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Raiders' lead vanishes in 23-19 loss to Titans

  • Oakland Raiders Rod Streater fumbles the ball while trying to pass on a kickoff return play after being hit by Tennessee Titans defender Blidi Wreh-Wilson late in the fourth quarter of their game in Oakland on Sunday, November 24, 2013. The Raiders lost to the Titans 23-19.
    (Christopher Chung/ The Press Democrat)

Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, playing with his fourth NFL team and playing because of an injury to Jake Locker, looked like a star as he completed his first seven passes on the final drive. After two incompletions, Tennessee faced third-and-goal from the Oakland 10. Fifteen seconds remained on the clock. One more defensive stop, and the game was likely headed to overtime.

But Justin Hunter dragged cornerback Phillip Adams into the left side of the end zone, and fellow wide receiver Kendall Wright cut underneath against slot corner Tracy Porter. Fitzpatrick found Wright at about the 1, and he was able to gather in the ball and shimmy across the goal line for the winning touchdown.

"I stepped on the defender's toes and got out, and Ryan made a great throw," Wright explained. "All I had to do was look it in and get in the end zone. Before the start of that drive we said we weren't going to let Rob Bironas come out here and kick a field goal to tie it up. We wanted to go down there and score seven."

Oakland Raiders vs. Tennessee Titans

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"Just got to converge on it," Raiders free safety Charles Woodson lamented. "Somebody's got to make a play in that situation."

The Raiders defense has become more aggressive under head coach Dennis Allen and coordinator Jason Tarver, but they played it safe on that critical play, deploying zone coverage and rushing just three men.

"Tracy was fine," Allen said, defending Porter. "It's a tough route for the coverage we were in. I thought they did a good job executing. They had a nice play up which made it tough for us to be able to defend. If I had it to do over again I'd have been more aggressive right there and come after them. Put that one on me."

The Titans not only went 80 yards to score the go-ahead touchdown. They ate six minutes off the clock, denying the Raiders any real shot at a comeback.

Oakland fell to 4-7, and now holds sole possession of last place in the AFC West.

It was a crushing result for the Raiders and their fans, who had watched undrafted rookie Matt McGloin — making his first home start at quarterback — lead the team to what looked like the winning score. It took the Raiders just five plays to go 75 yards midway through the fourth quarter. Streater helped the cause with a couple of leaping catches, and McGloin finished it when he found fullback Marcel Reece wide open for a 27-yard touchdown.

"It was Marcel on a linebacker, and any quarterback will take that matchup any time," McGloin said.


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