Oakland 26 - New Engalnd 49
Matt Cassel shared a hug with Patriots head coach Bill Belichick cafter the game. Camera's caught Casel walking off the field with a game ball tucked securely under his arm. After each score, Casssel pointed to the heavens, obviously with the memory of his recently deceased father on his mind. As mentioned during the broadacast, Cassel's performance on Sunday echoed Brett Favre's dramatic aMOnday night victory over these same Raiders after the passing of Favre's father.
FINAL Patriots 49 - Raiders 26
Patriots win to improve to 9-5 on the season. Oakland scored last, but the Patriots were successful in securing a two-game west coast sweep they desperately needed. Oakland is in full-blown rebuilding mode. With the injuries sustained today, the Patriots can ill afford losing another starter. Mike Vrabel returned to action after leaving the game due to injury. Gary Guyton did not. Matt Light also did not return to the field after leaving due to injury.
Raiders Get A Late Score
With over 6 minutes to go in the game the Raiders went on another scoring drive. The problem was they took 4 minutes to score from their own 43 yard line. Down at least four scores, the Raiders needed to do better than dink and dunk. 11 plays and 56 yards later, the Raiders closed the gap with a Darren McFadden 11-yard TD run.. Oakland failed on a 2-point conversion attempt.
Patriots 49 - Raiders 26
Former Raiders' quarterback Rich Gannon:
"It's good to see McFadden to get some touches," Gannon said. "When they've had the ability run the football, they've had success. The problem that they fall behind early and they're just not setup that way."
Maybe Gannon shouldn't have campaigned as a special assistant for the Raiders who desperately need a direction. It's unfortunate network sports television insists on allowing former players of teams to cover the teams they used to play for. Gannon's disdain over the result of the Tuck Rule game came through on the broadcast. Our insider in Oakland also noticed the commentary but was more willing to give Gannon a pass on the comment. Maybe he's right. Gannon did spend time during the broadcast criticizing the Raiders direction. He also used other media outlets to further those comments.
Jordan Scores and Takes A Bow
Former Oakland Raider LaMont Jordan just blew threw the defensive line on his way to a 49-yard scamper to the end zone. Key play, there wasn't one except for Jordan's romp. 3 plays and 57 yards later, the Patriots extend their lead. Jordan, a former Raider, stopped after his score, looked at teh stands and took his bow. Welcome back to Oakland LaMont.
Patriots 49 - Raiders 20
Taking over from their own 46, the Raiders get into the end zone again. Five plays and 54 yards later, JaMarcus Russell throws to Ron Currey to close the Patriots lead. Unfortunately for the Raiders, Vince Wilfork blocked the extra point. The key play was the first of the drive a Russell to Darren McFadden pass that the back turned into a 24-yard gain.
Patriots 42 - Raiders 20
Two Stalled Drives
The Patriots offense seems to be misfiring. Ryan's defense has dialed up some solid coverage and a sack. The sack of Cassel killed the drive, but you can figure cassel was looking for another big play and if Mark LeVoir didn't get beat, he might have connected again.
NOTE: Mark LeVoir in for an injured Matt Light.
NOTE: Patriots linebacker Gary Guyton was injured during the game with an ankle injury. His return is questionable. He is still out with the 10 minutes left in the third quarter.
Patriots up by 4 TDs
New England's offense looks to be unstoppable. Rob Ryan, who has the ear of Raiders owner Al Davis, has fared better than this outing by his players. Ryan's defense is being out coached, and outplayed. New England took the second half kickoff and drove 68 yards in 7 plays to go up 42 - 14. Randy Moss got his second TD of the day on a three-yard toss from Cassel. Key play was a 35-yard burst by Sammy Morris up the middle to get into Raiders territory.
Patriots 42 - 14
Second Half Look:
The Patriots appear to be having their way with the Raiders defense. New England continues to use spread formations to stretch the Raiders defense. New England is running and passing out of the formation.
Despite the huge lead, it appears the Patriots haven't won the game. If McDaniels would take a page out of Charlie Weis' playbook they could run the ball at will against the Raiders.
