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On final play, Raiders had 10 men on the field

Raiders wide receiver Schilens is congratulated by teammate McFadden after scoring a touchdown against the Texans in Houston Reuters

The day after Raiders owner Al Davis died, his team clinched a victory over the Texans by thwarting the Texans from the doorstep of the end zone on the final play of the game, as safety Michael Huff intercepted Houston quarterback Matt Schaub in the end zone.

In what was a fitting, albeit surely unintentional, missing-man formation tribute to Mr. Davis, the Raiders managed to keep the Texans from scoring with only 10 players on the field.

A reader tipped us off to the intriguing glitch earlier today, and we’ve pulled up the video of the game from the excellent Game Rewind service at NFL.com.  It’s true — the Raiders had only 10 men on the field.

And so just when it looked like a moment couldn’t have gotten any more perfect, it has.

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82 Responses to “On final play, Raiders had 10 men on the field”
  1. tallguyme says: Oct 11, 2011 9:30 PM

    please don’t reward Raiders incompetence

  2. dannano says: Oct 11, 2011 9:30 PM

    And the Texans still lost.

    What a joke franchise.

  3. canadianvikingfaniii says: Oct 11, 2011 9:31 PM

    Al Davis was there on the field in spirit.

  4. trojanwarrior007 says: Oct 11, 2011 9:33 PM

    Good ol’ Al was that 11th player.

  5. 14whodey18 says: Oct 11, 2011 9:33 PM

    Not a Raiders fan, but that is pretty cool. Al meant alot to the NFL and was an integral part of its popularity today.

  6. Gordon says: Oct 11, 2011 9:33 PM

    Not a tribute, just stupidity.

  7. 808raiderinparadise says: Oct 11, 2011 9:34 PM

    Can’t make this stuff up! Well at least Schuab wasn’t Vick rolling out left, instead he was, well, Schaub … a stat friendly QB with no winning pedigree.

  8. apooster says: Oct 11, 2011 9:34 PM

    Al Davis was the 11th man on the field.

  9. waussau says: Oct 11, 2011 9:34 PM

    Skins did this for Taylor, on purpose though. RIP 21

  10. tigeralum2010 says: Oct 11, 2011 9:35 PM

    Cool story. Not a raiders fan or a texans fan but I was pulling for the raiders on Sunday.

  11. cletusvandam says: Oct 11, 2011 9:35 PM

    I’m sure Houston had Jacoby Jones on the field so they were really only playing with 10 also.

  12. mavajo says: Oct 11, 2011 9:36 PM

    Fitting tribute. With the way Davis had been running that team for the last decade, it’s like they were playing with 10 men anyway.

  13. theysone says: Oct 11, 2011 9:37 PM

    Ironic that Huff would make the play, since when he’s on the field, the Raiders are usually an NFL player short on defense.

  14. kd75 says: Oct 11, 2011 9:37 PM

    Jim Zorn says: ” That was MY idea dammit…No wait, that was Gregg Wialliams’ idea. And it got me fired. “

  15. jgrange says: Oct 11, 2011 9:41 PM

    Huff had a pretty good year last year so theysone is a moron.

  16. aigraiders says: Oct 11, 2011 9:42 PM

    Wow just wow. We got so lucky but a win is a win. Al Davis was the phantom db on that play.

  17. drumbug7 says: Oct 11, 2011 9:43 PM

    Wouldn’t it have been smarter to do a tribute on, say, the first play, instead of the last when you’re backed up at the goal line and up by less than a touchdown?

  18. orthodoxdj says: Oct 11, 2011 9:44 PM

    If you include the officials, the Raiders were outnumbered the whole game.

  19. fooath says: Oct 11, 2011 9:47 PM

    Crazy Al out there keeping Schaub from running!

  20. savannahrose44 says: Oct 11, 2011 9:47 PM

    So what you are really saying is the Raiders coaches can’t count.

  21. kyleortonsarm says: Oct 11, 2011 9:50 PM

    “On final play, Raiders had 10 men on the field” Because they’re idiots.

  22. philtration says: Oct 11, 2011 9:52 PM

    Guess that was enough then.

