Raiders beat Texans 25-20 day after Davis' death
HOUSTON (AP) — This one's for you, Al.
The Oakland Raiders won the day after their maverick owner died, beating the Houston Texans 25-20 on Sunday behind Jason Campbell's two touchdown passes.
Michael Huff intercepted Matt Schaub's pass in the end zone on the final play to secure the win. Coach Hue Jackson dropped to his knees on the sideline, covered his face with his hands and cried as his team celebrated the bittersweet victory.
Sebastian Janikowski kicked four field goals, and Oakland survived a wild finish to improve to 3-2.
Stadiums around the league observed a moment of silence before the early games to honor Davis, who died at his Oakland home at age 82. The Raiders wore black decals on the backs of their helmets with "AL" written in silver letters.
Schaub threw for 416 yards and two touchdowns but missed star receiver Andre Johnson, who sat out with a right hamstring injury.
The Texans (3-2) still had a chance to win with under a minute left, facing a third-and-29 from the Oakland 39.
Schaub scrambled and found tight end Joel Dreessen open at the 5, and Schaub spiked the ball with seven seconds left. Instead of trying to run for the winning score, Schaub lobbed a pass to Jacoby Jones, and Huff stepped in to pick it off. Jones took Johnson's spot in the starting lineup.
The Raiders pulled off a fake punt that Davis would've loved to keep momentum in the fourth quarter.
After the Texans stopped Darren McFadden on third-and-1, Rock Cartwright took the snap and raced 35 yards to the Houston 25. Janikowski kicked a 42-yard field goal with 10 minutes left for a 25-17 Oakland lead.
With no Johnson to target, Schaub threw six consecutive incompletions during one stretch of the final quarter.
Neil Rackers' 40-yard field goal cut Oakland's lead to 25-20 with 2:56 left, and Houston's defense held to give the offense one more chance.
The Raiders flew to Houston on Friday, then learned Saturday morning that Davis had died. Jackson gathered his players for an emotional meeting at their hotel, and Campbell said the team's leaders were taking responsibility for rallying the players.
Hall of Fame former Raiders cornerback Willie Brown, who travels with the team, was hoping players would be inspired.
"They need to realize that every tear, every step, every block, every tackle — it's for him," Brown said.
It didn't look promising after the Texans scored a touchdown on their opening series for the third straight game.
Arian Foster had a 20-yard run against the league's 29th-ranked run defense, and Kevin Walter caught a short touchdown pass with 8:15 left in the first quarter.
Oakland, meanwhile, needed a turnover and a blocked punt to generate early points.
Defensive end Lamarr Houston intercepted Schaub's pass, which was deflected, setting up Janikowski for a 54-yard field goal. Oakland got the ball at the Texans 39 after Daryl Blackstock blocked Brett Hartmann's punt, but the Raiders stalled again, and Janikowski kicked a 55-yarder to make it 7-6.
Janikowski is 5-for-6 on attempts 50 yards and longer this season, including one from 63 that tied an NFL record.
Hartmann pinned the Raiders inside their own 5 with his next punt, and Jason Allen intercepted Campbell's deep pass to Jacoby Ford near midfield. On first down, Schaub threw a 56-yard touchdown pass to Dreessen.
Oakland got its initial first down with just under two minutes left in the half. Four plays later, Campbell threw a 34-yard touchdown pass to Darrius Heyward-Bey.
The 2-point conversion failed, but the Raiders were lucky to trail only 14-12 at the break after producing only four first downs in the opening half.