In a one sided game, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers easily handled the Minnesota Vikings to come away from the Metrodome with a good win this week, winning 36-17. The win advances the Bucs to 3-4 while the Vikes drop to 5-3.
The story of the game was the sheer dominance of the Tampa Bay running game. Doug Martin had the biggest game of his short career as he ran for 104 yards in the first half and finished the night with the terrific stats of 29 rushes for 135 yards and a TD complimented by 3 receptions for 79 yards and another TD. If you had any doubt about this kid’s talent, it was dismissed in this game as he broke off several plays for big yardage including a dazzling 41 yard run early and his stunning 64 yard receiving TD.
Josh Freeman was impressive for most of this game. He made plenty of decisive reads and good throws. He also showed a greater ability to trust his receivers and in particular he opened up to third year WR Mike Williams as the game went on. Williams wound up with 6 receptions for 68 yards and a TD while Freeman’s numbers ended at 19/36 for 262 yards and three TDs.
On the Vikings side, there wasn’t a lot to be cheerful about. While there were some big plays from stars Adrian Peterson – who had a scintillating 64 yard rushing TD to cap off a stat line of 15 carries for 123 yards and a TD – and Percy Harvin – he finished with 7 catches for 90 yards and a TD – but for the most part this team’s offense just looked poor. The main issue was the inability to give what the defense were giving them. On several occasions there were an obvious 4-6 yards to be made but instead they kept going for – and in most cases missed – the big play. All in all, it was an undisciplined offensive performance from the Vikings despite good efforts from Peterson and Harvin.
Next week the Tampa Bay Buccaneers continue their road trip as they head to the west coast to play in the O.co Colliseum where they face the currently 2-4 Oakland Raiders while the Minnesota Vikings will also head out west but they face a much tougher task as they travel to the thunderous CenturyLink Field to take on the dominating defense of the now 4-3 Seattle Seahawks.