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MOORE: Raiders played with an attitude

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David Moore

David Moore has been the senior football writer for FOX Sports since Aug. 2005. He appears weekly on the FSN Baseball Report and MLB on FOX. One more line lorem ipsum dolor sit amet e pluribus unum.

 
   
 

OAKLAND

The last time New York and Oakland met, guard suggested the didn¿t lose as much as they simply ran out of time. His teammates carried that attitude into Sunday¿s game. They can now carry it into the off-season. ¿I guess they just ran out of time,¿¿ cornerback observed with a smirk. ¿No practice for them this week.¿¿ Oakland made sure time expired on the with a performance that reminded everyone why it is the No. 1 seed in the AFC and the favorite to reach the Super Bowl. The dominated New York in the second half and took the bloom off ¿s rose with a 30-10 victory. This may come as a shock to those who look up to the and the Black Hole as what sportsmanship is all about, but the Oakland players were not gracious in victory. The week-long buzz about the pestered the to the point where they regarded New York as some annoying insect that needed to swatted away. ¿They suck,¿¿ said Oakland guard , who listened to defensive tackle proclaim that the veteran offensive lineman had to chop block to make up for a lack of skill and athletic ability. ¿Go home and look in the dictionary and find every negative word you can find, and that is what I think about the .¿¿ You¿ll have to wait until the dictionary makes it way through the lockerroom. The one or two Oakland players who weren¿t tired of hearing about the before Sunday got their mad on when the visitors came onto the field and bumped the as they were introduced. When asked about the skirmish that ensued, Oakland coach Bill Callahan said, ¿we just had a discussion about sideline organization.¿¿ linebacker , who knows a thing or two about rumbling, considered it a failed attempt on the part of New York to muster confidence. ¿That is so childish,¿¿ Oakland safety said. ¿You can¿t intimidate anybody in the NFL. What is that? We hit you in the mouth during the game, and you try to hit us in the mouth before the game? ¿That¿s ridiculous. That¿s very unprofessional on their parts.¿¿
AFC Preview: -Raiders
The storyline: Oakland¿s was the league¿s Most Valuable Player. The Tennessee coaches and players will tell you the wrong quarterback was selected. has done some remarkable things this season, but one of them was not beating Oakland. The were consumed 52-25 in their one trip to the Black Hole. The big question: Are the too old for their own good, or are they like a fine, wine that becomes better with age? Injury update: A team that limped along in the secondary for the second half of the season is as healthy as it¿s been in a long time. Pro Bowl center was banged up a bit in Sunday¿s game, but it wasn¿t serious. Defensive end didn¿t play and is still bothered by a groin injury. The emerged from a physical game against Pittsburgh better than coach Jeff Fisher first imagined. Cornerback won¿t need surgery on his shoulder (sub-luxation) and could practice late in the week. Running back had no more headaches from the concussion that knocked him out Saturday¿s game and will play. Quarterback (thumb) is sore but fine. Tackle (calf injury) and defensive end Jevan Kearse (foot) are sore and will be evaluated as the week progresses.

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If the were the hot team — and outscoring the opposition 113-34 in the previous three games lent credence to that argument — Oakland proved it was the better team. Player after player talked about how the incessant praise of the got under their skin. The players discussed it among themselves and Romanowski said Callahan addressed the lack of respect with the team. ¿Obviously, you want to be respected,¿¿ receiver said. ¿But if you get disrespected, you use it for your advantage. ¿Our deal all week was this game didn¿t have to be close. We didn¿t want it to come down to one of those nail-biting games like we¿ve seen all playoffs.¿¿ It didn¿t. Oakland outscored New York 20-0 in the second half by beating the secondary deep — something that doesn¿t happen often — and frustrating Pennington. Pennington¿s emergence has been one of the feel-good stories of this season. He led all quarterbacks in the league during the regular season, completing 68.9 percent of his passes, and had gone four games without a turnover. He was clearly in control of last week¿s 41-0 playoff win over Indianapolis. On this afternoon, Pennington looked like the young quarterback he is. He completed just 44.6 percent of his passes and lost a fumble in the first half that led to Oakland¿s first touchdown. Pennington was 7-of-26 in the second half for 85 yards with two interceptions as the chance to win quickly got away from New York. ¿I didn¿t have my A game today,¿¿ Pennington said. ¿I didn¿t give them (receivers) the opportunity to make plays. That was obvious.¿¿ It was obvious that cornerback , who missed two games in December with a fractured fibula, had an outstanding game against . James has the size and speed to frustrate the leading receiver and it showed as he held Coles to four catches for 30 yards. That was key since Coles had 23 receptions for 392 yards and a touchdown in his last three games against Oakland. , meanwhile, shadowed despite coming back from a fractured fibia of his own. Callahan calls them his plate men, since both had plates inserted into their legs to aid their recovery. ¿Those guys came in with a handicapped signs on their chests and the were going to take them deep,¿¿ said. ¿Charles and Tory proved they are good corners.¿¿ And proved why he¿s the league¿s Most Valuable Player, completing 66.6 percent of his passes for 283 yards and two touchdowns. Romanowski wondered why some say Pennington reminds them of a young Joe Montana when Gannon does a pretty good impression of the old one. Again, it all comes down to a lack of respect. ¿If the were the best team in the league,¿¿ Brown said, ¿I don¿t know what that makes us now.¿¿ David Moore can be reached at his e-mail address: dmoore@foxsports.com.
Tagged: Raiders, Jets, Josh Evans, Charles Woodson, Frank Middleton, Chad Pennington, Santana Moss, Laveranues Coles

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