Postgame wrap


News, notes and quotes from the Raiders’ 20-17 win over the Cincinnati Bengals at Coliseum:

— Nice timing for the Raiders to pull out miraculous win on the day they dedicated to Marquis Cooper, their former teammate lost at sea March 1 and presumed dead.

In attendance was Cooper’s widow Rebekah, 3-year-old daughter Delaney and mother Donna.

Fitting that the Raiders would win on a special teams play, with rookie Brandon Myers with a strip and recovery of Andre Caldwell to set up Sebastian Janikowski’s 33-yard field goal as the Raiders scored 10 points in a span of 18 seconds.

“He (Cooper) caused the fumble. That was unbelievable. His wife was here and his daughter was here. Before the game his 4-year-old daughter said she was excited to watch the game. She said, ‘I get to see my daddy play!,’ linebacker Sam Williams said. “Man. I just spread the word and everybody felt the emotions of that. It was special.”

— Wide receiver Louis Murphy scored his first touchdown since a 57-yard, fourth-and-14 strike from JaMarcus Russell in Week 1 against San Diego.

He even got to feel as he did when an earlier score was reversed when a replay official said he didn’t have possession.

“I was like, `Oh, man, here we go again,’ ” Murphy said. “This time, there was no issue about catching the ball, only if Murphy had crossed the goal line. The touchdown stood.

“I was in the slot, and I had a seam up in there,” Murphy said. “If it’s Cover 2 I was supposed to go across the middle. If it’s Cover 1 I just stay up the seam. It was Cover 1 and I stayed up the seam. Bruce (Gradkowski) did a back-shoulder throw, we’ve been practicing it all week, and it was a successful play.”

— The storyline for this win ought to include the defense as much as it does Gradkowski and the improbable final minute. Read why in my Web exclusive column.

— The Raiders had just three penalties for 13 yards, but one looked as if it would be costly when Stanford Routt was called for roughing the passer on third-and-6 when his helmet collided with the helmet of Carson Palmer.

With first and goal at the 3, Thomas Howard dropped Brian Leonard for a 2-yard loss, Leonard ran four yards to the 1, and then Routt atoned for his mistake with an 18-yard sack of a confused Palmer.

“That’s why I didn’t even know how to take him down the second time,” Routt said. “I just took him down as softly as I could.”

Cincinnati came away with no points when Shayne Graham missed a 37-yard field goal.

Cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha said the blitz was one of many tendency-breaking calls from defensive coordinator John Marshall.

Asomugha said Marshall has been blitzing more of late, but the Raiders haven’t been getting often enough for the results to be noticed.

— Most noticeable difference between Gradkowski and JaMarcus Russell came on the 29-yard touchdodwn strike to Murphy. Gradkowski went through a progression, started off looking to his right, then came back to find Murphy open on the left.

— Word of the day came from Murphy when asked about Gradkowski _ punctual.

“It was a great approach. This week, he was full of energy,” Murphy said. “He commanded the huddle, and he was punctual, and he was ready for the Bengals . . . he said that we’re gonna continue to try to just move the ball and try to get first downs. Nothing too big, just move the chains. So that’s what we did.”

— Gradkowski doubled the Raiders season total of touchdown passes from two to four. No new receivers involved, however, Murphy and Zach Miller have two each.

Only four completions were two wide receivers, but they were all important. Two went to Chaz Schilens for 41 yards, including a fourth–and-10 16-yard catch on the final drive, the touchdown to Murphy and a 7-yard third down conversion to Darrius Heyward-Bey on a drive that led to Sebastian Janikowski’s 52-yard field goal.

“It seems to me like he has a good grip of the defenses and where to get the ball to,” Schilens said. “We just didn’t beat ourselves, so that’s the most important thing. Beating ourselves with turnovers and things, that’s a quick way to lose a game. So we hung in there. It wasn’t pretty in the beginning but we hung in there, hung in there and pulled through.”

