Originally written on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 11/26/12
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The Raiders were still smoldering after an official's inadvertent whistle erased what could have been a 25-yard touchdown return of a fumble by Tyvon Branch. Yes, the Raiders acknowledged their role in a 34-10 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals, and the fact that sleepwalking through a 24-0 first half was ultimately the reason for their demise. Yet a team struggling as much as the Raiders could use any spark, and following a third quarter in which they outscored Cincinnati 10-0, one appeared when Joselio Hanson stripped Mohamed Sanu and batted the ball back on the field of play. Official Julian Mapp blew his whistle, Branch picked the ball up and ran in untouched. Some players had stopped when the whistle blew, others had not. The ruling was that the Bengals not only retained possession of the ball, but got to pick whether to play the down over or take the ball at the spot. "I understood the call," Raiders linebacker Philip Wheeler said, "but the referee (Mapp) came to me and he...
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