After taking over on their own 17, Matt Cassel orchestrated a drive to the Raiders 14. A weird combination of a false start penalty and the officials winding the clock on the dead ball. The Patriots never had a chance to kick the field goal.
Patriots 35 - Raiders 14
The game is moving along at a rapid pace with big play after big play.
The Raiders snuffed out a New England Drive after a Matt Cassel threw it to Ben Watson and it ricocheted off Watson's shoulder into the waiting arms of Gibril Wilson. The Raiders then squandered the possession by throwing the ball into the waiting arms of Jonathan Wilhite at the goal line.
Note: Mike Vrabel who had to leave due to an undisclosed injury is back in the lineup
WOW -- Back -to-back TD returns
This game just took an amazing twist. First the Raiders score on a kickoff return by Justin Miller for 91 yards to the end zone. Higgins simply outran Sam Aiken and Stephen Gostkowski for a clear run to the score.
Then the Patriots took the ensuing kickoff 95 yards for the answering score. Ellis Hobbs just saw a hole in the middle of the defense to run straight up the middle, cut to the sideline and outran a push by kicker Sebastian Janikowski for a clear path to the end zone.
Patriots 35 - Raiders 14
Pats Score Again
7 plays and 77 yards later, the Patriots are back in the end zone. Wes Welker turns a short catch near the goal line into a score. Kevin Faulk is becoming a bigger part of the game plan today with two catches for 20 yards. LaMont Jordan is getting fed the ball in an attempt to rotate the backs. Key play a 30-yard reception from Cassel to Welker after moss cleared out the coverage.
Patriots 28 - Raiders 7
A breakdown in the Patriots secondary gives the Raiders life. Oakland gets on the board with a 4-play 66-yard drive capped by a catch-and-run by Johnny Lee Higgins for 56 yards and the score. Higgins took a short pass and just kept going as he outran Ellis Hobbs to the sideline then crossed back over the field, picking up a block to get to the end zone.
Patriots 21 - Raiders 7
Sammy Morris For Another TD
Three possessions for New England resulted in three touchdowns. Sammy Morris blew through the middle of the Raiders defense for 29 yards all the way to the end zone. Oakland's tackling and gap control is horrible. Not wonder why their rush defense is that bad.
Patriots 21 - Raiders 0
Raider Another Three-and-out
Another ugly possession, but the punt was huge. Shane Leckler kicked it 62-yards to the Patriots 5. Kevin Faulk returned it to the 17. Leckler's last punt gave New England the ball on the Oakland 35.
Moss Gets His TD
After a horrible 18-yard punt, the Patriots took over at the Oakland 35. A nice run by Sammy Morris, an aborted pass then a 20-yard TD strike from Cassel to Moss puts New England up 14-0. Moss pointed ot his nametag after the play to let the crowd know who it was scoring on them.
Patriots 14 - Raiders 0
Another Raiders Three-and-Out
Oakland looks dysfunctional on offense coming up with another three-and-out. A 6 yard run which is exactly what Oakland has to do, then a 5-yard penalty (false start) puts them at 2nd-and-9. an incompletion and a sack (0 gain) kills the drive.
Patriots Score First
9 plays 40 yards and the Patriots make it look easy. Three third downs all converted. The key play was a Matt Cassel to Wes Welker pass on third and six from the Oakland 36 for 16 yards. Closer still was Welker's catch for 7 on third and seven three plays later. Touchdown pass from Cassel to Kevin Faulk with a great block by Welker to get him into the end zone
Patriots 7 - Raiders 0
Raiders Three and Out
This was some ugly football from Oakland. JaMarcus Russell doesn't look like a first round pick, with happy feet, overthrowing receivers and generally not in control of the offense. Punt.
Kickoff: Raiders Ball
The Patriots will have Ty Warren available on run downs, according to what Warren told members of the media this week. Vince Wilfork will also play today, which is a huge plus for New England if they're going to slow down the Raiders running game. With BenJarvus Green-Ellis inactive, expect a healthy dose of Randy Moss and LaMont Jordan, as the Patriots will find a way to get the ball into the hands of both former Raiders who have a grudge against their former employer.
Matt Cassel is back, as we expected even though his father passed away earlier in the week.
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