A new ground attack? Seemingly lost in the Raiders' listless passing offense was the gritty showing of running back Rashad Jennings, who rushed for 88 yards on 20 carries in place of Darren McFadden (hamstring). Jennings ran hard and hardly went down on first contact. “The offensive line was putting hats on hats and leaving holes for the backs,” Jennings said. “Hats off to them. That's what we expect from the backfield, is for us to run physical.” It's something McFadden, who has now missed two games this season and 15 of Oakland's past 34 games, has not provided much of lately.
Punch it in: As welcome a sight as it was for the Raiders to see themselves employ a successful power running game, it was just as disheartening for them to settle for a field goal after having first-and-goal at the 1-yard line in the third quarter. “There are no excuses for not being able to get in the end zone,” Jennings said, “and that's starting with myself just being the running back out there.” Jennings ran for no gain on first down, then Terrelle Pryor threw an incompletion before Khalif Barnes was called for a false start. “I could hear T.P. say, ‘Hut, hut,' but I've got to move when the ball moves,” Barnes said. Another Pryor incompletion followed and Sebastian Janikowski kicked the field goal to put the Raiders up 20-14. “That's the difference in the game,” Pryor said. “We got three points there and lost by four.”
The book on the Mannings: With his second-quarter 43-yard pick-six on Giants quarterback Eli Manning, Tracy Porter became the only player in league history to return an interception for a touchdown against both Manning brothers. “It's just a coincidence,” said Porter, who picked off Peyton Manning and returned it 74 yards for a score that sealed the New Orleans Saints' Super Bowl XLIV win over the Indianapolis Colts. “It would have been the same if we had won the game [against the Giants]. It's bittersweet.”
Of explosive plays IX: And now for our weekly tracking of “explosive” plays. As deemed by Raiders coach Dennis Allen, such a play is one that gains at least 16 yards through the air or 12 yards on the ground. The Raiders had four such plays against the Giants, one run, and three passes, while New York had five explosive plays, two runs and three passes. In nine games, the Raiders have 64 explosive plays (22 runs, 42 passes), with two TD runs and four passing scores. Oakland's opponents, meanwhile, have 64 explosive plays combined, with 14 runs (one TD) and 50 passes (five TDs).