Late-game meltdowns a common theme for 49ers, Raiders 

click to enlarge Defense rests: The Bills’ Fred Jackson (22) scores against the Raiders on Sunday. Oakland blew a 21-3 halftime lead and allowed Buffalo’s offense 326 second-half yards. (David Duprey/AP) - DEFENSE RESTS: THE BILLS’ FRED JACKSON (22) SCORES AGAINST THE RAIDERS ON SUNDAY. OAKLAND BLEW A 21-3 HALFTIME LEAD AND ALLOWED BUFFALO’S OFFENSE 326 SECOND-HALF YARDS. (DAVID DUPREY/AP)
  • Defense rests: The Bills’ Fred Jackson (22) scores against the Raiders on Sunday. Oakland blew a 21-3 halftime lead and allowed Buffalo’s offense 326 second-half yards. (David Duprey/AP)
  • Defense rests: The Bills’ Fred Jackson (22) scores against the Raiders on Sunday. Oakland blew a 21-3 halftime lead and allowed Buffalo’s offense 326 second-half yards. (David Duprey/AP)

A little of this, and a lot of that ...

- Five second-half possessions. Five touchdowns. The defensive performance the Raiders turned in against the Bills on Sunday, allowing a 21-3 halftime lead to evaporate faster than an American job, was downright offensive.

They allowed Ryan Fitzpatrick — that’s Ryan Fitzpatrick, not Tom Brady, but Ryan Fitzpatrick — to carve them up for 326 second-half yards of offense in coming back from the dead. Defenders will certainly point out that the NFL did the Raiders no favors in making them travel across the country and through three other time zones on a short week after the Monday nighter against Denver, but this loss had nothing to do with fatigue. They dominated the first half, then coasted in the second, and it cost them.

And oh, by the way, that Tom Brady character is coming up in two weeks. Right after Mark Sanchez and the Jets. Which means that Sunday’s inexplicable meltdown could likely lead to 1-3 ... and an early end to the AFC West race for the men in black.

- On the subject of second-half meltdowns, do you think Jim Harbaugh would like a do-over on any of the late-game decisions he had to make against the Cowboys? One week after blowing a 14-point fourth-quarter lead against the Jets, Dallas came back and ripped the Niners’ 10-point fourth-quarter advantage from them, winning in overtime 27-24.

With a 21-14 lead early in the fourth, Harbaugh decided to leave David Akers’ 55-yard field goal on the board, rather than take a first down just outside the Dallas 20 after a leverage penalty on the Cowboys. A crushing touchdown for the 49ers was by no means a certainty, but given the Cowboys’ quick-strike capabilities, and with the perfect hindsight vision the final score gives us, trying to provide one would not have been a waste of time.

- The Green Bay Packers have won each of their first two games, so they’ve got that going for them. Which is nice. They have also given up 400-plus yards passing to both quarterbacks they’ve faced — and one of them is a rookie. Could be trouble in Title Town.

- Cam Newton has lost each of his first two games, so he’s got that working against him. Which is rough. He has also passed for more than 400 yards against both defenses he’s faced — and one of them is the defending Super Bowl champion. Should be optimism in Carolina Country.

- The Chiefs have now been outscored by a combined 89-10 in losses to Buffalo and Detroit, while losing key performers such as Jamaal Charles and Eric Berry to injuries in the process. The 79-point deficit is the largest by a defending division champion after two games in NFL history.

“The season will not be cancelled, as far as I know,” deadpanned coach Todd Haley said after the game. Haley’s right, the games will go on, but in an effort to level the playing field, the Chiefs have joined Oklahoma and Texas in applying for membership in the Pac-12 Conference.

- Finally, it was a WWE special Saturday night in Las Vegas: An illegal head-butt from Victor Ortiz to the mouth of Floyd Mayweather. A left-right combination, while Ortiz’s hands were down, from Mayweather that knocks the champ out. A willfully ignorant referee putting all his attention on someone outside the ring; oblivious to the questionable actions going on inside it. Then a profanity-laced tirade during the post-fight interview, aimed directly at the innocent interviewer.

Vince McMahon couldn’t have scripted it any better. The only thing missing was a steel cage, a folding chair to the head and a midget named Hornswoggle running around the ring screaming at the referee.

Bob Frantz is a freelance journalist and regular contributor to The Examiner. Email him at bfrantz@sfexaminer.com.

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