words // Brandon Richard
Division doormats since being blasted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Super Bowl XXXVII, the Oakland Raiders finally started turning things around with a respectable 8-8 campaign a year ago. However, after swapping out Tom Cable with new head coach Hue Jackson and losing Pro Bowl cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha in free agency, fans didn’t know what to make of this year’s Raider team. While there’s still plenty of football left to be played, things are still looking up for the Silver & Black.
In a test of their moxie, the Raiders squared off against the New York Jets this past Sunday. The Jets, a team that has been to the last two AFC Championship games, got off to a good start. With a little more than 5 minutes remaining in the second quarter, kicker Nick Folk connected on a 21-yard field goal that put New York ahead 17-7 and seemingly gave them control of the contest. However, the Raiders had answers.
The league’s leading rusher Darren McFadden ripped off a 70-yard touchdown run with 1:23 left to play in the half to fully swing momentum. Oakland then outscored New York 20-7 throughout the remainder of the game to walk away with a 34-24 win. They’re currently tied with the San Diego Chargers for the top spot in the AFC West.
Also in late Sunday and Monday night action, the Baltimore Ravens blew out the St. Louis Rams 37-7; the Pittsburgh Steelers escaped with a 3-point victory against a short-handed Indianapolis Colts team; the Green Bay Packers emerged victorious in the latest installment of their rivalry series against the Chicago Bears; and rookie kicker Dan Bailey kicked six field goals to lead the Dallas Cowboys to an 18-16 Monday Night Football victory.
Michael Bush runs for a touchdown in the Reebok NFL U-Form 4Speed Mid.
Ray Rice runs through defenders in the Nike Air Zoom Super Bad 3.
“Beast Mode” Marshawn Lynch running hard in PE Nike Alpha Speed cleats.
Vincent Jackson pulls down a catch in the adidas adiZero 5-Star.
Ryan Grant runs in an exclusive colorway on the Nike Alpha Speed.
Randall Cobb tries to avoid a tackle in the Under Armour Nitro III Mid.
Josh Freeman is pressured in the Nike Zoom Alpha Talon.
James Harrison sacks Colts backup Curtis Painter in a PE colorway of the Air Zoom Merciless TD Nike football cleats.
Ben Roethlisberger tries to avoid a sack in his PE Air Zoom Super Bad II Nike football cleats.
Felix Jones runs in the open field wearing the the Nike Super Speed.
Dan Bailey kicks the last of his six field goals in Mercurial Vapor IV Nike soccer cleats. We interviewed Dan at the 2011 NFL Combine back in February. What did he recall as his favorite Eastbay memory growing up? Find out by watching the video below.
images via NFL