In a game that was fitting for their celebration of history this season, the Oakland Raiders pulled victory from the jaws of defeat as they defeated the Cincinnati Bengals 20-17 in a game where they didn’t have a lead until 19 seconds were left on the clock.
Early on, this game looked like it was going to be a rout, as the Raiders were thoroughly dominated thorugh the first 20 mintues. They only had five offensive plays and the Begnals had amassed a 14-0 lead. The Raiders answered with their own touchdown late in the second quarter. Bruce Gradkowski hit Zach Miller to close off the Raiders fourth drive with 53 seconds left in the half. Sebastian Janikowski missed a 57 yard field goal as the half expired.
The Raiders offense found some rhythm in the second half, starting with their first drive of the third quarter which resulted in a Janikowski filed goal from 52 yards. Before the third quarter was out, the Bengals would score their own field goal to set up what would be a wild fourth quarter.
The fourth quarter began with the Raiders forcing and recovering a Bengals fumble inside the Raiders 20. The Raiders drove the ball to midfield before they punted it back tothe Bengals. The Raiders defense was golden, and got the Raiders the ball back in good field position after a three and out. However, on the first play from scrimmage Gradkowski as drilled as he threw the ball and the ball and it was intercepted. The Bengals moved the ball towards midfield, and punted the ball back to the Raiders where they took over with 2:12 remaining and eighty yards to go.
Gradkoski moved the Raiders to midfield, where three straight incomplete passes left the Raiders with a 4th and 10 with inside of two minutes left in the game. On fourth and ten, Gradkowski hit Chaz Schilens for 14 yards. First down was a clock killing spike. Second down, Gradkowski hit Louis Murphy at about the three, and he fought his way intothe endzone for a game tying touchdown with 33 seconds left on the clock, setting up what appeared to be an overtime game. Instead, reserve rookie tight end Brandon Myers stripped Quan Crosby and the Raiders took over at the Bengals 21. Janikowski hit the chipshot field goal and the Raiders won.