Raiders notebook: Myers emerging as offensive weapon for Oakland
Published: Sunday, November 4, 2012 at 3:00 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, November 4, 2012 at 11:02 p.m.
OAKLAND — Finally out of the shadow of Zach Miller and Kevin Boss, tight end Brandon Myers has become an important part of the Raiders passing game. He came into Sunday’s game with 63 career catches — and zero touchdowns.
Myers, a fourth-year player out of Iowa, rectified that statistical oddity with a 4-yard scoring catch early in the fourth quarter, taking a pass from Carson Palmer in the left flat and diving for the flag. For good measure, Myers added touchdown No. 2 at the end of the Raiders’ next drive on a 1-yard pass over the middle from Palmer.
It was the first two-TD performance by a Raiders tight end since Courtney Anderson got a pair against New England in 2005.
“Brandon’s just a big-time player,” Palmer said after Oakland’s 42-32 loss to Tampa Bay. “He’s made plays every single game. And all the quarters of the game, but especially in the fourth quarter, he seems to come up with big plays and he did it again tonight. But I know Brandon. He’s a team guy. He wants to win, and he could care less who scores.”
Bingo. Myers downplayed his achievement after the game. “Doesn’t really matter, to be honest with you,” he said.
Lechler throws short
The Raiders were down 7-3 midway through the second quarter, facing fourth-and-13 at midfield when they tried a little trickery.
Punter Shane Lechler, instead of booting the ball downfield, threw a pass to Taiwan Jones near the right sideline. It was complete, but for a mere 6 yards; Jones fumbled, got it back, and the Buccaneers took over on downs.
“It’s part of some things that we have in our arsenal,” Raiders coach Dennis Allen explained.
“They brought the gunner in and they did a nice job of adjusting back out, and they made the play and we didn’t.”
Tampa Bay’s Ahmad Black covered the throw. Lechler has completed 2 of 4 career passes.
Run, big man, run
On the positive side of the special-teams ledger, Oakland’s Lamarr Houston turned in one of the game’s first big plays Sunday when he blocked Connor Barth’s 35-yard field-goal attempt at 5:06 of the first quarter. He then made it a daily double by scooping up the loose ball and rumbling 34 yards into Buccaneers territory.
Houston, improbably, was a star running back at Doherty High in Colorado Springs, Colo., years ago, but had not carried the ball since recording one kickoff return at the University of Texas. Now 300 pounds, he had to put some effort into his yardage.
Asked how it felt running with the ball, Houston said: “Tiring. Real tiring. I have a lot of respect for people who carry the ball now.”
The Raiders maintained their streak of scoring within the last two minutes of the first half every game this season. Sunday, it was a 25-yard touchdown pass from Palmer to Rod Streater with 1:20 on the clock.
According to STATS Inc., Tampa Bay’s Doug Martin became the first player since at least 1940 with three rushing touchdowns of 45-plus yards in one game.
Oakland’s 402 net passing yards marked a season high.
This was the Buccaneers’ second victory over the Raiders in eight games, and the first ever in Oakland or Los Angeles.
Palmer’s 61 pass attempts were a career high, and his 414 yards were fourth most in franchise history.
FB Marcel Reece established career bests for catches (8) and receiving yards (95).
DE Andre Carter recorded his first sack as a Raider, forcing a fumble by QB Josh Freeman on the Buccaneers’ first offensive possession.
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