  23. wvuandcowboysfan says: Oct 11, 2011 9:52 PM

    I think if Al wasn’t the AFL commisioner at he time he was, I’m not sure the AFL would have forced the merger and thus the NFL not being what it is today. I think AL is truly the most important figure in giving us the game we love today. Pete Roselle would have been fine to wait the AFL out until it went the way so many other football leagues have over the ages.

  24. wtfpft says: Oct 11, 2011 9:53 PM

    Awesome! RIP AL

  25. b1gwin says: Oct 11, 2011 9:55 PM

    Makes Matt Slob look even worse for that grade school interception. PATHETIC!!!

  26. 808raiderinparadise says: Oct 11, 2011 9:57 PM

    theysone ….. wake up, Huff was a 2nd team all-pro last year behind ed reed. its ok, your comment only makes yourself look stupid when you thought you were being funny/or even being taken as a credible football analyst. can’t even hack it in the blogs huh? scrub. go have a warm glass of milk and go to sleep.

  27. jaymc1988 says: Oct 11, 2011 9:59 PM

    i swear when someone from the raiders die they help from above lol.. al davis as the 11th man and last yr when those guys died at sea and the bird flew in formation of where he lined up on special teams following his death.. crazy stuff

  28. favreforever says: Oct 11, 2011 10:00 PM

    Afterwards, Schaub looked like he’d seen a ghost.

  29. jeremyb91 says: Oct 11, 2011 10:01 PM

    Huff was All Pro last year something fans aren’t part of the voting for the idiot who stated he’s a non-player.

    As for the 10 men on the field, that was awesome and it didn’t matter because they covered it to perfection and then some because Schaub couldn’t scramble and run it in.

  30. bullethead527 says: Oct 11, 2011 10:03 PM

    Al Davis was a genius, in his old age he was losing his grip on reality, still he was on that field leading his Def…… That man was great to football and still is, and that is coming from a Panthers Fan, who’s team was sued by Al for having black and silver and then Teal… LOL he was so silver and black he didnt want us wearing it in California…. That man was crazy, but still got to love the guy!!! RIP AL Davis!!!!

  31. scmorg1974 says: Oct 11, 2011 10:04 PM

    You cannot script this stuff. Crazy….

  32. fkthis says: Oct 11, 2011 10:11 PM

    Facing only 10 defenders in an unconventional formation must have really confused Houston. The defense needs to use that more often. It obviously worked.

  33. raiderapologist says: Oct 11, 2011 10:12 PM

    theysone says: Oct 11, 2011 9:37 PM

    Ironic that Huff would make the play, since when he’s on the field, the Raiders are usually an NFL player short on defense.

    That is not correct, but I will admit that I was not relaxed enough to count heads on defense before that play.

  34. platinumraider32 says: Oct 11, 2011 10:12 PM

    Amazing!!!! Not that their were 10 men on the field so much that so many people don’t realize the contribution to the game he was. Hate em’, Love em’, despise him or just can’t stand the Raiders…. that makes sense to me. But to show no acknowledgement to what he meant to the “game” of football is an abomination. Maybe I’m just getting old, but I was too young for Rock Knutne(Sure I butchered the last name, so forgive me), I know what he meant to Football. I’m not a Chicago fan, but I know what George Hallas meant, and I’m not Browns’ or Cincy fan but I know what Paul Brown meant. And lets not forget Art Rooney!!!!!!! Steel City in affect!!!!!

    It saddens me that people have a hard time looking past the persona and don’t look at the body of work. The men that I just mentioned are probably(and I use the term loosely) the most significant men in the history of shaping the NFL that all of you so love today.

    When I heard the news early Saturday morning, I cried, not because I’m a Raider fan, because I know the lives he affected “personally”, the opportunity he gave to those who wouldn’t get an opportunity from anyone else. His heart was as big as you can imagine. He payed players medical bills after they played and had no healthcare, he gave them jobs, he hired the first female executive in the League. He was true to the game. Look it up, it’s all there. The only man to give Hall of Fame presentation for 9 players!!!!

    As much bad press as he got, that should tell you how he was respected among players!!!

    That says a lot!!! And the first NFL Hall of Fame inductee from the old AFL wasn’t even a Raider that asked Big Al to present him( hint: Bambi)!!!!!

    U go Al!!!!!!!!! Now that’s Respect!!!!!!! You did it like a true RAIDER!!!!!! A true AMERICAN!!!!!!!

