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Raiders Kicking It At Home

Nothing is easy. On Sunday, the Raiders proved that the last six weeks of the season are going to be nerve-wracking. Better hold off on the manicure appointment, Raiders fans, cause the fingernails are going to get worked over. The Raiders kicked, picked and tricked the Bears on Sunday in winning a tough game at home 25-20 to get to 7-4 in the AFC West.

Coming into the game, we heard plenty about Devin Hester and his returning abilities and with reason. He is a weapon unequaled in the NFL.  So is Shane Lechler; The Silencer. The Pro-Bowl punter made Hester a non-factor. His 80-yard punt had the entire crowd shaking their heads, including the aforementioned Hester, who couldn’t believe that the ball went over his head, even though he lined up 55 yards away from where Lechler booted the ball.  It’s one thing to impress the Black Hole, it’s another to impress a Black Bear.

Keeping the ball out of Hester’s hands was part of the game plan for Oakland. Putting the ball in front of Sebastian Janikowski’s foot was another. The left-footed SeaBass kicked an Oakland record 6 field goals. The Raiders couldn’t get the ball in the end zone, but Janikswski made sure they got it through the uprights.  From far, from close, from the left, the right. Six times they snapped, spotted, kicked and six times it went right down the middle. That’s 18 points from sure footed who is now 22-24 on kicks this year.

Of course the goal is to get in the end zone, and if the Raiders had lost, we would have been discussing their inability to score touchdowns. But when you win, you can overlook those things, and hope to improve on them the next time out.  Still, the Bears bottled up the Raiders running game (still no Darren McFadden) for much of the day so Carson Palmer had to throw; 301 yards for the slinger, even with Jacoby Ford and Denarius Moore out with injuries. Louis Murphy only caught two balls, but his 47-yarder late in the 4th quarter was big. Really big. It set up the Raiders first and only touchdown, giving them a 25-13 lead.

That would give the Raiders enough of a cushion to hang on, thanks largely to a play that turned the game around at the end of the first half. With the Bears trailing 9-7 and inside the 10-yard line, Kamerion Wimbley picked off Caleb Hanie (one of three Raiders interceptions) and returned it 73 yards. It set up the 4th field goal for Janikowski and instead of the Raiders trailing at the half, they led 12-7.

From there, it was only a matter of time before Lechler, Janikowski and the Raiders gave the Bears the boot.

Note: The NFL announced that the start time of the Week 14 game between the Raiders and Packers in Green Bay has been moved from 10 AM PT to 1:15 PM PT.  

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One Response to “Raiders Kicking It At Home”

  1. RonVela says:

    I hate the Charges, but they should go on a winning streak so they can keep Norv Turner.
    Keep the faith

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