Oakland Raiders vs. Detroit Lions: Loss Can Be Attributed to Coach Hue Jackson

The Oakland Raiders’ ship is sinking, and it’s sinking incredibly fast.

On Sunday, the Detroit Lions ransacked the Oakland Coliseum, and launched an aerial attack that left the Raiders unable to retaliate. Detroit exposed numerous holes in the Raiders’ defensive hull, and as a result, Oakland’s playoff hopes are seemingly drifting out to sea.

Given the high aspirations of the ball club, Sunday’s gut wrenching last-minute heartbreaker will surely have the crew seasick for the next few days. The Raiders’ current three-game slide has left them in second place in the AFC West, one game back of the Denver Broncos, with two games to play. But knowing how excruciatingly close Oakland was to strangling their own playoff destiny, this loss will ail them more than a bout of scurvy.

No one more so than their captain, head coach Hue Jackson.

Sadly, it is Jackson’s actions in Sunday’s defeat that could very well have the Raiders sitting on a deserted island this postseason. His play-calling throughout the game were consistent with the risk-taking that he has become known for. But it was also consistent with the greenness of being a first-year head coach in the NFL. And it could have cost the Raiders more than just the game against the Lions. 

4th-and-1 in the first quarter 

The Raiders faced a crucial point in the game quite early—with little more than nine minutes left in the first quarter. In the team’s first offensive series, Oakland managed to drive down the field to the Lions’ 24-yard line; but they stalled a bit and faced an innocuous fourth down.

Or so everybody thought.

Instead of trotting the reliable Sebastian Janikowski for a sure-fire 41-yard field goal attempt, Jackson called a timeout to coordinate a play for his offense to go for the first down. The outcome was an errant pass by Carson Palmer to ...

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