Did the Raiders get greedy on offense?

November 5, 2012, 7:10 pm
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OAKLAND -- For three consecutive possessions Sunday, going from the third quarter into the fourth, the Raiders offense found its groove. Finally. And Tampa Bay was on its heels.
Carson Palmer was winning the crowd, if not the game, as Oakland slowly but surely was grinding out long scoring drives.The Raiders went 80 yards in nine plays, taking up 3:04 to score a touchdown.Then they went 80 yards in seven plays, needing 4:03 to get into the end zone.They followed that up with a 65-yard TD drive in 11 plays, which took 3:52.And after a two-point conversion and a defensive stop, which was nearly as miraculous as Juron Criner coming down with Palmer's pass in the end zone for a Sea-of-Hands-esque PAT, the Raiders were down just three points, 38-35, and had the ball on their own 38-yard line. There was 2:42 remaining in regulation and the Raiders had two timeouts.So after Palmer hit six different players with an assortment of dinks and dunks and the occasional "explosive" pass (defined by the Raiders as a pass that gains at least 16 yards) in the previous three series, what did the Raiders do with the game in their grasp?
Some might see it as getting greedy.Palmer went deep to rookie Rod Streater down the left sideline but the pass was incomplete. Then Palmer went at Streater again, the ball arriving between Streater and Denarius Moore -- Palmer said the play was actually a miscommunication between himself and Moore, though the ball was closer to Streater -- and being picked off by safety Ahmad Black and returned 34 yards. Three plays later, Doug Martin plunged in from a yard out and that was essentially the ballgame. Buccaneers 42, Raiders 32.Regardless if the young receivers ran wrong option routes and the veteran quarterback threw the ball where they were supposed to go, why did the Raiders throw deep with seemingly all the time in the world to grind out a game-winning drive?"We had done a good job of being patient and wanted to take some shots when they were in pressure situations where they were leaving us one-on-one," Palmer said after the game. "You can sit back and wish that you had done it differently after a loss, and after a win everything looks right."We had some critical errors; I had some critical errors that we need to clean up. It's Week 8, we need to be firing on all cylinders and especially in critical points in games."
Still, Palmer passed for 414 yards, the fourth-highest single-game total in franchise history, and his 61 pass attempts were the second-most in a game by a Raiders quarterback, a feat all the more impressive given the Raiders only ran the ball 11 times, they lost running back Darren McFadden to an injured ankle in the second quarter and backup running back Mike Goodson in the fourth. In fact, were it not for Palmer's fourth-quarter prowess, Oakland would not have been in any position to make things respectable, let alone have a chance to win.None of it meant much, though, in a loss."We were trying to win the game," said coach Dennis Allen, when asked if the Raiders would have been content to simply move the ball into field-goal position to tie the score and force overtime. "We were definitely trying to win the game and, obviously, we didn't execute good enough and weren't able to do it."We hit a lot of plays down the field and we stuck to the gameplan and stuck to the things that we felt like gave us an opportunity to make some plays. So if the shots down the field are there, we're going to try to take them."On the day, the Raiders had six explosive pass plays, with one each in Oakland's last three scoring drives -- a 26-yard reception by Marcel Reece, a 26-yard catch by Moore and a 20-yard catch by Reece.