177

Day-after wrap-up

News, notes and observations from Lane Kiffin’s season-ending press conference Monday:

– One of the most telling comments from Kiffin Monday was that he may have underestimated the effect that four years of double-figure losing had on the organization.

“It’s a difficult mentality to have when people are so used to losing that it’s just what they know,” Kiffin said. “It’s what happens. You lose gmes. You find a way to lose them. It is difficult. It’s more difficult than if you had a team that just had one year of it. With a team that’s pretty oyoung, that’s kind of all that some of them know.”

You’d never hear anything like that from Bill Callahan, Norv Turner or Art Shell. You’d either get blinders (Callahan), confused rambling (Turner) or press-release nonsense about all the talent on the roster and the tradition of the Raiders (Shell).

Kiffin, while respecting the past, has never bought into any of it with how it impacts the present. He understands where the Raiders reside in the NFL food chain. He understands that besides the woe-is-us mindset, there is a dearth of talent that must be addressed.

– Same goes for the poor, abused Raiders when it comes to the officials.

“You mean am I finally gooing to buy in that everyone’s against the Raiders in this league?,” Kiffin said, flashing a smile. “No, I’m not. There’s calls that go both ways and I’m never going to buy into that theory. You always see the ones that go the other way. Trust me, we had a facemask (by Tony Stewart) yesterday that wasn’t called and they go the other way too and their fans think they got the bad end of the deal.”

Kiffin vowed to get his team to play smarter, make better decisions and not put themselves in position for penalties.

I’ve always thought the fixation on officials, while merited when the team was strong and losing a playoff game in the snow, is impossible to justify when your team is poor and constantly committing pre-snap fouls which have nothing to do with judgement.

– Sorry, Robert Gallery bashers. He stays. And he stays at guard. He may never live up to the hype of a No. 2 overall pick and he’ll be forever trashed by a segment of the population that considers themselves budding O-line coaches, but it appears he has won over Kiffin.

Gallery’s penalties concern him, however.

– Kiffin negotiated a quarterback minefield pretty well considering everything that went into it. His caretaker quarterback (Josh McCown) struggled and got injured, Daunte Culpepper arrived late, and Russell really late.

Andrew Walter remained on the roster and didin’t complain. When it was all over Russell ended the season feeling good about his performance, Culpepper put some good work on film for free agency and McCown was hoping to land a job in Oakland as the backup quarterback.

– Typical scene in the back parking lot of the Raider facility as a handful of fans attempted to get autographs. With player after player pulling out of the gated area and past the fans with little more than a wave, McCown pulled over, rolled down his window and signed _ for a fan wearing a Culpepper jersey.

– As much as I’ve admired everything Ronald Curry went through to become an NFL starter, he had the worst of his three mostly-healthy seasons. He was prone to drops and penalties and looked as if he lost some speed as the year went on.

Curry caught 11 passes in his last give games. Kiffin said he met with Curry Monday “and we have a good plan on how he is going to improve and what he needs to do to get beter because we expect him to have a big year next year.”

– No official word regarding the fate of Rob Ryan, but when Kiffin talked about his expectations going into the season, he noted 11 returning starters on defense, nine players who were either new or in new positions on offense, and that the plan was “to run the ball and stop the run. And to build off the defense with 11 returning starters.”

– “I have talked to Warren. I am not going to comment on that until Warren talks to you guys. Warren has already made it known what he’s doing but I’m not going to take that from him. He’ll tell you guys whenever he’s ready _ ” Kiffin on the status of Warren Sapp.

Sure doesn’t sound like the way he would answer the question if Sapp were returning, does it?

– It’s hard not to like Ryan, and it’s fair to criticize the players for Oakland’s defense. Kirk Morrison said as much Sunday, that it was their fault there was speculation over Ryan.

Using that logic, you hold on to Jackie Slater and Irv Eatman and blame the offensive line, rather than bring in Tom Cable.

– Kiffin said Tommy Kelly’s rehab from knee surgery is going likely and that he is very interested in bringing back special teams player Jarrod Cooper.

