bucs fans will be talking about for the next 20 years. It was that good.Entire Offensive Line
It wasn’t perfect, but no offensive line plays an entire game without making a mistake. The Buccaneers offensive line had every reason to go out and have a mediocre to poor game. And with the adversity they faced this season, particularly this week, no one would have been too disappointed. When LG Carl Nicks was placed on injured reserve last Tuesday, many, including myself, thought the offense would struggle to come close to duplicating their record setting October. Not only did the line respond, they appeared to be on a mission, and played with a chip on their shoulder. And not only were the Buccaneers playing without Nicks, they had Ted Larsen and Jeremy Zuttah playing guard for the first time all season.
LB Lavonte David
Lavonte David may be just as good of a draft selection as Doug Martin was. As dynamic as Martin was today, David matched him from a defensive perspective. At what point does David start getting some national attention? With 16 tackles today including two for loss, Martin is playing at a level few, including general manager Mark Dominik, could have even dreamed of this early in his career. And no it isn’t too soon to start making comparisons to another weakside linebacker who played sideline to sideline every single snap. In fact I would venture to say David is having a better rookie year than No. 55. He has a lot to live up to, but he is off to a great start. QB Josh Freeman
The loss of Nicks was concerning as far as what effect it would have on the running game, but just as much so in pass protection. Sunday, the line gave Freeman adequate time, but even when he was under duress, No. 5 never panicked and still stepped up and delivered the ball with authority and accuracy. Freeman is maturing as a leader and growing up in front of Buccaneers fan’s eyes. Four straight games with a QB rating over 100, 11 touchdowns and just one interception tells me that Freeman is finally starting to put it all together. On the afternoon Sunday, Freeman was 18-of-30 for 247 yards and no interceptions. His two touchdown passes were as good of throws as you will see in the NFL all season.S Ahmad Black
Black is one of the guys in the locker room who walks around with a perpetual smile on his face. On Monday the grin will be even bigger, probably ear-to-ear, and rightfully so. Black who plays safety in certain pass coverages had a huge interception late that helped salvage a game that had turned completely in favor of the Raiders. Black also added a recovery on an onside kick that could have turned the momentum even more in the favor of Oakland. Sunday, Black finished the game with five tackles, one interception and a forced fumble.
WR Mike Williams, WR Vincent Jackson, DE Michael Bennett, CB Leonard Johnson.
When you surrender 32 points, even in a win, there certainly were some players who didn't play at a high level. Below are a list of some that caught the eye of Pewter Report and need to step up when San Diego comes to town next Sunday.Most Disappointing G Jeremy Zuttah and T Jeremy Trueblood
Zuttah and Trueblood were both blown up on the Buccaneers first field goal attempt, which was blocked, and then resulted in the Raiders getting on the board first following the block. The Buccaneers special teams haven't been very special this year and getting a field goal blacked is inexcusable. Zuttah wasn’t perfect at guard, but it appears the move to replace Nicks and plugging Ted Larsen in at center will be stick at least for another few games, as the combination worked well at first glance. CB E. J. Biggers
Social media was blowing up in the second half with Bucs fans berating Biggers who surrendered two touchdown passes, a two-point conversion and also committing a pass interference penalty in the end zone which led to a Raiders touchdown. The two touchdown passes weren’t terrible coverage by Biggers, but the most concerning thing is why was he put in that situation to begin with? Biggers isn’t a great man coverage corner, yet he was left on an island several times, which is puzzling to many. Biggers did slightly redeem himself late in the game, nabbing his third career interception and first of the 2012 season. Biggers finished with three tackles, an interception a forced fumble – and a flood of criticism from many Bucs fans.Until Biggers develops some consistency, he will continue to draw the ire of fans, and be a target for opposing quarterbacks.CB Myron Lewis
Lewis has been a disappointment since being a third-round draft pick out of Vandy in 2010, and Sunday did nothing to change anyone’s perception. With Aqib Talib no longer a Buccaneer, and Anthony Gaitor still on injured reserve, it is likely you will see more of No. 23 on the field from time to time. Lewis showed poor technique late in the second half allowing the Raiders Marcel Reece to work the sideline and pylon for a touchdown as Oakland was mounting a huge second-half comeback. LB Adam Hayward
Hayward is a special teams standout for the Buccaneers but on Sunday made a terrible blunder, roughing the punter in the second quarter. The Buccaneers had made a great third down defensive stop and were poised to get the ball back before the 15-yard penalty gave the Raiders the ball again. Hayward appeared distraught on the sidelines after the miscue, but had several teammates in his face trying to cheer him up and get his head back in the game, something we rarely saw in 2011. Fortunately for Hayward the Buccaneers were able to hold the Raiders out of the end zone following the penalty.Dishonorable Mentions:
CB Eric Wright, K Connor Barth
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