Football is a number’s game and a lot of strange numbers came out the Buccaneers 30-24 overtime loss to the Raiders at Raymond James Stadium on Sunday.
There were the 626 yards of offense generated by the Raiders, the NFL record 23 penalties for 200 yards assessed to the Raiders and the two missed field goals by Raiders kicker Sebastian Janikowski.
The strangest and most telling number of all, though, had to be the 85 offensive plays run by the Raiders, who simply wore the Bucs defense out in improving to 5-0 on the road.
“Our defense was on the field way too long,’’ Bucs coach Dirk Koetter said. “We couldn’t do enough offensively to keep (Oakland) off the field and that hurt us. We just can’t keep our defense out there that long.’’
Oddly, it was a critical play in which the defense actually appeared to get off the field on which the game turned. And it only got crazier.
On a fourth-and-3 play with 1:43 left in regulation and the Bucs leading 24-17, Raiders quarterback Derek Carr overthrew Michael Crabtree in the right corner of the end zone.
Game over, right? Wrong. Over on the left side of the field, away from where Carr was looking, Bucs cornerback Jude Adjei Barimah was called for defensive holding, a penalty that gave the Raiders a new life. They didn’t waste it.
Even after suffering a false start on first-and-goal from the 2, the Raiders bounced back and tied the game on a 7-yard touchdown pass from Carr to Mychal Rivera.
After the Bucs went three and out in their attempt to win it down the stretch, Janikowski missed on a 50-yard field goal, erasing the Raiders best chance to win in regulation.
Janikowski then missed another game-winning field-goal try, this one from 52 yards out, in overtime. That set up the Buccaneers at midfield, playing with a 15 mph wind and yet, QB Jameis Winston and their offense could do nothing with the ball and punted.
Eventually, with under two minutes left in OT, the Raiders got the better of the Bucs when Seth Roberts took a short pass and turned it into a game-winning 41-yard touchdown pass (shown above) when Adjei-Barimah and Bradley McDougald ran into each other trying to make the game-saving tackle.
“With the defense, again, it starts with them being on the field too long,’’ Koetter said. “Anything else I say is going to be an excuse, because we had our chances.
“We were right there in regulation. Our D held them in the red zone and we got a penalty. We only had six (peanlties) on the day but that was a costly one.’’
For his part, Carr finished with a Raider record 513 yards passing and 4 TD’s, and Oakland is now 6-2 and the 5-0 record on the road is the best in the NFL.
Tampa Bay drops to 3-4.