Raiders Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Oakland Raiders

November 30, 2008
Cable makes the wrong decision

OAKLAND - No, you weren't that intoxicated.

You really did see this.

And you thought that 76-yard field goal attempt was wacky...

Interim head coach Tom Cable was going to ask Sebastian Janikowski to take the football and run for a first down.

To no one's shock, the play didn't work and it proved to be a pivotal point in what ended up being a 20-13 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.

Cable explained the decision by saying the Raiders had practiced the play for two years and that the Chiefs were lined up in a way that the play was designed to work against.

But did anyone really think the play would work.

Most players said the right thing on the record.

They had chances to make plays later in the game.

It was still only a 10-3 game after Maurice Leggett ran the football back 67 yards for a touchdown after the botched pitch from between Shane Lechler's legs to Janikowski.

The off the record reaction was more like "What in the world was that?"

When you have an offense like the Raiders' offense, you can't afford to give away points. And that's what the Raiders did.

Instead of going ahead, 6-3, they trailed and never led again.

Teams try a variety of trick play in practice. Some are just for fun.

But who would have guessed Cable would ask Janikowski to run about 20 yards total for a first down.

"I didn't even see it," said cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha. "I just saw the guy running down the other way. We do that in practice all the time, but I never knew that it was a real thing that we were going to attempt. When they told me that's what happened, that it wasn't a blocked field goal, I was a little surprised. But Cable owned up to that. He said that that one was on him."

Cable didn't regret calling the fake.

"We just didn't execute," Cable said. "That was my decision. And obviously it was not a good one."

Couldn't have said it any better.

Because for all of JaMarcus Russell's inaccuracy in the second half (3 of 13), the Justin Fargas fumble or even the 91-yard drive by the Chiefs in which the Raiders couldn't stop them on third down, this game was lost on one play.

When Leggett ran it in for a score.

There was no recovering from that.

Or as Russell said: "Looking back at that game, I wish we would have taken the points today."

--Jason Jones

About Comments

Reader comments on are the opinions of the writer, not The Sacramento Bee. If you see an objectionable comment, click the "report abuse" button below it. We will delete comments containing inappropriate links, obscenities, hate speech, and personal attacks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. See more about comments here.

What You Should Know About Comments on is happy to provide a forum for reader interaction, discussion, feedback and reaction to our stories. However, we reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments or ban users who can't play nice. (See our full terms of service here.)

Here are some rules of the road:

• Keep your comments civil. Don't insult one another or the subjects of our articles. If you think a comment violates our guidelines click the "report abuse" button to notify the moderators. Responding to the comment will only encourage bad behavior.

• Don't use profanities, vulgarities or hate speech. This is a general interest news site. Sometimes, there are children present. Don't say anything in a way you wouldn't want your own child to hear.

• Do not attack other users; focus your comments on issues, not individuals.

• Stay on topic. Only post comments relevant to the article at hand. If you want to discuss an issue with a specific user, click on his profile name and send him a direct message.

• Do not copy and paste outside material into the comment box.

• Don't repeat the same comment over and over. We heard you the first time.

• Do not use the commenting system for advertising. That's spam and it isn't allowed.

• Don't use all capital letters. That's akin to yelling and not appreciated by the audience.

You should also know that The Sacramento Bee does not screen comments before they are posted. You are more likely to see inappropriate comments before our staff does, so we ask that you click the "report abuse" button to submit those comments for moderator review. You also may notify us via email at Note the headline on which the comment is made and tell us the profile name of the user who made the comment. Remember, comment moderation is subjective. You may find some material objectionable that we won't and vice versa.

If you submit a comment, the user name of your account will appear along with it. Users cannot remove their own comments once they have submitted them, but you may ask our staff to retract one of your comments by sending an email to Again, make sure you note the headline on which the comment is made and tell us your profile name.

hide comments

On October 14, The Sacramento Bee will temporarily remove commenting from While we design the upgrade, we encourage you to tell us what you like and don't like about commenting on and other websites. We've heard from hundreds of you already and we're listening. Please continue to add your thoughts and questions here. We also encourage you to write Letters to the Editor on this and other topics.

About Raiders Blog and Q&A

Matt Kawahara was born in Sacramento and attended McClatchy High School and UC Berkeley, where he wrote for the independent student paper The Daily Californian. He graduated from Cal in 2010 and started at The Sacramento Bee as a summer intern. He joined The Bee's sports staff in fall 2011.

Raiders stories on

October 2013

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
    1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31