Tui sighting highlights latest defeat

"I know my role is backup quarterback. I fully understand that. I go into each week prepared to play. I've got to. I can't afford not to. It's for games like this." -- Oakland backup QB Marques Tuiasosopo

The Oakland Raiders find yet another way to lose.

            This time, it happened on the same night as a  Marques Tuiasosopo sighting and a Raiders special teams gaffe that was not expected at first glanced.

            For the Raiders, however, the free fall continued Monday night with a 17-10 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in Oakland. 

            Oakland took over at its own 6-yard line with 1:47 left in the game and no timeouts. Tuisaosopo, who relieved an injured Rich Gannon, gamely led Oakland to the Chiefs 14 with seven seconds left. Tuiasosopo hit Tim Brown but he was stopped shy of the goal line by Kansas City safeties Jerome Woods and Greg Wesley. The loss drops Oakland to 2-5 while the Chiefs, leaders of the AFC west, remain undefeated at 7-0.

            Many fans had been clamoring for Tuiasosopo, a third-year man from Washington, to replace embattled reigning NFL MVP Gannon, who left the game with a shoulder injury late in the second quarter. Gannon bruised his right shoulder and spent the second half on the sideline.

            "I know my role is backup quarterback. I fully understand that," Tuiasosopo said. "I go into each week prepared to play. I've got to. I can't afford not to. It's for games like this."

Tuiasosopo showed occasional flashes of brilliance for the Raiders, who have a bye week until playing at Detroit Nov. 2. Tuiasosopo completed 16-of-28 passes for 224 yards and one interception. He also rushed for 20 yards on four attempts.

            Kansas City came into the contest with return man extraordinaire Dante Hall. Oakland contained Hall, who entered the contest with four returns for touchdowns but had little chance for any game-breaking plays. Phillip Buchanon's muffed punt, however, set up the fatal blow.

Buchanon, a dangerous return man in his own right fumbled a punt, which Kansas City's Marc Boerigter recovered at the Raiders' 11, with Oakland trailing 10-3 midway through the fourth quarter. Three plays later, Kansas City's Priest Holmes plunged across the goal line for a 1-yard touchdown to put the Chiefs ahead 17-3 at the 4:57 mark of the fourth quarter.

Oakland trimmed the lead in half at 17-10 with 2:25 left in the game when Zack Crockett blasted his way across the goal line with Chris Hetherington and Barret Robbins leading the way.

            The Chiefs got on the scoreboard first when quarterback Trent Green scored on a 2-yard bootleg after faking into the line to running back Priest Holmes. Morten Anderson's extra point gave Kansas City a 7-0 lead with 4:16 left in the opening quarter. Green's touchdown was set up two plays earlier when he connected with Eddie Kennison for a 43-yard connection to the Raider 1-yard line despite a pass interference penalty on Oakland cornerback Charles Woodson.

            Kansas City went ahead 10-0 at the 1:07 mark of the second quarter on a Morten Anderson 37-yard field goal.

            The Raiders averted a shutout when Sebastian Janikowski nailed a 27-yard field goal with 8:06 left in the fourth quarter. That scored capped off a 13-play, 80-yard drive.

 Vince D'Adamo can be reached at vdad7@yahoo.com


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