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John Pagano describes emotion of Raiders first interception of the season ‘like the holy grail...I wanted to put it on a pedestal’

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Denver Broncos v. Oakland Raiders Photo by Stephen Lam/Getty Images

Setting a new NFL record by going 7 games into a season can make you start to wonder if that first one will ever come. Well, try that first interception not coming until the 11th game of the season.

That’s what the Raiders went through this season, setting the new NFL record for games to begin a season without an interception at 10.

Each week the questions about it were asked and the longer it went on the more Jack Del Rio would simply have to smile and shake his head. After it was finally over saying “I’ve never seen anything like it.”

So, you can imagine what it felt like for the players and coaches on the sideline when that ball landed in the arms of NaVorro Bowman in the end zone and the streak was broken. Here it is again.

It was the first game called by John Pagano, Assistant Head Coach - Defense, taking over for Ken Norton Jr. He recalls the feeling he had at that moment.

“Oh God I was celebrating,” said Pagano. “It was like the Holy Grail walking over there. I wanted to put that ball on a pedestal. That’s a great effort play by [Navorro Bowman]. You can’t say enough of him filling in an A gap, turning, running, the tight end was covered by [Reggie Nelson] and all the sudden he loops back inside, the quarterback throws and just the effort of 53 he’s getting over there hitting it, tipping it, Reggie keeping it alive and that ball being able to fall... that was a great ball. I touched it. I made sure I touched it, that thing was awesome.”

It was an interception befitting the length of time it had been since they had one. A ball that literally fell into the lap as if to say ‘Here! Take it!’ And, of course, it wasn’t even a defensive back. They’re still waiting to get their first of the season.