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November 4, 2012 @ 10:56 pm
Current rating: 5.00 Stars/1 Votes

Bucs Hold Off Raiders' Rally; Most Impressive And Disappointing

Written by Mark
Cook
Mark Cook

Mark
Cook

Editor-In-Chief E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
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 Impressive
RB 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.

Honorable Mentions:
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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COMMENTS

  • avatar

    Mark Cook. "Biggers isn’t a great man coverage corner..." Did you see the coverage he had on the TD throw? It was great, he just got beat by a perfect pass. Where was the 2nd TD he gave up? I KNOW you aren't going to say he gave up a TD to the TE, because it wasn't on him. Lavonte David gave up an ugly TD pass to the TE, completely blew the coverage and the other one he scored was over the middle of the field and he caught it with Mark Barron all over him. You think a CB is covering a TE running an in route in the end zone? That's ignorance, or just plain F-A-I-L. Just like most of the criticism of Biggers, it's done by fans who have no clue what a CB 's assignments are. Mark Cook, you should be better than this. You should go into OBP and apologize the Biggers for this mistake. Biggers gave up 1 TD, the same amount of TD's that Lavonte David, Myron Lewis and Mark Barron gave up. Plus he had 1 INT, 1 FF....and knocked McFadden out of the game on a tackle. Biggers played a good game. If he played like this in every game he would be in the Pro Bowl for sure.
  • avatar


    Please, draft some new DB's and this Team will be Great for years to come. GO BUCS!!!!! Keep getting better!!!!!
  • avatar


    great game!!! first of all im a los angeles buccs fan got to travel for my first game into raider stadium.and yes i was with the buccs gear and got the raider black hole treatment, but was suprised to see the most buccs fan in my life in california. which was around 12... lol alot of doug martin supporters as well.. either way the game couldnt be more perfect with the win... got a little nervous when reece got that td and when it seemed they found the buccs weakness with quick throws but in the end we got away with the win and palmer was the same old palmer got buccs!!!!! ps almost came away with mike williams gloves but damn raider fan snatched it almost considered showin the raider fan some of his own medicine but had too many kids and cops around hahahahha
  • avatar


    Biggers is tackling better this year and is never loafing; however, he is not now nor never will be a shut down corner. Give him a break; he is a seventh round draft pick and he is big enough to cover bigger (slower) receivers (as long as you don't expect him to be a play maker, because he rarely intercepts anything.) But one on one with very fast corners, he will not be able to stay with them. He looked a lot better when the Bucs were playing a lot of zone. I am very high on Leonard Johnson and believe he has a lot of upside; plus he is a local boy as well. Price is a play maker and is a decent CB with experience (but he will never be worth as much as he is paid) but he will never be a shut down corner either. We need to draft us one by combining a fourth round draft pick and moving up in the first round, and there should still be some good corners later in the draft next year too. We just need one great shut down corner to cover the number one receiver on the other team, and don't get a bad boy or one that is too inconsistent--we've already had enough of Talib! Cut Myron Lewis now. He is awful.
  • avatar

    If we are looking at DB's, Routt was waived by KC . Could be a cheap waiver pickup, and can he be worse than Lewis?
  • avatar

    I agree with most of this list, and am equally impressed by the oline play as I am disappointed by the DBs. While Martin was far and away the MOST impressive of all, I thought #2 wasn't even on this list. E. Lorig has been blocking better than any FB I can remember on this team. Martin has been following and then cutting off Lorig's blocks so effectively, that I think Martin is a big part of his success. I liked it when they showed Doug sitting on the bench between Lorig and Clark, guys who are out there clearing a path for him.
  • avatar


    This offense is easily the best the Bucs have ever had; and Martin is FABULOUS. Some are comparing him to Ray Rice, but in Buc terms he's Warrick Dunn WITH POWER! Defense and special teams are a different story. Biggers is always a step behind the receiver and should NEVER be put out on an island by himself. M. Lewis is a bust. I was impressed by both Ahmad Black and Leonard Johnson. Both should starting DBs in the nickel with Barber, Wright, and Barron.
  • avatar

    No mention of Da'Quan Bowers logging his first sack of the season? For a guy who was supposed to miss the season my hats off to him and his effort. Hopefully he'll get more playing time against the Chargers.
  • avatar


    When i go vote on tuesday , i'm not voting for romney or obama or paul i'm useing a write in ballot for SCHIANO AND SULLIVAN .
  • avatar

    Great game and agree with the list. I would have put the O-Line on the Most Impressive List as a good Oakland DEF barely got to Freeman and of course gave Martin some running lanes to burst through. David is almost single handedly keeping our run defense ranked at #1. He is in the backfield a the right place and at right time almost every carry. That is allowing Foster make good reads and react in a more explosive fashion. The 2012 Draft may just be Dom's finest work -- Barron, Martin, and David? Wow.
  • avatar


    Let's give some credit to the other side to---they get played to pay. Carson Palmer made a few incredible passes and a couple of the receptions against Biggers were great catches. He can do better for sure. The best hope for this secondary is a better pass rush. Shiano again went to a whole lot of blitzes and when they don't get there you have one-on-ones, which most receivers can beat, especially the good ones. Most impressive: Greg Shiano...getting this team ready after loss of Nicks and changing the game plan when he saw Oakland playing the two deep to protect against Freeman's deep passes.
  • avatar

