Raiders botch opportunity to catch Tebow

Al Davis must be rolling in his grave after his Raiders. In a game between the Oakland Raiders and Detroit Lions that had playoff implications for both teams, the Cardiac Cats were the better team, even if it took all 60 minutes to prove it.

The Lions (9-5) didn’t ice the win over the Raiders (7-7) until Ndamukong Suh blocked a 65 yard field goal attempt as time expired to preserve the Lions 28-27 win. In Suh’s first game back from a two-game suspension for stomping a Packers lineman on Thanksgiving Day, last year’s Defensive Rookie of the Year didn’t make a ton of plays but he put the exclamation point on a big comeback win.

After both quarterbacks took turns dissecting the opposing defensive backfields in the first half, the Raiders seemed to take control of the game midway through the fourth quarter.

After Sebastian Janikowski hit a 51 yard “chip-shot” field goal, Aaron Curry recovered a fumble for a touchdown to give the Raiders a 13-point lead with under eight minutes to play. The Lions marched down the field to get within six but the Raiders got the ball back and had a chance to run out the clock.

After getting near midfield, the Raiders were forced to punt, and Shane Lechler nailed a beauty. The ball was downed on the two yard-line and even the Raiders weak pass defense seemed ready to stop the Lions with under three minutes to play and no timeouts remaining.

But Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson teamed up again and seemingly breezed down the field. Johnson hauled in two long passes before drawing a pass interference call to give the Lions first and goal at the Raider six. Two plays later, Stafford found Johnson in the end zone for the winning score with 39 ticks on the clock.

Megatron finished with 214 yards receiving and a pair of touchdowns on a day, one a 51-yard perfect strike from Stafford. Although Lions receivers ended the day with at least eight dropped passes, Stafford still threw for 391 yards and four touchdowns while his counterpart, Carson Palmer, tallied 367 yards and a score. Neither QB threw an interception and both spent their time avoiding heavy pressure much of the day.

The teams came into the game as the top two penalized teams in the NFL and that trend continued. The Lions finished with nine penalties for 72 yards and almost shot themselves in the foot on their last drive. After getting into the red zone they had what appeared to be a costly holding penalty before Oakland bailed them out on the next play when Raiders CB Stanford Routt got called for pass interference on Johnson, setting up the Lions winning score. The Raiders were penalized 10 times for 86 yards in the game.

The Lions are in good position to clinch a playoff berth after the win and with the Bears and Giants losing are likely to be headed into the postseason for the first time since 1999.

The Raiders on the other hand lost an opportunity to catch up to Denver after Tim Tebow and his Broncos lost to the Patriots.

Used with permission of the author.

Brett is the editor and a contributor for He has covered MLB and the Braves for numerous websites and is a regular contributor to Sports Climax. Follow Brett on Twitter.

Copyright ©2011 Sports Climax, LLC


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