It wasn’t pretty, but it was a win.
Carson Palmer took a serious beating by a Jacksonville D that seemed motivated to avenge the early exit of both Blaine Gabbert and Maurice Jones-Drew. Despite that, he demonstrated a swagger that he’s lacked all too often during his tenure as a Raider.
The Raiders burned their last timeout in regulation to call Sebastian Janikowski and the kicking team off the field, seemingly at Palmer’s insistence. I can only speculate, but it felt like he begged Coach Dennis Allen for a chance to tie the game, and he threw a perfect pass on fourth down to DHB that drew a pass interference call to put the Raiders in position to tie the game.
Now it shouldn’t have been so close, but it was. Nobody seemed interested in protecting the ball today, and it was fitting that Jacksonville fumbled in overtime to give SeaBass the chance to kick the game winner, which he did with ease.
This was the first game in years that I felt like turning off. The first two quarters were ugly, ugly, ugly.
Penalites and a complete lack of protection for Palmer gave the first half a preseason feel. This wasn’t what I expected following last week’s valiant effort against the undefeated Falcons.
East Bay Sports Guy made a compelling argument for dealing Darren McFadden earlier this week on the grounds that Mike Goodson and Taiwan Jones are more efffective, and Run DMC did nothing to discourage that notion today.
Also, Rolando McClain continues to prove that he’s a role player and not the captain of the defense. He made some key stuffs today against the run, and didn’t look overwhelmed like he did in the first four games of the season.
Meanwhile, Miles Burris recorded his first professional sack at a key moment in the second half, and he and Phillip Wheeler are bringing excitement back to the linebacker position for the Raiders.
Earlier this week, Coach Allen gave the team a power point presentation to remind them that the season is still young, and all hope isn’t lost.
For the first half, it seemed the presentation fell on deaf ears.
But they came back to life in the second half, and I’m having a hard time being critical of a team that damn near drove me to turn off the TV and watch last night’s TiVo’d Saturday Night Live instead.
The difference between 1-5 and 2-4 is huge. The Raiders next two games are against the Chiefs (1-5) and the Bucs (2-4). It’s very likely that the team could reach .500 when they face the Ravens (5-2) on the road in Week 10.
If we know anything about this Raiders team after six games, it’s that … there’s really no way to predict what team is going to show up on future Sundays.
I am going to make myself a glass of warm milk and savor the win until next week. I’m going to enjoy every bit of it.
QUESTION OF THE WEEK: Did anybody believe Sebastian was going to hit that 64 yarder in the fourth quarter? I did! I was shocked it came up so short…