I wanted to get this posted earlier this week, but I suppose better late than never. So just to prepare you, I will start by saying the Oakland Raiders actually won another game. That is not a typo - the Raiders won. I will mention this a few times throughout the post, just in case it won't fully set in. By no stretch of the imagination was this an exciting game. Even for a football fan, such as myself, it was tough to watch all the way through. I suspect to Jets and Raiders fans, it was a clash of football powerhouses, but to everyone else, it was pretty boring. The "action," if you can call it that, really only set in during the fourth quarter, and built up through over time. GASP! Over time, you say? Yep, over time. Which of course means that the Raiders did not blow it in the fourth, which seems to be their them for the 2008 season. Believe me, it seemed at times they were trying to give the game up, but they pulled through and won. That is right, I repeat, the Raiders won.
Sebastian Janikowski was the Raiders hero on this day. In a back-and-forth duel of no offense, and good defense, it came down to his 57-yard field goal in over time to win it for the Raiders, with a final score of 13-10. For those of you that are not football fans yourselves: 57 yards is FUCKING FAR. When we start getting into the upper 40s is when most kickers start to lose their range; here we are talking upper 50s. 57, to be exact. I am guessing Janikowski ate his Wheaties. Oh, by the way, the Raiders won.
The game really should not have gone into over time in the first place. The Raiders were, for the most part, dominating the tempo of the game, and really held Brett Favre's Jets in check. Favre kept getting knocked down, especially as he was releasing the ball. A few times I was skeptical that he was not going to get up, but we are talking about mister "most starts in a row ever" Favre. The only thing the Jets had going for them was the amazing play of their running back, Thomas Jones. Jones simply made the Raiders' defensive line his bitch. Dare I say, "that's a big bitch!" Justin Fargas and Darren McFadden, of the Raiders, once again had stellar games, but Jones trumped their combined total rushing yardage. The more I see Fargas play, the more I am impressed by this young running back. He runs hard, finds the holes, and is light on his feet. I predict next year will be his break-out year, with well over 1,000 yards rushing.
Favre's impact on the game was pretty non-existent. He threw one pick, and had no touch downs. Really, his only highlight was the block he set on an end-around play. It should have actually been two interceptions for Favre, but Michael Huff, of the Raiders, decided he was not going to catch the present that Favre threw right at him - I will also add that ball had no pace on it. Favre was actually outplayed by JaMarcus Russell, the Raiders' starting quarterback. Which is not really saying much for either of them. Russell still lacked confidence, and threw several errant passes. We saw the occasionally glimmer of hope when he stood strong in the pocket, surveyed the field, and made an accurate throw, but those situations were just few and far between. I think he is definitely starting to show signs of coming into his own, but he still needs to grow into his role. Don't get me wrong, Russell will be a star in the NFL - the guy can throw fucking bullets, and when his head is right, he has pin-point accuracy - but we are just seeing his learning curve now.
Earlier, I alluded to the fact that I felt the game should not have gone into over time. Here are just a few of the key reasons why:
- The Raiders had 14 fucking penalties. 14?! Most of which came from false starts, and offsides. Get your shit together, especially at home!
- Favre avoided what looked like an almost guaranteed safety, late in the fourth quarter. Seriously, it was sheer magic that he was not taken down.
- With three seconds left in the game, The Raiders were up 10-7, with Jets kicker, Jay Feely, preparing to hit a 52-yard field goal. Tom Cable, head coach of the Raiders, tries to freeze Feely, so he calls a timeout just before the ball was snapped. Feely's first attempt (which didn't count, since the timeout was called) hits the goal post; his second one (which did count) clears the up-rights with no problem.
I am sure coach Tom Cable sighed a GIANT sigh-of-relief after the Raiders pulled through in overtime. Methinks ol' Tommy boy won't be doing that dumb shit anymore this season. Raiders fans were undoubtedly hating life after that near-blunder, but soon rejoiced after their team pulled it together in OT. I will leave you with this gem, from my buddy Randy, who is a die-hard Raiders fan:
The Oakland Raiders just won...THE GREATEST GAME EVER PLAYED BY MAN!!