Oakland Raiders Victory Had Al Davis' Fingerprints All over It

Bill HintonCorrespondent IDecember 26, 2011

FOXBORO, MA - OCTOBER 09:  The New England Patriots and the New York Jets have a moment of silence before the game to honor the passing of Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis on October 9, 2011 at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

The Oakland Raiders defeated the Kansas City Chiefs on Saturday to keep their playoff hopes alive. Many players stepped up and stood out in this hard fought win, most of them guys who the late Al Davis went out of his way to make sure they became Raiders.

Richard Seymour blocked two field goals during the game. Seymour was a player who Davis coveted enough to trade a first-round draft pick to get him away from New England. It's hard to believe the Raiders would have won that game on Saturday without him.

Stanford Routt was another Al Davis favorite. Davis liked him so much it was Routt, not Nnamdi Asomugha, who was rewarded with a big contract after last season. While one can argue the merits of that decision, there is no doubt Routt is developing into one of the leagues best cornerbacks. He showed it on Saturday with a crucial second half interception.

Then there's Sebastian Janikowski. Al Davis made him the first and only kicker taken in the first round of the draft. Davis always paid him enough to keep him as well. Sea-bass knocked through the game winner on Saturday.

Denarius Moore, whom Davis stole in the fifth round of the draft this year, returned to the lineup with a long touchdown catch. Davis saw the ability in this kid that a lot of others didn't see. It'll be fun to see how his career develops.

Last but not least, there's Darrius Heyward-Bey. Yes the much maligned DHB. The same guy who was ridiculed by Cris Carter and others when Davis passed on Michael Crabtree is starting to turn into a player. DHB's long reception set up the Sea-bass game winner on Saturday.

Davis had a vision for all these players and for this team. Despite a slew of injuries and adversity, this team is right there with a chance to go to the playoffs. This team's best football lies ahead. Whether it's this year or not remains to be seen, but Al Davis set this team up to be great for the future and that future is bright. Thank you Mr. Davis.