Jason O. Watson
There wasn't a lot to get excited about in the first half of this game. The Raiders were down 17-6 at halftime for a reason. And the fact that they were imploding against the Jaguars made it even more shameful. But things turned around in the second half and there were a lot of positives to come from that.
Through it all, the defense was playing pretty well. They gave up just one drive in the game. The rest of the scores came off of Raider turnovers.
There were two good plays in the first half that stood out. The first was a 59-yard pass from Carson Palmer to Darrius Heyward-Bey which set up the Raiders' first field goal. The second was a 45-yard kickoff return by Mike Goodson.
Goodson has become one of the primary gamebreaking threats for the Raiders. He seems to make a big play in one or more facets of the game each week. And his play on special teams has been a great boost for this team.
The real positive play came in the second half. The Raiders got things started off with their first touchdown drive which was capped off by an 8-yard catch and run by Denarius Moore who dived across the goal line for the score.
But that was not the best catch of the game. That honor goes to rookie Rod Streater who went up high to pull down this 18-yard catch.
That catch came on third down and helped lead the Raiders to their final touchdown to make a 14-point comeback.
Streater went undrafted and has been nothing short of phenomenal for such an unheralded receiver coming out of college. The Raiders haven't gotten much out of their fifth round pick, Juron Criner, but if Streater had been chosen in round five, he would still be outplaying his draft position.
For the most part, the fine second half play came from the defense who held the Jaguars to just one third down conversion after halftime and it came just three plays in.
Leading that effort was rookie Miles Burris who just two plays after the Raiders touchdown, had his first career sack.
That sack started things off for this defense which didn't allow another third down conversion the remainder of the game.
Lamarr Houston played a huge part in the defensive effort as well. He led the team in tackles with 8 (5 solo). He too had his first sack of the season. Then he ended the game by forcing a fumble in overtime on Cecil Shorts III.
Lamarr Houston was among the few positives in the Raiders big loss in Denver a month ago for his hustle downfield to recover a Demaryius Thomas fumble. His hustle in this game helped them win and also rightfully earned him AFC Defensive Player of the Week.
For the Raiders as a team, holding down the worst offense in the NFL is not a great feat. But to dominate them the way the Raiders did shows this defense is capable of holding up against better competition. Hopefully this performance convinces them of that.