The Oakland Raiders go on the road, and get a big win Sunday against the Houston Texans, winning 25-20 on an emotional filled day, in the aftermath of the death of their legendary owner, Al Davis.
The Raiders get a big payback win, after losing to the Texans a year ago at home. Sunday’s game was a messy win for the Raiders, but a win is a win.
It was the type of win, that you couldn’t help but think that Davis was looking down on his team, and provided some spiritual motivation for his ball club to get the victory.
Midway through the second quarter, the Raiders found themselves down 14-6, as their offense was inefficient throughout most of the first half. The defense gave up some big plays early, and things didn’t look too good for the Raiders.
The Raiders were finally able to get on the board late in the second quarter, as their offense finally came to life, when quarterback Jason Campbell found wide receiverDarrius Heyward-Bey for a 34-yard touchdown pass. Oakland’s two-point conversion attempt was no good, but the score closed the gap as the Raiders fortunately went into halftime only down 14-12 after a dismal showing on offense in the first half.
The third quarter was a defensive battle as both teams traded field goals, trading the lead back and forth, as the Raiders headed into the last quarter of play down 17-15.
It wasn’t until the beginning of the fourth quarter, that the Raiders took the lead for good, as Campbell found wide out Chaz Schilens for an 18-yard touchdown score, as the Raiders would go up 22-17.
The Raiders would add on another field goal from kicker Sebastian Janikowski, to put them up 25-17. Janikowski went 4-for-4 on field goal attempts for the day, as well as tying the NFL record for most 50-yard field goals in a game (3).
After kicking a field goal midway through the fourth quarter to bring their deficit to 25-20, Houston had a chance to win Sunday’s ball game on their last drive, but quarterback Matt Schaub was intercepted by Raiders’ safety Michael Huff on the final play of the game.
Campbell, didn’t have a great game statistically, but threw for two key touchdowns that ultimately led to the Raiders victory. Heyward-Bey had a great game with seven catches for 99 yards and a touchdown score. If they get this kind of production out of him, the Raiders could legitimately have a high powered, well-balanced offense. Running back Darren McFadden only racked up 51 yards, but got his motor going on a big drive to end the third quarter that eventually led to an Oakland touchdown early in the fourth quarter.
The defense, gave up a lot of passing yards, but held Texans’ running back Arian Foster to 68 yards rushing. The defense got key stops when they needed them the most, and that’s what allowed Oakland to get back into the ball game.
The Raiders were finally able to let out some emotion after Sunday’s win, as head coach Hue Jackson admitted how huge this win was for their organization. Several players, including Heyward-Bey and Huff told reporters that Sunday’s victory was for Davis, and I’m pretty sure they will play the rest of the season with a heavy heart, as they try to win the division and reach the playoffs for the first time in nine years.
Oakland will be at home for the next three weeks and look to add more wins to their 3-2 record, especially with the Cleveland Browns coming to the Black Hole next week.
From here on out, it doesn’t matter how they get it done, their motto for the 2011 season should simply be the resurgence of the phrase “Just Win Baby Win” in remembrance of their maverick owner owner who did it his way, and changed the game of professional football.
About the Author
Written by Arthur Kai