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Raiders Bruce Gradkowski should be forgiven for being a little bit smug this week. The three teams that have cut him in his NFL career, Tampa Bay, St. Louis, and Cleveland, have a combined record of 3-33.
Meanwhile, he's earned two wins in only three starts for the Raiders. And his fourth quarter comeback in the Raiders win over the Steelers earned Gradkowski a place in the NFL history book.
Jerry McDonald reports on his Contra Costa Times Raiders blog, "According to STATS, LLC, Gradkowski is the only quarterback since they’ve been keeping track in 1991 to throw three come-from-behind touchdown passes in the fourth quarter of a game."
Joe Montana has thrown come-from-behind touchdown passes in the fourth quarter. Tom Brady has thrown come-from-behind touchdown passes in the fourth quarter. But none of them has ever thrown three come-from-behind touchdown passes in the fourth quarter.
Okay, it's also a sign that the Raiders blew Gradkwoski's leads repeatedly. But a nice statistic is a nice statistic.
Gradkowski's three distinct, separate comebacks in one fourth quarter constitute the best NFL game he's ever had. That singular quarter was more productive than any game Bruce Gradkowski had ever played. Gradkowski went 10-of-16 for 188 yards and three touchdowns in Sunday's fourth quarter.
In fifteen previous NFL starts, Gradkowski has thrown for 188 yards or more only once. He has never thrown three touchdowns in one game.
Raiders fans should be glad he didn't figure out how to do it until he got to Oakland.
Joe Kukura is a freelance writer whose spell check is finally warming up to the name "Gradkowski".