Raiders-Colts notebook

It is becoming increasingly apparent that Oakland Raiders wide receiver is occupying the role that Tim Brown did not want.

For the second time this season, Rice was held without a reception in the Oakland Raiders 35-14 loss to the Indianapolis Colts Sunday. Rice had his NFL record of 274 consecutive games with at least one catch streak snapped in a Week 2 win over Buffalo. This time, however, the Raiders did not even throw in his direction

The 42-year old Rice remains the nominal starter but Ronald Curry, Alvis Whitted and Doug Gabriel continue to have bigger roles in the offense than Rice alongside No. 1 man Jerry Porter. Earlier in the week, the Raiders denied a speculated rumor that the team was contemplated a trade of Rice to the Detroit Lions prior to the October 19 deadline.

Rice has outwardly stated that he would accept a lesser role to help the younger receivers mature. Curry caught 10 passes for 72 yards Sunday, bringing his total 22 catches for 261 yards.

Rice is undoubtedly the best receiver, if not football player, of all-time but the question begs: Given the current situation, are he and the Raiders better off parting ways?

Offense inept

The Raiders entered Sunday's game knowing they would have a hard time stopping the Colts dangerous offense but the most disappointing aspect was their inability to generate offense against an Indianapolis defense that ranked dead last in the NFL.

Oakland committed three turnovers, was penalized nine times for 60yards and managed just 269 yards of total offense.

Lost opportunities

There were two lost opportunities the Raiders missed that are very glaring. The Raiders trailed 7-0 midway through the first quarter as Collins could not connect with a wide-open Gabriel down the sideline. There was not a defender within 10 yards of Gabriel. Instead of a sure touchdown, the Raiders had to punt.

The Colts, meanwhile, faced a fourth-and-one from the Oakland 40 and lined up in punt formation. Akbar Gbaja-Biamila, however, was tagged for a neutral zone violation, giving Indianapolis a first down. On the next play, Peyton Manning hit a wide-open Reggie Wayne for a 35-yard score.

In addition, running back Amos Zereoue had a 56-yard touchdown run nullified by a Frank Middleton holding penalty.

Gannon in the house

Raiders quarterback Rich Gannon made his first in-person appearance at a game since sustaining a cracked vertebra in a 30-20 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 3. Gannon, wearing a neck brace, witnessed the game from one of the luxury boxes.

Gannon is expected to undergo further examinations to decide if injured reserve or retirement would be the best option.

Sideline slants

?

Brad Badger started at right guard in place of Ron Stone, who injured his knee last Sunday against Houston.

?

The Raiders have now lost 12 consecutive road games. The Arizona Cardinals, who lost 31-28 in overtime to the San Francisco 49ers, extended their active road losing streak at 16 games. That streak is the longest of such currently in place in the NFL.

?

Raider inactive players were Gannon, Stone WR Johnnie Morant, RB Tyrone Wheatley, DE Sam Williams, TE Teyo Johnson, DT Tommy Kelly, and DT Grant Irons.


SB Report Top Stories