Buccaneers Top Vikings: 36-17

The Buccaneers will leave the Metrodome with one more win to their name after defeating the Minnesota Vikings 36-17. The Buccaneers put their final stamp on the game after CB Leonard Johnson pulled down an interception which led to a couple Buccaneer plays in Victory formation.

The Vikings’ QB Christian Ponder ended the day with 251 passing yards on 19 completions, one touchdown and an interception. 117 of those passing yards came in the last two drives of the night while the Vikings were trying to play a late game of catch-up.

The sole statistical standout on the Minnesota side was RB Adrian Peterson. On just 15 carries, Peterson ran for 123 yards. His longest play went 64 yards for a score in the third quarter.

Percy Harvin led the team in receiving with seven catches for 90 yards. He was on the receiving end of Ponder’s touchdown pass. Michael Jenkins ended the game with 78 yards and four receptions.

Buccaneer QB Josh Freeman had his third consecutive game with three touchdown passes, a Buccaneer record. He completed 19 of his 36 passes for 262 yards. RB Doug Martin, WR Mike Williams and FB Erik Lorig were on the receiving end of the touchdown passes.

WR Mike Williams finished the game with 68 yards on six receptions. TE Dallas Clark had three receptions for 40 yards while WR Vincent Jackson followed up his 216-yard week with a quiet 40-yard performance.

But it was RB Doug Martin who held the spotlight on this night. Martin ran the ball 29 times for 135 yards and a score. Adding to that, he caught three passes for 79 yards and a 64-yard touchdown on a screen play. Martin’s 214 yards is the 5th best single game total in Buccaneer history.

Defensively, the Buccaneers forced three turnovers. Michael Bennett stripped WR Jerome Simpson on Ponder’s first completion of the game and the ball was picked up by LB Mason Foster. Later in the half, RB Adrian Peterson lost the ball to Ronde Barber and LB Quincy Black was able to fall on the ball. These turnovers led to 10 Buccaneer points and helped swing the game in Tampa Bay’s favor. To close the game, Leonard Johnson intercepted a pass in the red zone.

The Buccaneers will travel to Oakland to face the Raiders in Week Nine action next Sunday.

Vikings Fail on Fourth Down, Bucs Take Over

With just under 4:30 remaining, the Buccaneers offense will again take the field after the Buccaneers stalled the Vikings in the red zone.

Christian Ponder connected on a few quick passes to help move the Vikings down the field, trying to cut in to the 19-point Buccaneer lead. The longest play of the drive was a 28-yard hook-up with WR Michael Jenkins.

However a short pass and scramble set up the Vikings on a third down play inside the 15-yard line. The pass fell incomplete, then a false start penalty pushed the Vikings back to fourth-and-seven. Ponder got hit as he threw and the ball fell harmlessly to the turf.

The Buccaneers will take over on downs.

Doug Martin Adds One More, Bucs Up 36-17

Josh Freeman converted on four third-and-long passes to keep a long, early fourth quarter drive alive which led to a Doug Martin touchdown that makes this a three-possession ball game.

After an incredibly physical end to the third quarter, the Buccaneer looked to eat up the clock to protect their 13-point lead.

On a third-and-6 in the beginning of the drive, Josh Freeman connected with Vincent Jackson for 14 yards. Three plays later, the Bucs faced third-and-10, when Freeman connected with WR Tiquan Underwood for 12 yards. Fast forward three more plays to a third-and-10, where Josh Freeman found WR Mike Williams who made an incredible leaping grab good for 34 yards.

Now inside the red zone, the Buccaneers found themselves in a fourth third down situation with nine yards to gain when Freeman found Williams again for 11 yards over the middle.

Then, apparently just for good measure, the Buccaneers ran two plays, got to the one yard line, and on third-and-goal, RB Doug Martin took the hand off and barreled into the end zone, taking a few Viking defenders with him.

Martin has 135 yards rushing, 79 yards receiving and two touchdowns on the day. The drive lasted 9:09.

The Buccaneers attempted a two-point conversion, which would have brought the lead to 21 points, but the ball fell incomplete. The Bucs are up on the Vikings 36-17 with just over seven minutes remaining.

Adrian Peterson Long Run Makes it 30-17 Bucs

The Vikings made short time of answering the Buccaneers’ latest score.

KR Percy Harvin was finally able to take a kick out of the end zone, returning it out to the VIkings’ 36-yard line. Christian Ponder failed to connect on a deep shot to WR Jerome Simpson and then opted to hand the ball off to RB Adrian Peterson on the ensuing play.

Peterson took the ball off the right tackle, made a move and then showed his speed, taking it in for a touchdown from 64 yards out. The run give Peterson 122 rushing yards on the night.

The Buccaneers will take over the ball with a 30-17 lead with 7:28 remaining in the third quarter.

Doug Martin Hits 200 Yards, Bucs Go Up 30-10

With a giant 106-yard rushing performance in the first half, followed quickly by a 64-yard catch-and-run screen pass touchdown, Doug Martin had 184 combined yards in just a hint over 31 minutes of play.

Following another Viking three-and-out, the Buccaneers were back in business and Martin took the first run for six yards, followed that with a tough run up the left side for nine yards. And on the next play he took a four-yarder up the middle, putting him over 200 total yards on the game, less than five minutes into the third quarter.