– There was no promise to franchise cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha, mostly because the hope is the two sides can work out a long-term deal. If that doesn’t happen, expect Asomugha to be franchised.

– The Raiders will probably be more than willing to let Jerry Porter test the free agent market, figuring 44 catches and 705 yards isn’t going to bring him anything out of the ballpark and they’ll be able compete for a reasonable price.

– After detailing to the team Monday morning what he expected this offseason, Kiffin said “a couple” of players tell him afteward, “I guess that means you’re staying.”

Wonder if they were the same guys who asked me over past few weeks if Kiffin was staying.

I always told them there was no reason to think Kiffin was leaving. If Kiffin would have been as emphatic a few weeks ago as he was Monday, there never would have been any questions.

– Have the Raiders finally come to the realization that the slender Michael Huff may not be suited to be the heavy-hitter at strong safety?

“We’re going to look at some different things with Michael,” Kiffin said.

– Rich Gannon’s NFL record of 418 completions, set in 2002, was broken by New Orleans Drew Brees, who finished with 440.

– The Raiders will flip a coin with the Falcons to see which team will get the No. 3 pick in the NFL draft. The coin flip will take place at the NFL scouting combine.

– The Raiders 2008 home opponents will be Denver, Kansas City, San Diego, New England, the New York Jets, Houston, Atlanta and Carolina.

The road opponents will be Denver, Kansas City, San Diego, Buffalo, Miami, Baltimore, New Orleans and Tampa Bay.

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1

Russell: Nowhere to go but up

If you thought Lane Kiffin would go easy on JaMarcus Russell, with it being Christmas Eve and all, guess again.

Kiffin was unsparing in his critical analysis of Russell’s first extended performance in a 49-11 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars at a brief weekly press conference on Christmas Eve.

As cool as Russell was following the game, Kiffin thought his play said something different regarding his confidence level, and was aghast at some of the fundamental errors the rookie committed.

Carson Palmer, Matt Leinart and John David Booty apparently never threw blindly to the other side of the field at USC.

“Naturally, his confidence wavered a little bit. Extremely poor decision making, I haven’t been around decision making like that before as far as just throwing the ball up across the field, like he did a number of times,” Kiffin said. “I’m sure that didn’t help his confidence. In your first time playing an extended amount of time like that, to not have success like that can’t help.”

Any other problems catch your eye, coach?

“There’s a list. Where do you start?,” Kiffin said. “Ball-handling in the running game. Footwork in the passing game. Timing. Accuracy. You name it, it was out there on film yesterday. He’s got a long ways to go.”

Kiffin again made reference to not having Russell around for the preseason and how both the quarterback and the coaching staff are still learning about each other.

“The fact that he’s playing, we’ll continue to learn information, we’ll continue to learn ways to help him in all the games so he can have success,” Kiffin said.

Having once likened Russell to a video game in his ability to deliver the ball, Kiffin thought Sunday was merely a painful part of the learning curve.

“We can talk to him all the time about what not to do and see it in practice, but unfortunately it came out yesterday,” Kiffin said. “He’s got to learn from those mistakes, that you can’t do that in this league. You’re not going to get away with it. We were really actually fortunate he didn’t throw five interceptions yesterday.”

Russell, Kiffin said, was operating with about 65 percent of the plays Josh McCown works with and he will be gauged this week to see if that figure can be increased. Russell will take all the reps in practice this week (he took most of them last week) and the plan is for him to play the entire game.

For Christmas, Russell will receive the San Diego game plan either in person or faxed to his home, and will go over it with quarterback coach John DeFilippo.

News and notes:

– Although he said he didn’t have any details on the extent of the concussion suffered by S Michael Huff, Kiffin said he expected him to play against San Diego.

– Players were given Monday off except for those needing injury treatment. DT Warren Sapp, who was ejected for coming in contact with an official _ he got three successive personal fouls _ stayed behind with his family in Florida.