Heyward-Bey was targeted six times and had the one reception. He also had an early drop which brought out the boos.

— Coach Tom Cable drew some boos when he ordered a Shane Lechler punt on fourth-and-1 from the Oakland 47-yard line while trailing 17-10 with 7:50 to play. Justin Fargas had been stuffed on a third-and-1, and Lechler came in and punted the Bengals back to the 10-yard line.

“I felt like we just kind of got out of whack there on the third down play,” Cable said. “The defense, you noticed, we had really gotten some stops even gave up a couple big plays but we were able to stop them after the big plays in the second half so I was pretty confident we’d get a second chance at the end there.”

— After the Gradkowski-to-Murphy touchdown, rookie Brandon Myers delivered the game-winning play on a strip and fumble recover against Andre Caldwell, allowing Janikowski to convert a 33-yard field goal with 12 seconds left.

“I was on the backside and was trying to chase him down. I saw he was going to reverse field and kind had the ball out here to the side a little bit and I tried to make a play and it happened,” Myers said. “It all happened so fast. I didn’t really realize what happened until I got up but it was definitely exciting.”

— So much for Chad Ochocinco talking up a storm against Nnamdi Asomugha.

“He never opened his mouth,” Asomugha said.

Ochocinco, however, did open his mouth with the coaching staff. In the coaches booth next to the press box, a Bengals coach could be heard after an early series talking to “Chad,” telling him to quit waving cornebacks closer and to stay under control.

Ochocinco finished with four catches for 67 yards with just one reception for 12 yards in the fourth quarter. He caught one pass against Asomugha on a dig route, which Asomugha saying afterward he thought Ochocinco had pushed off.

“Nnamdi’s the best in the game. Hands down,” Ochocinco said. “He will always be until someone goes at him on a consistent basis. It seems no one tries to. Not even us.”


Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • what happens if you’re infected? I haven’t ran my spyware or antivirus scanners in a few days. I haven’t noticed any problems.

  • TheRealJacksonRaider

    oh. i wasn’t aware that you know the Coopers personally. my apologies. so, did they explain to you how AD just hated Marquis and wanted him to fail when he came to the raiders?
    how have the raiders sabotaged russell? the raiders are so unfair. im sure they thought it would be a great idea to pay someone millions and sabotage them. you make absolutely no sense.
    by the way, where did you come up with the name? played your playstation, built an awesome team of imaginary players then decided to call yourself madden. genius!

  • TheRealJacksonRaider

    still waiting for the “real” victory explanation.

  • darkhorse

    I like the name Bruce…don’t like the turnovers

  • Raider-405

    After the game… I wonder what JRock was doing…

    Celebrating with his team? 1st out the door and into the Bentley?

    HOPEFULLY… after this spirited performance, a short week will keep the feeling around for the game against The Boys.

    On a different note, had we laid another egg, it would have been interesting to see the attendance of the next game!!

    34,112 was the TOTAL this week!

    1-9 Tampa @ home had 62,720

    Even Cleveland at Detroit had 43,170.

  • bubba

    >On a different note, had we laid another egg, it >would have been interesting to see the attendance of >the next game!!

    >34,112 was the TOTAL this week!

    It can’t get too much lower because of season ticket holders and that number reflects tickets sold. It would be interesting if they published the number of no shows which they used to but the league stopped doing it.

    Goodell needs to fold this franchise. There is no interest whatsoever and they are a total embarrassment with their antics.

  • raiderzmaverick

    I definitely sense a difference in locker room attitude this year, and I think Cable brings that to the table.

    I don’t think he’s necessarily the brightest coach. I don’t see him as overly creative in game-planning or play calling. In the future it would be good to have him get an Offense Coordinator so he can lean on someone like he leans on John Marshall for defense.

    But he seems to keep his team upbeat and competitive when the fan base seems like a bunch of whining pansies.

