Carson Palmer called today’s contest against the Jacksonville Jaguars a “must-win” game. Thankfully the rest of the locker room shared the same sentiment as the Raiders just won, baby!
Far from pretty. Anything but beautiful. The Silver and Black battled back after sleepwalking through the first half en route to a gutsy 26-23 OT must win over the Jags.
To be sure the running game is still a serious concern. Darren McFadden isn’t looking any closer to his MVP form of last season. Palmer is still making some seriously suspect decisions that are costing his team dearly in crucial moments. Let’s also not act as if the Raiders beat a quality opponent.
Oakland winged a wounded Jaguars team that lost both Maurice Jones-Drew and starting QB Blaine Gabbert to injury today. MJD’s loss was by far the bigger of the two but Chad Henne had a 9 of 20 effort throwing the rock only JaMarcus Russell would envy.
None the less, the Raiders were able to overcome some very costly penalties, turnovers and general bad play to persevere a very important victory.
Lamarr Houston made the play of the game by forcing the fumble that setup another Sebastian Janikowski game-winner.
Give the Raiders props for coming up big in some very clutch moments. Oh, yeah, there were a few flags thrown that helped the cause too but let’s just chalk that up to karma. About damn time we started seeing some helpful penalties…especially in our own damn crib (can you tell I’m fired up on this subject?).
If you’re keeping score that makes two come from behind victories for the Raiders this season both of which have occurred in Oakland. At least we know this team has heart. We also know the Silver and Black are only one game out of first place thanks to the rest of the AFC West being on a bye week.
What remains to be seen is a consistent effort from start to finish. The closest we’ve come to seeing Dennis Allen’s team give it their all for an entire hour of game play was last week in Atlanta. Unfortunately that effort didn’t carry over to this week, at least not for the first half hour against Jacksonville.
But this is a results driven business and the Raiders got the only result that would suffice today. A win in the NFL counts the same no matter the means (unless we’re talking Tuck Rule or replacement officials). In desperate need of a win streak the Raiders can now set their sights on the rival Chiefs who have just one win having beaten the Jags who also have but one win to their name.
Let’s be totally honest though.
The Raiders showed some serious sack battling back from a 20-6 deficit. That’s impressive no matter the opposition. But one has to wonder what a team like Oakland, coming off their best showing of the season against a undefeated team in Atlanta, is doing being down to the Jags in the firs place. Greg Knapp’s offense is still under the microscope as McFadden’s woes continue. Coach Allen and Jason Tarver still have some serious explaining to do as the defense just isn’t performing at a level that can equate a playoff birth.
Not everything is masked by a win and Oakland’s shortcomings were very much on display today. But we can forgive any mistake when our team just wins, baby!