Sapp told Kiffin at halftime he had not touched the official. Kiffin said the club’s film cuts off before any of the penalties were called. He said he was disappointed in both Sapp and Burgess, but would wait regarding any disciplinary action until the NFL has its say.

– Kiffin is hoping the Raiders will finish the season looking like they have in some of their better games this year, rather than the disturbing model which surfaced in road games in Green Bay and Jacksonville.

“I’d like us to finish that way, the style of football we want to play,” Kiffin said. “That’s to play really smart, not turn the ball over, stop the run and run the ball. I’d really like to see those things to kind of give us momentum going into the offseason unlike this last game.”

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7

So much for Arkansas

News, notes and observations from Wednesday as the Raiders began serious preprations to host the Indianapolis Colts at McAfee Coliseum:

– Another unsubstantiated rumor went down the tubes when Bobby Petrino pulled a reverse that even Nick Saban thought was cowardly and bolted the Atlanta Falcons for the University of Arkansas.

Petrino’s hiring officially removed alleged candidate Lane Kiffin from the proceedings, although rumors persisted Kiffin pursued the job. Included was a report in popular rumor/information site profootballtalk.com that Kiffin threw a bit of a tantrum when he found out Petrino got the job.

Quoting an “industry source,” it even went so far as to say Al Davis would let Kiffin walk.

“I never had any contact with the University of Arkansas, or any college about any job at all,” Kiffin said, responding to the rumors in general and not the PFT item in particular. “I’ve done nothing but prepare my team for the upcoming game.”

So you’re not interested in any college job?

“No, no. I’m coaching the Raiders and getting us ready to play,” Kiffin said. “I don’t have any idea where all that information came from.”

– No sign of Daunte Culpepper at practice. He is still out with a right quadriceps, meaning the depth chart will likely be as it was Dec. 2 against Denver _ Josh McCown as the starter, JaMarcus Russell getting some snaps as the backup and Andrew Walter as No. 3.

– I don’t have an industry source to quote, just a guess, but I’m starting to think Culpepper is done for the year, assuming McCown holds up. He got two good performances on film against Minnesota and Kansas City to boost his free agent stock, and he has no interest in backing up Russell.

McCown, on the other hand, has already said he wouldn’t mind coming back.

– After two weeks of being inactive for games, running back Dominic Rhodes is hoping to get a chance to see the field against his former teammates Sunday _ not that it has anything to do with the opponent.

“We are loooking at Dominic this week,” Kiffin said. “He had a real good practice today. We’ll continue to evaluate it as the week goes. We’re not going to play somebody because of where they played before. That’s not fair to the team. If he plays, it’s because we need him to play, he deserves to play and there’s something we feel he can help us with.”

Rhodes has 12 carries for 24 yards and one reception for 10 yards in nine games after being the most high-profile free agent to sign in the offseason. (Culpepper did not sign until training camp was underway).

The past few weeks Rhodes has attempted to put aside his personal feelings about his workload.

“Being upset and mad didn’t put me on the field,” Rhodes said. “I don’t know what’s going to happen this week. I hope I do get in there and get an opportunity, get some extended playing time and try and get in a rhythm where I can make plays for this team.”

LaMont Jordan, the backup tailback the past two weeks, had 11 carries for 21 yards against a Green Bay defense which was probably expecting the Raiders to pass the ball.

The backup could get significant time against Indianapolis if Fargas takes another shot to the ribs.

– Indianapolis running back Joseph Addai, a college teammate of Russell’s at LSU, thinks Kiffin needn’t be concerned about the quarterback’s state of mind if were to be put in a difficult situation, saying making rookie mistakes is part of the learning process.

He also said Russell, like Peyton Manning is a good leader, even if his style is less assertive and combative.

“It’s just like a math problem,” Addai told the Bay Area media by conference call. “You could work the problem out a lot of ways and still get the same answer. Peyton has a different way of going about it and JaMarcus has a different way of going about it, but they still get the job done and and that’s what you love about ‘em.”

Russell said has spoken with Manning but not a lot about technical football, although Manning has extended the offer to do that some day.