Connor Barth capped the drive by hitting from 38 yards out, his third field goal of the night.

The Buccaneers take their lead to 20, up 30-10.

Bucs Strike Fast in Second Half: 27-10

The Buccaneers started the third quarter taking a touchback setting them up at the 20 yard line. Four plays and 1:31 later, they found the end zone on a 64 yard screen pass to RB Doug Martin.

The play was set up on a pass to TE Dallas Clark for 17 yards. One play later it was the short dump, a great block and some nifty running by Martin to put the Buccaneers up by 17 points.

Martin now has 184 total yards, the same as the entire Viking offense. Josh Freeman is the first quarterback in Buccaneer history with three passing touchdowns in three consecutive weeks.

The Vikings will start their next drive at the 20 yard line after another Koenen touchback.

Martin Runs Wild in First Half

The Buccaneers built their 20-10 first-half lead at Minnesota on Thursday night on two Josh Freeman TD passes and a pair of Connor Barth field goals.  However, it was rookie running back Doug Martin who was arguably the most effective offensive force for either team in the first two quarters.

In fact, the former Boise State star has already rushed for 100 yards in a game for the first time in his career, with two quarters to go.  In a game that featured Viking star Adrian Peterson running very well – 10 carries for 60 yards – Martin managed to outdo his veteran counterpart with 106 yards on 14 carries.  That included a 41-yard jaunt on the Bucs’ second drive that set up Erik Lorig’s one-yard touchdown catch.

Martin also caught two passes for 15 yards in the first half, giving him a total of 121 combined yards and putting him over 100 in that category for the third game in a row.  Martin came into Thursday’s game on pace to set a rookie record with 1,474 combined rushing and receiving yards, and it looks like that projection will go up after Week Eight.  Even if he doesn’t gain a single yard in the second half, which is obviously unlikely, Martin will be on pace for 1,540 by season’s end.

Bucs Lead Vikings 20-10 Going Into Halftime

Two Connor Barth field goals and two Josh Freeman touchdown passes have the Buccaneers up 20-10 at the half.

Just looking at the yardage statistics you would think that the Buccaneers are off to a rough start. Fact is: the Buccaneer defense have just been setting up Freeman with a very short field to work with. Both Michael Bennett and Ronde Barber have forced fumbles in the game, setting up the offense in excellent scoring position. Add in two short punts and the Buccaneers have started inside their own 40-yard line four times tonight.

Josh Freeman has connected on two touchdown passes, one to FB Erik Lorig, the other on an 3-yard fade to WR Mike Williams. He has hit on 10 of his 22 passes for 85 yards.

Just before the half, Doug Martin eclipsed 100 yards rushing for the first time in his young career. He has had an outstanding game, with 106 yards on 14 carries, his long going for 41 yards.

Eight different players have caught passes for the Bucs this game. Vincent Jackson is leading the way with 26 yards, while TE Dallas Clark has two catches for 23.

For the Vikings, the lone touchdown came on a pass from QB Christian Ponder to WR Percy Harvin. Ponder has 125 yards passing on nine completions.

Adrian Peterson has 60 yards on the ground on 10 touches, but is responsible for one of the two fumbles. The other fumble came on Ponder’s first completion of the day when it was lost by WR Jerome Simpson.

Harvin is the leading Viking receiver with four catches and 67 yards.

Defensively, for the Buccaneers, Ronde Barber is having a big day with six tackles, a number of big QB pressures that have forced incompletions, and of course his forced fumble. Chad Greenway leads the Vikings in tackles with eight.

The Buccaneers will start the second half receiving the kickoff and will look to extend their 10-point lead.

Blair Walsh Adds Three for Vikings

Rookie K Blair Walsh knocked in a 51-yard field goal to shorten the Bucs’ lead to 20-10.

The Vikings converted on two third downs during the drive, but couldn’t make it on their third try, forcing the kicker to try a long shot that ultimately split the uprights.

A deep pass on third-and-twelve, set up by a Daniel Te’o-Nesheim sack, QB Christian Ponder hit WR Jerome Simpson on a 33-yard pass down the left sideline.

After the big play, the Vikings were unable to go much further, but managed to pull within 10 points of the Bucs before the half.

The Buccaneers have a minute and 40 seconds left to try to improve their lead.

Mike Williams TD Reception Makes It 20-7

The Buccaneers defense set up another short scoring drive for the offense after Ronde Barber created the second turnover of the night, forcing an Adrian Peterson fumble at the Viking 37-yard line.

RB Doug Martin got things started, taking a hand-off outside for 16 yards. QB Josh Freeman then connected with TE Dallas Clark for 13 yards setting up a first-and-goal.

On third-and-goal from the three yard line, the Bucs lined up in shotgun formation with WR Mike Williams in one-on-one coverage on the right sideline. Freeman dropped back, with pressure, and lofted the ball to the back corner of the end zone. Williams came down with it, touching down one foot and dragging his other toe before stepping out the back of the end zone.

It is Mike Williams fourth touchdown of the season, and Freeman’s second passing TD of the night.

The Buccaneers lead 20-7 with 4:30 left in the first half.