OAKLAND By all rights, the Raiders had no business being in this position. Yet there they were, with the ball, trailing Tampa Bay by three points and plenty of time left in the fourth quarter Sunday.
Most at O.co Coliseum probably were thinking the Raiders should pick up 20 yards or so, make sure they were in Sebastian Janikowski's field-goal range and then take a few shots at a touchdown.
Instead, Carson Palmer attempted back-to-back deep passes, with the second one being intercepted and effectively ending the Raiders' chances of an improbable comeback.
"We were trying to win the game," Raiders coach Dennis Allen said without equivocation after the 42-32 loss. "We were definitely trying to win the game and, obviously, we didn't execute good enough and weren't able to do it."
The play also proved symbolic of Palmer's game. He passed for 414 yards and four touchdowns with three interceptions.
"We had done a good job on being patient and then wanted to take some shots when they were in pressure situations," Palmer said. "They were leaving us one on one (guarding wide receivers).
"Obviously, you can sit back and wish you did it differently after a loss; and after a win, everything looks right. We had some critical errors. I had some critical errors."
No one second-guessed Palmer, not after he looked his teammates in the eyes when the Raiders trailed 35-17 early in the fourth quarter and told them everything was under control.
Sure enough, he directed back-to-back drives that produced 145 yards and two scoring passes on 18 plays.
So, who were they to doubt Palmer when he entered the huddle with the Raiders behind 35-32 and 2:42 left?
"Carson's the type of guy, he has the talent to bring us back," wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey said. "But it's all about his leadership. The stuff he was saying in the huddle, just keeping us into the game, making us believe we could make a play."
But something went awry as Palmer's pass landed in the hands of Buccaneers safety Ahmad Black 20 yards downfield, with receiver Denarius Moore several yards away toward the middle of the field and receiver Rod Streater near the sideline.
Palmer said he and Moore weren't on the same page, leading to the ball and Moore being far apart.
"Carson had to get rid of the ball a little bit quicker than he wanted to," Allen said. "I'm not sure exactly what happened on the route."
As always, Palmer accepted blame, even if it wasn't his fault.
"Mistakes like that you can't overcome and you can't make," Palmer said. "Me being the quarterback, you can't do that."
Martin's huge day Buccaneers rookie Doug Martin bashed, slashed and raced through a Raiders defense that entered the game thinking it had solved the riddle of stopping the run.
Martin's 251-yard performance was the biggest rushing game against Oakland since the Seahawks' Shawn Alexander gained 266 yards on 35 carries in the Seattle rain in 2001.
The 5-foot-9, 215-pound Martin, nicknamed "Muscle Hamster," broke the Tampa Bay franchise record for rushing yards.
"It's a little surreal now," said Martin, an Oakland native who attended St. Mary's High School in Stockton before a four-year career at Boise State. "It's awesome. Words can't describe it."
Bryant goes to hospital Defensive tackle Desmond Bryant was taken to a hospital at the start of the second half as a precaution because of a fast heartbeat. The team had no further update on his condition.