Raiders win at home, honor Davis
Jason Campbell had been knocked out with a broken collarbone and the offense was stagnating - so it was the perfect time for Oakland Raiders coach Hue Jackson to turn to his tricks.
Kevin Boss caught a 35-yard touchdown pass from punter Shane Lechler on a fake field goal and the Raiders overcame the loss of their quarterback to beat the Cleveland Browns 24-17 Sunday in their first home game since the death of longtime owner Al Davis.
''We'll do whatever it takes to win football games,'' Jackson said. ''Every week there's going to be something there to give us a chance to win a game.''
Darren McFadden capped Oakland's opening drive with a touchdown run and Jacoby Ford returned a kick 101 yards for another score to give the Raiders (3-3) the win on a day that started with tributes to Davis and ended with questions about Oakland's future after Campbell's injury.
But in between, the Raiders did what Davis always wanted more than anything in his nearly half-century as the face of this franchise.
''We all understand what he would have told each and everyone of us: 'Win. Winning. Play winning football,''' Jackson said. ''A year ago, we didn't find a way to win these kinds of games. Two years ago, we didn't find a way to win these kinds of game. The team is now believing in each other and fighting like he always thought it could. And they're winning football games.''
Oakland did it despite losing Campbell, who was knocked out late in the first half when he landed hard on his shoulder after being hit by Chris Gocong and Scott Fujita on a scramble.
Kyle Boller entered in relief and struggled at times, but the Raiders got enough big plays on special teams to hold off the Browns (2-3) and win consecutive games for the first time this season.
''I hate that it happened to (Jason), because that was our guy,'' Ford said. ''It's just part of the game, something you have to adjust to. Kyle stepped up and made some great plays today. Now we know that Kyle's our quarterback and we have to step up for him.''
It was an emotional day at the Coliseum with many old-time Raiders coming back to honor Davis, who died Oct. 8 of an undisclosed illness at age 82.
Coaches and team officials all wore black shirts with a simple two-letter message supplanted on the Raiders shield: ''AL.''
The most poignant moment came during a halftime ceremony with dozens of former players standing in a circle around the Raiders emblem at midfield. Super Bowl-winning coach John Madden then lit a caldron on the plaza level in the corner of the stadium with the public address announcer saying the fire will ''burn forever'' for fans to remember Davis.
''We all knew the task at hand and we just made sure we made the most of it,'' cornerback Stanford Routt said.
Boller completed 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 Colt McCoy and Montario Hardesty. That's when Jackson and special teams coach John Fassel once again went to their 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 to make it 24-7.
''It's just taking advantage of what the defense is doing,'' Boss said. ''It's a pretty simple pass and a pretty simple catch. I think all the credit goes to Coach Fassel for being able to recognize it's something we should take advantage of. And to Coach Jackson for having the guts to call the play.''
That lead proved to be enough for the Raiders, who harassed McCoy and held Cleveland's running game to 65 yards. McCoy completed 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.
''We fought 'til the end,'' McCoy said. ''Eventually, we thought, we're going to catch a break. In the huddle, after we got the onside kick, we thought we had a chance. We had a minute, that's a long time. We got it on the 50. We just didn't capitalize.''
Notes: Browns RB Peyton Hillis was limited in the second half by an injured left hamstring and will have an MRI on Monday. ... Fujita left with a concussion. ... Raiders C Samson Satele sprained his knee but told Jackson he likely will play next week.