A decision by coach Hue Jackson to take a shot at the end zone on a fourth-and-1 play at the Detroit 24-yard line was scrutinized in the harsh light of a 28-27 loss to the Detroit Lions on Sunday.
Jackson, who refers to his occasional bold gambles as "living on the edge," wasn't apologizing for passing up three points even when the final deficit was one point.
The distance on a field goal attempt would have been 41 yards and likely given the Raiders points on their opening drive.
Instead, with the Raiders in a heavy package with tackle Khalif Barnes as an eligible receiver, quarterback Carson Palmer ran a play-fake to running back Michael Bush and overthrew a wide-open Denarius Moore in the back of the end zone.
Moore was grabbed early in the route by the Lions' Eric Wright, which was duly noted by Jackson, but no flag was thrown.
"To me, you have to take that shot," Jackson said. "The guy was wide open. If you're going to do it, it's good to do it early in the game so it doesn't determine the outcome of the game.
"Obviously every play now will get questioned as the reason why we did or didn't win, but we're going to stay aggressive."
Another bit of strategy that became relevant because of the final score was Jackson's decision to go for a point-after-touchdown after the Aaron Curry fumble return that put the Raiders up 26-14 with 7:47 left.
A successful two-point conversion would have given the Raiders a
"You just kick it, you go for one," Jackson said. "I thought going for one in that situation is the right thing to do, OK?"
Said Palmer: "I never question Coach. He knows what he's doing. It's easy to be a Monday morning quarterback and say we should have done this, should have done that, second-guess things."
As for the Cover 2 zone which placed Rolando McClain and Jerome Boyd on Calvin Johnson and resulted in a 48-yard completion on Detroit's final drive, Jackson said, "It isn't a scheme issue. The ball's laying up in the air, you've got to go make that play when you've got an opportunity."
"I can't kick it any better," Janikowski said. "The snap and Shane's placement was perfect."
Janikowski converted field goal attempts of 46 and 51 yards, the former on the last play of the first half. Of his three misses this year, two have been blocked.
On Oakland's final drive, Heyward-Bey dropped a pass near the Lions' 40-yard line with eight seconds to play, which may or may not have given Janikowski a more reasonable field goal attempt.
With no timeouts, there's no guarantee the Raiders could have gotten the play off in time.
"I don't think about the type of game I played. I think about how we lost,'' Heyward-Bey said.
This time, however, Palmer threw the pass on a line to Schilens instead of the kind of loft he gave the pass to Murphy. It got to Schilens quicker than he anticipated and he couldn't hold on.
"I put too much on the ball," Palmer said. "I need to give him a better chance to make a play on it. That's a game-changing play."
After the Raiders punted, the Lions drove for the winning touchdown. The Raiders converted only one third down all day, going 1 for 9.
Routt was twice called for holding and twice for pass interference, including a 17-yard foul to the 6-yard line to set up Detroit's last touchdown.