Inside slant

Monday, the Raiders were working on coming down from a season that got away from them so long ago it was hard to remember when.

"Come down? We're WORN down," wide receiver Jerry Porter said. "Time to regroup and try it again."

But not before a long rest and a long process of trying to figure out what went wrong, what went right and what went bump in the night.

Such as Porter's status with the team, once considered shaky but only recently much improved.

It all started in October right after the trade deadline. Porter heard through the usual rumor channels that his name had been brought up in talks with Cleveland. Offended, he said he had voided his contract and wanted out of Oakland.

In subsequent weeks, he toned it down saying he wouldn't mind returning to Oakland if the price was right, but that he would test the free agent waters no matter what.

Porter had one touchdown catch at the time. Since Thanksgiving, he has had eight more and he finished two yards shy of 1,000 for the year. Last week, quarterback Kerry Collins said the Raiders needed to make it their No. 1 priority to get Porter re-signed.

At the time, Porter said he had received no word of any offers from the Raiders. But several hours after Collins spoke, his agent called and told him talks were under way and that the Raiders had made an offer.

"After Kerry said that, by nine o'clock my agent had an offer on the table," Porter said.

Not that the offer was necessarily the one Porter was seeking.

"But it was a step in the right direction," he said.

Now, Porter is saying he really would like to remain in Oakland.

"Kerry and I have a good thing going," he said.

On the other hand, money calls.

"I'm still going to keep my options open."


-- Rookie OL Jake Grove, who has been starting at RG for eight games but is playing out of position, got his first regular season snaps at his natural position, center, when C Adam Treu had to leave Sunday with an injury.

-- C Adam Treu sustained a knee injury in the fourth quarter and missed most of the drive in which Zack Crockett carries 10 straight times for 78 yards.

-- FB Zack Crockett's off-the-bench 22-carry, 134-yard performance was his best as a pro since his rookie year in Indianapolis when he had 33 and 66 yard runs and gained 147 yards in 13 carries in a playoff game.

-- CB Charles Woodson (knee) did not play for the third consecutive game.

-- CB Phillip Buchanon (tailbone) did not play for the second consecutive game.

-- LB Sam Williams (ankle) was unable to play in the finale.

-- DT Grant Irons (knee) was inactive against Jacksonville.

-- TE Doug Jolley had his first two-plus catch game since Week 11 with receptions for 19 and 15 yards.

-- WR Jerry Porter failed to reach the 1,000-yard receiving plateau by two yards (64 for 998 yards and 9 touchdowns). It was the second consecutive year the Raiders did not have a 1,000-yard receiver after a run of 10 consecutive years with one (all by Tim Brown).

QUOTE TO NOTE: "A tripping call on the goal line, on a backside run, it's muddy out, you slip, he falls on my leg, the ball is run over there, I'm over here, I'm not even a factor in the play. I don't get it. I guess I'll chalk it up as one of those `Raider mystique' calls." -- TE Roland Williams on the tripping penalty he received that wiped out a Raiders touchdown.



PASSING OFFENSE: D-minus -- An asterisk should be inserted to account for the rainy, slippery conditions, but there is no hiding the fact that Kerry Collins' passer rating for the game was a deathly 17.3. He was 15-for-39 for 142 yards, three interceptions and no touchdowns. His receivers dropped a half dozen passes. He did not throw to an open Warren Sapp on the goal line even though he was open and was the primary receiver. Best part of the passing game was the blocking.

RUSHING OFFENSE: A-minus -- After Zack Crockett rushed for 134 of the team's 147 yards, 78 on one series, the question begs to be asked why the Raiders took so long to get around to it. The 29 team rushes was the second most the Raiders tried (31 vs. Tampa Bay) and although it may have received a boost from the weather, there was energy that has been missing for the past two months.

PASS DEFENSE: B-plus -- Coverage was excellent despite the absence of both starting corners as Nnamdi Asomugha and Denard Walker came through in a big way. The pass rush was outstanding, flushing QB Byron Leftwich from the pocket numerous times despite accumulating only one sack. There were far too many instances of missed tackles that should have resulted in sacks.

RUSH DEFENSE: A-minus -- A total of 41 of the 93 rushing yards the Jaguars put up were on scrambles by Leftwich, otherwise their regular running backs were held to an average of 2.1 yards an attempt. Granted, Fred Taylor was sidelined by an injury, but in past games, the Raiders have created stars out of backups. This time, the backup who played, Greg Jones, was held to 30 yards on 16 carries.

SPECIAL TEAMS: C -- Sebastian Janikowski made both field goals (35 and 27 yards). Shane Lechler had his second weakest game of the year with six punts averaging 39.7 yards. The return game was non-existent, but then the coverage units did the same to Jacksonville's return units.

COACHING: D plus -- If the elements were ideal for Crockett to rush for all those yards, as Norv Turner said, then why did the Raiders call passes on 29 of the first 44 plays through the first three quarters? The defensive game plan was well conceived as the Raiders held the Jaguars to 242 yards -- best since the opener. It was the first sub-300 yard game by a Raider opponent since Sept. 19.

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