Oakland Raiders: 2nd Win Comes vs Jacksonville in OT
Jerry Rump – Oct 23, 2012
The Oakland Raiders took it to the limit Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars and came from behind to pull out the win with a 41 yard field goal by Sebastian Janikowski in overtime 26-23 at the O.co. The win pulls the Raiders out of the gutter of the AFC West and moves them to 2-4, within one game of the Chargers and Broncos, who are tied at 3-3 atop the division.
The Raiders got going on offense in their second drive when Carson Palmer connected to Darrius Heyward Bey for 59 yards on a beautifully executed hitch and go route, but the redzone offense was pathetic and the Raiders were forced to settle for a 21 yard field goal by Sebastian Janikowski. From there, the Raider offense went right back to struggling with the run game and only managed six points for the first half.
This game was not supposed to be this hard, but because of the struggling offense, it began to look like getting the win was not going to be easy against the AFC South division’s bottom-dwelling Jaguars, even despite the fact that both their starting RB, Maurice Jones Drew (ankle), and QB, Blaine Gabbert (shoulder), were both out of the game with injuries that occurred in the first half. Although it is worth mentioning that Gabbert did rack up 110 passing yards and a touchdown in his short time in the game.
Gabbert’s touchdown pass came on a blown coverage play by the Raiders’ CB, Philip Adams where the pass to a wide open Cecil Shorts who was just so alone behind the Raider secondary, that he literally looked like he was catching a can of corn across the bay in the NLCS when he hauled in the score. As it also turned out, Adams was a major bust on the day because he also went on to fumble a punt that the Jaguars converted into seven to take a 14-3 lead.
The Jaguars stifled the Raiders ensuing drives for the rest of the half minus a good looking 11 play drive that once again ended pitifully in another field goal by Janikowski that closed the gap to 17-6. The points were much needed and came at a point in the game that the Raiders had to score anything to just keep from being blown out.
The Raiders on the other hand, looked very out of sync the whole first half. In fact, minus the Seabass field goals, the Raiders’ first half effort amounted to two turnovers, one on the Adams fumble during the punt return, the other on a boneheaded attempt to flip the ball to Mike Goodson by Palmer that resulted in an interception, and these combined with a horrible run game, a lackluster redzone offense, along with a mediocre defense that made it all look like the Jaguars were well on the way to a sure win in Oakland.
The Raiders first possession of the second half began just like the first with a few faulty run plays and a Shane Lechler punt. The Jags took the ball and drove down the field to tack on a 40 yard field goal by Scobee and the Jaguars lead 20-6 with 10:42 to go in the third quarter.
This ensuing drive for Oakland turned the whole game around.
A deep pass attempt from Palmer to Denarius Moore ended with a flag for pass interference on the Jags DB, Robert Mathis, and a few plays later, Moore caught a short pass from Palmer and dove into the endzone pulling the Raiders to within a touchdown at 20-13.
The game definitely began to turn and the Raiders defense stepped in to help keep it close.
Sacks came from Miles Burris (his first) followed a possession later with a huge one from Lamarr Houston that held the Jags to three after a Palmer fumble had set them up with great field position at the Raiders 24 yard line. This made the score 23-13 with 12:40 to go in the game.
The Raiders managed to drive down and get another Janikowski field goal that cut the lead back to seven at 23-16 with 6:52 to go in the game.
The Raiders defense held the Jaguars to another 3 and out on their ensuing drive and the Raiders got the ball at their 42 after the punt. The Raiders were once again helped out by a pass interference call on the Jags, Aaron Ross, and this after going for it on 4th and 10. A few plays later, Palmer dove in from the one yard line and the game was tied at 23 after the extra point.
The Black Hole was rocking at this point.
However, the game ended up going to overtime after Janikowski missed a 65 yarder to end it in regulation.
The Jaguars received the kick and returned the ball to their 19. Lamarr Houston then came up with the play of the game when he stripped Short after a completion and Joselio Hansen recovered at the 21. It all ended finally two plays later with a Janikowski 40 yard field goal which sealed the 26-23 win for Oakland.
The Raiders played stellar defense in the second half forcing the Jags to go 0-8 on third down conversions and limited them to only 54 yards total offense in the same timeframe. Big play from the front seven and the fact that Chad Henne couldn’t’ complete a pass to save his life, kept the Raiders offense within striking distance and I wonder if it would be totally out of line if we send Henne a game ball for helping us out?.
It was a hard fought victory and the Raiders showed that they can play through some serious adversarial conditions to come together and pull out a win. The defense played exceptional in the second half and the offense got points when they had their backs to the wall. The players showed they had faith and the coaches made the necessary adjustments when it really mattered most.
Carson Palmer summed it all up perfectly in the post-game press conference when asked about the win he said: “An ugly win is better than a pretty loss, I know that. I’ve played this game long enough to know that just finding anyway to get a win against a desperate team, a team that’s kicking onside kicks with a 14 point lead and changing things up. [I’m] just proud of the game we fought because it wasn’t pretty but we did not play up to our standard or play the way that we were coached at times but guys hung in there. Defense played great. They kept getting us the ball back and it was good to get out of here with a win.”
The main problem for the Raiders in all of this is still the huge lack of a run game on offense and consistency on the defensive side of the ball. So after week seven, Raider nation remains in the same position we’ve been in all season long, wondering if this team will finally turn things around or if this was just a lucky win against a subpar NFL team in the form of the Jaguars.
For now, let’s just stay focused upon the positive and watch and see if Oakland can build upon this win and put together a little streak over the next couple of weeks.
So, as hard as the transition to a new regime has been to watch for Raider Nation to this point in the 2012 regular season, hopefully, we can look back and say this game against the Jaguars was the point in the season where things finally began to come together.
Because strangely enough, with ten games to go and with the all too familiar way everything else has settled out in typical wild wild AFC West fashion, the Raiders sit only one game out of the lead even though, they are currently 0-2 in the division, crazy right? Anyway, division work can begin to be corrected with a win this coming Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs in Arrowhead.
The Chiefs are 1-5, but coming off their bye week and for the Raiders, moving to 3-4 and winning back to back games could be the catalyst that ignites this team to finally play up to the potential we all know they possess. Let all of Raider nation pray, each in your own special way, for the run game to get on track. I mean it’s not like half the season hasn’t just about gone by without any real consistent run blocking or anything like that. Or that, it’s not like one of the league’s most powerful weapons in the form of Darren McFadden, is struggling to get 50 yards a game or anything like that.
Right Mr. Knapp?
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