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Hostetler, Raiders Suffer Frost Damage : Pro football: Quarterback is sidelined during 28-0 loss to the Packers because of a concussion.

December 27, 1993|STEVE SPRINGER | TIMES STAFF WRITER

GREEN BAY, Wis. — It was a day Vince Lombardi would have loved.

And a day Al Davis hated.

It was a day Jeff Hostetler will have trouble remembering.

And a day Nick Bell would love to forget.

It was a day when the temperature at kickoff was a wind-chilled 22 degrees below zero, with the field frozen to the consistency of cement in some spots and the footing more conducive to skates than shoes.

It was a Green Bay Packer kind of day, and they made the most of it, coldly, effectively dominating the Raiders, 28-0, before 54,482 at Lambeau Field.

The loss ended a three-game Raider winning streak and eliminated any lingering hope the Raiders (9-6) had of winning the AFC West. It means the club will have to beat the Denver Broncos on Sunday at the Coliseum to guarantee a playoff spot. If the Raiders lose to Denver, they could still get in if Pittsburgh loses to Cleveland.

The Packers (9-6) clinched a playoff berth and must beat the Detroit Lions next week to win the NFC Central.

Sunday was the first time the Raiders had been shut out since the New Orleans Saints beat them, 27-0, in the next-to-last game of the 1991 regular season.

"If you didn't have your hands on the heater, after two or three minutes, you were frozen," said Napoleon McCallum, Raider running back.

The Raider offense, after struggling most of the season, froze up completely Sunday, producing only 182 yards, its fewest since a loss to the Cleveland Browns in the second game of the season.

Playing quarterback against the Packers on Sunday was about as pleasant as selling concessions in the wind-swept stands. And at least in the stands, Reggie White couldn't get to you.

Hostetler had no such luck. He was depending on a running game that fell on its collective face for the second week in a row, gaining only 46 net yards after getting only 17 the week before.

But Hostetler was also depending on his offensive linemen to protect him on unsure footing against White and Tony Bennett.

It didn't appear it was a battle Hostetler could win.

As it turned out, it was a battle he couldn't even survive. The Packers wound up with eight sacks--2 1/2 each for White, Bennett and John Jurkovic--and Hostetler wound up in the hospital.

He lasted only one Raider offensive play into the second half. On that play, Hostetler faded back only to get driven into the ground by Bennett.

Hostetler was taken to a nearby hospital where it was determined that he suffered a concussion. He returned to Lambeau Field in time to accompany the team on its flight home.

Hostetler completed seven of 18 for 56 yards and one interception. Vince Evans came on and completed 11 of 20 for 132 yards, also with an interception.

The Raiders also lost two fumbles and two of the four turnovers led to Green Bay touchdowns.

The Packers scored the only points of the first 30 minutes on a one-yard run by Edgar Bennett with with 1:01 left in the half.

They scored again in the third quarter on the most spectacular play of a spectacular day for Sterling Sharpe. The NFL's leading receiver with 106 catches, Sharpe made seven of those Sunday for 119 yards, making him the first in the NFL with at least 100 catches in consecutive seasons.

Cold weather? What cold weather?

Sharpe caught a third-quarter pass from quarterback Bret Favre and tipped by defensive lineman Greg Townsend, eluded cornerback Terry McDaniel, who slipped, and ran over safety Eddie Anderson near the goal line to complete a 23-yard scoring play and give Green Bay a 14-0 lead.

On the opening drive of the fourth quarter, Evans went to Randy Jordan with a swing pass from the Raider 46. Jordan fumbled when hit by defensive back LeRoy Butler. The ball bounced once and landed in the arms of White, who made it to the Raider 25 before offensive tackle Steve Wisniewski wrapped his arms around him. But as the Packers' 6-foot-5, 290-pound defensive lineman was falling out of bounds, he lateraled to Butler, who finished the play he had started--going 25 yards for a touchdown.

The Packers also capitalized on Evans' fourth-quarter interception, Darrell Thompson going 60 yards from scrimmage on a day when the Packers finished with 148 yards rushing, 329 overall.

The Raiders later acknowledged they wished they had worn shoes better suited for artificial turf, as did the Packers. Instead, the Raiders wore the more conventional football cleats.

McCallum was the Raiders' leading rusher with 23 yards. Bell, for the second consecutive week, had 14 yards on seven carries.

Only this time, the Raiders gave up on him in the second half after a first half during which Bell fumbled twice, dropped a pass and failed to turn around for another pass that nearly hit him in the head.

"It was the worst day I've ever had playing football in my life," Bell said. "It was my fault. I should have been wearing gloves. My hands were like leather."

Bell put gloves on for the second half, but never got a call.

"I understand why they didn't use me," he said. "They didn't want me to cough up the ball. It's not in my nature to do that. I don't fumble the ball. If this costs me my job, it costs my job. I just want to put this behind me."

He had a locker room full of company.

Raider Notes

The Raiders signed defensive lineman Willie Broughton to a new contract, according to a team source.

* IN REVERSE: The Broncos clinch a playoff berth despite losing to Tampa Bay at Denver, 17-10. C4

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