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Buccaneers vs. Vikings: Final Game Grades and Analysis for Minnesota

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Buccaneers vs. Vikings: Final Game Grades and Analysis for Minnesota

Final Score: Tampa Bay Buccaneers 36 Minnesota Vikings 17

Rookie running back Doug Martin had his best day as a pro, rushing for 135 yards and a touchdown and catching 3 passes for 79 more yards and another touchdown.

The Vikings picked up some momentum in the third quarter, but the offense couldn't make anything happen after the defense played well for a time.

Christian Ponder had his third straight poor game for the Vikings and all the little things that had been going well for the team didn't tonight as the Vikings fall to 5-3 on the year. The Vikings special teams cost them the field position battle early on in the game and Tampa Bay took advantage, putting up 10 points in each of the first three quarters. 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers 36 Minnesota Vikings 17

The Buccaneers put the probable dagger in the Vikings with a chew up the clock, 16 play drive that culminates in a 1-yard touchdown plunge by Doug Martin to go back up by 20.

The Vikings stop the 2-point conversion try, but the hill is too steep at this point.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers 30 Minnesota Vikings 17

Adrian Peterson finally breaks the long run that he's been so close to so many times this year, going the distance from 64 yards out and scoring his 4th touchdown of the season. Down 13 with a quarter and half to play, this game is still in reach.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers 30 Minnesota Vikings 10

Buccaneers rookie running back Doug Martin continues to be the best player on the field and he's just wearing out the Vikings defense. 

Another weak punt by Chris Kluwe and the Buccaneers start near mid-field. Martin with a couple of nice runs and then the Vikings defense firms up and the Bucs have to settle for another Connor Barth field goal, this time from 38 yards, to go up by 20.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers 27 Minnesota Vikings 10

Well that's certainly not the way the Vikings wanted to start the second half.

Doug Martin takes a short pass from Josh Freeman and breaks a couple of tackles before setting sail on a 64-yard touchdown sprint. The Vikings will have to answer on their first possession to keep this a ball game.

Halftime Score: Tampa Bay Buccaneers 20 Minnesota Vikings 10

Poor punting and then two turnovers put the Vikings behind the eight-ball in the first half as they were constantly in scramble mode. Christian Ponder had another streaky half, making a few nice plays, but also making some poor decisions and poor throws.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers 20 Minnesota Vikings 10

Blair Walsh continues his remarkable rookie season by nailing a 51-yard field goal to pull the Vikings within 10 points with just under two minutes to play in the half. 

The big play was a pretty 37-yard pass from Ponder to Jerome Simpson on 3rd and 12.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers 20 Minnesota Vikings 7

The Buccaneers get another turnover on an Adrian Peterson fumble and turn it in to 7 more points on a Josh Freeman 3-yard touchdown pass to Mike Williams.

The Vikings loaded the box on 3rd and goal and left the d-backs with single coverage. Rookie Josh Robinson was right with Williams, but a great throw and a great catch above Robinson's head made for the touchdown.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers 13 Minnesota Vikings 7

The Minnesota Vikings first sustained offensive drive of the game answers Connor Barth's second field goal of the game to pull the Vikings within six points.

Christian Ponder with a nice, outside shoulder throw to Percy Harvin, who made a great catch falling into the end zone to get the Vikings on the board.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers 10 Minnesota Vikings 0

Josh Freeman hits fullback Erik Lorig with a 1-yard touchdown pass off of a nice play action fake and the Buccaneers are up 10-0 on the Vikings.

Another short Chris Kluwe punt set the Buccaneers up at the Vikings 48 yard line to start their drive. The Vikings defensive line got nice pressure on Freeman for most of the drive, but Freeman still made several nice throws, particularly a 26-yard throw over the middle to Vincent Jackson on 3rd and 10.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers 3 Minnesota Vikings 0

The Buccaneers get on the board first with Connor Barth connecting on a 28-yard field goal. 

Chris Kluwe punted the ball 20 yards off the side of his foot to set up the Bucs with great field position. Rookie Doug Martin did most of the work for the Bucs offense, breaking off a 41 yard run to the Vikings 17 yard line.

It's been an ugly, ugly start for the Purple offense. 

Christian Ponder with two horrible throws, missing Percy Harvin by four feet on quick throw down the line and then misreading a fade to Jerome Simpson, who'd cut off his route.

You can catch the game on the NFL Network starting at 8:20 pm ET. Stay with us throughout the night for live game grades and analysis, with final grades coming down shortly after the game. 

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