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DENVER - SEPTEMBER 16: Kicker Sebastian Janikowski #11 of the Oakland Raiders reacts after missing his 52 yard field goal attempt in the overtime period as the Broncos defeated the Raiders 23-20 in overtime during week two NFL action at Invesco Field at Mile High on September 16, 2007 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Sebastian Janikowski
After Sebastian Janikowski missed three field goal attempts in Sunday's 24-23 loss to the Arizona Cardinals, including a 32-yard chip shot to win with four seconds left, Raiders coach Tom Cable insisted in his Monday press conference that, "We didn’t lose the game on a kick."
Actually, you lost the game on three kicks by my count. If Sebastian Janikowski hits any of those missed kicks, the Raiders win that game.
"We lost the game in not doing more in the last 30 minutes to put ourselves in position to not have to go through all that," Cable told the Oakland Tribune. "We left so many plays out there on the field offensively. The players, coaches, we would all tell you the same thing: one for five in the red zone is not good enough. It’s totally unacceptable."
Technically, the Raiders were one for four in scoring touchdowns in Arizona's red zone. When Janikowski missed with five minutes left in the third quarter, the line of scrimmage was just outside the red zone at the Cardinal 23.
His remarks on Janikowski also illustrate why he's shifting blame away from his kicker. Cable's was asked what he said to Seabass after the game.
"I told him I love him and I’d go to him again in the same situation and he’d probably have to win two or three games just like that for us this year and he’ll probably do it," Cable said.
If the Raiders remain among the league's crappiest offenses in the red zone, Cable might be underestimating how often they'll be going to Janikowski.
Joe Kukura is a freelance writer who thinks Janikowski should still be less embarassed than the Florida Marlins defense.