The Oakland Raiders lose to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a high powered shootout in the Black Hole 42-32.
The Raiders seemed to be putting together a solid game as they were leading Tampa Bay 10-7 at halftime, when the well-known Raiders’ third quarter meltdown reared its ugly head once again, and put Oakland in a big double-digit deficit by the beginning of the 4th quarter.
To be specific, the Raiders, who were ranked 11th in rushing defense, surrendered three long touchdowns runs of 45, 67, and 70 yards to Tampa Bay rookie running back Doug Martin. Martin had the game of his life, rushing for 251 yards and four touchdowns. It was during all three of these runs that I’m pretty sure everyone apart of Raider Nation used every expletive in the book.
Even with his performance Oakland still had a chance, and I knew it would come to this “chance” as the fourth quarter started.
Before the Raiders scored to make it 35-24, I figured Raiders quarterback Carson Palmer would have a chance to win it for Oakland in the end, if the Raiders D could put a muzzle on Martin. And when that happened, and when Palmer drove them down the field for another score to make 35-32, it seemed like my prediction could possibly come true.
After another stalled drive by the Buccaneers, the Raiders got the ball back with a little under three minutes left in the game and two timeouts. All they had to do is put together a drive that would have a) scored a touchdown or b)kick a field goal.
But as that drive began, an eerie feeling grew over me, and that’s when I realized the inevitable, that a Palmer interception was right around the corner. Sure enough on the second play of that drive he threw a classic “Palmer interception”, you know the kind where you look back at him and ask “who the hell were you throwing the ball to” ? And of course he has that blank confused look on his face, like well I thoug….he was supp…and just like that the Black Hole was filled with disbelief.
I like Palmer, a lot actually, but at times I feel two different ways about him. On one hand he’s the perfect mild-mannered vet that has the patience to work with a talented, but inexperienced group of players, but he manages to be a very efficient maestro. But on the other hand, you have a guy who doesn’t have a great history of coming through in the clutch, and it drives you nutty when he has a game like yesterday (414 passing yards and 4 touchdowns), and he still can’t seal the deal and lead the Raiders to victory (obviously because of the untimely interception, which was 1-of-3 interceptions for the game).
But I digress, because the defense allowed Tampa Bay to run all over them like crazy, and that’s just simply inexcusable. Head coach Dennis Allen and Jason Tarver have got to do better ASAP, as they take on a Baltimore Ravens team that features Ray Rice.
Oakland also must hope that running back Darren McFadden’s ankle injury does not sideline him for any games, as the Raiders’ running game continues to struggle. He will be needed when they go into their road battle against the Ravens.
Allen has some more motivational work to do with a squad that is still trying to build some consistency and establish an identity. At this point, you hope they can regroup and put together a performance similar to the one they had in Atlanta three weeks ago, except this time, they need to come away with the “W”.
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Written by Arthur Kai