Oakland Raiders: Winners and Losers Against Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Raiders' strong first-half performance unraveled at the seams once the second half got underway. Despite the impressive start, Oakland dug itself into a deep hole by giving up three touchdowns in the third quarter.
After holding the Bucs to just seven points in the first half, the Raiders surrendered 35 points in the final two quarters and were forced to play from behind for the rest of the game, losing 42-32.
Oakland's disappointing performance against Tampa Bay highlighted how much the team needs to improve in order to make the playoffs.
Let's take a look at the winners and losers from Oakland's fifth loss of the season
Loser: The Running Game
The Oakland Raiders generated absolutely nothing on the ground against Tampa Bay. Even before Darren McFadden left with an ankle injury in the second quarter, he was limited to only 17 yards on seven carries.
Out of their 424 yards of total offense, only 22 of them came on the ground. The fact that only six percent of the Raiders offense came on the ground is mind-boggling. Whether it was McFadden or Mike Goodson running the ball, Oakland looked lost.
Another disappointing effort on the ground continues to show the flaws of offensive coordinator Greg Knapp's zone-blocking scheme.
Winner: Carson Palmer
If it wasn't for Carson Palmer the Raiders could have easily been blown out by 30 points.
Due to a nonexistent running game, Palmer was forced to throw the football 61 times and completed 64 percent of his passes for over 400 yards and four scores.
He did make some errant throws toward the end of the game to help give the Buccaneers the win, but he was the only reason the Raiders were in the game in the first place.
Palmer was responsible for 94 percent of Oakland's offense in the loss. Once again, he continues to take on more and more every week since the Raiders continue to struggle running the football.
Honorable Mention: Marcel Reece
For the third time in five games, Marcel Reece has had at least 50 yards receiving. Oakland's fullback was more of a wide receiver against Tampa Bay, as he finished with eight catches for 95 yards and a touchdown.
After improving over their last two weeks, the Raiders defense took a step in the wrong direction against the Buccaneers.
Oakland's Michael Huff got burned twice for touchdowns, and Tampa Bay's rookie running back Doug Martin ran for 251 yards and found the end zone four times.
Giving up 251 yards on the ground to a single running back is inexcusable. The Raiders' tackling was horrible, and Martin was able to turn the Raiders defense into the Saints defense.
The Buccaneers outgained the Raiders by 256 yards on the ground.
Honorable Mention: Lamarr Houston
Lamarr Houston blocked Connor Barth's 34-yard field-goal attempt in the first quarter and recovered it as well.
Winner: Brandon Myers
Brandon Myers continues to prove why he's Carson Palmer's most reliable target. Myers finished with eight catches for 59 yards and two scores for the Raiders.
He was also targeted a team-high 13 times and had two fourth-quarter touchdowns to give the Raiders new life.
Myers has at least five catches in three of his last four games and is still "Mr. Reliable" for Palmer.
Honorable Mention: Rod Streater
Oakland's undrafted rookie had the best game of his young NFL career by catching four passes for 54 yards and a touchdown.
The Raiders reverted back to their old ways by committing nine penalties for 80 yards. After coming off a performance where they only committed two penalties against Kansas City, nine penalties isn't exactly the way to go.
Tampa Bay was flagged a "Raiders-like" 14 times against Oakland for 116 yards. The difference between the Bucs and the Raiders is that one team found a way to win while the other found a way to lose.
Dishonorable Mention: Play-Calling
Oakland ran 75 plays to Tampa Bay's 63 and was still outgained by nearly 100 yards. The Raiders only averaged 5.7 yards per play to the Buccaneers' 8.2.