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Lowell Cohn: Raiders give new meaning to 'small ball'

  • Washington Redskins free safety David Amerson (39) runs from Oakland Raiders wide receiver Denarius Moore (17) to return an interception for a 45-yard touchdown during the second quarter of an NFL football game in Oakland, Calif., Sunday, Sept. 29, 2013. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

"It was fourth and inches," he said with force. "It was fourth and inches and we have to be able to make inches. We hadn't been moving the ball up and down the field and to get a chance to be down there when you're in scoring position, you can possibly get a touchdown, we have to make inches."

It's nice to make inches. But Allen's decision was dead wrong. I apologize for going all football on you. It's just that the Raiders should have kicked the field goal — they were close and the field goal was easy as pie.

Why kick the field goal?

Oakland Raiders vs. Washington Redskins


Because the Raiders needed both a field goal and a touchdown with the extra point to tie the game. They needed the field goal sooner or later. They could have kicked the field goal then and there, tried to stop the Redskins' offense — a fairly crummy offense, by the way — and go for the game-tying touchdown on their next possession.

By failing to convert on fourth down they ended the game, gave themselves no chance. The guys on local radio complained about the call, reminded listeners the Raiders' offensive line had not pushed back the Redskins' defensive line all day, and getting inches on fourth down was a fairytale. "Fairytale" is my word, not theirs.

Just go for the field goal, Dennis.

But, as I say, this is a small point. There are so many small points with the Raiders — only small points.

Typical small point: Would the Raiders have won with Terrelle Pryor at quarterback instead of Flynn? Who knows? Maybe they would have. It doesn't matter. They didn't have Pryor, out with a concussion. Anyway, the Raiders' record with Pryor was 1-2. End of story.

Another small point: General manager Reggie McKenzie overestimated the ability of running back Darren McFadden to stay healthy — he hurt his hamstring on Sunday. With McFadden it's always something.

Another small point: McKenzie overestimated Flynn, paid him a fortune to be, as it turns out, the second-banana quarterback. Flynn always turns out to be second banana. It's his natural position.

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