Raiders key matchup No. 1: Wheeler vs. Martin

November 4, 2012, 5:30 pm
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EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the final part in a series that spotlighted three Raiders-Buccaneers matchups to watch Sunday, 1:05 p.m. (Fox), at Coliseum.

Raiders key matchup No. 2: Michael Huff vs. Vincent Jackson
Raiders key matchup No.1: Carson Palmer vs. Ronde Barber
Raiders LB Philip Wheeler vs. Buccaneers RB Doug MartinTale of the tape
Wheeler (52): 6-foot-2, 240 pounds, fifth season, Georgia Tech
Martin (22): 5-foot-9, 223 pounds, rookie season, Boise StateALAMEDA -- For the third straight week the Raiders figure to face an explosive, if undersized, running back with Tampa Bay rookie Doug Martin following the trail blazed by Jacksonville's Maurice Jones-Drew and Kansas City's Jamaal Charles.And for the third straight week, Philip Wheeler figures to shadow said running back. Especially with Martin such a dual threat and Wheeler flying all over the field in his first season with the Raiders.Martin lists Oakland as his home town, though he went to St. Mary's High School in Stockton and played collegiately at Boise State. The No. 31 overall pick of April's draft just had his coming-out party on national television, rushing for 139 yards and a touchdown on 29 carries with three receptions for 73 yards and another score in the Buccaneers' 36-17 beatdown of Minnesota on Thursday Night Football on Oct. 25."Hes a guy that really can do a lot of different things," said Raiders coach Dennis Allen. "I think he has great vision. I think hes extremely quick. He also runs with great power. Hes got a lot of different things he can do as far as the running game is concerned."And hes a threat anytime he gets out of the backfield. Theres a reason why he was drafted in the first round. Hes living up to that billing."Wednesday, Martin was named the NFC's offensive rookie of the month after going for 467 yards of total offense in three games in October, and his 155.7 yards-from-scrimmage average leads the NFL."It comes from just getting in that film room," he said this week, "studying the film and the way you practice, full-speed, game-tempo, and just keeping the body healthy."The Raiders, meanwhile, have surrendered a relatively mere 201 yards rushing combined the past three games and, with teams running for an average of 102.1 yards per game on Oakland, the Raiders currently have the No. 11-ranked run defense.The Buccaneers have scored 102 points and 13 touchdowns in their past three games.