Cable defends botched fake field goal

Tom Cable defended his decision to have the Raiders attempt a fake field goal against the Chiefs on Sunday but his argument doesn't hold water. Not only was the play poorly executed but it was ill-conceived and wound up being the most critical moment in what turned out to be Oakland's fifth loss in six weeks.

A day after the 20-13 loss to Kansas City dropped the Raiders to 3-9 and effectively eliminated them from playoff contention (forget what the numbers say), Cable stood by the call that changed the momentum of Sunday's game and ultimately proved costly.

"No, I don't regret it," Cable said Monday. "I don't think you can. Otherwise I don't think you make it in the first place. So there's no sense in doing that. If you take a chance like that and it works, everybody thinks you're a genius. When it doesn't everyone wants to chew on your butt. So chew."

The botched play wound up being pivotal as the Chiefs recovered the botched pitch and returned it for a touchdown that was critical in a game that was ultimately decided by seven points.

Immediately after the game Cable stood by his decision to run the fake, even though replays clearly show Kansas City's Maurice Leggett taking one step before realizing the fake was on. It was Leggett who recovered the ball after it missed Sebastian Janikowski's hands and returned it for a touchdown that put the Chiefs up 17-10.

On Monday, Cable reiterated his opinion that the play -- which came on a 4th-and-10 play from the Chiefs' 25-yard line -- would have worked had the ball gotten into Janikowski's hands.

"(We) just hurried a little bit at kicker, that's all. I think the pitch was fine in terms of where he was supposed to be and all that," Cable said. "We just hurried it up a little bit too much. It was set up exactly where we wanted it. They were lined up like we wanted it and (we) just didn't execute it. Full responsibility rests on my shoulders for that."

As it should. Cable made a number of coaching gaffes during the loss to the Chiefs: Throwing for the end zone on 4th and 2 instead of trying to get a first down or, smarter yet, kicking a field goal; letting running back Darren McFadden touch the ball just once in the second half after he had given the offense an boost in the first half; eschewing the run in favor of the pass when it was obvious quarterback JaMarcus Russell was having an off-day.

None of it worked and the end result was yet another disappointing, disheartening loss. One has to wonder what owner Al Davis made of it all. Davis, who made it a point to talk about the Raiders' foolish decision to attempt a 76-yard field goal when Lane Kiffin was still the head coach, undoubtedly had to get fried over a play that several long-time NFL observers called the dumbest call in NFL history.

Cable tried to compare it to fake punt the Raiders ran earlier in the year, when up man Jon Alston took a direct snap and ran 22 yards for a first down. But Alston is a former high school running back while Janikowski -- listed in the media guide at 250 pounds -- has never ran a fake before during his NFL career and would have needed a cab ride to get around the corner and reach the first down marker.

Cable spoke with Davis following the game and again Monday but wouldn't divulge what the two men talked about.

"Like all of us he's disappointed," Cable said. "One thing he and I share is a tremendous passion for winning. Losing is about the worst thing in our lives. That's what it is."


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