  35. lunarpie says: Oct 11, 2011 10:13 PM

    That’s cause AL DAVIS was the 11th….

    RAIDERS!!!!!!!! JUST WIN BABY!!!!!!!!

  36. thridandlong says: Oct 11, 2011 10:13 PM

    Raiders playing ‘ Missing Man ‘ formation !

  37. blueintown says: Oct 11, 2011 10:14 PM

    Yes, commenters, we understand the article explicitly implies Davis was the 11th man.

  38. scytherius says: Oct 11, 2011 10:14 PM

    Ya know, those of you bitching about this really don’t have any fun in your lives, do you? You don’t see the wonder in, well, anything.

    Sad little people.

  39. sundog05 says: Oct 11, 2011 10:16 PM

    The Raiders had a pretty good run this year. They will still lose the division to the Chargers and not make the playoffs.

  40. failcopter says: Oct 11, 2011 10:19 PM

    Raiders fan here:

    it was one of two things:

    1. (prefer this one) Al was the 11th man.
    2. Making up for the 12 men penalty earlier.

  41. conjecture101 says: Oct 11, 2011 10:20 PM

    Just Win Baby

  42. cytofed says: Oct 11, 2011 10:21 PM

    Coach Davis was the 12th Raider and the 11th Raider on that play.
    RIP coach Davis

  43. mikeypanic says: Oct 11, 2011 10:22 PM

    need to see it on an overhead projector to confirm.

    gonna miss that dude.

  44. autumnwind999 says: Oct 11, 2011 10:23 PM

    theysone says:Oct 11, 2011 9:37 PM

    Ironic that Huff would make the play, since when he’s on the field, the Raiders are usually an NFL player short on defense.

    ——————————

    Ummm. Huff is easily one of the five best safeties in football. 4 sacks and had a hand in 6 turnovers last season.

    Thanks for playing.

  45. therealsmiley says: Oct 11, 2011 10:25 PM

    I’ve never rooted for the Raiders due to the beating they gave us in a Super Bowl, until this past Sunday. You played your hearts. Now I’ll go back to hating you and seeking revenge for the a$$ whooping you gave us. Hail!!

  46. suckleague says: Oct 11, 2011 10:30 PM

    Al posthumously traded somebody he didn’t like. You can’t stop looking over your shoulder in Oakland. Just because he’s dead, don’t think you’re safe.

  47. cmack21 says: Oct 11, 2011 10:31 PM

    Coach said Al Davis had his hand on the ball.
    R.I.P.
    Just win baby!!!

  48. marcsasharc says: Oct 11, 2011 10:50 PM

    Lol of course al Davis was on the field. Nothing is funnier than raider fans speaking spiritually. :)

  49. polishkingski says: Oct 11, 2011 10:50 PM

    two words….spoo-key.

  50. tombradyfumbled says: Oct 11, 2011 10:50 PM

    I would love more than anything to see Al Davis in his jump suit on the cover of Madden next year. Would be a great tribute to a Legend of the game of football… Thanks for the memories Al

  51. cosanostra71 says: Oct 11, 2011 10:54 PM

    Lol makes Schaubs decision look even more ridiculous

  52. zoogleea says: Oct 11, 2011 11:06 PM

    I have long maintained that PFT attracts many of the stupidest people in the USA, which by default makes them some of the most ignorant and uneducated people on the planet. Many of the negative comments about Al Davis really forego human decency, let alone an awareness of football history.

    This is the last team that Al built – let’s see how they make out.

  53. descendency says: Oct 11, 2011 11:10 PM

    They had 11 on the field. Matt Schuab clearly plays for the other team in the fourth quarter.

  54. valman61 says: Oct 11, 2011 11:13 PM

    Platinum32:

    Please do not forget about Wellington Mara. He invented revenue sharing and basically owns the competitive balance we all enjoy today. They call it parody, but it should be renamed Wellington.

    Other than that excellent post. I’m only 27 but have studied the game I love enough to recognize those iconic and historic figures who made this game what it is today. Salutations.

  55. andyb053 says: Oct 11, 2011 11:14 PM

    Jim Zorn says: ” That was MY idea dammit…No wait, that was Gregg Wialliams’ idea. And it got me fired. “

    —————————————

    Wrong head coach, man.

