Monday Night Kicker: Week Seven

Tosten HeathSenior Analyst IOctober 20, 2008

Curing the world of uninsightful, uninteresting, day after Ante Meridiem armchair quarterbacks.

During the final seconds of the 71.5-minute epic in Oakland, Sebastian Janikowski kicked the ball farther than star child Darren McFadden had run all game. Justin Fargas could have gone three yards and a cloud of dust 19 times over the course of the ball's flight. It accounted for more points than Brett Favre scored on the other side of the ball.

It equaled the Raiders' second win of the season.

"As soon as I hit it, I started celebrating," Janikowski said. "Laughing and smiling feels good."

For suffering Raider fans, that's an enormous understatement.

"What is this feeling? I love it! We should do this more often!" one bleacher creature said. A tailgater was overheard shouting, "Raiders win? Raiders win!"

Can you blame them? No one expected an interim head coach leading an intermediate-at-best team to come out victorious against the hot New York Jets, coming into the bay on a two game winning streak.

But it seems the lack of confidence was also only interim. "We believe now, whereas before, we would get in the fourth quarter and it would kind of fall apart on us," cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha said. "We needed this."

Did they ever.

Oakland had dropped four of their first five, the only win coming against the even worse off Kansas City Chiefs. The are being run by a rookie quarterback in need of momentum to build a career on. The steering wheel has been passed to Tom Cable by a 79-year-old owner, both in need of success and support. And the fanbase? Their needs need not even be asked.

Sunday's win was a solid building block. "The way we won it today, it brings us closer together as a team," Russel said. "We just kept fighting."

His words are a solid mantra.

Janikowski's kick was solid, period. During its flight, that 171 foot bomb that Chris Mortenson says could have easily made it from five yards deeper, a game was pulled out of a hat.

Here's the kicker. A franchise might also have been pulled out of a crater.

Extra Points

Oakland wasn't the only team to come out of a slump this past weekend. The St. Louis Rams, also coming off a coaching change, pulled off a 34-14 romp in the Edwards Jones Dome. Tony Romo did not play during the game—based on a Brett Favre-free choice. Said Jerry Jones, "He ended up making that decision for us. He just felt like he couldn't help us." Good to see Favre doesn't have everyone following his every word.

After leading his Bills to 24-13 win over the San Diego Chargers and to a 5-1 record, Trent Edwards has vaulted into the MVP conversation. On Monday's Pardon the Interruption, Michael Wilbon said Edwards is No. 2 in the race. His top choice? Kerry Collins.

Cincinnati must be a sad, sad place right now. After a four-yard run by Cedric Benson that gave the Bengals, the only NFL team yet to win a game, their first first down of the game, the fans erupted into a standing ovation.

1,000 Words From Week Seven