An instant replay isn't what anyone had in mind.
And despite a 3-6 record through nine games - identical to the one they had in 2004 - that's not what the Oakland Raiders are going through as they prepare to face the Washington Redskins on Sunday at FedEx Field.
The Raiders have a much better defense, even with the loss of franchise free agent Charles Woodson. Rookie draft picks Fabian Washington and Kirk Morrison have been solid contributors at cornerback and linebacker.
They have a dramatically better pass rush, a sackless effort against Denver notwithstanding. With 20 sacks, the Raiders are only five shy of their entire 2004 season total.
Oakland has a threat of a running game. Running back LaMont Jordan has 640 yards rushing, well past Amos Zereoue's meager team-leading total of 425 last season.
Quarterback Kerry Collins is on pace to pass for 4,208 yards, which would rank only behind Rich Gannon's 4,689 yards in 2002 in club history.
Wide receiver Randy Moss (19.7 yards per catch, 5 TDs), Jordan and defensive end Derrick Burgess (7 sacks) have given solid performances as big-ticket off-season acquisitions, though Moss has been slowed by injury.
So how is it the Raiders are running in place with 2004 in terms of won-loss record?
"If I had the answer we wouldn't be 3-6 right now," defensive tackle Warren Sapp said. "It's something you can't put a finger on. We're just missing grand opportunities early in the game to get us off to a good start and put us in a position where we can dictate the pace of the game."
While no one will come out and say it to avoid the appearance of self-pity and the manufacturing of excuses, the Raiders feel they're much better than their record.
Two close losses to Kansas City hinged on highly debatable calls by the officials, and Oakland lost a 23-20 game at Philadelphia in which Sebastian Janikowski missed two field goal attempts.
"I have the ability to keep games separated," coach Norv Turner said. "I know what happened in Kansas City. I know how we lost that football game. I know what happened in Philadelphia. You look at it in that manner and that's how you get where we're at."
--QB Kerry Collins threw three interceptions in his first 290 attempts, and then three more over a span of 29 attempts.
--QB Marques Tuiasosopo, who hasn't taken a snap in a regular-season game since 2003, is gaining a groundswell of fan support as Collins struggles. Coach Norv Turner said Collins remains the starter.
--RB LaMont Jordan, who never had more than 15 receptions in four seasons as a Jets reserve, is second among NFL running backs in receptions this season with 47 for 399 yards - one behind Philadelphia's Brian Westbrook.
--RB Zack Crockett has 16 of his 25 carries this season over the past four games.
--WR Randy Moss had six receptions for 89 yards against Denver, the most catches he has had in a game since catching seven passes for 119 yards and two scores on Sept. 26, 2004 for the Vikings against the Chicago Bears.
--WR Jerry Porter, who had 998 yards receiving last season in his career year, is in pace for 927 this season.
--WR Doug Gabriel reached behind him as he was slipping to catch a 15-yard bullet from Kerry Collins for a touchdown, his first since a 27-yard score against Philadelphia in Week 3 and second of the season.
--TE Courtney Anderson, who caught one pass for 18 yards against Denver, has not had more than two catches in a game since catching five passes for 100 yards against Philadelphia in Week 3.
--PK Sebastian Janikowski, who missed a 45-yard field-goal attempt against Denver, has missed only five career attempts between 30 and 39 yards (38-for-43) but has missed 20 career attempts from 40 to 49 yards (43-for-63).
--DE Derrick Burgess had his second consecutive game with no sacks but had a ferocious hit against Tatum Bell, which forced a fumble that teammate Jarrod Cooper recovered.
--DB Renaldo Hill, who plays the slot receiver in the nickel as well as safety, has been Oakland's best defensive back over the past three games and has 23 tackles.
--LB Kirk Morrison, according the NFL's unofficial stats for tackles, leads all NFL rookies with 73 stops, 11 more than Seattle's Lofa Tatupu.
Quarterback Drew Brees is getting greedy. He's not content with the Chargers' offense, which is ranked 10th overall.
"We can always get better," Brees said. "We're the third-highest scoring offense in the league and we want to be first. We're top 10 in red zone and third downs but we want to be No. 1. You look at those things and there is always room for improvement."
The Chargers feature the NFL's top-ranked rush defense, but it's been their revved-up offense that has them primed to make a run for another playoff berth. With Brees coming close to last year's Pro Bowl season on a unit that includes Pro Bowlers LaDainian Tomlinson and Antonio Gates, it's easy to see why the offense is so high-powered.
Brees and Co. have scored at least 27 points five times this season and twice have sped past the 40-point mark. In the past two games, victories over the Chiefs and Jets, the Chargers averaged nearly 30 points per game.
But Brees, who is 173-for-269 for 2,099 yards and 14 touchdowns, looks at the team's minus-three takeaway/giveaway differential and scratches his head. The offense has turned the ball over 14 times, eight on Brees interceptions.
"We are scoring a lot of points but it makes you wonder how many more points we would have scored," said Brees, who Sunday faces a Bills defense that restricted the high-octane Chiefs to three points last Sunday. "The offense is saying we can't turn the ball over the way we are.
"Shoot, interceptions are going to happen now and then, that is just the way it is. But I think what you do is you eliminate the bad-decision interceptions. You don't want to have any of those. It's a mental thing all the way."
--QB Philip Rivers remains the backup, keeping newcomer A.J. Feeley in the No. 3 spot.
--RB LaDainian Tomlinson could be in for a big day on Sunday. The Chiefs' Larry Johnson punched the Bills' defense for 132 rushing yards. The Bills' run defense is giving up a whopping 150 yards per game and is ranked ahead of only the Texans in stopping the run.
--RB Michael Turner is averaging 4.3 yards a carry - the same as Tomlinson. The difference is Turner has but 32 carries.
--WR Keenan McCardell is moving around fairly well after bruising his hip in the win over the Jets on an acrobatic catch. McCardell is tied with TE Antonio Gates for the club lead in touchdown receptions with six.
--WR Eric Parker's ankle needed the bye week to heal, and he should return to full speed this weekend. Parker can also spell rookie Darren Sproles if Sproles has trouble handling punts.
--WR Reche Caldwell got hot at the right time. He had a career-high five receptions in the win over the Jets, which came on the heels of him fumbling his previous two catches. If Caldwell didn't step up, he might have been overtaken by rookie Vincent Jackson as the team's No. 3 wideout.
--TE Antonio Gates has said over and over he is not the team's go-to guy, that Tomlinson is. But when it comes to passing the ball, Brees has clicked with Gates a team-high 51 times for 707 yards and six scores.
--ILB Randall Godfrey has rejoined the team after spending the past two weeks with his family in the wake of his younger sister's murder. Godfrey is also nursing a sore neck, but he anticipates being ready on Sunday. He didn't play against the Jets.
--OLB Shawne Merriman, who has a team-high five sacks, had pins inserted into the left wrist that he fractured against the Jets. Merriman, though, hasn't missed any practice time and should be a go for Sunday.
--CB Drayton Florence is scheduled to return to his starting spot after missing the past three games with a sprained ankle. Florence was among the team's most consistent defensive backs before he got hurt.
--K Nate Kaeding is striving for length and hang time on his kickoffs on Sunday. Among the challenges the special teams has is containing Terrence McGee. His 31.1-yard average on kickoff returns is tops in the NFL. Kaeding's leg strength is returning after a sore hip cost him distance and hang time earlier in the season.