Maurice Hurst

Watch Raiders' Maurice Hurst intercept Ryan Tannehill pass, rumble 55 yards

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AP

Watch Raiders' Maurice Hurst intercept Ryan Tannehill pass, rumble 55 yards

OAKLAND -- With Josh Jacobs missing Sunday's Week 14 game against the Titans with a shoulder injury, the Raiders are going to need contributions from everyone.

Maurice Hurst did his part early in the first quarter at Oakland Coliseum.

With the Titans driving, quarterback Ryan Tannehill dropped back to pass and attempted to sling the ball to his left. The pass was deflected by Dion Jordan, and then fluttered into the arms of Hurst, who rumbled 55 yards the other way before Tannehill chased him down with a big hit.

Get the O2 tank to Hurst, stat. 

[RELATED: Raiders almost got weird break with Chiefs' equipment gaffe]

The Raiders capitalized on the turnover a few plays later when DeAndre Washington plunged in from 14 yards out to make it 7-0. 

A win Sunday by the Raiders would have them leapfrog Tennesee in the AFC standings and put them back on the playoff doorstep. 

Why controversial Maurice Hurst penalty gave Raiders 'sinking feeling'

Why controversial Maurice Hurst penalty gave Raiders 'sinking feeling'

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Maxx Crosby slashed inward off the edge, broke free from his blocker and chased down Sam Darnold. The Raiders' rookie defensive end brought the New York Jets quarterback to the ground for an important sack.

That seemed to set up a third-and-super-long until a late flag was thrown against Maurice Hurst. Officials called him out for roughing the passer, which set up a first-and-goal and a reversal of fortune. The Jets scored on the next play and then rolled to a 34-3 win over the Raiders on Sunday.

Fans and players were flummoxed. Hurst didn’t do anything wrong, landing softly on top the pile shortly after Darnold went down.

"They said I hit him in the head, but I didn't even touch his head. So, I don't know,” Hurst told the San Francisco Chronicle’s Matt Kawahara. "… I just don’t see a need for calling it unless it’s blatant. It just seems like the calls are getting out of hand at this point."

Hurst also called it a momentum change, and that’s certainly true. The Raiders could’ve forced a long field-goal attempt, but instead they gave up a touchdown that broke a 3-3 tie. It was part of a Jets offensive run that steamrolled the Raiders.

Hurst wasn’t the only person confused by the ruling. It didn’t make sense to CBS broadcast analyst Trent Green, and fired up Gruden. He let the officials have it, caught on camera using some language not suitable for work or this website.

Raiders defenders didn’t understand the call either. The Raiders have been flagged and fined several times for roughing-the-passer calls. Hurst was fined for such an infraction earlier this season, but he had that removed on appeal. Appeals can’t take away penalties during the game, where it hurts the team the most.

“I don’t know what roughing the passer is anymore,” defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins said. “That’s what the ref called, and that’s what it is.”

[RELATED: Crosby becoming everything Gruden thought he'd be]

It was a major part of a horrible Raiders start that never improved. The Silver and Black struggled in every phase, but that controversial roughing-the-passer call was a pivot point.

“What happens is that you drop a couple passes, you miss a field goal and then that happens,” Gruden said. “It gives you a sinking feeling. You ever been on a boat that’s sinking? It’s not happy. It’s not pleasant. It is adversity. It’s football. You have to respond to adversity, and we didn’t do a good enough job as coaches rallying our troops today.”

Watch Raiders' Maurice Hurst get awful roughing-the-passer call vs. Jets

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AP

Watch Raiders' Maurice Hurst get awful roughing-the-passer call vs. Jets

There's wanting to protect the quarterback, and then there's this.

In the second quarter of Sunday's game, the Raiders were trying to hold the Jets to a field goal during a goal-to-go scenario. Oakland rookie Maxx Crosby was being Maxx Crosby, and Maurice Hurst joined him to sack New York quarterback Sam Darnold.

Sounds normal, right? Well, not necessarily. The refs, for some reason, called Hurst for roughing the passer.

Here's the play: 

It appears Crosby was just as surprised to see a yellow flag on the field.

What else was Hurst supposed to do? He was trying to sack Darnold before Crosby took down the QB.

The Raiders appeared to have the same thoughts ...

Darnold scored a touchdown on the next play to give the Jets a 10-3 lead. So, definitely a game-changing call.

Crosby got his sack later on, however ...