The Raiders made it a special day in a number of ways Sunday. They won another one for late owner Al Davis, and they used their special teams to top the Cleveland Browns 24-17 to move to 4-2 on the season.
Jacoby Ford returned a kickoff 101 yards and Kevin Boss caught a 35-yard touchdown pass from punter Shane Lechler on a fake field goal to lead the Raiders to a huge win in what Hue Jackson called a “game we would not have won a year ago.”
It was the first home game since the death of Davis, and the team lit an eternal flame to honor late owner at halftime. It was fitting that the flame was lit by former head coach John Madden.
The victory came with one major concern as starting quarterback Jason Campbell was knocked out late in the first half with an injured collarbone. Campbell landed hard on his shoulder after being hit at the end of a scramble by Cleveland linebackers Chris Gocong and Scott Fujita.
The Raiders offense struggled once Kyle Boller took over for Campbell. But Boller did complete a 27-yard swing pass to Ford that set up Sebastian Janikowski’s 48-yard field goal that made it 17-7 late in the third quarter.
Oakland then took over again at the Cleveland 25 after a botched handoff between McCoy and Montario Hardesty. That’s when Jackson once again successfully went to his book of tricks. On fourth down from the 35, Lechler— the holder—threw to a wide-open Boss in the flat and Boss raced to the end zone for the score that made it 24-7.
That lead proved to be enough for the Raiders, who harassed Colt McCoy and held Cleveland’s running game to 65 yards. McCoy completed just 21 of 45 passes for 215 yards and two touchdowns, including a 12-yarder to Mohamed Massaquoi that cut it to 24-17 with 1:06 remaining after Jackson bypassed a chip-shot field goal to go for it unsuccessfully on fourth-and-1 from the 5.
The Browns recovered the onside kick, but were unable to generate a first down and Oakland won it.
Darren McFadden rushed for 91 yards on 20 carries with a touchdown for the Raiders.
After a pregame video tribute and moment of silence for Davis, the Raiders started fast. They forced a three-and-out to start the game with safety Matt Giordano sacking McCoy with a blitz on third down. Oakland them methodically moved 88 yards in 15 plays, converting four third-down opportunities and scoring on McFadden’s 4-yard run.
The Raiders were moving again when Campbell slid headfirst on a scramble and lost the ball. That led to Cleveland’s first score on McCoy’s 1-yard TD pass to Alex Smith.
Oakland answered with Ford’s 101-yard kickoff return—his fourth TD return in less than two years as a pro.