“I worked his camp for the past two years,” Russell said. “He’s a good guy, has a great personality, good to be around and he does well with people. He handles himself in a decent way.”

– Wide receiver Jerry Porter, getting to Russell before reporters did, used his Blackberry to simulate a tape recorder and asked, “Who is going to catch your first touchdown pass?”

Said Russell: “I’m going to throw it and catch it myself.”

– Sometimes being 4-9 isn’t so bad. Just ask fullback Justin Griffith, who played for the Atlanta Falcons last year.

“It’s hard to watch. Some guys I don’t know but talking to Warrick (Dunn) last night, it’s almost like a dark cloud is hanging over head,” Griffith said. “The Mike Vick thing going down, the season not going good, the head coach, accepted the job at Arkansas. They got some rebuilding to do, but it’s going to take some time. Hopefully they’ll get a coach that’s going to stay around . . . I’m happy I’m here.”

– Other than Culpepper and Jarrod Cooper, who along with his crutches and surgically repaired ACL remain on the 53-man roster, the only player to miss practice due to injury was center Jake Grove.

Grove has missed the last six days and conceded he may need surgery at some point, although he is hoping to avoid it.

– When Warren Sapp was asked about shoring up the Raiders’ run defense following the Packers game, his speech included the phrase “Do your job” more than once. No surprise that Tony Dungy used the same phrase when asked how the Colts fixed their run defesne last season.

As bad as the Raiders have been this year, giving up an NFL-worst 153.6 yards per game on the ground, the Colts were worse last season. They finished last in run defense, giving up 173 yards per game on the ground.

In the playoffs, the Colts gave up 82 yards per game on the ground en route to winning the Super Bowl. The easy answer for the improvement was the return of hard-hitting safety Bob Sanders, although Dungy said it is not that simple.

“We just started playing better. The thing we didn’t do was change a lot of things,” Dungy said. “And it was frustrating to me because I knew we should be playing a lot better than we were. We had some people in and out of the lineup. In some cases had young guys in there. In other cases had guys maybe trying to do too much. We always tried sell our team on if they just did their jobs on every play we would be fine and we didn’t need a major overhaul.

“Then we got to the playoffs and Bob got back in and Anthony MacFarland got comfortable with us. And I think the guys did just settle in and just play our defense. And that’s really what’s happened this year. We’ve been a little healthier, we know what we’re doing a little bit more and just playing sounder.”

Despite what might be the smallest front seven in the NFL, the Colts are giving up 102.9 yards per game on the ground.

Said Kiffin: “We’re just one week removed from Denver, which was on a roll, and we shut them down. Maybe we can get back to that this week. It’s been very upand down this year. we just wnat to end on an up note with it.”

– Fans attending the game are urged to bring an unwrapped toy, valued at $20 or more, as the Raiders are teaming up with the U.S. Marine Corps reserve in the Toys for Tots program to bring some Christmas cheer to underprivileged children.

Marines will be stationed at the West Side Plaza, as well as Gates A, B, C and D before and after the game.

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9

Pre-practice update

Daunte Culpepper is still not well enough to join his teammates at practice Wednesday, an early indication that it will probably be Josh McCown starting against the Indianapolis Colts before giving way to JaMarcus Russell.

Kiffin said Monday Russell will play _ possibly more than the 16 plays the rookie got against Denver _ but wanted to see the availability of his other quarterbacks before determining how much.

The good news for the Raiders is that running back Justin Fargas, who left the Packers loss with a rib injury, was in uniform and on the field.

Among those who appeared to be sitting out were LT Barry Sims, DT Warren Sapp and C Jake Grove. CB Nnamdi Asomugha and WR Jerry Porter were also without helmets and may have received the day off.

Grove would be the only one of those players to be out because of injury.

No sign of any new players, meaning Jarrod Cooper remains on the roster with crutches and a surgically repaired torn ACL.