  56. dawkattack says: Oct 11, 2011 11:37 PM

    That spot was for Mr Davis God Bless & Rest In Power

  57. dgforreal says: Oct 11, 2011 11:38 PM

    I would love more than anything to see Al Davis in his jump suit on the cover of Madden next year. Would be a great tribute to a Legend of the game of football… Thanks for the memories Al

    That would be amazing.

  58. tatum064 says: Oct 11, 2011 11:49 PM

    kyleortonsarm says:
    Oct 11, 2011 9:50 PM
    “On final play, Raiders had 10 men on the field” Because they’re idiots.
    =======================
    Dont worry Bronco fan, your 2nd smack down is coming in Oaktown. Even with Tebow starting.

  59. beil1984 says: Oct 11, 2011 11:51 PM

    Raiders are destined to make huge noise in playoffs!

  60. rockybev35 says: Oct 11, 2011 11:54 PM

    Just rewatched the game. Raiders did not win. Texans beat the Texans. Heard this crap about Davis for a week now.
    Point: Raiders going nowhere this year.
    Reason: Al Davis last 10 drafts.
    Only credit I give is Hugh is a good coach.

    Give this crap a rest. This story was just another tear jerker for the fans to hang on to.
    Crap story.
    Let the venom begin

  61. The Phantom Stranger says: Oct 11, 2011 11:56 PM

    Better 10 men on the field than 12 men in the huddle.

    – Brad Childress

  62. md1123 says: Oct 12, 2011 12:32 AM

    not gonna lie but im a Raider fan and after reading this im not surprised… another stupid mistake like they have done all year long and they got lucky they won that game… happy they won that for Al but to really impress Al they need to do more… time for Oakland to make the playoffs and win a game or two

  63. ronlm says: Oct 12, 2011 12:41 AM

    Raiders fan here…

    • The Raiders should be ashamed for having only 10 men on the field for that play. Should never happen in any circumstance… much less THAT one. This is the type of thing they must FIX in order to take the next step towards playoff contention. You can bet your hiney that Hue, when hearing about this, is not going to be all fuzzy and sappy. He’s going to get answers and find answers… and probably chew some holes in people while he’s at it.

    • The Texans, having a full unit on the field, had four receivers in the pattern. The Raiders, missing a dude, not only had every one of them receivers covered like a blanket, but also had an available safety to get after Shaub when he started for the EZ. Additionally, Shaub was nearly sacked by a marauding John Henderson busting up the middle.

    • As bad as it is to leave your defense short a guy for the final game winning play, it’s quite a bit worse, as a Texan, to have the advantage of an extra guy, and still get your butt handed to you in all facets of that play.

    • Al Davis’ presence was there full force in every one of those ten players hearts and minds, and they dominated when they absolutely HAD to. Those men didn’t lose just an owner of the team they play for… they lost the man who embodied the ENTIRE franchise. It’s more akin to losing a father and mother at the same time.

  64. 808raiderinparadise says: Oct 12, 2011 12:42 AM

    but of course schaub is an “elite” qb who read the defense, noticed they were short a man and audibled to a QB roll out to utilize his 4.3 speed.

  65. bossplayer213 says: Oct 12, 2011 1:00 AM

    kd75 says: Oct 11, 2011 9:37 PM

    Jim Zorn says: ” That was MY idea dammit…No wait, that was Gregg Wialliams’ idea. And it got me fired. “

    —————————-
    Except Joe Gibbs was the head coach. Lulz.

  66. goawayeverybody says: Oct 12, 2011 1:17 AM

    I am liking the Raiders more and more. Their coach has heart and soul. I like it.

  67. raiderrich510 says: Oct 12, 2011 1:26 AM

    “The Hand Of Al game” fitting name I saw on a blog! Raiders baby!!

  68. vincentbojackson says: Oct 12, 2011 1:36 AM

    Davis was a throwback to the simple days when players weren’t fined for big hits and obvious fumbles weren’t over turned by a silly tuck rule.

  69. tdk24 says: Oct 12, 2011 2:19 AM

    “mavajo says:
    Oct 11, 2011 9:36 PM
    Fitting tribute. With the way Davis had been running that team for the last decade, it’s like they were playing with 10 men anyway.”

