Raiders Report Card

QUARTERBACK Kerry Collins made a complete turnaround from the previous week's miserable showing and looked better throwing the ball than he has all year. The numbers – 19-for-27 for 261 yards and a TD for a passer rating of 113.3 – tell only part of the story. Harder to find in the box score is the string in which Collins completed 17 of 20 passes, including eight straight at one point.

Best of all for the Raiders, Collins was on target all afternoon, both with power passes over the middle and touch passes deep down the sidelines. Only a slow start and one fumbled snap marred his day. Grade A-.

RUNNING BACK LaMont Jordan tied a franchise record with three rushing TDs, something Oakland hadn't seen in five seasons. And he finished with 122 yards – the second highest total of his career -- on a career-high 28 carries. Best of all was his performance in Oakland's final possession, in which he ate up almost five minutes off the clock and 40 yards on eight carries. Zack Crockett was solid polishing off the game, gaining 25 yards on five carries -- the last one for a TD – and both were relatively successful in picking up frequent Buffalo blitzes. FB John Paul Foschi kept a couple of scoring drives alive with his two catches. Grade A.

RECEIVER Doug Gabriel dropped a couple of easy passes, but made up for those gaffes with a spectacular one-handed grab for 18 yards on the drive that gave Oakland a 24-10 lead and by finishing the day with five catches for 101 yards. Randy Moss (three catches, 43 yards) still looked limited by the groin and rib injuries that made him a question mark before the game, and often was missing from Oakland's three-wide sets. Like Gabriel, Jerry Porter (4-43) had a costly drop, bobbling a ball in the end zone, but atoned by coming up with a pair of clutch catches on the fourth-quarter scoring drive right after the Bills cut the lead to 24-17. Grade B.

OFFENSIVE LINE The unit struggling to keep pressure off Collins and both Adam Treu and Robert Gallery negated sizeable Jordan gains with holding penalties. Plus, Treu shares responsibility with Collins for the one Oakland turnover, a fumbled snap in the third quarter. And for three-plus quarters, Jordan had nine of his first 18 carries stopped before he gained 2 yards. But in the fourth quarter, the line dominated the Bills front, pushing back the line of scrimmage in huge chunks and opening wide holes for Crockett and Jordan. Grade B.

DEFENSIVE LINE Raiders defenders were in Buffalo quarterback Kelly Holcomb's grill all day. Warren Sapp came up with a throwdown sack for an 8-yard loss in the fourth quarter that effectively killed any hopes of a Buffalo comeback. The D-line also made running back Willis McGahee look particularly foolish for earlier in the week bragging about being the best running back in the NFL by limiting McGahee and his mouth to 50 yards on 16 carries. The line also came up huge on a goalline stand in the second quarter, when Ted Washington stood up McGahee on the 1-yard line on third down and Bobby Hamilton stuffed Damien Shelton at the line of scrimmage on the next play. Grade A.

LINEBACKERS There were a few lowlights, such as Danny Clark missing an easy tackle on the Bills first scoring drive and Tyler Brayton drawing an inopportune yellow hanky for illegal use of hands. But Derrick Burgess balanced those with a pair of sacks, dumping Holcomb for an 18-yard loss on one and an 8-yard deficit on the other. Kirk Morrison came up with a fumble recovery and led the team with seven tackles. Grade B-.

SECONDARY It could have been a lot worse for Oakland, considering Charles Woodson and Derrick Gibson both went out early with injuries, and the Raiders often were in nickel packages with three rookies in the defensive backfield. And both the youngsters and veterans made their share of mistakes, as Renaldo Hill and Fabian Washington suffered from the sloppy tackling flu on a few plays. Hill also drew a costly roughing-the-passer flag that aided the Bill's opening TD drive. But the makeshift secondary did enough to limit Holcomb to 159 yards on a 19-for-27 day. Grade B-.

SPECIAL TEAMS Often the special teams unit is all Oakland has to brag about, but not on this day. Kick coverage was barely adequate, as Terrence McGee returned three Sebastian Janikowski kickoffs for a total of 98 yards. Once again, Raiders rookie return man Chris Carr came one man away from running back a couple to the house, returning a punt for 29 yards and a kickoff for 32. Grade C.

OVERALL Depending on how you look at it, Norv Turner showed either a lack of class or admirable killer instinct by choosing not to kneel on the ball and going for the final TD in the waning seconds. No matter, the defensive game plan was the right one, the offensive game plan was the right one, and once the penalties (eight for 53 yards) and sloppy tackling get fixed, the team will be sitting pretty. Grade B+.

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