Tuesday, December 14, 2010
AFC West Week 14 decisive moment
By Bill Williamson
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The biggest play of the game for the Oakland Raiders on Sunday at Jacksonville was its final good moment of the day in a 38-31 loss.
Raiders running back Darren McFadden concluded his three-touchdown day with a 36-yard run to tie the score at 31 with 1:53 to go. The Raiders’ playoff hopes looked like they would receive a boost.
Then the rest of the game happened.
On the ensuing kickoff, Jacksonville snatched momentum back when rookie Deji Karim returned the ball to the Oakland 30. The special-teams blunder clearly deflated Oakland’s defense. On the next play, Maurice Jones-Drew scampered 30 yards for a touchdown to give the Jaguars a seven-point lead with 1:34 left.
The Raiders weren't done yet. But they soon would be. The Raiders quickly got to the Jaguars’ 32. But Oakland quarterback Jason Campbell -- who played well until the final two plays -- took a 7-yard sack. That put Oakland at the 39 with 11 seconds to go. Campbell then made a bigger mistake when he hit rookie receiver Jacoby Ford at the 23 while he was in double coverage and not near the sideline. Ford was tackled a yard shy of a first down as time expired, leaving the Raiders 23 yards from tying the score.
In the end, McFadden’s terrific game-tying run was spoiled by big gaffes in the final two minutes of the game. The result was that Oakland is 1-3 since tying Kansas City with a 5-4 record following an overtime win over the Chiefs on Nov. 7. The Chiefs are 8-5 and lead the Raiders by two games with three to play.