Discussion in 'Thread Archive' started by Coach KO, Dec 2, 2010.
Patriots eek out win over Raiders in closing seconds. Full recap to post on the other site tomorrow.
New England walks off the field triumphantly after Montario Hardesty's touchdown run gave them the lead in the final secondsFoxborough, MA - The overcast conditions appeared to be the right mix for the offenses but what really happened was the defenses came ready to play. Each team had trouble moving the ball consistently as the defenses snuffed out every changeup thrown at them. However, in those types of games, the winner is often decided by mistakes or missed opportunities and this time, the Patriots were able to do just enough to take down Oakland, 27-23 thanks in large part to an bend but dont break defense and opportunistic offense.
The Raiders looked confident as they easily contained the Patriots offense for most of the first half. Additionally, they would have some success moving the ball against the young Patriots defense. "We were hoping that we could get our hands on Miller and McFadden but man are they quick. They posed some matchup problems so until we figured out the right mixture of defenses, we were left flat footed." exclaimed Coach KO.
The Raiders would get on the board first with a Janikowski field goal. But as quick as that lead appeared, it vanished. In the off season, the Patriots identified a need for a speedy kick returner who could catch some passes as well. They targeted Johnny Lee Higgins who used to play for the Raiders. The trade paid dividends as he took the kickoff 99 yards for the go ahead touchdown. The good feelings were short lived though.
The Raiders would end up scoring the 13 unanswered points with a pair of Janikowski field goals and a 38 yard touchdown pass to Louis Murphy that gave the Raoiders a 16-7 lead late in the second half. It was at that time, the Patriots showed some life, mainly due to the up tempo style of the hurry up offense. New England would quickly work the ball up field as Tom Brady found Randy Moss on quick out for 14 yard gain and then hit Taylor Price for a huge 38 yard gain that got them inside the redzone. On second down, Brady found Moss in the middle of the endzone for a crucial touchdown before the half. "Obviously, we were kicking off to start the second half. That was a big momentum swing.
The second half saw the defenses once again enforce their will on the opposing offenses. Although, the Patriots would show some small signs of moving the ball they just couldn't get it done on 3rd down as they only converted 3 of 11. It appeared pressure was dialed up as well. Xavier Adibi once again found himself a 2 sack game and led the team in tackles including a forced fumble. Devin McCourty was able to pick off a Matt Lienart pass which set up a 55 yard field goal by Gostowski to give them a 17-16 lead.
The Patriots defense was beginning to impose its will on the Raiders and they were consistently winning the battle on first down and 3rd down. This allowed them to be sure of tackles and not allow for critical first downs. After one such defensive stand, the Pats were looking pretty and set up for a return. The problem was a flag was thrown. A sizable return was negated and the Pats were deep within their own territory. As often the case, the Raiders took advantage of the field position and Tom Brady floated a duck to Rolando McClain who took it for a pick 6.
From that point on, it was a struggle. The Pats were once again stuck in neutral on offense and the Raiders were moving the ball but would also fizzle around midfield. The Patriots would cut the lead to 3 on a 34 yard Gostowski fieldgoal. This would put more pressure on the Raiders and apparently it was exactly what the doctor ordered. The Raiders methodically moved the ball down field but as the case has been between these teams all game long, the drive stalled and the Raiders were forced to kick a 46 yard field goal. Well within Janikowski's range but when the kick was up it was pushed wide right.
The Pats still had a chance to tie the game with a field goal but to do that, they would need to move the ball down field which was something that had proven difficult all game long. The theory was to get a good drive starter and thats exactly what happened as Brady found Sammy Morris out of the backfield for a 23 yard gain. A 7 yard run by James Davis before the 2 minute warning put the Pats just inside Raiders territory. The Pats were stuffed on 2nd down as Hardesty tried the middle of the line and Seymour stopped him cold. On 3rd down and 3, everyone expecting pass, the Pats went with a toss play to get the needed first down yardage. The time was ticking away though and the Pats were still outside of fieldgoal range. With a minute remaining in the game, the Pats went playaction and finally found some time as Brady hit Randy Moss deep inside Raider territory just before he went out of bounds at the 10. "Huge play obviously. Not much more to say. It put us in position to tie the game and we could take a shot at the win. We didnt want to make any mistakes though. The Pats would get stuffed on a run first down and after a short pass would get them to the 3 yard line, the Pats would call time out with 20 seconds remaining. "We knew we needed more time to call the right play. We lined up in goaline and with our difficulties running the ball all game, figured passing was out best option. However, Tommy thought otherwise." The Pats audbible to an off tackle run and Montario Hardesty scampered in for the go ahead touchdown and the win sending the crowd at Foxborough into a frenzy.
great game for the pats. they simply keep winning and thats what matters. this team could get on a roll.
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