Raiders coach Tom Cable preaches to his players all the time about "cutting it loose." Don't think too much, rely on your instincts, relax and let it rip.
In turn, he's promised his players that he will do likewise. Against the San Diego Chargers on Sunday, Cable was in full-on cut-it-loose mode.
Cable opted to go for a first down on fourth-and-one plays on back-to-back drives in the first quarter, even though the Raiders were in field goal range both times.
"That was big," quarterback Jason Campbell said. "That showed a lot of confidence in us. That shows we were going all out to win this game and we weren't going to hold anything back."
Campbell scored on a 9-yard touchdown run on the first fourth-down gamble. He rushed for 3 yards and a first down the second time around, and the Raiders scored another touchdown six plays later.
"Both times we went for it down there were important," Cable said. "I trust them, and they got it done."
Offensive coordinator Hue Jackson is all in on the cut-it-loose act, as well. Several times, he bucked convention and trusted Campbell to make a big play.
Late in the game, with the Raiders leading 21-13, Jackson called for a fake run on a third-and-one play, with Campbell throwing deep to wide receiver Louis Murphy.
Campbell sold the play-action, waited for Murphy to break free from cornerback Quentin Jammer and delivered the ball for a 37-yard gain to the Chargers 9-yard line. The Raiders scored a game-clinching touchdown two plays later.
"Instead of trying to run it for the first (down), we took a deep shot and ended up hitting it," Campbell said. "It's a great job of play-calling by Hue and putting us in position to make plays."
Campbell said he struggled with the concept of cutting it loose earlier this season, fearful of making mistakes and letting down his new teammates. Now, he is a firm believer in the mind-set.
"They were going all out," Campbell said. "That speaks volumes to the team."
"When you get a defender talking to you, telling you, 'Man, you all running the ball, you all running the ball,' " said running back Michael Bush, who gained 95 of Oakland's 251 yards rushing. "I go and tell Hue, Coach Cable, 'They don't want it, so keep running at them.' And that's what we do."
The Raiders ran the ball 52 times. Their ability to churn out yards on a consistent basis kept San Diego's defense on the field for 38 minutes, 39 seconds.
Right offensive tackle Langston Walker said he wasn't aware of how many rushing yards the Raiders had until late in the game.
"You really don't realize it until, basically, like the fourth quarter and you see all those rushing yards (on the scoreboard) "... and you're up on a team," he said. "You can look at the opponent and be, like, these guys have mailed it in."
Schilens participated on eight snaps in his first game action since training camp, when he suffered a left knee injury. His rehabilitation has been marred by setbacks with his knee and left foot.
"We had certain things we wanted to use him on and we'll try to grow that as we go here," Cable said.