Chiefs Can't Contain Ford in Raiders' OT Win

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Chiefs Can't Contain Ford in Raiders' OT Win

Nov. 7, 2010RAIDERS PAGE RAIDERS VIDEO

OAKLAND,Calif. (AP) The Oakland Raiders gave their fans who came out for thefirst sellout in more than a year plenty to celebrate.Jason Campbell threw a 47-yard passto rookie Jacoby Ford in overtime to set up a 33-yard field goal bySebastian Janikowski that gave the Raiders their biggest win in eightyears, a 23-20 victory over the AFC West-leading Kansas City Chiefs onSunday.Campbell and Ford hooked up on a29-yard pass in the closing seconds of regulation to set upJanikowski's tying 41-yard field goal. The Raiders (5-4) then won it inovertime for their most significant victory since winning the 2002 AFCchampionship. Oakland hasn't had a winning record at any time sincebeing 2-1 in 2004 and not this late since '02.By winning their third straight gamefor the first time since that season, Oakland heads into its bye weekjust a half-game behind Kansas City (5-3) in the division.The Chiefs won the overtime toss butwere unable to generate a first down and the Raiders started theirfirst drive at their 38. Campbell then hit Ford for a deep, divingcatch on the first play. Ford, a fourth-round pick, caught six passesfor 148 yards and also returned the opening kick of the second half fora touchdown.After a short run and a timeout bythe Chiefs, Janikowski came on for the winning kick. As soon as itsailed through the uprights, the Raiders poured out on the field andcelebrated with the first sellout crowd in Oakland since last year'sopener.The talk all week was about therevival of a rivalry that was one of the sport's best for a decadestarting in the 1960s. While the play was sloppy at times with fiveturnovers, 27 penalties and two blown fake punts, the intensity wastop-notch.The Raiders trailed 20-17 when theytook over at their 25 with 2:06 to play. Campbell converted two thirddowns and then hit Ford on a 29-yard pass to the 22 in the closingseconds. Oakland rushed to the line and spiked the ball with 7 secondsleft, setting the stage for Janikowski's tying 41-yard field goal.Kansas City had taken a 20-17 lead ona 20-yard pass from Matt Cassel to Dwayne Bowe with 6:13 to play. Thatscore was set up when Nick Miller muffed a punt and Kansas City'sVerran Tucker recovered at the Raiders 30. It appeared as if Miller'sknee might have been down before the ball came loose, but coach TomCable had already used his two challenges so Kansas City kept the ball.The Raiders had gained just 54 yardswith their only score coming on Ford's 94-yard kickoff return to openthe second half when they took over trailing 13-7 early in the thirdquarter.The offense finally got going asCampbell hit Ford on a 16-yard pass and Darren McFadden followed with a34-yard run. A 16-yard pass to McFadden on third-and-4 moved the ballto the 2 and two plays later Campbell found tackle Khalif Barnes for atouchdown that gave Oakland a 14-13 lead.The Raiders tacked on a 23-yardfield goal by Janikowski after Campbell found Ford on a key third-downconversion for 37 yards. Campbell scrambled to keep the play alive andFord made the catch at the 7 while falling down.Both teams opened up the playbooksearly, with the Raiders running four direct snaps to McFadden in thefirst quarter and both teams failing to convert fake punts.After Rock Cartwright was stopped onOakland's try. The Chiefs appeared to score on a slant pass from Casselto Tony Moeaki on third-and-2 from the 6.Cable challenged the call and won itwhen replays showed Moeaki's knee went down at the 1. Instead of givingthe Chiefs a first down, the officials originally called it fourth andgoal from the 1. After a holding call on Kansas City, the officialscorrected the down and the Chiefs had first-and-goal at the 11.Tucker made an acrobatic catch inthe back of the end zone on the next play to give Kansas City the lead.Cable challenged that call and lost it, meaning Oakland was out ofchallenges with 14:31 left in the half.The Chiefs added a field goal fromRyan Succop after McFadden lost a fumble to make it 10-0 and could havehad an even bigger lead at the half but had a touchdown and field goalerased by penalties. Cassel also threw an interception in the end zonein the final minute of the half.

Mack makes more clutch plays vs Bills: 'Those are moments you live for'

Mack makes more clutch plays vs Bills: 'Those are moments you live for'

OAKLAND – Khalil Mack had a strip sack and recovered his own forced fumble that virtually secured a Raiders victory.

The star edge rusher did that last week against Carolina, and again on Sunday to beat Buffalo. The box score displays them the same, but this clincher was different. Mack slow-played Jordan Mills, jogging toward him before a strong blow knocked the right tackle back.

He cut inside the space he created, chased Tyrod Taylor down and swung down on the quarterback’s throwing hand. The ball came free and lay on the ground before him, waiting for him to pick up.

Then the Oakland Coliseum showed its appreciation with this: “M-V-P! M-V-P! M-V-P!”

Mack heard it, and wasn’t sure it was for him.

“Was Steph Curry in the crowd? I didn’t know he showed up today,” Mack said with a smile after Sunday's 38-24 victory over Buffalo. “It is what it is. I’m just ballin’ and trying to make plays.”

Mack is making tons of them. In addition to his strip sack and fumble recovery, he tipped a pass Nate Allen intercepted with ease. He finished with seven tackles, a sack, a tackle for loss, a quarterback hit, a pass defensed, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.

