The Raiders should have been defeated by the Houston Texans on Sunday.
The offense came out extremely flat and did not get a first down until the 2nd quarter and only had four at halftime. For most of the game the Raiders were embarrassing on offense.
Darren McFadden, the NFL leading rusher, had only 12 yards at halftime and only 51 for the game which is well below his average. Jason Campbell on multiple occasions missed open receivers and made early mistakes. Neither Kevin Boss, Michael Bush or Denarius Moore caught a pass.
The Raiders squandered good field position and failed to capitalize on a block punt instead settling for three Janikowski field goals longer than 50 yards. The offensive line gave up three sacks and countless quarterback hurries. It appeared as if the Raiders offensive line was going to literally fall apart.
Then, all of a sudden, things changed. Penalty flags started to get picked up and the defensive line started to deflect passes. Lamarr Houston got an interception on one tipped pass and the defense began stopping the run, blitzing and dominating the Texans offense. The offensive line came back together and Rock Cartwright ran for 35 yards on a fake punt. McFadden picked up few first downs, Chaz Shilens reappeared and Darrius Heyward-Bey matured.
In a game where the Raiders let Arian Foster amass 184 yards from scrimmage, the Raiders found a way to win. In a game where the Raiders offensive play calling was questionable and offensive production inconsistent, the Raiders kept on fighting. In a game where the Raider failed to execute the four-minute drill and gave Matt Schaub one last chance, Michael Huff, and the Raiders defense held on. In a game where the Raiders were out gained by nearly 200 yards, the will to win never dissipated.
The Raiders were nowhere near their best but somehow, someway they returned to Oakland victorious. As it has been since the 1962, winning, is the only thing that really matters in Oakland. It was not pretty but the Raiders persevered and found a way to win this one for Al Davis. As Al would say, “Just Win, Baby.”