Inside Slant, Notes, Quotes, Report Cards

While stopping short of proclaiming the quarterback who will start against the San Diego Chargers on Sunday evening at Qualcomm Stadium, Raiders coach Norv Turner implied he wasn't ready to remove Kerry Collins in favor of backup Marques Tuiasosopo.

"I'm at a point where we're going to do what gives us the best chance to win the football game," Turner said. "I know there is frustration in terms of the inconsistencies on offense. That is not isolated to one area. If they were, it would be an easy thing.

"Kerry does a lot of good things. Obviously, in this game, he knows, we know, there are things he could have done better."

Turner went on to talk about the good games Collins has had this season, including strong efforts in the fourth quarters of games against Philadelphia and Kansas City (twice) that were ultimately lost on defense.

He also said he believed Collins' lack of mobility was not a problem given proper protection and decision-making by the quarterback.

On Sunday against Miami, Collins completed 21 of 37 passes for 226 passes, no touchdowns, two interceptions and a lost fumble. His quarterback rating of 52.3 was his lowest of the season.

Not all of it was Collins' fault. He received a furious pass rush from Miami, which had seven sacks, although Collins occasionally waited to long for receivers -- particularly Randy Moss -- to break free in long-developing patterns.

Waiting patiently is backup Tuiasosopo, who has not played in a game since suffering a season-ending knee injury against Detroit in 2003. As Collins struggled against Miami, fans began chanting, "Tui, Tui" in the second half at McAfee Coliseum.

Tuiasosopo described the fans' affection as "a little awkward. I can't control what fans say ... it happened at Washington when I was the backup to Brock Huard."

As has been his custom while backing up Rich Gannon and then Collins, Tuiasosopo is not going to rock the boat.

"I don't know if I expect anything. I don't think it has changed last year to this year," Tuiasosopo said. "I only focus on what I can control. I might sound boring, but I will be ready to go whether we are out of (the playoff race) or not out of it."

NOTES, QUOTES

--There were some short tempers on the Oakland sideline after Ricky Williams broke a 34-yard touchdown run to give Miami a 30-21 lead, with defensive linemen Ted Washington and Tommy Kelly exchanging words, forcing wide receiver Randy Moss to step in between them.

Washington, who doesn't speak to the media, managed to say, "It's cool," in the postgame locker room. Kelly, who also doesn't speak to the media, declined comment.

Linebacker Danny Clark attempted to put the best face possible on a bad situation.

"It wasn't important," Clark said. "It was brotherly love. It was probably some good hugs going on."

--Running back LaMont Jordan, who has held out weekly hope of the Raiders making the playoffs, finally succumbed to the obvious fate of a team with a 4-7 record, 0-4 in the division and 2-6 in the AFC.

Jordan, who played years for the New York Jets before signing with Oakland as a free agent, is used to being in contention until the end of the season.

"We're not going to the playoffs," Jordan said. "It's the first time in five years I've had to say that."

Jordan had 23 carries for 97 yards against Miami, and it was the first time this season after four wins the Raiders lost in a game in which Jordan carried the ball 20 times.

The Raiders rushed for 120 yards, although 26 yards came on one run by Jordan and 18 on an unlikely scramble by Kerry Collins. That means the Raiders averaged a little over 3 yards per carry on their other 24 runs from scrimmage.

Jordan is on pace for a respectable 1,148 yards rushing, but overall the Raiders, at 90.7 yards per game on the ground, are only marginally better than last season, when they averaged 80.6 in the worst rushing season in franchise history.

"I feel in some way, I let the team down," Jordan said. "I feel like I let the organization and the fans down. I was brought in here to bring our running game back to the top, and clearly we're at the bottom. I was brought in to help the team to have some explosiveness to the offense and have balance. We don't have that. I'm very disappointed with A., the way we played (Sunday), B., the way we've played all season long."

--Two sacks by defensive end Derrick Burgess gave him 11 for the season and increased the Raiders' team total to 25 -- the same amount they had in 16 games last season.

--The loss was the Raiders' sixth in succession to Miami. Oakland last beat the Dolphins in the regular season 17-7 in 1996.

