By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Sunday, September 9th, 2007 at 4:19 pm in Oakland Raiders.
Detroit–Jason Hanson 46-yard field goal, 12:19
Oakland–Justin Griffith 7-yard pass from Josh McCown (Sebastian Janikowski kicks PAT), 7:43.
Detroit–Shaun McDonald 32-yard pass from Jon Kitna (Kitna pass failed), 4:15
Detroit–Hanson 23-yard field goal, 1:56.
Detroit–Tatum Bell 14-yard run (Hanson kick), 1:16
News, notes and observations:
–It’s nice to have a reliable kicker. Hanson’s 46-yard field goal, from nearly the same spot on the infield dirt where Sebastian Janikowski missed earlier, gave the Lions a 20-14 lead with 12:13 remaining.
– The Raiders squandered the momentum built by their back-to-back scores, allowing Detroit a 34-yard kickoff return by Brian Calhoun and letting Detroit drive 28-yards in eight plays for the score.
A key give-up by the defense came on third-and-8, when Jon Kitna hit Shaun McDonald for 9 yards for a first down in Raiders territory.
– The Raiders patiently countered Hanson’s 46-yard field goal with an eight-play, 71-yard drive which consumed 5:30 and culiminated on Griffith’s 7-yard flip from McCown in the end zone for a 21-20 lead.
McCown hit Curry on a right roll for 11 yards on a third-and-2 and the Raiders ran the ball effectively with Jordan and Justin Fargas. A conservative and well-conceived drive from a team that appears to be gaining momentum.
– The Raiders will need every bit of that momentum after Kitna took the Lions 80 yards in seven plays in 3:20 to take a 26-21 lead after a two-point conversion pass failed.
Kitna rolled to his right and hit McDonald for a 32-yard strike in the end zone with 4:15 to play against a blown coverage where Michael Huff was the nearest defender.
Earlier in the drive, McDonald caught a 13-yard pass from Kitna on a third-and-9 to keep the drive alive.
Detroit opened the drive with a 13-yard pass from Kitna to Sean McHugh over Kirk Morrison similar to a first-quarter play which got the Lions off their own 1-yard line.
– Defensive end DeWayne White intercepted a McCown pass intended for Mike Williams and ran it 33 yards to the Oakland 10 and set up the Lions with the chance to punch in a game-clinching touchdown.
It was precisely the sort of play Lane Kiffin has been preaching the Raiders need to avoid if they hope to be successful. McCown has completed 28 of 38 passes for 294 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions.
– The Lions got as far as the 5, but eventually had to settle for Hanson’s 23-yard field goal with 1:56 to play.
– McCown was hit on a pass attempt and fumbled with 1:37 to play, setting up Detroit to close out the game at the Oakland 23 with 1:37 to play. White, the same player who had the interception, caused the fumble.
– Tatum Bell ran 14 yards up the middle to put the Raiders away and continue the exodous from the stands.
– McCown was hit on his final pass and fumbled, and appeared to injure his throwing hand as time expired.
– The Lions had won just six road games in the last six years heading into the game.
– A wrap-up blog will follow much later this evening while I tend to a Web exclusive column. Until then, fire away.