By: Maliik Obee
In one of the most despicable games of recent memory, the Oakland Raiders defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 30-24 in overtime. Oakland nearly gave the game away, but Tampa Bay failed to secure it.
In an ugly performance, Oakland set an NFL record with 23 penalties for 200 yards, negating what seemed to be an easy victory. Throughout the game, Oakland omitted positive plays with penalties, forcing referees to remove their yellow flags from the holster with western-movie like force. If it wasn’t penalties, it was blown coverage in the secondary, or two missed field goals but legendary Raider Sebastian Janikowski. Nevertheless, Oakland found a way to score when it mattered, securing the win.
Raiders quarterback Derek Carr showed why he has been garnering massive praise, completing 40-for-59 for 513 yards and four touchdowns. Pro Bowl receiver Amari Cooper torched Buccaneers corner Vernon Hargreaves III for a career-high 173 yards, 17 short of the first matchup between the two in college. Oakland’s backfield combined for 128 yards, and tight end Mychal Rivera pitched in another receiving touchdown. The quirkiest play of the game came from offensive lineman Donald Penn, catching a one-yard touchdown early.
Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston struggled with the Raiders defense, throwing just 180 yards for two touchdowns on 16-for-32 passes. Prior to the game, Tampa Bay receiver Mike Evans was set for a big matchup with Raiders corner Sean Smith. Smith was sidelined on the opening defensive drive with a shoulder injury and would not return. Despite the loss of arguably their best corner, Oakland held Evans to 50 yards, with no touchdowns. Bucs running back Jacquizz Rodgers came into week eight with consecutive games over 100 yards on the ground but was held to 69 Sunday.
After an early season slump, Raiders All-Pro linebacker Khalil Mack continued to pick up steam, sacking Jameis Winston twice along wit a forced fumble. Oakland’s 626-yard offensive day was overshadowed by undisciplined play on both sides of the ball. The fact that Tampa Bay only accounted for 270 offensive yards only makes the game going into overtime even worse. While Oakland will be forced to reevaluate themselves as being a playoff team, the Bucs will be forced to harp on another game they allowed to slip away. Oakland moves to 5-0 on the road for the first time since 1977 while claiming the top position in the AFC West. Tampa Bay falls to 3-4, remaining in second place in the NFC South.