The Raiders were close to running out of running backs.
The Buccaneers almost had one too many.
With Doug Martin running wild, the Bucs improved to 4-4 with an impressive second half in their 42-32 win over the Raiders, though it was far from easy.
Martin finished with 25 carries for 251 yards, including touchdown runs of 45, 67, 70 and 1 yards. He was averaging 12.0 yards per carry before the final kill-the-clock drive (where he lost 14 yards on three carries), and it just seemed like he scored every time he touched the ball.
That was the bulk of the Bucs’ 515 yards of total offense.
Of course, the Bucs almost let the Raiders back in, thanks to another back. Bucs backup LeGarrette Blount came in and fumbled (apparently Martin was winded), allowing the Raiders to close late.
The Raiders, meanwhile, were scrambling for someone to carry the ball.
Darren McFadden left in the first half with a leg injury. X-rays were negative, but he didn’t return. Backup Mike Goodson left the game in the second half as well, leaving fullback Marcel Reece as the primary ballcarrier.
That wasn’t the death sentence it could have been, as Carson Palmer answered with three touchdown passes and a offer-it-up two-point conversion in the fourth quarter, cutting the gap to 35-32 with the ball in the final three minutes.
But Bucs safety Ahmad Black’s interception with 2:27 left iced things, since they weren’t letting Blount carry it again. Another pick (Palmer’s third, which cancelled out 414 passing yards and four touchdowns) closed it out, dropping the Raiders to 3-5.