Art Shell didn't waste any time deciding to go for a 2-point conversion after the Los Angeles Raiders tied the Houston Oilers on Charles Jordan's acrobatic touchdown catch with 28 seconds left.
"We weren't going to get into overtime . . . We were going to lose it or go home with a win," said Shell, who headed back to Los Angeles with a 24-23 victory Saturday when Billy Joe Hobert connected with Daryl Hobbs.Jordan leaped over cornerback Blaine Bishop for the 15-yard touchdown reception.
"I was more looking at Bishop and he was looking at me and then I decided to concentrate on the ball," Jordan said. "I just wanted to make sure I could hold the ball after the catch. The best way to get the ball was to go over him. If not, it would have hit him in the back."
Hobert spotted Jordan at the last instant.
"The play is designed to have you run around until you find somebody that's open," Hobert said. "I didn't throw it as far as I needed to but Jordan made a heck of an athletic play."
The Oilers, who lost in the final eight seconds to Buffalo last week, had rallied from a 16-9 deficit to lead 23-16 in the fourth quarter.
Bucky Richardson, dueling with Sean Salisbury for the No. 2 job behind starter Cody Carlson led the Oilers on a drive to a field goal and then threw a 3-yard touchdown pass to John Henry Mills to take the lead with 8:33 left.
But Hobert pulled the Raiders back, aided by a personal foul against Houston's Steve Jackson that gave Los Angeles a first down at the Oilers 15.
Hobbs maneuvered in the end zone and made a diving catch for the winning points for the Raiders (4-1). Houston finished exhibition play at 2-3.
"I knew I had a chance if I reached," Hobbs said. "I was too tired to take another step, that's why I reached. I knew there was a guy on me and the ball was in the air. I just reached for it."
Al Del Greco, who kicked three field goals, missed a 60-yard attempt on the final play of the game.
Jeff Jaeger kicked three field goals and R.J. Kors returned an interception 38 yards for a touchdown as the Raiders took a 16-9 lead before Richardson entered the game midway in the third quarter.
He completed passes of 18 yards to Mario Bailey and 40 yards to set up Del Greco's third field goal, a 40-yarder with 3:55 left in the period.
Early in the fourth quarter, Richardson hit Bailey with a 36-yard pass to the Raiders 8. With 8:33 to play, Richardson hit John Henry Mills with a 3-yard touchdown pass and Le'Shai Maston ran for the 2-point conversion.
Richardson completed 10 of 16 passes for 164 yards and was the clear favorite in the battle for No. 2. Salisbury hit 8 of 17 passes for 93 yards and had an interception returned for a touchdown.
"Every time we had the ball I concentrated on moving the chains and putting the ball in the end zone," Richardson said. "The run-and-shoot is not something you learn overnight."
Jaeger had kicks of 20, 42 and 38 yards as the Raiders built a 16-9 third quarter lead, taking advantage of first-half penalties against the Oilers.
Jaeger converted 10 of 11 field goals in the preseason, the final eight without a miss.
Del Greco had a streak off 11 in a row snapped when he missed a 58-yarder in the second quarter. He finished with 13 in 15 attempts in the preseason.
Kors gave the Raiders a 16-9 lead in the third quarter with a 38-yard interception return. Salisbury's miscue sent the crowd screaming for Richardson, who played at nearby Texas A&M and has become a crowd favorite because of his scrambling style.
Richardson's touchdown pass to Mills was only the Oilers' sixth offensive touchdown in five exhibition games.
Bears 27, Giants 21
At Chicago, Steve Walsh, starting for the injured Erik Kramer, passed for two first-half touchdowns and the Chicago Bears held off the New York Giants to complete their first unbeaten preseason since 1958.
Kevin Butler kicked two fourth-quarter field goals for the Bears, including a 53-yarder with 4:16 left.
The Bears had a 24-7 lead in the final period before the Giants rallied behind backup quarterback Kent Graham.
Keith Elias scored on a 1-yard run for New York with 10:24 remaining, and seconds later Thomas Randolph recovered a fumble by Bears receiver Tyrone Williams. That set up a 20-yard touchdown pass from Graham to Chris Calloway with 9:16 left, cutting the lead to three, before Butler connected again to make it 27-21.
But Graham hit Thomas Lewis on a 48-yard pass to the Chicago 17 with two minutes left. Two penalties set the Giants back before Myron Baker intercepted Graham with 1:31 remaining.
New York got it back 17 seconds later at its own 15 when Robert Green fumbled after a 36-yard run.
Passes to Calloway of 17 and 18 yards moved the ball to the Bears 20 with 22 seconds to play but Graham then threw four straight incompletions, the final one sailing through Calloway's hands near the 5 with four seconds left.
Kramer watched in street clothes from the sidelines after having muscle spasms in his shoulder while lifting weights Thursday. He's expected to play in next Sunday's season opener against Tampa Bay.