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8

From Midway to Green Bay

Jumping to conclusions at the three-quarter turn while making my way from Oakland to Chicago (Midway) and into Wisconsin and Packers country:

– All the changes in the locker room and culture of the Raiders orchestrated by Lane Kiffin were in danger of being undermined had they not put together back-to-back wins against the Chiefs and Broncos

At 4-8 and coming off their most complete performance in the last four-plus years, the final four against Green Bay, Indianapolis, Jacksonville and San Diego _ four teams headed for the postseason with a combined record of 35-13 _ still looks imposing but not necessarily an automatic 0-4.

– Daunte Culpepper has his best game against Kansas City, Josh McCown follows in kind against Denver, and JaMarcus Russell was as intriguing as he was imposing in his debut.

Culpepper and McCown didn’t suddenly look inside themselves and turn it around. Instead, the players around them got better, another illustration that a quarterback is only as good as the situation he is in.

If it carries over against the Packers, that bodes well for Andrew Walter, Sunday’s likely backup for McCown.

– Being better in December is no small thing where the post-2002 Raiders are concerned. Going into the Denver game, Oakland was 2-16 in December starting in 2003, with the lone wins coming against Baltimore in 2003 and Tennessee in 2004.

– Interesting dilemma shaping up with Justin Fargas in his walk year. As good as Fargas has been, the thought here is you don’t break the bank for a running back in a system which has proven over time to churn out Fargas-like stories faster than John Grisham writes novels.

– It may have no more validity than the Kiffin-to-Arkansas rumors, but one of the names surfacing in the UCLA search for a new head coach is Tom Cable.

Send Bruins A.D. Dan Guerrero the film of the Raiders offensive line last year, and the Raiders offensive line this year and there would be reason to worry.

– Included in that film would be Robert Gallery’s block on John Lynch as Fargas got loose for a 13-yard screen against the Broncos. Al Davis had to be sold on the idea of moving Gallery to guard, and to his credit, he listened to Kiffin and Cable.

Gallery has some of the same tendencies about flattening players a fraction of a second before (or after) the whistle that Wiz did, but his status as the No. 2 overall pick means he’ll never get credit for it until he reaches multiple Pro Bowls.

– Screen passes, which were horror shows last year, have of late been well-executed plays and an excellent tactic to relieve defensive pressure.

– A slow-starting rookie class is showing signs of life, and not just because Russell provided some juice against the Broncos.

Tight end Zach Miller has found his way farther than 10 yards downfield, Jay Richardson had a third-down red zone sack of Jay Cutler which forced a Broncos field goal attempt and Oren O’Neal has moments where he looks like a Lorenzo Neal-type lead blocker.

“It’s fun to watch because by the time that fourth quarter rolls around, those linebackers, they’re not real excited about playing against him anymore on those lead plays,’’ Kiffin said.

– O’Neal, said Kiffin, can catch the ball. We saw some glimpses of it early on in training camp, but haven’t seen it lately. Might be a nice change-up.

– Looks from here like Shane Lechler is the only Raider with a shot at the Pro Bowl, unless Nnamdi Asomugha suddenly has the reputation to overcome a one-interception year.

– The Raiders not only have twice as many wins as they did through 12 games last season, but twice as many offensive touchdowns (22-to-11).

– When Kiffin said he was committed to running the ball, he meant it. The Raiders are on pace for 509 rushing plays this season, their most since they had 520 in 2000 and led the league in rushing.

– When “Comeback Player of the Year’’ discussion begins, Jeremy Newberry has got to be in the conversation.

– Raiders starting safeties have two interceptions in their last 26 games, one by Stuart Schweigert and one by Michael Huff. Going back to 2003, Oakland safeties have 11 picks in 76 games and only Schwiegert, with three, has more than two.

It’s as if Rod Woodson, when he was injured in 2003 and subsequently retired, took all the big plays with him.

– Had it not been for Rod Woodson’s big year in 2002 (eight interceptions), safety has been a problem area for the Raiders since they returned to Oakland in 1995. Hard to believe they made it all the way to a conference title game with Anthony Dorsett and Marquez Pope as the starters.

– As well as smallish linebackers Kirk Morrison and Thomas Howard play the pass, there is some concern even among some teammates that neither has gotten off blocks against the run as well as they should.

