Sebastian Janikowski missed two kicks that he would’ve hit in any other season but this one, and allegedly told sideline reporter and former teammate Lincoln Kennedy that it was holder Marquette King’s fault.
One was missed from the left hashmark, a piece of geography that has troubled SeaBass through this negative outlier of a season, but the last one, a SeaBass chipshot (remember when he pretty much hit everything inside of 50?) was from the right hash mark.
Earlier in the season, there was speculation that King was spinning the ball too aggressively after the snap to ensure that the laces were facing out. From what I’ve heard from college long snappers, the ball should rotate two and a half times before it reaches the holder, and that will insure it is in optimal position for placement.
I watched the second miss very closely, and it didn’t look like the ball was spun at all. It also looked like the laces were facing outward.
But the misses weren’t the only kicking adventure. He made a 48-yarder through sheer brute force that flew as if it had been struck sidearm by a sledgehammer.
Janikowski has never looked like an athlete, despite being the best kicker in Raider history (with no disrespect to George Blanda), and arguably the best kicker in the league.
But sometimes those “bad bodies” age very poorly, and are prone to sudden warranty expirations. Let’s hope this isn’t the case with SeaBass.
And now, as Paul Harvey (another famous bad body who expired suddenly) used to say, THE REST OF THE STORY…
Mychael Rivera left the game after Michael Griffin attempted to murder him on a long pass that would’ve put the Raiders into the red zone in the first half. His arms were frozen at half-extension near his sides for a good 20 seconds after the hit, and the network used either an incredibly tasteless or very informative camera angle in the aftermath.
Rivera is THE pass catching threat at tight end for the Raiders right now, and it was a shame to see him leave the game, but frankly I’m glad he’s still alive.
The fairweather puds will claim that McGloin failed his second test, but really he just showed that he might not be 6-1. He had four balls batted down at the line of scrimmage, and at first viewing, it could’ve been on the offensive line as much as McGloin.
Rod Streater continued to prove me right today, especially on the lone touchdown drive where he shook his reputation as a “possession type” by putting his body out there to make two key receptions that put McGloin in perfect position to pump fake and uncork a beautiful 27-yard touchdown pass to Marcel Reece in the fourth quarter.
Unfortunately, the Raiders held to that “contain/prevent” thing they fall into, allowing Ryan Fitzpatrick, Wonderlic acer and closet hipster, to repeat the same ugly stunt he pulled during the Reign of Hue and beat the Raiders on the final drive of the game.
If you are a fatalist with a short attention span, you’ll be calling for McGloin’s release and the reinstatement of Terrelle Pryor.
Hopefully you are neither of those things.
McGloin did enough to keep the job, but Raiders special teams were a liability not just in the return game, but in the usually rock-solid kicking game.
The game was alternately boring and exhilarating, and ultimately your parents came home and ruined everything. That’s how I feel.
Here’s to the future. Now I’m going to buy stuff I don’t need and get un-thirsty in an effort to feel better about a game the Raiders coulda woulda shoulda won.