Marcio Jose Sanchez Associated Press Tampa Bay's Doug Martin outraces Oakland rookie Miles Burris (Granite Bay High School) on a 67-yard touchdown run.

Raiders' defense lets Bucs rookie run wild

Published: Monday, Nov. 5, 2012 - 12:00 am | Page 1C
Last Modified: Monday, Nov. 5, 2012 - 6:47 am

OAKLAND – The Raiders' hopes of reaching .500 at the halfway point of the season were buried under the rubble of big plays Sunday in a 42-32 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Coliseum.

The Raiders couldn't stop Tampa Bay rookie Doug Martin, who was born in Oakland and raised in Stockton.

The first-round draft pick from Boise State rushed for 251 yards on 25 carries and scored on runs of 45, 67, 70 and one yards as the Buccaneers amassed 515 total yards.

Most galling to the Raiders, Tampa Bay collected 437 yards and four touchdowns on 17 offensive plays of 10 yards or more.

"We talked all week about big plays and trying to prevent 'em," defensive end Dave Tollefson said. "You look at all those back-breaking scores … we've just got to get some stuff cleaned up."

Instead of a three-game winning streak and a .500 record, Oakland takes a 3-5 record into the second half of the season, one game behind second-place San Diego (4-4) and two games behind leader Denver (5-3) in the AFC West.

After Martin's 70-yard run put Tampa Bay ahead 35-17 with 13:51 to play, the Raiders came back. Carson Palmer's fourth touchdown pass, a 13-yarder to Marcel Reece, closed the gap to 35-32 with 3:51 left.

With Darren McFadden exiting late in the second quarter because of an ankle injury of undetermined severity (X-rays were negative), the Raiders turned to Palmer after the Buccaneers opened a big lead.

Palmer completed 39 of 61 passes for 414 yards.

After Palmer's scoring pass to Reece, the Raiders forced a three-and-out and regained possession with 2:42 to play and two timeouts – plenty of time to get in position for a touchdown or field goal.

Instead, Palmer threw incomplete down the left sideline to Rod Streater on first down, then tried it again on the next pass to Denarius Moore, throwing a floater off his back foot that Ahmad Black intercepted.

Black returned it 34 yards to the Oakland 22, and three carries later, Martin had his fourth touchdown, this one from a yard out.

With Tampa Bay (4-4) ahead 42-32, all that was left was for Palmer to throw his third interception, this one by E.J. Biggers.

Palmer and coach Dennis Allen were fine with the decision to take shots downfield, although there were problems with execution.

Allen did express concern with the Raiders' inability to tackle, particularly against Martin. He had 221 yards on 17 carries in the second half, which began with the Raiders leading 10-7.

"We had an opportunity to make a few big plays and missed some tackles, and when you miss tackles on that guy, he takes them for big gains," Allen said.

Tampa Bay quarterback Josh Freeman also was effective, completing 18 of 30 passes for 247 yards and two touchdowns.

Both scoring passes, as well as a 64-yard pass to Vincent Jackson that preceded Jackson's 20-yard touchdown reception, came against cornerback Michael Huff.

Huff, coming off three solid games, made no excuses.

The long pass came on third and 15 when Huff bit on an inside fake by Jackson, only to see the receiver fly past him and into the clear.

"I should have stayed deep," Huff said. "I should have trusted the coverage."

Strong safety Tyvon Branch said Oakland took a step backward.

"That wasn't our brand of football," he said. "That's not the way we've been executing the past few weeks.

"We've got to go watch the film, look ourselves in the mirror, come back in and fix it."

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