There it is!!! The sweet comeuppance that, like revenge, is a dish best served cold and received on fire.
When I looked down and saw Mike "Rat" a-han, Mrs. Saint calls him The Leprechaun, jumping around with schoolboy glee when Robert Gallery was called for holding and set up a 3rd and 11 that put the odds in Denver's favor of a TD and Field Goal tying the game I said to myself, "Uh-OH, how can we lose this one?".
The play that Griffith made on 3rd and 11 was inspiring. He went through three hits and kept his feet long enough to give us a dagger of momentum which Justin Fargas dug into the heart of the Mules as he went sailing around McQuistan and Carlisle into the end zone, quickly sealing the Broncos fate.
I took a sick pleasure out of seeing "The Rat" shift countenances from the rabid rodent into that of a church mouse in a mere two minutes.
The last time we beat the Broncos it was 2004, IN Denver. Although that was a great victory and to take nothing away from Ronald Curry's beautiful catch in the snow, that victory was of last second variety, which is a thrill in itself, but it was not as effective in doing what yesterday's contest achieved.
Yesterday, for the first time since 2002, the Raiders took care of the home field against the Broncos, spanking them in every facet of the game, and showcased the future of this franchise, JaMarcus Russell, a man they will face 20 more times in ten years. J-Russ looked like a confident, tall, strong armed, accurate and even a bit nervous quarterback , as he drove the ball down the field twice on them.
Seeing JaMarcus's reads yesterday and his decision making, as well as his natural ability...I am BUZZZZING!!!
As well should you all be:
With his mother sitting in the stands and the fans standing and giving him the loudest welcome that I can ever recall a player getting, he calmly stepped back from center, gazed the field, and right as the pressure got to him, threw a frozen rope to Jerry Porter on the sideline that only Jerry could catch. Catch it, he did. Dragging his toes on the sideline and giving us a glimpse of what Jerry Porter can be with JaMarcus Russell.
It was a 16 yard completion, a 16 yard completion!!!
16 yards, like #16 Jim Plunkett, it was a Raider first down and the Raider fans were "In" with JaMarcus.
His second drive was equally impressive and although I would have loved to see play action on 4th down, I was behind Lane 100 percent for going for it.
That is one of Lane Kiffin's trademarks. He has been going for it on 4th down since the USC days. We all remember when he went for the knockout with Lendale White against Texas. If Lendale makes that yard, USC wins the Championship. He put the ball in his offenses hands and said, "Win me this game".
There are times when time left in the game, distance from the goal and the score MAKE you go for it on 4th down and then there are times when going for it is a momentum call.
Yesterday, it was a momentum call. It showed that Lane Kiffin and the Raiders were out for their just dessert. They wanted some revenge and now he is 2-0 against the Division in his second time through.
I am sure that yesterday's victory has instilled a bit of swagger back into the Raider Nation. As long as we are better than the rest of our Division, we have a shot in the playoffs.
These next few games against Green Bay, Indy and Jacksonville can do nothing but help the team's confidence. A win in any of those games would probably have Lane Kiffin nominated for coach of the year!
Then, we square off against our most pressing nemesis, LT and his Band of Chargers.
The last time that we took care of business against LT was in 2003 and with disposing of the Donkey Dominance, I would love for this team to finish off the schedule by running the table against the West.