OAKLAND, Dec. 19 -- Napolean Kaufman and Tyrone Wheatley had no problems slicing through the vaunted Tampa Bay defense Sunday, helping send the Oakland Raiders storming past the Buccaneers, 45-0.
Lance Johnstone and Darrell Russell, meanwhile, led a defensive effort that brought Oakland its first shutout in seven years. Tampa Bay absorbed the worst loss in the franchise's 24-year history.
Kaufman, who had his role reduced this season by coach Jon Gruden, produced 122 yards on just eight carries and broke off scoring runs of 75 and 17 yards.
Wheatley, signed to handle the workload, rushed for 111 yards and also had a pair of touchdowns, including a 30-yarder.
Russell dominated the line of scrimmage and helped the Raiders hold the Buccaneers to just five yards rushing in the first half, during which the Raiders opened a 17-0 lead.
Johnstone returned a fumble by Bucs quarterback Shaun King 13 yards for a touchdown 1:42 into the third quarter to increase the lead to 24- 0.
$?'I think a lot was made of their defense and rightfully so, but no one really said anything about our offense,' said Raiders coach Jon Gruden.$?'We have as many first downs as anyone in football. We have been moving the ball extremely well in the air and on the ground. I thought our backs ran hard and complemented each other.'
The Raiders (7-7) kept alive their playoff hopes and snapped Tampa Bay's six-game winning streak, also a franchise record. Despite the loss, the Buccaneers (9-5) remained in sole possession of first place in the NFC Central, one game ahead of Detroit, which lost at Chicago.
The Raiders' last shutout was a 19-0 win at Seattle on Oct. 18, 1992.
$?'We haven't been in many like this, but they have a very talented football team,' said Buccaneers coach Tony Dungy.$?'We let them get ahead of us and they kind of steamrolled us from there.'
$?'We did a great job, especially on the offensive line,' Kaufman said.$?'What more can you say. We had planned to run the ball and we did. It was just a great game.'
Wheatley, signed to handle the workload, rushed for 111 yards on 19 carries and also had a pair of touchdowns, including a 30-yarder.
The Raiders had a huge edge in total yardage, 400-137, and the Bucks were none for 12 in third-down conversions.
$?'We didn't show up today,' said Bucs safety John Lynch.$?'We have to be on guard that this loss doesn't shake our confidence because we still know we're a good football team.'
$?'It's hard to shut anybody out in this league,' Gruden said.$?'I attribute that to the high effort level our defense gave in this game.'
It was the first loss for Tampa Bay under rookie quarterback Shaun King, who led the Bucs to back-to-back home wins over Minnesota and Detroit to put them into sole possession of first place.
King completed 17 of 29 passes for 142 yards with an interception and committed a fumble in the face of a pass rush which led to Johnstone's touchdown. He was sacked four times.
Tampa Bay's duo of Warrick Dunn and Mike Alstott was held to 17 yards on 14 carries.