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The Tampa Bay Buccaneers handed the Minnesota Vikings their first defeat at home this season 36-17.
Rookie running back Doug Martin exploded in his best game yet as an NFL back. Martin led the Buccaneers in rushing and receiving, with 29 carries for 135 yards and one touchdown. His touchdown run came midway through the 4th quarter to help solidify the victory. Martin caught three passes for 79 yards and a touchdown.
Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman continues to pick up his level of play week after week. Freeman competed 19-of-36 passes for 262 yards and three touchdowns. Freeman has thrown three touchdowns in three consecutive games.
Wideout Mike Williams contributed with six catches and 68 yards along with one touchdown. Third year full-back Erik Lorig scored his first NFL touchdown.
Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder bounced back from his 58 yard passing game last week. Ponder completed 19-of-35 passes for 251 yards one touchdown and one interception. Ponder connected with favorite wideout Percy Harvin in the 2nd quarter on an 18 yard touchdown pass.
Harvin finished the game with seven receptions, 90 yards and one touchdown. Harvin compiled 87 total receptions last season; he currently has 60 receptions through eight games and could possibly catch 100+ passes for the first time in his career.
Adrian Peterson had another great game as one of the superior running backs in the NFL. Peterson broke out a 64 yard touchdown run in the 3rd quarter. Peterson averaged 8.2 yards per carry with his 15 carries for 123 yards. AP sits atop the NFL with 775 yards through eight games, and also with the most 20+ yard runs.
With the loss the Vikings fall to 5-3, but remain in 2nd in the NFC North Division just ahead of the 4-3 Packers; they have yet to play. Of the Vikings final eight games, five will be against divisional opponents, which will absolutely be decisive in their efforts in making the playoffs.
Next week the Vikings will be heading west to take on the Seattle Seahawks, who remain undefeated at home. The Buccaneers will also be heading west to take on the Oakland Raiders and look to get back to .500.
Image Courtesy of Tampa Bay Buccaneers