    I put that fumble on Freeman as well, look at the replay it's out of his hand before Blount touches it. Just a bit sloppy in that position of the game. Also, I think our defense was dead tired in the 4th quarter. I haven't looked but I don't think we had the ball for long periods of time in the 2nd half. Martin scored too quickly!! (J/K) I do think the defense was extremely tired, we aren't as deep as we need to be due to some injuries/suspensions.
  • avatar


    Blount was looking at the line, not the hand off. I think Josh might have been thrown off a bit by the difference in speed between Martin, and Blount. Speaking of which Blount looks like he's moving in slow mo compared to Martin. Would like to see Ware, Smith get Blounts carries. With the poor play at D.B.move Barber back to corner get Black on the field every down.The kid is a play maker needs to be on the field all the time.
  • avatar


    I thought Barber had a great game as well, being the best DB on the field. Yes, he dropped a pick that he normally makes, but his tackling is phenomenal. I guess he just has high standards.
  • avatar


    Josh Freeman needs to be at the head of the most impressive list. His critics have questioned if he will ever become the franchise quarterback he was drafted to be, I wonder if they still have those questions? As Sanchez continues to regress and Stafford suffers through inconsist play, it's Freeman that has emerged as the top QB in his class. You could have drove Mac Trucks through some of the holes Martin ran through and thats a result of keeping the defense off balance and excellent QB play that has to be honored. This offense is slowly getting into gear and the results appear to be an offense unlike any we have ever seen in Tampa. Bill Sheridan's approach defensively with the lead left a lot to be desired but its about getting a win. This is a game they would have lost a month ago, glad to see the staff and players are growing in front of our eyes. I've said it before and ill definitely say it now, we have plenty of talent on the roster to make a push. Go Bucs!
  • avatar


    With that said I don't want to see Myron Lewis or EJ Biggers left on an island in coverage again as long as I live. Cornerback is the offseason priority and thats second to none. We get Claiborne back to go along with Bowers and Bennett. Add another disruptive DT via FA or the draft then acquire as many CB's as the roster can hold. Johnson should be the lone CB left standing after the offseason (yes that means Mr. Wright should be seeking employment elsewhere this offseason) Go Buc!
  • avatar


    scubog, that's what I thought at first, but watch Freeman's handoffs to Martin. They are in the exact same area. I'm not sure why he's been taught to put the ball there, but apparently that's what the runners should be expecting. Now I suppose that Freeman may hand the ball off to Martin in one way and a different way to Blount, which could be why Blount didn't expect the handoff in that spot, but I can say after watching several handoffs to Martin, that's how Freeman gives the ball to him.
  • avatar


    Absolutely right macabee. I hate to say it but Freeman put the ball into Blount's chest. He never had the ball in the first place. Poor execution on a simple hand-off. I've got to give Bowers some props. The guy comes off of a major surgery and in just a smattering of plays has made his presence felt. Plus, he's a natural LDE playing RDE. And how about a hand for the coaching staff who had the team ready to travel to the west coast and come home with a victory?
  • avatar


    And one other thing - Don't blame Blount for the fumble. Watch the game tape, that one was on Freeman!
  • avatar


    Mark, I heard a name I hadn't heard before - Nate Byham. While I wouldn't call his play impressive, he did make a couple of good catches. We need to start giving Lorig some props too. Dude is becoming a beast at his position!
  • avatar

    Byhams blocking was very impressive and his 2 receptions, are just another buc to move the sticks.
  • avatar


    I loved the game from an offensive standpoint. Freeman is coming into his own which forces defenses to honor our deep threats. As a result Martin can run amuck.What I like about Martin is he is hard to bring down, has great balance and vision and NEVER FUMBLES. I cringed anytime our D got on the field. They have some good pieces: David, Barron, McCoy, Foster and Bennett are all beasts. However, pass rush is inconsistent and Biggers and Lewis are horrid. Johnson and Ahmad Black seem to have some promise. Very impressed with Johnson. He consistently had great position on receivers and he plays much bigger than his 5'10" stature. Another knock on him was his speed but he consistently is glued to receivers where corners clocked faster (Biggers and Lewis) get smoked.
  • avatar


    Biggers is awful. You're too charitable to him in this article. Please just say he sucks. He's not "inconsistent". He consistently get torched by every quarterback we face. Practically every time there is a big play by the opposing team, you can see #31 flash into tv picture late as the other team celebrates. He is the worst starting cornerback in the NFL and PR should say so. Horse - good point on Blount and I agree. However, I think it's the coaching that was very questionable taking the rock out of Martin's hands and giving it to Blount who has a long history of fumbling issues.
  • avatar


    Is it me or does E. Wright seem to be getting a little worse every week? He's not bad, but I wouldn't say he's good either. He also isn't a good tackler. I would argue that L. Johnson is playing better than Wright right now. Having 2.5 of our top 4 CB's make the dishonorable list against C. Palmer is the only depressing part of that game.
  • avatar


    You sure you don't want to put Leonard Johnson on the disappointing list like last week? Last week it was for a penalty, maybe this week you could put him on it for getting shaken up.
  • avatar

    Well he did have another penalty today...
  • avatar

    what a fun game to watch as a Bucs Fan if we can build around David on defense we can reach the superbowl very soon
  • avatar


    Good analysis PewterReportMC, but I would have added Blount to the Most Disappointing List in replace of Zuttah. I think he gets a pass for having to switch back and forth from center, guard, back to guard.
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