MINNEAPOLIS — Doug Martin racked up 214 total yards and two touchdowns, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers blew out Minnesota 36-17 on Thursday night to hand the Vikings their first home loss of the season.
Martin took a screen pass 64 yards for a score, one of three touchdowns thrown by Josh Freeman, to give Tampa Bay a 27-10 lead 1:21 into the second half. Then Martin, the first-round draft pick from Boise State, capped a drive of more than 9 minutes with a 1-yard muscle into the end zone midway through the fourth quarter to crush the comeback opportunity for Minnesota (5-3).
Adrian Peterson had a season-long 64-yard run for a score that brought the Vikings to 30-17, but his lost fumble in Minnesota territory in the second quarter led directly to a touchdown by the Buccaneers (3-4).
Jared Allen and Donald Penn traded shoves after one play that left Minnesota's All-Pro with a facemask penalty and a bashed-up nose after Tampa Bay's Pro Bowl left tackle pried Allen's helmet off and got a personal foul of his own. Allen was yelling at Penn after the whistle, pointing at the blood running down onto his teeth and telling him he was coming after him. Allen finished off that drive with a sack, forcing the Buccaneers to punt late in the third quarter.
Coming off a disappointing loss to the New Orleans Saints on Sunday, the Bucs came out strong against Minnesota's sputtering offense.
Christian Ponder hit Jerome Simpson late in the first quarter, but the wide receiver fumbled and Tampa Bay recovered at its own 46.
Tampa Bay drove into position for Connor Barth's second of three field goals, a 40-yarder that made it 13-0.
Minnesota's offense finally came to life in the second quarter thanks to Percy Harvin.
A couple of plays after picking up 32 yards on a screen, Harvin caught an 18-yard touchdown pass that cut it to 13-7.
After a Bucs' three-and-out, Harvin picked up another first down before Peterson fumbled and the Bucs recovered at Minnesota's 37.
Freeman, who had at least three touchdowns for the third consecutive week, connected with Mike Williams deep in the end zone on third-and-goal from the 3 to make it 20-7.
Martin surpassed 100 yards rushing for the first time all season by halftime, including a 41-yard gain on a delayed draw that set up Barth's 28-yard field goal that made it 3-0.