Oakland tight end Kevin Boss scores on a throw from Shane Lechler on a fake field goal play. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
On a day when the Raiders honored Al Davis and scored one touchdown on a perfect fake field goal and another on a kick return to beat the Cleveland Browns 24-7, they took their most costly loss of the season.
Quarterback Jason Campbell suffered what initial reports indicate is a broken collarbone, meaning Campbell – having his best season as a pro – is likely done for the season.
Whether this means the 4-2 Raiders’ hopes for the AFC West championship are similarly done is now very much in the air.
Campbell, in his second season in Oakland after five disappointing seasons in Washington, was finally putting his game together in 2011.
Through the first five games of the season, Campbell had completed 60.3 percent of his passes for 1,118 yards and six TDs against four interceptions. For the first time in his career he had the luxury of being in the same system for a second straight season, and head coach Hue Jackson and his teammates all season had praised Campbell for his leadership and performance.
Campbell had to leave the game in the second quarter after he landed hard on his right shoulder after scrambling for a 7-yard gain. Several news agencies reported after the game that team sources indicated Campbell’s collarbone was broken.
Until that point, Campbell was 6-of-9 for 52 yards. Backup Kyle Boller took over for the rest of the game and completed 8 of 14 throws for 100 yards.
Boller, 30, the former standout at Cal, is in his eighth season in the NFL, but has not played regularly since 2009 when he played in seven games for the St. Louis Rams and threw twice as many interceptions (6) as TDs in 176 attempts. His career QB rating is 70.4.
The third QB on the Raiders roster is rookie Terrelle Pryor, the former Ohio State star who has yet to appear in an NFL game.
That leaves the Raiders with the option of going with Boller as starter next week when the Chiefs come to Oakland, going with Pryor or going outside to recruit extra help. Former Jacksonville QB David Garrard – released just before the first game this season – is still available, for instance.
No matter the option, Jackson no doubt will again invoke his “Next man up” declaration. Somebody will have to step in.
On Sunday, the Raiders were able to put together enough big plays to beat the Browns (now 2-3) on an emotional day at O.co Coliseum in which the team honored its former owner, Davis, with several video tributes and a halftime ceremony that included the lighting of an eternal flame by former coach John Madden.
As for the game itself, the Raiders avoided tripping in a so-called “trap game,” despite the loss of Campbell.
After taking a 7-0 lead on Darren McFadden’s 4-yard run in the first quarter, Oakland jumped out to a 14-7 lead when Jacoby Ford returned a kickoff 101 yards.
A 48-yard field goal in the third quarter by Sebastian Janikowski gave Oakland a 17-7 lead. Then the Raiders – who used a fake punt last week to help beat Houston – pulled off a fake field goal to go up 24-7.
Holder Shane Lechler pulled the ball back as Janikowski started his attempt at a 52-yard field goal, got up and hit a wide-open tight end Kevin Boss for a 35-yard scoring play. The TD provided a crucial cushion as Cleveland put 10 points up in the fourth quarter.