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Raiders’ penalties don’t help hapless Bucs in overtime

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For a moment, the Tampa Bay Bucs had hope. For a moment, they had opportunity.

Neither of them lasted.

It was overtime, and the Bucs had just taken over on a missed field goal. They were at their own 42, a couple of first downs from a field goal try that would potentially win the game.

And they went nowhere.

On first down, Jameis Winston threw long, as he tried throughout the game. Incomplete. On second down, he threw for five yards to Mike Evans. On third down he threw incomplete. And punt.

It was the best opportunity the Bucs had of stealing one against Oakland all afternoon. If someone had made a play, then perhaps the Bucs could have avoided the 30-24 overtime loss they suffered against the Raiders. It would have allowed the team to forget the 626 yards they surrendered. It would have made Derek Carr’s 513-yard passing day a footnote.

But when it counted, the Bucs could not make a play. They lost to a Raiders’ team that had an NFL record 23 penalties for 200 yards.

“They were trying to give us the game, man,” tackle Demar Dotson said. “They were handing us the game with those missed field goals and all of those penalties, and we didn’t take it, man. That’s the craziest thing I’ve ever seen. That’s a good football team, and to have so many penalties, they were trying to say, ‘Hey, Bucs … here’s the football game.’ We didn’t capitalize on that. When we needed to the most we didn’t capitalize.”

The Bucs led 10-3 early, then fell behind 17-10. They took a 24-17 lead in the fourth, but a lack of a pass rush led the Raiders to win. Oakland had 84 plays and kept the ball more than 40 minutes.

Winston had 180 yards and two touchdowns for the Bucs.

“I’ve got to help him,” coach Dirk Koetter said. “I’ve got to call it better. I’ve got to find a way to get us in. I’ve got to do better.”

The Bucs play Atlanta in a home game on Thursday night.

Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit garysheltonsports@gmail.com.

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