OAKLAND -- After a short pass from Jacksonville quarterback Chad Henne to Cecil Shorts III in overtime, Raiders defensive end Lamarr Houston turned and chased the ball carrier because he doesn't know any other way.
"The wide receiver wasn't paying attention to me, and I was just running (to the ball) like I was coached, and I ended up making a great play," Houston said after the Raiders' 26-23 win on Sunday at O.co Coliseum.
Houston caused Shorts to fumble, Joselio Hanson jumped on the free ball, and moments later Sebastian Janikowski kicked a 40-yard field goal to improve the Raiders to 2-4.
It's the kind of play the Raiders have come to expect of Houston, a third-year player who earlier this season pursued a ball carrier for 74 yards from the line of scrimmage and got a fumble recovery.
"Those are types of plays and a type of player we're looking for, the guys that are going to give that type of effort on a down-in, down-out basis," Raiders coach Dennis Allen said.
Shorts, who caught a 42-yard touchdown pass from Blaine Gabbert in the first quarter, said, "I was trying to get up field, get some extra yards, and make a play. Somebody I didn't see definitely knocked it out."
Houston unofficially led the Raiders with eight tackles, a sack, two tackles for losses and a quarterback hurry. He has stayed on the field more this season because of his ability to play both outside and inside, and because the coaches love his hustle.
"He's a little fireball out there," defensive tackle Richard Seymour said of the 300-pound Houston. "He plays the game the way it's supposed to be played. He really does everything well. He's a guy that has some juice on Sunday in terms of being a motivational guy in the locker room."
On fourth-and-10, Palmer did the same thing, this time going for Darrius Heyward-Bey against Ross. Ross was flagged for pass interference, setting up the tying touchdown.
"They brought a blitz late, and it's just one of those opportunities where we felt we were better on the outside, trying to give DHB a chance to make a play," Palmer said. "We're going to go up against your guy and come down with the ball, and if we don't, we're going to fight with the guy, and DHB did a great job doing that."
Palmer and Heyward-Bey hooked up for a 59-yard pass on the opening drive to set up the a 21-yard field goal by Janikowski. Heyward-Bey caught four passes for 85 yards, his first receptions since a concussion against Sept. 23 against Pittsburgh.
A 33-yard pass interference penalty on Rashean Mathis in the third quarter helped set up Palmer's 8-yard touchdown pass to Denarius Moore.
"I think we felt confident in our ability to go up and make a play downfield," Allen said. "Carson's got confidence in those guys to go up and either make a play or draw a penalty."
"That's what I do," Hanson said. "I'm always around the ball."