Tebow-Brady got all the viewers on Sunday, but the Lions and Raiders played the game of the day.
Not only did the game include a thrilling end, Detroit’s win shook up the playoff picture in both conferences.
The NFC would be a lot more jumbled if the Lions had lost. And the Raiders’ once-promising playoff hopes are in deep trouble. It’s enough to make Raiders coach Hue Jackson rather defensive about his role in Sunday’s late game meltdown.
Here’s Jackson, trying to explain why linebacker Rolondo McClain was stuck covering Calvin Johnson deep down the middle of the field late in the game:
“Go make that play,” Jackson said via the CSNCalifornia.com. “It isn’t a scheme issue. The ball’s laying up in the air, you’ve got to go make that play when you’ve got an opportunity. Their guy made it and we didn’t, so they won the game.”
Even forty yards down the field?
“Yeah, that’s called the Tampa-2. That’s what the middle linebacker does — he runs right down the middle of the field. They made the play and we didn’t.”
McClain also had a chance to tackle Stafford on a fourth down play earlier in the quarter that would have sealed the game. He whiffed.
Perhaps Jackson’s biggest blunder was passing up a field goal early in the game to attempt a fourth-and-one. It failed.
“To me, you have to take that shot,” he said.
Jackson’s aggression should have paid off another time. He called for a deep pass on third-and-four with 3:54 to play. Gain a first down there, and the game is probably over. Carson Palmer had an open receiver and instead threw an incompletion.
As Jackson would say, go and make that play.