Raider notebook: Lewis' contained

Lewis double shot minimized

The Oakland Raiders minimized the Baltimore Ravens double shot of Lewis – as in running back Jamal and linebacker Ray – in a 20-12 win Sunday in Oakland.

The Raiders limited Jamal Lewis to 125 yards on 24 carries, a great game for most backs but down by his lofty standards. Oakland employed three safeties against Baltimore's personnel group of two tight ends. Anthony Dorsett and Nnamdi Asomugha were the regular safeties while Derrick Gibson was mostly responsible for shadowing Baltimore tight end Todd Heap.

"I thought today was excellent from a defensive perspective," Raiders head coach Bill Callahan said. "The effort we gave speaks volumes about everyone in that locker room."

Ray Lewis, meanwhile, is a player who many believe is the best defensive player in the game. Lewis finished the contest with eight tackles. Again, those numbers would be pretty solid for most players but below average for him.

Lewis entered the game having either forced a fumble or intercepted a pass in six of the previous seven games but did not have either of such game-changing plays Sunday.

Bay Area screws up AFC North standings

Both the Raiders and San Francisco 49ers are out of playoff contention but they were a big part of the AFC North race.

Earlier in the day, the Cincinnati Bengals edged the 49ers 41-38 followed by Oakland's win over the Ravens. The Bengals and Ravens are now 8-6 and tied for first place atop the AFC North. The two teams split their head-to-head matchups. The Bengals, however, have the tiebreaker advantage at the moment based on a better division record.

Special teams enjoys a solid day

The Raiders maligned special teams coverage units enjoyed a solid afternoon. Oakland allowed an average of 23.3 yards on four kickoff returns and 9.0 yards on four punt returns.

Sebastian Janikowski and Shane Lechler got good depth on their kickoffs and punts. Kickoff return Doug Garbriel set up a Janikowski field goal with a 71-yard return.

Quick hits

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The sign of the day was in the North end zone in light of U.S. troops capturing Saddam Hussein. It read: "Run, Bin Laden, Run."

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Defensive tackle Terdell Sands, who was picked up off waivers earlier this season, played for the first time this season with starter Dana Stubblefield having to miss Sunday's game for personal reasons. Sands registered one tackle.

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The Raiders inactive players were RB J.R. Redmond, CB Clarence Love, C Barret Robbins, OG Mo Collins, WR John Stone, DT Sean Gilbert and DT Dana Stubblefield. The Ravens inactive players were CB Tom Knight, FB Ovie Mughelli, LS Mike Solwold, DT Aubrayo Franklin, OT Damion Cook, WR Ron Johnson and LB Adalius Thomas.

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


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