A good sign_ both were much better in that regard against Denver.

The last time the Raiders had a good game against the run, against Chicago, they followed it up by getting steamrolled in Minnesota.

– Three-quarter turn award winners: MVP_Tom Brady, Patriots; Offensive player of the year_ Brady; Defensive player of the year_Jared Allen, Chiefs; Offensive rookie of the year_Adrian Peterson, Vikings; Defensive rookie of the year_Patrick Willis, 49ers; Coach of the year: Bill Belichick, Patriots; Comeback player of the year_Brett Favre, Packers.

(Note: Favre will not win this award, but the feeling here is he has been average to below-average for the past few years and and this season is surpassed only by Peyton Manning and Brady among NFL quarterbacks).

Three-quarter-turn Raiders award winners: MVP_Justin Fargas; Top offensive player_Fargas; Top defensive player_Kirk Morrison; Top rookie_Zach Miller; Biggest surprise_Chris Clemons; Biggest disappointment (literally and figuratively)_Terdell Sands; Most encouraging development_Tom Cable and ther running game; Most disappionting development_Inability to stop the run.

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6

Tundra talk

Lane Kiffin compared going to Lambeau Field with his decision to kick to Chicago return specialist Devin Hester.

Of course, it was clear and cool when the Raiders played the Chicago Bears.

The forecast in Green Bay calls for temperatures in the 20s with snow flurries.

The Raiders don’t seem too concerned, and it isn’t because they beat the Denver Broncos in 2004 on a snowy November night with Kerry Collins passing for three touchdowns to Jerry Porter and one to Ronald Curry.

This edition of the Raiders is more Iditarod than greyhound, a group of mushers who will tenaciously negotiate the frozen tundra five yards at a time.

“You talk about it too long and you start to believe you’re at a disadvantage,” Kiffin said. “I don’t believe we’re at a disadvantage and I would really like to see cold weather.”

That’s what he says, of course, when the weather report, as well as the calendar, makes it a sure thing. Kiffin would be fine with 55 and clear.

But it is also true the Raiders, a California team with a number of players who haven’t played in this kind of weather, are, as Kiffin likes to say, “a system fit.”

“I think we’re built for it. (We’re a) team that runs the ball, a team that can put a bunch of guys in the box because we have really good corners,” Kiffin said. “We’re not a big, spread-out team, we’re an in-tight, running, play-action team. If you’re going to build a team in cold weather, that’s what you want to do in my opinion.”

So let it snow.

“We’re a running team anyway,” running back Justin Fargas said. “We expect to run the ball and I expect to run the ball. Knowing it could be a (bad) weather game, we’ll commit to the run a little more. It’s all the better.”

Left guard Robert Gallery agreed.

“The games we’ve been successful we run the ball, take shots when we have to,” Gallery said. “You’re forced to do that in a cold weather game sometimes. I don’t think it will change us that much.”

Kiffin joked that the advice he disregarded came from his father Monte, defensive coordinator of the formerly warm-blooded Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

“I talked to him this week and he had a lot of answers,” Kiffin said. “Then I remembered, wait, you went 0-17 in your first 17 games that were under 40 degrees. So he’s got ideas, but I don’t know that they’re very good ones.”

Kiffin said Monte Kiffin advised that he should make sure to watch Warren Sapp prepare.

“He said he puts on about 10 layers of clothes and that it’s a sight to see,” Kiffin said.

More news, notes and observations from Wednesday’s practice:

– Daunte Culpepper was the lone injured Raider who didn’t practice because of injury. Kiffin wouldn’t be pinned down as to his quarterback depth chart and wasn’t ruling Culpepper out.

Culpepper said he was being safe with the right quadriceps injury and hasn’t ruled himself out either. Meanwhile Josh McCown got the bulk of the work with the first team.

– Culpepper said ESPN, Fox and Yahoosports.com reports that he received his injury last Wednesday in a match race with Stanford Routt (he reportedly got a head start against the former college sprinter) were off base.

