By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Monday, October 3rd, 2011 at 12:31 pm in Oakland Raiders.
Subbing for Steve Corkran today . . .
Near as I can tell, there is no NFL rule prohibiting the Raiders from converting a third-and-10 at the New England 15-yard line.
That was what the Raiders faced after officials picked up a pass interference flag on Kyle Arrington when the Patriots defensive back got his feet tangled with Jacoby Ford. Instead of first-and-goal at the 2, it was third-and-10 from the 15.
Since there seems to be a notion in some quarters of the Twittersphere that it was the call that changed the game, perhaps the Raiders should have just packed it in and walked off the field right then. On the next play, Jason Campbell completed a 7-yard pass to Michael Bush, and Sebastian Janikowski kicked a 26-yard field goal on fourth-and-3 from the 8.
Instead of 24-17, it was 24-13.
If the Raiders are so weak of mind that the loss of four points with 3:25 left in the third quarter caused them to have irreversable damage to their spirit and psyche, then you can forget the playoffs.
Fortunately, the Raiders weren’t all that eager to blame anyone but themselves today, much in the same way they did following the game Sunday.
Ford said he was surprised the flag was picked up, that he’d never seen it before, and that the call happened at a crucial point in the game. But he hardly seemed destroyed by it.
“He just picked it up, keep moving,” Ford said. “You just got to go for the next down. It never really got brought back up, at all. So it just kind of happened, and it was done.”
In Sunday’s postgame, defensive tackle Richard Seymour took responsibility for both personal fouls on New England’s first scoring drive, although he had trouble hearing with the Black Hole roar on his roughing the passer penalty.
As for Wes Welker’s 21-yard catch to the 1-yard line against Chimdi Chekwa, originally ruled out of bounds, the referees got it right. Welker got both feet in and made a catch of a perfect pass by Brady.
More Monday items:
– The week-to-week nature of the NFL makes panicking among the fan base a way of life. Take a step back and the Raiders lost a game to a better (on that day) team while missing four starters. They’ve got another tough game coming up in Houston and could conceivably be 2-3.
And that’s not the end of the world.
The next three opponents after the Texans are home games against Cleveland and Kansas City, then a bye week, then another home game against Denver.
The Raiders could be 5-3 heading into a Thursday night showdown in San Diego.
– The Raiders actually kept Brady from spreading the ball around as much as usual, with Welker catching nine passes and nobody else catching more than two.
“He’s real good at running his routes and he and Brady seem like they’re on the same page, got a lot of ESP going on,’’ cornerback Stanford Routt said. “Right now they’re the best quarterback-receiver combo in the game.’’
Routt said New England simply executed their offense better than the Raiders did on defense.
“New England, they do a good job of executing, and if you don’t execute on defense, you’re not going to win,’’ cornerback Stanford Routt said. Whatever the coverage is, whatever the call is, you’ve got to play it to the best of your ability.’’
– Middle linebacker Rolando McClain said of the Patriots, “Obviously they’re a good team. You’ve got to give them credit. They played a great game so it’s a learning experience. We’ll watch the film, we’ll get better from it and try to fix some things before we get ready to play Houston.’’
Regarding the Raiders’ tackling, McClain said, “Not make any excuses fut I think for the most part we did all right tackling. We can always do better, we will do better. We’ll get better at every aspect of our defense. At the end of the day we still haven’t played our best football. I’ve got confidence in the guys around me and the coaching staff and we’ll get things fixed and we will be pretty good.’’
– Ron Parker, promoted from the practice squad to the 53-man roster after a week of practice, is a former Newberry College safety who is working at cornerback for the Raiders. He was active and played on special teams.
“It was fun, that’s what I was waiting on, my chance to go out there and compete with the guys,’’ Parker said. “I finally got my opportunity.’’
More to come after Hue Jackson press conference . . .