--The flags keep coming in all directions for the Raiders. With 13 penalties for 90 yards, Oakland kept up its season-long assault on the NFL record book.

Leading the NFL with 113 penalties for 904 yards, the Raiders are on pace for 164 penalties and 1,314 yards. The Kansas City Chiefs hold the record in both categories with 158 penalties and 1,304 yards in 1997.

STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL

PLAYER PERSONNEL NOTES

--DT Warren Sapp and reserve S Reggie Tongue were to undergo surgery Wednesday, Sapp for a torn rotator cuff and Tongue for a torn ACL.

Sapp was placed on the injured reserve list Friday, and Tongue will follow this week.

Defensive tackle Ed Jasper, who started in Sapp's place against Miami, suffered a back strain and will be limited in practice this week, although he is expected to play at San Diego.

Tongue's absence could mean additional snaps for veteran Denard Walker and rookie second-round draft pick Stanford Routt, whose play has been limited.

--FS Stuart Schweigert, who came up with Oakland's first interception in 197 passes with an end-zone theft of Gus Frerotte, couldn't hide his disgust over the Raiders' performance coming as it did after a very good game against Washington.

Schweigert, who also recovered a fumble, missed a tackle attempt on tight end Randy McMichael on a 24-yard Miami scoring play that put the Dolphins up 23-14 after the Raiders had closed within 16-14.

"We laid an egg. We gave up too many big plays," Schweigert said. "We leave a guy uncovered, I don't make a tackle, they score. Early on in the game, they hit a deep ball. Those are things we haven't given up this year. I don't know what to attribute that to, but it's something we have to eliminate.

"It's just disappointing because we've been improving every week. I think, when I look in the defensive backfield, we may have taken a step back today."

REPORT CARD VS. DOLPHINS

PASSING OFFENSE: D-minus -- Kerry Collins (19-for-37, 226 yards, no TDs, two interceptions) had his lowest quarterback rating of the season (52.1) and was sacked seven times. He got poor protection but also made bad decisions, contributing to the pass rush problems. Randy Moss was again a non-factor (three receptions, 28 yards) and despite double coverage, no other wideouts did much damage either. TE Courtney Anderson (five receptions, 50 yards) rejoined the offense.

RUSHING OFFENSE: D-plus -- LaMont Jordan had 97 yards on 23 carries, but had 26 yards on one carry, meaning he wasn't moving the chains steadily. Kerry Collins, of all people, had an 18-yard touchdown run. Erase those two big runs and the Raiders had 24 carries for 76 yards, a fraction over 3 yards per carry.

PASS DEFENSE: D -- One week after the best showing of the season for the secondary came one of the worst. Fabian Washington was beaten for a 44-yard touchdown by Bryan Gilmore on Miami's first possession. The Raiders never could locate Chris Chambers (6 catches, 101 yards) in the slot, and TE Randy McMichael burned them for four catches, 59 yards and a 25-yard touchdown. Eight receivers caught passes for a Miami passing offense that reminds no one of the greatest show on turf.

RUSH DEFENSE: D -- Somebody was out of position on Ricky Williams' 34-yard scoring run that put the game away, and Ted Washington's sideline reaction indicated it was teammate Tommy Kelly. Williams gained 82 yards on 16 carries, and Ronnie Brown had 58 on 15 tries as Miami rushed for 145 yards and a 4.5 average. Brown lost a pair of fumbles to the Raiders.

SPECIAL TEAMS: D -- Pro Bowl P Shane Lechler had a 34.2 average and a 30.8 net on the worst day of his career. A poor first punt set up Miami for a short-field score on its first possession. On average, Miami opened possessions at the 40-yard line, while the Raiders started at their own 24. The only bright spot was a 33.8 average on four kickoff returns by Chris Carr -- with a long of 55 yards.

COACHING: F -- The third absolute stinker the Raiders have laid upon the home fans because they seemed totally unprepared for what was coming. Pass blocking against the Miami 3-4 defense was a mystery. Norv Turner can't figure out a way to get Moss involved in the offense. On defense, the Raiders seemed flummoxed by the appearance of Chambers in the slot, and the result was a huge mismatch on a crucial 24-yard gain when LB Kirk Morrison was assigned coverage.

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