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Vikes get Martin-ized, fall to Bucs, 36-17

Powered by rookie running back Doug Martin, Tampa Bay comes into Mall of America Field and throttles the Vikings.
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MINNEAPOLIS -- A sputtering offense, a pair of fumbles and a huge night from rookie running back Doug Martin added up to a 36-17 Tampa Bay victory over the Vikings Thursday night at Mall of America Field.

Martin rushed for 135 yards, including a touchdown from 1-yard out. He also scampered 64-yards for a touchdown on a screen pass from Buccaneers' quarterback Josh Freeman.

Freeman also threw TD passes to Erik Lorig and Mike Williams.

"It was really a tough loss for us," Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said. "We definitely did not play good football. It's extremely obvious."

To see Frazier's postgame news conference in its entirety, CLICK HERE.

Vikings running back Adrian Peterson had another big game, rushing for 123 yards, including a 64-yard touchdown run in the third quarter. It was Peterson's 30th game of 100 yards or more, setting a team record.

But it also came on a night when Peterson -- as well as wide receiver Jerome Simpson -- would fumble away the ball, leading directly to 10 Tampa Bay points.

Vikings defensive end Jared Allen called it "an embarrassing loss." He got into a third-quarter tussle with Tampa tackle Donald Penn, a skirmish where Allen lost his helmet and was bloodied.

Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder passed for 251 yards, including an 18-yard touchdown strike to Percy Harvin, but he was harassed all night by the Bucs defense. His night ended with an interception with :57 left in regulation.

"It's not much fun when you get beat that way," Ponder said afterwards. "We have to take a look at ourselves and see what we can do better."

To see Ponder's news conference in its entirety, CLICK HERE.

To hear postgame comments from Vikings Josh Robinson, Matt Kalil, Kyle Rudolph and more, via, CLICK HERE.

The Vikings only other score came via a Blair Walsh field goal late in the second quarter, as he hit from 51-yards out.

Minnesota falls to 5-3 with the loss, falling two games behind Chicago in the loss column in the NFC North. Last year at the halfway point of the season, the Vikings were 2-6.

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