GRADING the raiders
Carson Palmer completed 39 of 61 passes for 414 yards and four touchdowns -- three in the fourth quarter as the Raiders climbed within 35-32 after trailing 35-17. However, Palmer wasn't in sync with Denarius Moore and threw a killer interception, then another when the game was decided. He had three picks in all.
The loss of running back Darren McFadden to an ankle injury and the mounting score made it impossible for the Raiders to be patient with the run. The Raiders finished with 22 yards on 11 carries. Mike Goodson was also lost to an ankle injury.
Josh Freeman was 18 of 30 for 247 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. Tyvon Branch was the only Oakland defender to get his hands on a thrown football, with a pass defensed. The lone sack came by Andre Carter on the opening series. Freeman had the time he needed to attack. A rough day for Michael Huff against Vincent Jackson.
Tampa Bay's Doug Martin had 265 yards rushing until he lost 14 yards on his last three carries while the Bucs were killing the clock. He still gained 251 yards on 25 carries and scored from 45, 67, 70 and 1 yards. Tommy Kelly used to refer to the Raiders' big-play struggles as "stop, stop ... boom." This was boom, boom, boom.
Play of the day was Lamarr Houston blocking a 35-yard Connor Barth field goal attempt with his left hand extended, then catching it out of the air and returning it 34 yards to set up a 29-yard Sebastian Janikowski field goal. Shane Lechler looked more like his old self in terms of height and distance, averaging 54.5 yards per punt, although a 26-yard return by Roscoe Parrish hurt Lechler's net (43.0). No Raiders returns of note.
The Raiders climbed back into the game at 35-32 with Palmer throwing short and being patient -- and then they threw it away with more than two minutes left on the clock. He probably had other route options, so it's hard to pin that entirely on coaching. For whatever reason, Raiders failed to execute defensively in a huge way. For that, the coaches and players share responsibility.
-- JERRY MCDONALD