Why no early field goal attempt at Atlanta?

October 17, 2012, 11:32 pm
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ALAMEDA -- Still wondering why the Raiders did not attempt a 58-yard field goal with just over five minutes left in the first quarter of a then-scoreless game Atlanta on Sunday?Surely, it had to have something to do with Sebastian Janikowski's left groin, which has had him on the injury report all season. Then again, Janikowski later did kick a 52-yarder with 24 seconds to play in the quarter and boomed a 64-yarder in the controlled environment of the Georgia Dome during pregame warmups.The situation, according to coach Dennis Allen, did not call for it."Not that early in the game," Allen said Wednesday. "A 58-yarder against that offense, your percentages, even though Sebastian is very capable of kicking a 58-yarder, I've got all the confidence in the world in Sebastian kicking a 58-yarder, but I think in that situation against that team, my decision was it was the right thing to do to try to pin them back and make them go the long way."Since 2009, Janikowski has attempted 14 field goals from at least 54 yards and converted eight. He has attempted six from at least 57 yards, and made three, including the record-tying 63-yarder at Denver in the 2011 season opener.This time, though, Shane Lechler's punt rolled into the end zone. One play later, the Falcons were on the Raiders' 39-yard line and one play after that, Matt Ryan was taking a shot at the end zone, only to be picked off by Michael Huff at the 2-yard line.The Raiders then marched down and Janikowski booted his season-high 52-yarder for the 3-0 lead in the game which would eventually turn into a last-second 23-20 Falcons victory.