Mack now has 58 tackles, 10 sacks, four forced fumbles and an interception on the season.

Many of those plays came in the clutch. Mack isn’t just a stat collector. He shows up in important moments, when his team needs them.

“Those are times you live for, making plays in those moments,” Mack said. “You want to step up and stamp the win. That’s what it’s all about for me.”

That makes him extremely valuable to the Raiders. Even so, the MVP is typically reserved for offensive players. Defensive Player of the Year? Mack has to be a frontrunner in that race.

“Khalil Mack is really making his mark on these ball games,” head coach Jack Del Rio said. “He just keeps showing up huge, and that’s what great players do. Khalil’s a great player."

Raiders go from beaten to not, as true champions often do

Raiders go from beaten to not, as true champions often do

The word “momentum” is largely dependent upon the word “moment,” and yet it is difficult to get players or coaches to acknowledge a particular moment when bad turns to good, or the other way around.
 
Put another way, when he was asked for the single play when the Oakland Raiders went from being owned by the Buffalo Bills to owning them, wide receiver Amari Cooper smiled wanly and said, “I don’t know. My memory’s not that good.”
 
Oh, he remembers when the Bills led, 24-9, in the third quarter, and he remembers when the Raiders took their final lead of 38-24. I mean, it was barely 15 minutes of playing time, maybe twice that in actual time, and he was there for a lot of it. So of course he remembers it.
 
But the singular moment? That’s all filed under “not important enough to spend a lot of time on, especially when another game is 97 hours away."
 
Minutiae like the answers to questions like “When did things change?” or “How did this loss become this win?” doesn’t interest them. It doesn’t have to. They can apply their own stories to why or when or how, but usually they’re just making it up. As guard Kelechi Osemele put it, “It doesn’t really work like that.
 
“You’re in the moment, and you don’t sense things like the moment when momentum shifted. You’re just playing. The next day, maybe you’ll see something on film and then it will hit you that something happened right then that might have changed the game, but not right then.”
 
Fair enough then. You be the judge when Sunday’s looming letdown became the most empirical proof yet that the Raiders are masters of their own fates. It might have been:
 
* The drive after Mike Gillislee plowed into the end zone from two yards out to give Buffalo its 15-point lead, when quarterback Derek Carr threw precision strikes to Clive Walford (18 yards), Seth Roberts (15) and Michael Crabtree (19, sliding to reach a ball thrown slightly behind him) to set up a three-yard touchdown to Crabtree that reduced a potentially lopsided defeat to a single score.
 
* The 22-yard punt return by Jalen Richard that set the Raiders up at the Buffalo 38 after the defense’s first three-and-out of the day, followed by the 21-yard burst by Richard that put the Raiders in position for Latavius Murray’s one-yard push to make it 24-23.
 
* The next Buffalo three-and-out that set the Raiders up at their own 41, from which Carr converted a third-and-10 with a 21-yard throw up the seam to Mychal Rivera, followed two plays later by an elegant 37-yard loft to Cooper, who had gotten behind Kevon Seymour.
 
* The 55-yard punt by Marquette King that buried the Bills at their own four-yard-line.
 
* Or the weekly Khalil Mack-Puts-His-Feet-Up-On-Your-Table moment, tipping Tyrod Taylor’s  pass on the first play after King’s punt into the arms of cornerback Nate Allen to set up the game-settling touchdown.
 
And there might have been more, but why be excessively pedantic? The Raiders used those fifteen minutes and seven seconds to gain 188 yards while holding Buffalo to three, and score 29 points in 28 plays while allowing the Bills 10 plays from scrimmage, not including the three punts. Momentum? Pick a play, any play.
 
The Raiders are now properly positioned as the most logical alternative to the New England Patriots in the AFC, but have a game Thursday night in soon-to-be-snow-encrusted Kansas City that could turn that back on its head. Win and then win out, and they can be masters of their universe, owning for the moment the tiebreakers over the Patriots that would prevent a trip to Foxborough and a nostalgic confrontation with the High Lord Tuck.
 
On their hand, lose Thursday, and they are tied with Kansas City without benefit of the first tiebreaker, having been swept by the perpetually hard-to-figure Chiefs.
 
In other words, momentum in Game 12 is always useful right up to the point where preparation for Game 13 must begin, in the same way that “Is Carr the MVP, or is it Mack?” debates become irrelevant within minutes of their embarkation. As head coach Jack Del Rio explained what he had just supervised, “Is there such a thing as a fast Sunday?”
 
He had already moved on, because dawdlers get crushed by events. Being the master of your fate is not the same as mastering it, and let us not forget that the Raiders do have that maddening gift for needing fourth quarter comebacks. That they can usually get them is not as comforting as never needing them.
 
And there are at least four and as many as eight more games to traverse between now and what the Raiders alone have dared to dream.
 
But Sunday was a day when the Raiders did define themselves as one of the toughest outs in the lineup, and if you want the momentum-shifter to be Buffalo tackle Cordy Glenn’s false start at the end of the third quarter, hey, dance it up. Whether things go according to the Raiders’ grand plan or they don’t, nobody’s going to care either way. All anyone knows today is that they were beaten, and then they were not, and that’s typically how champions are made.