    I think we’re not that bad of a team now. I really believe if we just put a consistent and moderately reliable QB in there we would be minimally 5-5 right now. That would mean we’d still be in a playoff hunt. That’s how much I think playing Russell hurt the team.


    Good win. Makes Thursdays game interesting since the Cowboys are playing crappy. Our defense played tough and Emotep did his job. He wasn’t great but he got it done and he didn’t look like child amongst men. Keep the mojo going! EMO-TEP, EMO-TEP, EMO-TEP…

  • Chris in NY

    The Real MaddenRaider Says:
    November 23rd, 2009 at 1:03 am
    … a team that sabotages their first round black quarterback, an owner who doesn’t like smart black athletes, and that’s just the beginning of it.


    Now I know you’re just clowning around. Yeah, Al Davis threw $60 million at some kid just so he could sabotage him because he’s black.

  • los raiders de don rober

    We won baby! The D pulled it out! Grad was ok, nothing spectacular, but hey, it’s his first start…so Grad’s first start: 17/34, 183, 2 td 1 int….Gannon’s first start 16/31, 227, 0 td 1 int… I bet MR was in here back in ’99 bytching about Gannon (34) not being the future and how everything sucks, etc…. A win is a win baby, I friggin enjoyed it! The D was awesome!

  • los raiders de don rober

    The Real MaddenRaider Says:
    November 23rd, 2009 at 1:03 am
    … a team that sabotages their first round black quarterback, an owner who doesn’t like smart black athletes, and that’s just the beginning of it.

    You can call Al Davis a lot of things, and you can judge him all you want, be one thing he has PROVEN, not through stupid blog words but through actions is that he is not a RACIST. jeesh

  • 2romes

    Gritty Raider victory!!!! Chaz, thanks for showing up at 75% and making a hugh difference. Murphy has skills and should recognized as the # 2 reciever, Chaz #1 when healthy. The Raiders are learning the hard way money does not always make the player.The player must earn the position through hard work and dedication and should not be expected to be treated as royalty because of what the Raider organization thinks he can achieve.
    I don’t care what color the win comes from as long as the Raiders win.I like the position the Raiders are taking, put the best man in there to get the win. I would think it would be that simple for Raiders fans.In my opinion, Russell had and still has a fair shot at starting if he is the best player.
    Enjoy the win Raiders fans. Wins in the NFL don’t come easy.
    Raiders Be With You.

  • weaselbit

    If you hate the Raiders and all the posters here so much, leave.
    We don’t need to hear your pathetic dogma.
    You’re like some grouchy old man who hates anything good.


    I kinda don’t understand something and that is the reference to one QB being white and the other being black. I really don’t think that that fact had anything to do with who plays and who doesn’t. It’s unfortunate that some people still feel that way.

    What it really comes down to is that Russell was given a good chance to prove he could be a starting QB in this league and did not take that chance and do something with it. Is this all Russell’s fault not completely a high percentage of it is. His inaccurate passing and bad decision making are his to own.

    I for one put a lot of the blame squarely on Mr Davis and Russell’s agent shoulders for giving him a guaranteed contract. What other job in the world gives you your paycheck before you show up to work? What motivation does the guy have to improve his game or work on his skills if he has already been paid? So for me it comes down to self fortitude and we have all seen what the results have been so far.

    Benching Russell hopefully for his sake is the best thing that could have ever happen to the guy, because now maybe it will bring out the competitor in the guy and he will go to work like the rest of us and earn his way back into the starting position and become the QB that all the Raiders fan’s thought he was going to be when he was drafted.

    As far as Grad’s go’s did he have a great game no not really, but I don’t think that is the point. To me the point is that the team responded to him. I was at the game and it seemed to me that the whole team was playing with more focus and with the attitude that they could win the game not just show up.

    So in the end the result is a win and isn’t that why they play the game?????????

  • raidasteve

    Just like I said before: Gradkowski will have the best game a Raider QB has had all year. BOOM!!

