Carson Palmer wasn’t going to apologize for a mistake-filled win by the Oakland Raiders a week after they lost what might have been their best-played game of the season.
Sebastian Janikowski kicked a 40-yard field goal after Cecil Shorts III fumbled on the opening possession of overtime and the Raiders overcame three turnovers and a 14-point deficit to beat the Jacksonville Jaguars 26-23 on Sunday.
”An ugly win is better than a pretty loss,” Palmer said. ”I know that. I’m just proud of the way we fought because it wasn’t pretty.
”We did not play up to our standard and play the way we’re coached. But we hung in there and defense played great giving us the ball back. It’s just good to get out of here with a win.”
It’s the exact opposite feeling the Raiders (2-4) had a week ago when they took undefeated Atlanta down to the final second on the road before losing 23-20.
So even though this win came against the struggling Jaguars (1-5), who were missing star running back Maurice Jones-Drew and quarterback Blaine Gabbert for much of the game, Oakland was pleased with the outcome.
”We’re definitely very fortunate to come out with a win,” defensive tackle Richard Seymour said. ”We’re not satisfied. We understand that we have to play better, that we have to get better as a team. We can’t play that brand of ball against really good football teams and expect to win. We understand that we have to play better. We’ll take the win, we’ll take any win in this league. In my book there’s no such thing as an ugly win. Any time you get a win in this league, it’s a big deal.”
Palmer threw one TD pass and ran for another to force overtime for the Raiders (2-4) before they won it after Lammar Houston forced a fumble by Shorts that Joselio Hanson recovered at the Jacksonville 21.
After one play to center the ball, Janikowski came on to kick the winning field goal to end a rough day for the Jaguars.
The Jaguars lost Jones-Drew to a left foot injury on the opening drive and Gabbert to an injured left shoulder in the second quarter and managed only two first downs after halftime behind backup quarterback Chad Henne.
”We’re finding ways to not win these games instead of finding ways to win them,” coach Mike Mularkey said. ”At some point it’s got to turn and the only people that can make that happen, starting with me, is the people that are in that room. They’re doing what we’re asking them to do, the coaches are doing what they can to get our guys in position to make plays. At some point you have to draw a line and go, `Enough is enough.’ When we get to that point you’ll see different outcomes, but we’re not there obviously.”
Jacksonville lost it after Henne took a sack on second down in overtime and Shorts then got stripped by Houston after a short pass over the middle to set up Janikowski’s fourth field goal of the game.
Gabbert threw a 42-yard TD pass to Shorts before leaving with the injury, Rashad Jennings scored on a 5-yard run and Josh Scobee kicked three field goals for the Jaguars.
”Just got to protect the ball,” Shorts said. ”Coach always preaches high and tight, and when I was trying to get upfield and get some extra yards and make a play, it seems like it’s somebody you don’t see who knocks it out. So somebody I didn’t see knocked it out.”
Oakland fell behind 20-6 early in the second half and 23-13 early in the fourth before rallying to tie the game on Palmer’s 1-yard run with 3:34 remaining.
Palmer threw an 8-yard touchdown pass to Denarius Moore to start the comeback and Oakland’s next two scoring drives were aided by Jacksonville penalties.
Andre Branch was called for roughing the passer in the end zone on a third-down play stopped short of the yard marker to extend a drive that ended with Janikowski’s third field goal.
The Jaguars went three-and-out again on the next drive but were in position to stop Oakland on fourth-and-10 from the Jacksonville 25 with under 4 minutes to go.
After the Raiders used their final timeout, Palmer threw deep in the end zone to Darrius Heyward-Bey. Aaron Ross was called for pass interference on the play, putting Oakland at the 1 to set up Palmer’s score.
Jones-Drew was on the field for just two snaps, carrying the ball on the first two plays before leaving with a left foot injury. He hurt the foot on the first play and remained on the field for one more run but couldn’t come back after that.
”It felt like a little boo-boo but the second time obviously I felt it so I came out,” he said. ”I wanted to be out there with those guys today.”
The Jaguars broke out to a 17-3 lead and then recovered a surprise onside kick. But Henne failed to convert a fourth-and-1 pass. The Raiders then got a 33-yard field goal by Janikowski in the final minute to make it 17-6 at the break.
NOTES: The Jaguars have not scored on their first drive for 17 straight games. … Scobee has 178 career FGs, breaking the team mark of 175 set by Mike Hollis. … The Coliseum field was completely grass for the first time as the infield dirt was replaced when the Athletics got knocked out of the baseball playoffs.