Monday, November 11, 2013
Drive of the Game: The defense holds
By Dan Graziano
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Had it covered one more yard, it likely would have been the drive of the game in an Oakland Raiders victory. But the 14-play drive with which the Raiders ate up the first 8:04 of the second half Sunday in MetLife Stadium resulted only in a field goal -- even after they had first-and-goal from the 1-yard line. Holding Oakland out of the end zone on that drive kept the New York Giants within one score and in position to turn the game around with another defensive play four minutes later.
The Raiders held a 17-14 lead at halftime mainly because the Giants had fumbled away the game's opening kickoff and because Tracy Porter had intercepted an Eli Manning pass and returned it for a touchdown late in the second quarter. They'd run the ball fairly well behind backup running back Rashad Jennings, but quarterback Terrelle Pryor had looked terrible on a bad knee and behind a bad offensive line. So the fact that the Raiders were able to move the ball 74 yards so methodically had to be a bit alarming for the Giants. The 10th play of the drive was a 5-yard Jennings run that set Oakland up with first-and-goal on the 1.
But Jennings got stuffed on the next play by Jacquian Williams and Jason Pierre-Paul. Pryor missed Denarius Moore in the back on the end zone on second down. A false start on third down moved the Raiders back to the 6-yard line, and Pryor's pass again fell incomplete, bringing Sebastian Janikowski on for the field goal.
The Giants did nothing with their next possession, but on the Raiders possession that followed, Terrell Thomas intercepted Pryor and ran it back to the 5. Two plays later, Andre Brown scored and a game that could have been 24-14 Raiders was 21-20 Giants instead.