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Tuesday, December 7, 2010
AFC West Week 13 decisive moment

By Bill Williamson

The Oakland Raiders did not wait long before proving to the San Diego Chargers that Sunday would belong to the visitors.

Oakland took possession at the San Diego 18 early in the first quarter after Darren Sproles muffed a punt. The Raiders got to a fourth-and-1 situation from the 9. Perhaps concluding that he was in a no-lose situation after Sproles’ gift, Oakland coach Tom Cable decided to go for it instead of kicking a field goal.

Nice call, coach. And what a call it was. The Raiders executed one of the prettiest plays I’ve seen this season.

They faked a classic fourth-and-1 play -- the run up the middle. The entire San Diego defense bit hard on the fake and quarterback Jason Campbell executed a beautiful bootleg right into the end zone for a score. He was never in danger of being stopped.

It gave the Raiders a 7-0 lead and a major mental edge over the home team. That vibe never changed all day. The Raiders kept their playoff dreams alive and severely damaged San Diego’s playoff hopes.

It all started with Campbell’s crafty play.