OAKLAND, CA - NOVEMBER 07: Jacoby Ford #12 of the Oakland Raiders catches a pass over Brandon Flowers #24 of the Kansas City Chiefs in overtime during an NFL game at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on November 7, 2010 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Jacoby Ford;Brandon Flowers
Twentieth century automobile baron Henry Ford declared in 1916 that "History is more or less bunk."
But Oakland Raiders rookie wide receiver Jacoby Ford actually turned seven seasons of losing Raider football history into bunk during Oakland's exhilarating 23-20 overtime win over the Kansas City Chiefs. Ford had the most prolific combined receiving and kick-returning single game in the history of the Raiders football organization.
And this is the team that Tim Brown used to play for.
Again, Jacoby Ford is a rookie fourth-round pick of whom no one outside Raider Nation has ever heard. He only got the start because of the Louis Murphy injury, but the kid grabbed the opportunity like he grabs Jason Campbell passes that look like they will be interceptions.
Ford racked up a rocking 306 all-purpose yards, providing the difference in a rainy close-game overtime slugfest with the Chiefs. He ran the second half kickoff back 94 yards for a touchdown, had a 29-yard catch with 40 seconds left on the clock to set up Sebastian Janikowski's tying field goal, and had a diving 47-yard catch that set Janikowski up for the game-winner.
It would be fair to say that it is more because of Jacoby Ford than anyone else that the Raiders won the game that gave them their first regular season winning record since 2002.
Tim Kawakami shrewdly notes in the San Jose Mercury News that Randy Moss never had such a productive game receiving for the Raiders.
And the 148 receiving yards were only half of Ford's contributions. He had 158 more yards on kickoff returns. Think the Raiders have found a kick returner they can stick with?
Jerry McDonald notes in the Oakland Tribune that no Raider has ever posted such totals, and the last guy in the NFL to do so was a Steeler in the early 1960s. "Ford became the first NFL player since 1963 to have 140 receiving yards and 150 return yards in a game," McDonald writes. "The last was Gary Ballman of Pittsburgh in on Nov. 17, 1963, with 161 yards receiving and 159 yards on returns."
The Raiders now have a bye and do not play gain this Sunday. So Jacoby Ford will continue to be all that is right about NFL football for at least another two weeks.
Joe Kukura is a freelance writer who congratulates you if you had Wade Phillips in the "First NFL Coach Who Will Get Fired" pool for 2010.