    That prediction was a no brainer. JaMarcus is not ready, he was happy being a back-up and collecting his cash. I hope Al dumps his fat ass. Grads is in no way the answer, but he is definitely a band-aid that we need. I’m so f’ing tired of losing. lol…

    I see a win on Thursday against the fading Cowboys. Bet on it.


    Hey Real Madden Raider

    I think maybe you need to stop talking about people who you obviously do not know.

    I know for a fact that the Coopers were glad to be at the game and appreciated what the team did for them. I am a personal friend of the Coopers and was sitting in between Marquis mom and wife at the game. This family has been through a lot and it was nice to see that the Raider organization has not for got about them.

    So please if you do not know someone do not get on here and pretend to know how they feel because you obviously don’t!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Canadian Raider

    The real MR, last night I called Jamarcus and apologized because I truly didnt know that you and him were a item. Its not fair to pick on you M R because your a homosexual. We understand that love makes us do and say crazy things but I think it would be best if Jamarcus was traded and the two of you can go and be happy some where else.

  • Raiders757

    The Real MaddenRaider Says:
    November 23rd, 2009 at 1:03 am

    And I also feel sorry for the Coopers in that the last time Marquis played for was the drama circus known as the Oakland Raiders. A woman beating coach, a team that sabotages their first round black quarterback, an owner who doesn’t like smart black athletes, and that’s just the beginning of it. Because Cooper played here last, they have this default link to the team and of course they have to show up to games when invited, just out of formality. I’m certain this trip to Oakland was more work than it was pleasure for the Coopers.


    This is by far one the dumbest things I have read on the internet in quite some time. To bring the Coopers into this, is just low. Then to call Al Davis a bigot? That’s a hell of a reach.

    I really hope “The Real MaddenRaider” doesn’t believe all of the nonsense he spews. Where is the evidence that the Raiders are sabotaging their “first round black quarterback”? What does race even have to do with this? Is he really implying that JaMarcus Russell is a “smart black athlete”?

    I think it’s pretty obvious that Russell’s bulb doesn’t shine all that bright. It’s also pretty obvious that if the light hasn’t cut on for Russell by now, it never will, when it comes to dedication to the game and how to be a true leader. He just doesn’t have “it”, and “it” is something you must have when your the overall number one pick in the draft.

    I am sorry to say it Russell supporters, but the Raiders best chance to win, is with your boy on the bench. BG is not the savior, but he has better command of the huddle, better preparation for the game, and better accuracy. Sure, he only did slightly better, stat-wise, than a typical Russell game, but he brought intangibles that Russell just doesn’t have. Russell has had his shot, now it’s time to be a student of the game. If he can’t win the starting job back in the off season, then he’ll never develop into anything more than an average back-up.

  • unholySOB

    So it seems that everyone in the “Grad vs. JRuss” debate is forgetting the fact that JRuss was drafted NUMBER ONE overall. The critics of Grad say that we played conservative, ran the ball and thereby gave him the best chance to succeed. And those same critics say in support of JRuss that if we applied the same theory, he would still be the starting QB. However, we didn’t spend an NUMBER ONE OVERALL pick on a QB to hand the ball off 75% of the time. We drafted JRuss because of his ability to throw the balls, lots of times, and deeper than anyone else. We drafted JRUSS to WIN GAMES, not just “keep us competitive”. Any scrub like a Frye or Gradkowski can “keep us competitive”. We drafted JRuss to WIN ballgames, which he has not done consistently.

  • Raiders757

    I think this says it best.

    Quote from the Press Democrat: “Gradkowski did something essential for the Raiders, something Russell almost never does. He provided a minimum standard of what a quarterback can and must be.

    The operative word is “minimum.” Russell, for whatever reasons – and the reasons are legion – cannot reach even a minimum standard enough of the time.”

    How anyone can argue with that, is beyond me. It’s time for Russell to watch and learn, if he’s truly interested.