EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Terrelle Pryor had done the math and determined the failure of the Raiders to score a touchdown with a first-and-goal situation at the 1 was the difference in a 24-20 loss to the New York Giants on Sunday at MetLife Stadium.
Given the loss of four points when settling for a 24-yard field goal by Sebastian Janikowski and the four-point margin of defeat, it was tough to argue.
"We got three points and we lost by four," Pryor said.
Leading 17-14 at halftime, the Raiders took the second-half kickoff and painstakingly drove from their own 20 to the Giants' 1-yard line on a 5-yard run by Rashad Jennings for a first-and-goal.
Jennings, who finished with 88 yards on 20 carries, was stopped on first down for no gain. Pryor threw incomplete to Denarius Moore in the back of the end zone on second down.
On third-and-1, a false start on tackle Khalif Barnes pushed the ball back to the 6. Pryor threw incomplete to Rod Streater on third down.
The drive contained the only two third-down conversions the Raiders had all day (they were 2 or 12) and consumed 8:04 off the clock.
But instead of being up 24-14, the Raiders led 20-14.
"You want to think you can punch it in," Jennings said. "We've got a physical group up front. There are no excuses for not being able to get in the end zone, and that's starting with myself just being the running back out there."
The decision to pass the ball on second-and-goal after Jennings was stopped for no gain was debatable, given the circumstances.
Coach Dennis Allen said the play-action pass to Moore was in hopes the New York defense would "bite up" and that the call on third down was another run — until the false start from Barnes.
"That pushes us back to the 6, and we had to end up throwing the ball," Allen said.
When asked about the play, Barnes, after a long pause, said, "I can hear T.P. saying 'hut-hut,' but that's neither here nor there. I've got to move when the ball moves."
(Barnes also had three holding penalties.)
GROUND GAME PRODUCES
The Raiders averaged 4.3 yards per carry against a team that came in giving up 3.6, and Allen said, "I thought we ran the ball exceptionally well today."
So with a sore-kneed quarterback, perhaps the Raiders should have run it more often?
In the end, the Raiders had 25 rushes and 26 passes.
"I thought we had a good game plan," Allen said. "I thought we did the right things. We just didn't make enough plays at the end to win the game."
THE MAIN MANNING MAN
A 43-yard interception return for a touchdown against Eli Manning gives Tracy Porter the distinction of having scores against both Manning brothers. Porter had a 74-yard interception return of Peyton Manning when the New Orleans Saints beat the Indianapolis Colts 31-17 in Super Bowl XLIV.
"It was just zone coverage, reading the quarterback, he settled in to get the ball to (Victor) Cruz, and I just made a good read and he let the ball go, and I made a great break and I ran it back for a touchdown," Porter said.