Garrett Hartley’s best friend right now goes by the name of Sebastian Janikowski.
Just three hours after Hartley missed what would have been a game-winning 29-yard field goal for the Saints (who wound up losing to the Falcons in overtime earlier in the day), Janikowski missed his own chip shot as the Raiders fell to the Cardinals 24-23 in the final seconds of the fourth quarter.
Bruce Gradkowski and Darren McFadden led the Raiders on an 11-play, 66-yard drive to the Arizona 14-yard line to set Janikowski up with what should have been a game-winning kick. But he pushed the 32-yard field goal right and the Cardinals hung on to a not-so-well-deserved victory. (They turned the ball over three times and committed seven penalties for 104 yards. This coming after turning the ball over three times and committing 10 penalties for 109 yards in a loss to the Falcons last week.)
Besides Janikowski’s miss, the story here is the continued stellar play of Gradkowski, who completed 17-of-34 pass attempts for 255 yards and a touchdown. He did throw an interception, but he led the Raiders into the red zone twice late in the fourth quarter and gave them a chance to win. If anyone thought he would relinquish the starting quarterback job after snatching it from Jason Campbell last week, you were mistaken. It looks like for now, Tom Cable made the right decision to stick with Gradkowski.
Go ahead, Bruce – get down with your bad throwing-motion self.