Raiders can take a lot from win over Jets

Forget about the penalties, the missed opportunities, the dropped passes. The Raiders may very well look back at their sloppy overtime win over the Jets as a turning point in the season.

In the short term, Oakland's 16-13 win stopped the team's three-game losing streak and enabled the Raiders to pull within 1 ½ games of first-place Denver in the AFC West. It also represented the first win for interim head coach Tom Cable.

In the big picture, however, the Raiders learned a far more valuable lesson which could mean the difference between making a serious run at the playoffs or sitting out the postseason for a sixth straight year.

By beating the Jets on Sebastian Janikowski's 57-yard field goal late in overtime -- and overcoming having allowed a tying field goal in the final minutes of the fourth quarter after appearing to have the game in hand -- the Raiders sent a statement that their reputation for being a team that folds under pressure may be ready to change.

And as cornerback DeAngelo Hall pointed out, that's something that's far more important just a W.

"I definitely think this will be a game with an asterisk on it just in the history when the season's over," Hall said. "We can't take this for more than what it is and we still have a lot more games and we still made a ton of mistakes but we fought. We fought, we fought, we fought. We didn't make as many plays as we should have but we fought and that's the bottom line."

The Raiders had blown fourth-quarter leads against Buffalo and San Diego earlier this season, games that had Oakland won would have put the team in first place in the division.

Against New York the Raiders had plenty of opportunities to wilt, both in regulation and in overtime. Instead, Oakland hung around long enough until momentum tilted back in its favor and Janikowski delivered his record-setting, game-winning kick.

"You finally saw a team that made a decision in the fourth quarter, that you know what, we want to win this game and we're going to keep fighting until it happens," defensive end Jay Richardson said. "No one threw in the towel. No one said here we go again. Everyone stayed positive and we got the result that we wanted."

Running back Justin Fargas agrees the win over New York could have long-lasting effects if the Raiders take advantage of it.

"It's more than just a single win. It's something we can look to down the road if we're ever faced with adversity or tough times or in tough games. We can always look back and say remember when we dug deep to win the Jets game. That's something to build on."

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