`I run every day after practice, and I probably shouldn’t have been running that day,’’ Culpepper said. “I felt the pain but I’m the type of guy who wants to run through it. As far as getting injured that day, no, I was injured before that.’’

So you weren’t injured in a race with Routt?

“That’s correct,” Culpepper said, and late remarked good-naturedly, “There’s a lot of misinformation out there.”

– Four veterans were held out of practice not because of injury, but because of a coaches decision: T Barry Sims, C Jeremy Newberry, WR Jerry Porter and Sapp.

“I just believe there is a time with certain veterans which are banged up and playing a lotof snaps that you give them a day off for the last four weeks,” Kiffin said.

– JaMarcus Russell said he has never played a game in severe weather either in high school or at LSU.

If Culpepper is inactive, don’t rule out the possibility of Andrew Walter backing up McCown. Walter stayed after practice and was throwing extra passes Wednesday, something he has rarely done in recent weeks since being buried at No. 4 on the depth chart.

– The Raiders can rid themselves of another streak with a win in Green Bay. They’ve lost 10 consecutive road games in December, with their last win since Dec. 8, 2002, a 27-7 win over the San Diego Chargers.

If memory serves, it wasn’t snowing.

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10

Final: Raiders 34, Broncos 20

Scoring

Denver–Travis Henry 3-yard run (Jason Elam kicks PAT).

Oakland–Sebastian Janikowski 44-yard field goal, 8:56

Oakland– Justin Fargas 5-yard run (Janikowski kicks PAT), 3:04

Notes:

McCown’s fumble at the end of the third quarter sets up a 35-yard short-field drive which ends with Henry scoring from the 3-yard line with 11:21 left in the game.

Up 24-7 with 10:55 left in the third quarter, the Raiders lead 24-20.

Broncos drive 35 yards in nine plays.

Cutler is 14 of 23 for 199 yards. Brandon Stokely has 3 receptions for 102 yards.

– McCown hits back-to-back passes of 26 and 19 yards to Zach Miller, putting the Raiders at the Denver 26. He throws one up for grabs for Ronald Curry in the end zone which falls incomplete.

A screen pass to Justin Fargas on third-and-10, perfectly set up, his a tad short and Fargas can’t make the catch. Janikowski kicks a 44-yard field goal with 8:56 left.

– Fabian Washington blankets Marshall on a sideline pass and intercepts at the Denver 43. Denver challenges ruling that Washington had control. Denver challenges and loses, costing the Broncos a time out.

– An illegal contact foul on the Broncos on third-and-8 gives the RAierse a first down at the 36-yard line.

– Second-and-10, denver press box is calling a run. They are right. Fargas breaks up the middle for a 9-yard gain, bringing up third-and-1.

– Fargas rushes for first down, Rovert Gallery called for holding, making it third-and-11.

– Justin Griffith breaks tackles and gains 13 yards on a right screen to the 24-yard line and a first down.

– McCown, on third-and-2, play fakes to Jordan and runs 11 yards to the 5-yard line on a bootleg to his left. Raiders have first-and-goal at the 5.

– Fargas runs 5 yards for a touchdown on second-and-goal from the 5. The Raiders take 5:44 to score in 10 plays following Washington’s interception. Fargas has 142 yards on 30 carries.

– On fourth-and-2 from the 34, Cutler’s sideline pass to Stokely is ruled incomplete as it is caught out of bounds. The Raiders take over at the Denver 34. The Broncos have one time out remaining.

– The Raiders run three times into the line, Denver calls its last time out with 1:11 to play and the Raiders facing fourth-and-6. McCown scrambles on a bootleg to the 25, yard shy of the first down.

– Travis Henry drops a first-down pass with 58 seconds to play as the Raiders are on the verge of ending a 12-game home losing streak against the AFC West.

– Henry runs eight yards to the 40, Cutler spikes the ball with seven seconds remaining.

– Nnamdi Asomugha breaks up a Cutler pass with three seconds left.

– Broncos last play _ Cutler takes a knee. The Broncos concede.

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