OAKLAND -- In the end, it was fitting that the Raiders' defense came up with the biggest play of the game Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars in what could turn out to be the biggest win of Oakland's season.
After spotting the Jaguars a 17-3 lead in the first half, the Raiders came all the way back to beat them 26-23 in overtime on Sebastian Janikowski's 40-yard field goal with 12:54 remining.
Oakland's defense held Jacksonville to six points and 54 yards of offense in the second half and overtime, dominating a team that lost running back Maurice Jones-Drew and quarterback Blaine Gabbert to injuries in the first half.
After the Raiders kicked off in OT, the Oakland defense wasted little time before getting the ball back.
On first down, linebacker Rolando McClain stuffed Jaguars running back Rashad Jennings for no gain, and then tackle Richard Seymour sacked quarterback Chad Henne for a 10-yard loss.
Facing third-and 20 from his 9-yard line, Henne hit wide receiver Cecil Shorts III with a short pass, but Raiders defensive end Lamarr Houston forced a fumble, and cornerback Joselio Hanson recovered at the Jacksonville 21.
After Raiders quarterback Carson Palmer took a knee on first down, Janikowksi drilled his fourth field goal of the game.
"It's guys closing to the ball, and the wide receiver wasn't paying attention to me," Houston said. "I was just running (to the ball) like I was coached, and I ended up making a great play."
So did Hanson, thanks to his hustle.
"We preach that," Hanson said. "We preach that, everybody, all 11 people running to the ball. The guy got stripped, and I happened to be there and jumped on it.
"There's linemen down there, there's tight ends trying to rip it out. I was holding it like it was my baby."
The Raiders, improved to 2-4 and pulled to within one game of 3-3 Denver and San Diego in the AFC West. Jacksonville, which was coming off its bye week, fell to 1-5.
"We're consistent, that's for sure," Jaguars coach Mike Mularkey said. "Unfortunately it hasn't been on the positive side. It's been on the side of not finding ways to win. We have to learn how to finish."
Jones-Drew injured his left foot on Jacksonville's first play from scrimmage, played one more down, then left the game. He was carted to the locker room as Jennings took over. Jones-Drew, sporting crutches and a walking boot, watched the second half from the sideline.
Jones-Drew said he won't know whether he'll be able to play next week until he undergoes tests in Jacksonville. After being injured, he had his foot re-taped in hopes of returning.
"That's what I was hoping, but it wasn't working, so we'll see how it is," Jones-Drew said. "It just didn't feel right. I didn't want to go out there and hurt our team if I'm not feeling right."
Gabbert injured his left shoulder -- he said he had a "stinger" -- on a second-quarter sack and played two more series until the pain became too great. He gave way to Henne with 6:45 left in the half. Gabbert said he doesn't know if he'll miss next week's game.
"He tried," Mularkey said of Gabbert. "I appreciate the effort. He's a tough guy, but I think it would have not have been smart for us to do that with him."
Hanson said that once Gabbert joined Drew-Jones on the sideline, he figured the Raiders' defense would take control of the game.
"I felt like on defense we had them, we had them in the second half," Hanson said. "They couldn't do nothing, and if we didn't beat ourselves, they couldn't beat us. I was just waiting for the offense to come along, and they did, and it was great. A great victory.
"It's tough to play without those guys. ... I smelled blood, and we jumped on them. I wanted to play real tight coverage on those guys, give their quarterback no windows to throw. I feel like we did for the most part. We played a lot of man-to-man and got up in their faces and made them beat us, and they couldn't do it."
After falling behind by double digits early, the Raiders came all the way back to tie the score 23-23 on Carson Palmer's 1-yard quarterback sneak with 3:34 left in the game. Palmer's score capped a 10-play, 58-yard drive that included a huge pass-interference call on Jags cornerback Aaron Ross in the end zone when Oakland went for it on fourth-and-10 from the 25.
"I feel like our guys hung in there and competed until the very end," Raiders coach Dennis Allen said.
After the tying TD, the two teams exchanged punts. The Jags took over again with 1:06 left at their own 43, but the Raiders forced a three-and-out, then drove from their 13 to the Jacksonville 46. Janikowski attempted a 64-yard field -- 1 yard longer than the NFL record he shares -- but came up short on the final play of regulation.
The Jaguars built a 17-6 halftime lead and extended it to 20-6 on Josh Scobee's 40-yard field goal with 10:42 left in the third quarter. That score was set up by Micheal Spurlock's 28-yard punt return to the Raiders' 39.
Oakland answered quickly with a touchdown, Palmer hitting Denarius Moore over the middle for an 8-yard score, cutting the lead to 20-13 with 6:01 left in the third quarter. The biggest play on the drive came courtesy of Jags cornerback Rashean Mathis, who was flagged for interference on a deep pass to Moore. That cost the Jags 33 yards and gave Oakland a first down at the Jacksonville 23.
Early in the fourth quarter, Jaguars defensive tackle Terrance Knighton sacked Palmer, forcing a fumble. Jacksonville defensive end Jeremy Mincey recovered at the Raiders' 24. Four downs later, Scobee connected from 45 yards, putting Jacksonville ahead 23-13 with 12:40 left to play.
The Raiders made it 23-16 on Janikowski's 31-yard field goal with 6:52 left to play.
Oakland took a 3-0 lead on Janikowski's 21-yard field goal with 6:13 left in the first quarter. Palmer hit Darrius Heyward-Bey for 59 yards on the drive, but the Raiders stalled at the Jacksonville 3.
Jacksonville grabbed a 7-3 lead on Gabbert's 42-yard touchdown pass to Shorts with 3:24 left in the first quarter. Shorts ran past Raiders cornerback Phillip Adams, and strong safety Tyvon Branch couldn't get there in time to prevent the score.
The Jaguars capitalized on another Raiders mistake to score another touchdown, this time on Jennings' 5-yard run, and build a 14-3 lead with 11:34 left in the first half.
Adams muffed a punt, and Jacksonville linebacker Russell Allen recovered at the Raiders' 16, setting up the touchdown. On first down, Gabbert hit wide receiver Mike Thomas for 11 yards. On the next play, Jennings powered up the middle and into the end zone.
Jacksonville took advantage of yet another Raiders mistake to make it 17-3 on Scobee's 50-yard field goal -- his franchise-record 176th three-pointer -- with 5:57 left in the first half.
The drive was set up when Palmer threw a desperation shovel pass as he was being tackled. The ball sailed over Moore's head. Jags linebacker Paul Posluszny deflected the pass, and cornerback Derek Cox intercepted it at the Raiders' 36.
NOTES: Jaguars starting right guard Uche Nwaneri injured his left leg on Jacksonville's first series of the game. ... Jags running back Montell Owens suffered a left shoulder injury in the second quarter. ... Mathis suffered a groin injury in the second half. ... Raiders running back Taiwan Jones (knee) was inactive for Sunday's game. He was injured last week against Atlanta and hurt his knee again Wednesday in practice. ... Raiders defensive tackle Desmond Bryant hurt an elbow, but Allen expects him to be able to play next Sunday at Kansas City.