Much has been made of the call Hue Jackson made in Sunday’s game in which he had the Raiders going for it on fourth and one at the five yard line. The controversy is whether the Raiders should have kicked a field goal as it would have put the team up by three scores. Instead he called for the team to go for it and they didn’t make it.
On the play, Michael Bush ran up the middle and was stuffed for a loss of a yard. In his defense that is a play that normally works for the Raiders — often even when the defense seems to know it is coming. However in this situation, a field goal would have likely sealed the victory and the miscue has been bothering Hue quite a bit.
“I didn’t sleep,” said Jackson. “Let me tell everybody. That’s on me… there’s no doubt. The game would have been over. There’s no question about it. If we had kicked a field goal, you wouldn’t be asking me this right now. If we had made the touchdown, you wouldn’t have been saying this neither. Again, I have a lot of confidence in my players, and I told you, one of these times I’m going to get bit. And I almost got bit. So you learn from it. I didn’t sleep last night. I’m really tired right now, and that’s part of it.
“I made it, but I still always go back and replay it. I’ve got to be a little bit smarter than that the next time. Truth be told, I do. Sometimes you can believe in your players a little bit too much. Sometimes good coaching is probably a little more important than making a decision about your players at times. That time I probably should have kicked that ball, but I didn’t, and I live with that. Not our players. That’s on me, and I always tell them that. I made that choice, not them. I’ll learn from it and get better from it. Luckily it did not cost us.
“I didn’t know the ball was coming back at us 96 yards. I had no idea. I had no idea they were going to get the onside kick. Trust me, my heart was starting to drop, every tick that was going off that clock. Obviously the defense, they got it done.”
But even after all that, when asked if he would kick the field goal if he had to do it all over again, he said he probably wouldn’t, saying, “Knowing me, probably not.”
So much for learning from it and being a bit smarter next time.