    Sure, pick on the Raiders for having some bad records the last 10 years, but tell me how many teams have represented the AFC in the superbowl in those 10 years.

  70. bearsrulepackdrool says: Oct 12, 2011 3:01 AM

    Yea. Okay Al Davis was on the field. But, that still doesn’t take away from the Raiders incompetence. If they had lost the game we would be attacking the Raiders for a poor choice of play-calling.
    Yea the Redskins did it for Sean Taylor but THEY WERE SMART ENOUGH TO DO IT ON THE FIRST PLAY NOT THE LAST.

  71. hedleykow says: Oct 12, 2011 6:16 AM

    There will ever be only one Al. The next generation will never understand.

  72. weneedlinemen42 says: Oct 12, 2011 6:48 AM

    That is just perfect. Al was there in spirit.

    I still can’t quite believe he is gone. He is one of those sort of people you just expect to always be around.

    kd75 says:
    Oct 11, 2011 9:37 PM
    Jim Zorn says: ” That was MY idea dammit…No wait, that was Gregg Wialliams’ idea. And it got me fired. “

    Jim Zorn was QB coach for the Seahawks that year. So I don’t think he would say anything like that.

    There were rumours that Williams failed to run the idea past Joe Gibbs, who was the head coach at the time. Now that may have actually contributed to Williams not being offered the top job when Gibbs retired. It may also have contributed to Snyder practically imprisoning Williams inside his house during the interview.

    So in fact that missing man formation probably contributed to Zorn being hired. Being a terribly inexperienced and ineffective head coach with a Cerrato assembled roster is what got Jim – keep it medium – Zorn fired.

  73. weneedlinemen42 says: Oct 12, 2011 6:58 AM

    Was this why Shaub looked so hesitant on the play. He could only see 10 and was worried that he had lost track of a defender. Maybe even just at a sub-concious level there was a nagging doubt that something was unusual about the defensive alignment.

  74. cshearing says: Oct 12, 2011 8:17 AM

    valman61 says:
    Oct 11, 2011 11:13 PM
    Platinum32:

    Please do not forget about Wellington Mara. He invented revenue sharing and basically owns the competitive balance we all enjoy today. They call it parody, but it should be renamed Wellington.
    ————————————————-

    The word is “parity”, and it is an actual word that applies here. I agree on Mara’s influence, don’t get me wrong. I just like words.

  75. godofwine330 says: Oct 12, 2011 8:31 AM

    The Missing Man Formation…classic line for this story. Though unintentional as you said, it was so appropriate. As if Al Davis was there in spirit.

    R.I.P., Al

    (sorry I can’t root for your team this week as they are playing my Cleveland Browns)

  76. 8man says: Oct 12, 2011 9:56 AM

    This is just spooky!

    Great moment for Raider fan following a somber weekend.

  77. pigskinswag says: Oct 12, 2011 10:18 AM

    Schaub threw the ball right to Michael Huff, so in reality, he could have been the only one on the field.

  78. axespray says: Oct 12, 2011 10:48 AM

    so that’s 4 guys at dline, a guy coming after schaub, so that leaves 5 on 5 in the endzone and the dude still threw an interception.

  79. AlanSaysYo says: Oct 12, 2011 11:08 AM

    When was the last time you saw 850+ total thumbs up/thumbs down on a PFT comment? I don’t recall ever seeing a story with more than 300 in either direction (certainly more often up than down).

    Either somebody’s got a lot of fake accounts or Al learned how to use a computer posthumously.

  80. qj1984 says: Oct 12, 2011 11:26 AM

    @kd75

    Facts are a pet peeve of mine. Jim Zorn was not the Redskins HC when Sean Taylor passed and they did that 10 man tribute to start the Bills game.

    Joe Gibbs was still the HC. And he retired after that season.

  81. radrntn says: Oct 12, 2011 11:26 AM

    gotta love the raiders…..marquis cooper drowns at sea, and comes back for one more play on special teams as a silver and black pigeon, and Al Davis gets to come back for one more defensive play to win the game

    Go Raiders.

  82. 28purple4mvp says: Oct 12, 2011 11:55 AM

    The Phantom Stranger says:
    Oct 11, 2011 11:56 PM
    Better 10 men on the field than 12 men in the huddle.

    – Brad Childress

    Best post of the week hands down

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