On final play, Raiders had 10 men on the field

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.

82 responses to “On final play, Raiders had 10 men on the field

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

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

  5. 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?

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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!!!!

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

  12. 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.

  13. 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!!!!!!!

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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!!

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

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

    —————————————

    Wrong head coach, man.

  22. 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.

  23. 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.

  24. 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

  25. 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

  26. 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.

  27. 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.

  28. 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.

  29. 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.

  30. “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.

  31. 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.

  32. 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.

  33. 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.

  34. 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.

  35. 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)

  36. 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.

  37. @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.

  38. 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.

  39. 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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