Monday Morning Notebook

With Charles Woodson and Derrick Gibson out of action, the Raiders will put their makeshift secondary to the test against a Tennessee passing game that compiled 492 yards when the teams met last December in Oakland.

How it all sorts out for the Raiders will be determined at practice, because Woodson (broken leg) and Gibson (dislocated wrist) both held dual functions in the Oakland defensive backfield.

Woodson was a starting cornerback in the base defense, but had been playing as a safety more often in the nickel and dime defenses.

Gibson, a strong safety who struggles in coverage, was at his best in the nickel when he played in the box as a hybrid linebacker/safety.

First-round draft pick Fabian Washington will step in to start for Woodson, with Nnamdi Asomugha manning the other cornerback. Renaldo Hill, a nickel back who had been playing mostly in the middle of the field, will play strong safety with Stuart Schweigert at free safety.

Second-round selection Stanford Routt is the probable nickel back. Jarrod Cooper, Oakland's best special teams player and listed as a safety, filled some of Gibson's roles in the dime defense near the line of scrimmage during the win over the Bills.

Rookie free agent Chris Carr, a return specialist who had not played on defense this season, also played a handful of downs against Buffalo in the nickel and dime. Veteran Denard Walker, inactive for all six games, is likely to be active against Tennessee. Overall, the Raiders held up well last week, although the Buffalo passing game is relatively conservative and based on short passing.

In last December's game in Oakland, Tennessee quarterback Billy Volek completed 40 of 60 passes for 492 yards in a game the Raiders won 40-35. Titans receiver Drew Bennett caught 13 passes for 160 yards.

"That's why we're out here -- when someone gets hurt. Stanford and I have to step up and play," Washington said. "Six or seven weeks ago, I wasn't ready to play at all. Now the game is starting to slow down for me. I think I'm a lot more comfortable and ready to go."


The Raiders controlled the clock in the second half of a 38-17 win over the Bills, outscoring Buffalo 21-7 and holding a 20:59 to 9:01 edge in time of possession.

Running back LaMont Jordan had a career-high 28 carries for 112 yards and scored three touchdowns. Wide receiver Randy Moss, listed as doubtful all week, caught a 22-yard touchdown pass from Kerry Collins in limited action.

After going 1-4 against five opponents that remain in playoff contention (New England, Kansas City, Philadelphia, Dallas and San Diego) the Raiders effectively controlled the game other than a game-opening, 82-yard, 14-play drive for the Bills.

PLAYER NOTESv --WR Doug Gabriel, rather than Jerry Porter, was the primary receiver against Buffalo with Randy Moss seeing limited time. Gabriel caught five passes for 101 yards -- his first 100-yard game.

--QB Kerry Collins had his highest quarterback rating of the season at 113.3 against Buffalo. He completed 19 of 27 passes for 261 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions. Collins effectively managed the offense in the face of Buffalo's frequent zone-blitzing tactics.

--DT Ted Washington, who normally ties up blockers so others can make tackles, had four solo stops and helped hold Buffalo running back Willis McGahee to 50 yards on 16 carries.

--DE Derrick Burgess had two sacks for the third consecutive game and has seven for the season. His previous best was six.

--P Shane Lechler had a 54-yard punt against Buffalo, giving him a punt of 50-plus yards in 27 consecutive games. Lechler averaged 45.7 on three punts, with a 38.3 net.

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