Morant leads Oakland to win

It wasn't all that pretty and Art Shell has plenty of issues to discuss with his players, but for the second straight week the Raiders walked off the field with a victory after Hiram Eugene's end zone interception off Minnesota backup quarterback J.T. O'Sullivan preserved Oakland's 16-13 win over the Vikings on Monday.

On a night in which the penalty problems returned and quarterback Andrew Walter threw two interceptions, the Raiders stayed unbeaten in the preseason on the strength of solid nights by wide receiver Johnnie Morant and kicker Sebastian Janikowski. Morant, the third-year wide receiver from Syracuse who was Oakland's leading receiver last preseason, busted out for his most impressive performance since then. Morant caught five passes for 106 yards, including a 67-yard touchdown reception from Walter in the second quarter.

It was the only touchdown of the night for the Raiders and just the second they've scored in two preseason games.

''That ball was beautiful,'' Morant said of the touchdown pass from Walter. ''It was there for me to just run under it. It was picture perfect.''

The touchdown helped offset another mediocre night for Walter, Oakland's second-year quarterback who struggled in the preseason opener last week. Walter, whom the Raiders believe will be their starter within the next two years, was 10-of-19 for 148 yards with two interceptions.

But it was a step in the right direction for the young quarterback, Shell said.

''Last week he was kind of out of sorts,'' Shell said of Walter. ''This week he said he wanted to come out and have some fun. After the touchdown I asked him, 'Are you having fun?' He said, 'Yes Coach, I'm having fun.' (But) he made a couple of mistakes he has to learn from.''

Janikowski had his second straight impressive performance. The Oakland kicker, who struggled throughout the 2005 season, kicked three field goals, including a 55-yarder in the first quarter that cut Minnesota's lead to 7-6.

Shortly thereafter, Morant hauled in the 67-yard touchdown pass from Walter and the Raiders never trailed again.

Minnesota did manage to tie the score at 13-13 on Ryan Longwell's 28-yard field goal in the third quarter but Janikowski's third field goal of the night, a 28-yarder with 8:30 minutes left to play, provided Oakland the winning margin.

The Raiders, who were hit with just five penalties in the preseason-opening win over Philadelphia, didn't fare as well a week later. Oakland was penalized nine times for 64 yards against Minnesota.

But with the Raiders getting an interception and a fumble recovery -- the team's seventh forced turnover in two games -- Shell is seeing progress.

''The key thing for us is we won the game,'' Shell said. ''We made a lot of mistakes during the course of the game but guys showed when they kept fighting through the adversity that we had, we got the W. I think that will bode well for us.''

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