Raiders-Panthers notebook

The Oakland Raiders 27-24 win over the Carolina Panthers represented a homecoming for quarterback Kerry Collins, wide receiver Ronald Curry and safety Jarrod Cooper. All three were a factor in some way in the final outcome.

Collins and Cooper are ex-Carolina Panthers with a troubled past while with the organization. Collins had lost his last 10 starts dating back to last season as a New York Giant and completed 20-of-32 passes for 231 yards, no touchdowns and one interception. Collins also engineered the Oakland Raiders (3-6) game-winning drive that led to Sebastian Janikowski's game-winning 19-yard field goal with :06 seconds left in the game. The drive went six-plays for 71-yards.

Cooper made three tackles and had one sack. He also downed a Shane Lechler punt at the Carolina 3-yard line. Curry, who was a two-sport athlete at the University of North Carolina, caught four passes for 63 yards. Curry started the go-ahead drive with a 19-yard reception.

Running game run into ground

The Raiders entered the game with the third-worst rushing offense in the NFL. Granted, Oakland has trailed for most of the season but was never behind at any point Sunday. The Raiders rushed for 69 yards on 29 carries.

While Oakland had less-than-smashing success with its ground game, the Panthers were even more inept in generating just 37 yards on 18 attempts.

Special teams finally special

It was assumed that the addition of Joe Avezzano as the Raiders special teams coach would cure Oakland's problems. Instead, the unit has been barely an improvement over the one Bob Casullo coached the previous four years.

The Raiders special teams, however, were a big part of the win on Sunday. After Oakland kicked a field goal on the opening drive, Tim Johnson applied an energizing tackle. Nnamdi Asomugha's blocked punt led to a Tyrone Wheatley touchdown.

Carolina generated just 83 yards on five kickoff returns and 13 yards on one punt return.

Tight ends running free

One week after San Diego tight end Antonio Gates was ridiculously wide open for two touchdowns, Carolina's Chris Mangum caught a 1-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter with no Raider defender within five yards of him. And space is tighter as you get closer to the end zone?

Quick hits


The Raiders allowed Carolina to convert 10-of-16 third-down conversions, five on one drive alone.


Both teams were evenly penalized, each committing eight.


Cornerback Charles Woodson played mostly in the nickel package despite nursing a hip injury.


Tight end Teyo Johnson was active for the first time this season and made a special teams tackle.


Raiders inactive players were RB Justin Fargas, LB Maugaula Tuitele, LB Travian Smith, G Ron Stone, TE Roland Williams, WR Alvis Whitted, and DT Grant Irons.

Vince D'Adamo can be reached at

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