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Janikowski Kicks Raiders To Win Over Chicago
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Janikowski Kicks Raiders to Win Over Chicago

The Oakland Raiders roster is loaded with former number one picks. One of the most controversial of all of Al Davis' draft picks was the major difference maker in a Raider victory over the Chicago Bears on Sunday 25-20.

Sebastian Janikowski, the number 17 pick in the 2000 draft, kicked it old school as the Raiders won on Sunday by connecting on six field goals. He broke the team record which he previously shared with Jeff Jaeger. I'll be the first one to admit that kicking field goals in January will not get it done. The Raiders need to start finding ways to get into the end zone on a more regular basis.

Carson Palmer threw for over 300 yards while missing his two biggest weapons in Denarius Moore and Jacoby Ford. So on this day, it was Marcel Reece who decided to step up and lead the team with five receptions for 92 yards. I'm sure the Raiders will take this win any way they can, but I'm sure they don't want their fullback to be their leading receiver on a weekly basis.

The biggest play of the game however came late in the game with just under four minutes left. Palmer hit Louis Murphy in stride for a 47 yard play that took them down to the Bears three yard line where Michael Bush put it in the end zone on the next play to give them the winning margin. Bush got his customary allotment of carries, but was stifled by the Chicago defense and held to only 69 yards. Bush has been everything that you could ask for in a back-up running back, but they need Darren McFadden to come back really soon.

The Raiders are obviously missing something on offense. Palmer has been getting to know almost the entire roster due to injuries. Today he played with the 3rd, 4th, and 5th string wide receivers, and the 2nd and 3rd string running backs. That is going deep into the cupboard and finding a way to get it done. They will need to get healthy if they want to even competitive against the undefeated and defending Super Bowl champs in two weeks in Lambeau.

The defense was again a mixed bag, but came up big when they needed to. They gave up a large amount of yardage, but a minimal amount of points. Bears back-up quarterback Caleb Hanie, making his first start of the season, threw for 254 yards and two touchdowns, but he also threw three very untimely picks. He hit Johnny Knox on a 81 yard catch and run the enabled the Bears to cut the lead to five. After surviving an onside kick attempt, the Raiders were able to claim the victory.

The most untimely pick was near the end of the first half and ended up being a possible 10 point swing. Hanie had led the Bears down to the Raider five yard line with just seconds remaining. They tried a screen pass that was batted by Aaron Curry right into the waiting arms of linebacker Kamerion Wimbley who returned it all the way down to the ten yard line. That led to Janikowski's fourth field goal of the day. Michael Huff and Stanford Route also got in on the action recording interceptions. Curry had said he saw that play on film and they used it in London against Tampa Bay, and he was obviously ready for it.

Since the acquisition of Carson Palmer the Raiders have yet to put together a complete game. They have two road games starting with the Miami Dolphins this week followed by a visit to Lambeau field and a tangle with the Green Bay Packers. So before heading to the tundra they would be wise to pocket a very winnable game against the Fins. Hopefully in two week's time they will get all of their playmakers healthy and go into the Packer game ready to show the world they are back and ready for the next challenge.


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