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Raider Errors Less Costly in 21-17 Victory : Pro football: Both teams commit four turnovers, but the Patriots' hurt more. McDaniel has three interceptions.

October 10, 1994|From Associated Press

FOXBORO, Mass. — The Raiders and Patriots tied for ineptitude, each turning the ball over four times. The Raiders won because they did a better job once New England coughed up the ball.

The Raiders stumbled to a 21-17 victory Sunday in which the winning touchdown was set up by one of three interceptions by Terry McDaniel, who returned another for a touchdown.

None of the Raiders' blunders resulted in points.

"We had four turnovers. We failed on fourth and one. We failed on third and one," said Raider quarterback Jeff Hostetler, who saw passes intercepted in the end zone and at the New England 19 and 17. "We had a lot of things go against us, but nobody quit."

Hostetler's three-yard quarterback sneak with 9:34 left in the third quarter gave the Raiders (2-3) a 21-17 lead. Then the mistakes really began.

The Patriots lost a fumble and an interception on their next two series. The Raiders coughed the ball up with two interceptions and a fumble on three of their next four possessions.

"We were a little careless and we had some penalties that hurt us very badly, and we had some turnovers that hurt us very badly," New England Coach Bill Parcells said. "The only thing that kept the game close is that they did the same thing."

The Patriots (3-3) saw their three-game winning streak end but remained one game behind in the AFC East. The outcome was more critical for the Raiders, who wanted to get into the AFC West race.

"We're not happy where we are. We want to win every game," Raider Coach Art Shell said. "Today when things were bad we showed we have the ability to fight through it."

The Raiders sacked Drew Bledsoe three times and hit him even more often. He had his fifth 300-yard passing day of the season, going 23 for 55 for 321 yards and two touchdowns. But he was repeatedly under siege.

"What we wanted to do against him was show an attitude that when he went back to pass he would be hit," Raider tackle Jerry Ball said.

The Raiders knew that Bledsoe was the NFL leader in passing yards and that the Patriot running game was weak.

"We knew the ball would be in the air a lot," McDaniel said.

The Patriots kept it on the ground on the series after the Raiders took a 21-17 lead, but that didn't help.

With the ball inside the one, Kevin Turner dived toward the goal line. As he stretched the ball forward, it hit the helmet of teammate Marion Butts, lying in the end zone, and bounced free. The Raiders recovered.

Parcells said he would have to look at replays to see if the ball crossed the goal line while Turner had possession.

McDaniel picked off a pass in the right flat and returned it 14 yards for a touchdown that gave the Raiders a 7-3 lead. It was his second interception return for a score this season.

"It was was just a poor throw," Bledsoe said. "I didn't throw it hard enough, didn't throw it quick enough."

The Patriots couldn't capitalize on the game's last turnover, an interception by Maurice Hurst with 4:23 left. But they got the ball back with 2:43 remaining and drove to a fourth and 20 at the Raider 48. Bledsoe's pass nearly was picked off by James Trapp, but fell incomplete.

The Raiders trailed by 17-14 at halftime despite having the ball for only 2:56 in the second quarter.

Matt Bahr kicked a 24-yard field goal before McDaniel scored with 11:03 left in the first quarter.

The Patriots then went 80 yards in nine plays and Bledsoe's seven-yard pass to Turner gave them a 10-7 lead.

On the ensuing kickoff, New England's Steve Hawkins got to the ball before the Raiders touched it, putting the Patriot offense on the field for the third consecutive series.

Starting from the Raider 22, New England moved to an apparent 24-yard field goal by Bahr. But the Raiders' Andrew Glover was penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct, giving the Patriots a first down at the three.

Bledsoe then threw to Leroy Thompson, who was hit at the goal line. It was ruled a touchdown, although the Raiders argued Thompson didn't cross the line.

The Raiders finally got the ball back with 1:47 left at their 28. Hostetler capped the drive with a short pass to Harvey Williams, who turned it into a 27-yard touchdown at 14:18.

On New England's first series of the second half, the Patriots had a third and 13 at the Raider 36. McDaniel intercepted Bledsoe's pass after it was tipped by Ball, giving the Raiders possession at their 36.

Hostetler's 40-yard completion to Tim Brown set up a three-yard touchdown run by Hostetler.

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