Despite committing a record-breaking 23 penalties for a staggering 200 yards and playing their second straight game in the state of Florida, the Oakland Raiders managed to escape Tampa Bay with a 30-24 overtime win.
Less than 2 minutes away from wrapping the NFL’s second tie of the day and third in two weeks, Raiders quarterback Derek Carr hit receiver Seth Roberts on a fourth-and-4 pass over the middle that turned into the game-winning 41-yard touchdown. Bucs defensive backs Jude Adjei-Barimah and Bradley McDougald converged at the point of reception, but collided and fell to the turf, allowing the second-year wideout to race into the end zone.
“Hard-fought game we just weren’t quite good enough today,” Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter said after the game. “Those [losses] kind of hurt. We had our chances, couldn’t capitalize. Our defense was on the field way too long and we couldn’t do enough offensively.”
The Raiders’ 23 infractions topped the previous record of 22 held by three other teams.
Bad news for Bucs fans was that penalty numbers weren’t the most eye-popping of Oakland’s stats. Carr and the Raiders made up for their rule-breaking by scorching the Bucs defense for 626 net yards. Carr completed 40 of 59 pass attempts for 513 yards and four touchdowns, with receivers Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree each exceeding 100 yards. Cooper finished with 12 catches for 173 yards and a touchdown and Crabtree went eight for 108.
As for the Bucs moving the football against one of the league’s worst defenses – Sunday was challenging. Oakland entered Sunday with the worst unit in total yards allowed, worst pass defense and 28th-ranked rush defense, but held Tampa Bay to 270 net yards.
Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston connected on just 16 of 32 pass attempts for 180 yards and two touchdowns. In his postgame press conference, Winston repeated that he “wasn’t precise enough” to get a victory.
The Jacquizz Rodgers-led rushing attack also didn’t get locked in like the previous two weeks, totaling 102 yards on 27 attempts. Before leaving with an ankle injury, Rodgers went for 69 yards on 19 attempts (3.6-yard average) and punched in a 1-yard score in the fourth quarter that allowed Tampa Bay to regain the lead.
The Bucs led 10-0 before Oakland responded with 17 straight points spanning the second to fourth quarters. Rodgers’ score should have broken a 17-all tie, but Tampa Bay trailed 17-16 at the time because of kicker Roberto Aguayo’s missed extra point following the team’s previous touchdown.
Winston followed up Rodgers’ score by hitting receiver Mike Evans with a successful 2-point conversion to go ahead 24-17, but Oakland answered with a nine-play, 75-yard touchdown drive capped by Carr’s 7-yard completion to tight end Mychal Rivera.
It was hard to tell if either team wanted to win after that.
Raiders kicker Sebastian Janikowski pulled a game-winning field goal wide left as time expired in regulation. After winning the coin toss, Oakland’s opening drive of overtime was sabotaged by Cooper’s 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty and ultimately resulted in Janikowski’s 52-yard knuckleball miss wide right.
As for the Bucs, the offense never gave them a shot. Tampa Bay went three-and-out on its final three drives – the last one in regulation and two times with the ball in overtime. Taking away an opportunity to extend the final drive past three plays was a dropped pass to backup running back Antone Smith that went through his hands on third-and-3 at the Bucs 18. Bryan Anger’s punt gave Oakland possession at its own 40.
Five plays later the game was over.
Tampa Bay let slip away an opportunity to win its third straight and head into Thursday night’s prime-time battle with Atlanta at 4-3 overall. Kickoff is scheduled for 8:25 p.m. at Raymond James Stadium.
Rodgers went out on the last drive of the fourth quarter. When asked after the game, Koetter said he’s unsure of the severity but that it’s an ankle issue.
Rodgers reenergized the Bucs’ ground attack in recent weeks after losses to Doug Martin and Charles Sims III. Losing Rodgers would leave Tampa Bay with Antone Smith and Peyton Barber on the active roster.
OH NO, AGUAYO
Again? Yes, again.
The struggles of rookie kicker Roberto Aguayo continued Sunday when he missed a potential game-tying extra point in the fourth quarter. That’s his second missed point after to go along with failing on five of 12 field goal attempts.
Aguayo’s game started well enough. He ended Tampa Bay’s second drive of the day with a 41-yard field goal and made his first extra point before the shank.
Oakland’s offensive line has been one of the league’s best units this season, surrendering just seven sacks in as many games heading into Sunday’s game in Tampa Bay.
The Bucs managed to bring Carr down twice – first on a strip-sack by rookie defensive end Noah Spence and then by cornerback Jude Adjei-Barimah.
Those were two of the few moments Carr experienced much pressure from Tampa Bay’s pass rush.
Former Buccaneer offensive lineman Donald Penn was back in Tampa Bay for the first time since going to Oakland in 2014. He celebrated the occasion by catching a 1-yard touchdown from Carr that tied the game 10-10 in the third quarter.
Penn’s no stranger to the end zone, either. Sunday’s score was the fourth of his career.
“I wanted this one so bad,” Penn said from the visitors’ locker room. “I thought I was going to retire as a Buccaneer. I wanted to be here, but stuff happens, man. It really hurt me when I got cut. God works in mysterious ways. I was a Raider fan growing up. He knew I was ready and he put me in a great position. A great spot.”