ALAMEDA, Calif. -- So excited was Raiders holder Marquette King about Sebastian Janikowski's 50-yard field goal in Sunday night's 27-17 win over San Diego that King showed up the next day with celebratory foil balloons. He placed them at Janikowski's locker.
"I was just happy we hit a 50[-yarder]," said the excitable King. "I told him, this was the first of a lot more to come."
"What's going on?" Janikowski said. "What's wrong with this guy?"
All jokes aside, the evolving working relationship between King and Janikowski as holder and placekicker is starting to jell after Janikowski had Shane Lechler for 13 years.
Entering Sunday, Janikowski had already missed as many kicks through four games -- three, all wide left and all from the left hashmark, from 48, 35 and 52 yards -- as he had all of last season. Many were wondering if it was the new holder's fault.
While King took the blame, Janikowski and coach Dennis Allen said the relationship would get better. And truly there is a science to holding, catching the snap just so, spinning the laces just right and getting the best tilt on the ball depending upon the distance of the kick.
But after not only a 47-yarder and the 50-yarder against the Chargers, things have simmered down ... for now.
"It's smooth, a smooth operation," King said. "SeaBass is loving me."
Wait, meaning he wasn't loving you before?
"He loved me," King said with a laugh. "But you can tell he's much more comfortable with me now. You can tell by the way he looks at me."
Oh, and those balloons? They're still in the locker room ... just not in front of Janikowski's stall.