Raiders battle Titans to the bitter end

Photos by Scot Tucker/SFBay

O.CO COLISEUM — In a game of inches, there can be few mistakes.

The Raiders suffered one mistake too many Sunday afternoon, as Oakland lost 23-19 on a 10-yard touchdown pass from Ryan Fitzpatrick with only 10 seconds left — after two missed field goals from kicker Sebastian Janikowski.

The Titans moved forward to 5-6 and pushed the Raiders back to 4-7. Perhaps cornerback Tracy Porter said it best:

“They just out-executed us, plain and simple. Whether it’s gameplan, whether it’s positioning. … We were just out-executed, point blank and simple.”

No question about it, and the box score unveils a startling statistic: The Titans were let off the hook on third downs 10 times out of 18.

Safety Charles Woodson weighed in calling the defensive effort “disappointing,” adding:

“We’ve tried to emphasize getting two in a row, we just haven’t been able to do it. We certainly want to win at home when we have the opportunity to play here in front of our fans and we didn’t get it done.”

Tennessee was able to garner 426 yards and allotted 73 offensive plays. Every Titans score included a third down conversion, save a Matt McGloin interception at his own 14-yard-line. On the play, McGloin said:

“It was a bad decision by me, that’s really it. I didn’t put the ball where it needed to be.”

Though McGloin didn’t throw a touchdown pass until the fourth quarter, head coach Dennis Allen announced that McGloin (19-32, 260 yards) will receive another start.

With an already thin group of pass-catchers, the Raiders lost another early on in the game.

Halfway through the second quarter, tight end Mychal Rivera took a colossal blow to the head from Titans safety Michael Griffin just after putting his gloves on a pass.

Rivera’s helmet flew more than 20 yards before rolling to a stop into the end zone. Rivera left the game with a concussion and did not return.

Sebastian Janikowski missed two of his six field goal attempts, which proved costly. Had he made the pair — one from 32 yards and another from 48 — Oakland would be singing to a different tune.

Janikowski respectfully declined comment, though coach Allen said:

“We have to continue to work to get better there. I feel like (Janikowski) is going to work through this. I still have all the confidence that when I send him there, that it’s going through.”

Though the blemishes stain like the darkest Peruvian roast onto a freshly pressed white collar, there was some good Sunday.

McGloin rallied from a dismal first half to complete 11-of-15 passing attempts for 155 yards in the second half. Oakland tallied a second blocked punt onto their season total, this one coming from specialist Jeremy Stewart. Running back Rashad Jennings pushed for 122 all-purpose yards, 73 on the ground and 49 through the air.

Jennings was the stud of an otherwise lackluster Raiders offense, towing defenders on multiple runs and showing great burst while on the edge or running into the second level.

Jennings came off the field for a drive with what Allen simply referred to as “a stinger,” but was able to return.

Unfortunately, one fan who attended the game will not be returning.

Just moments after the players and coaches entered the locker room, a lone fan jumped from the top of Section 308. The victim — reportedly a female — landed on top of a man who was trying to save her..

The woman was pronounced dead as paramedics arrived, and the other person was taken to a local hospital and is in stable condition.

UPDATE: Though it was previously reported that the female who jumped has died at the scene, other reports have stated the the woman is in critical condition.


Follow @SFBay and @JLeskiwNFL on Twitter and at SFBay.ca for full coverage of the Oakland Raiders.