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Raiders Rule Black-and-Blue Day : Pro football: Both quarterbacks injured, violence extends to stands during 20-17 victory over Rams.

November 14, 1994|T.J. SIMERS | TIMES STAFF WRITER

ANAHEIM — Emotions clashed, bodies were flying everywhere, and while the spectators were making a spectacle of themselves, the Rams and Raiders made their pitch for respectability Sunday.

The Raiders, loud and clear in their resolve, changed their offensive personality, knocked out Rams quarterback Chris Chandler and survived the loss of quarterback Jeff Hostetler to escape with a 20-17 victory before 65,208 in Anaheim Stadium.

The Raiders (5-5) not only recorded their sixth victory in eight meetings with the Rams, but in climbing to .500 they can continue to entertain themselves with playoff talk.

"This was a win we had to have," said Raider Coach Art Shell. "The teams that move on to January are the teams that win in November and December."

The Rams (4-6) might move on to St. Louis or Baltimore come January. First comes a date with San Francisco next week after a suitable mourning period.

"I feel more down now than after any other loss," said Ram linebacker Roman Phifer.

The Rams, who have failed to win consecutive games since 1991, rallied from a 17-7 fourth-quarter deficit, but for the fourth time this season suffered a loss by seven or fewer points.

"We played about as hard as we can play," Knox said. "They made maybe one more play than we did and that was the ballgame."

Both teams played under the handicap of losing their starting quarterbacks, but Hostetler staked the Raiders to a 10-point lead in the fourth quarter before leaving with a toe injury.

"I was sort of concerned," said Hostetler, who said his injury was not serious and who completed 17 of 25 passes for 218 yards. "It was like Rice Krispies (snap, crackle and pop). But the pain subsided."

The Raider offense, which had been criticized for its reliance on running back Harvey Williams and wide receiver Tim Brown, took on a "We Are Family" look from the start. Hostetler not only threw a first-quarter 27-yard touchdown pass to tight end Andrew Glover, but came back later to find Raghib Ismail for a 10-yard touchdown.

He also completed the first pass of the year to tight end Jamie Williams and handed the ball off for the first time to rookie running back Calvin Jones.

Brown, however, still emerged as the Raiders' leading receiver, with five catches for 53 yards.

"Hostetler spread it around pretty good and they just nickle-and-dimed us to death," Phifer said. "We couldn't get them off the field."

The Raiders held the ball for nine more minutes than the Rams, and took away their opponent's top offensive weapon: running back Jerome Bettis. Bettis ran 10 times for 13 yards and the Rams' rushing total of 22 yards tied the second-lowest mark in team history. The Rams managed only 22 yards against Detroit in 1962, and 15 vs. San Francisco in 1964.

While security officials wrestled with an unruly crowd, making 14 arrests and 55 ejections, the Rams fought to get back into the game after losing Chandler because of a sprained ankle in the second quarter. Chandler had completed 10 of 11 passes for 171 yards before Raider defensive tackle Chester McGlockton rolled across his ankle.

"We definitely have had bad luck at the wrong times," Chandler said, while leaning on crutches. "How do you explain it?"

Chris Miller, who is struggling to overcome a concussion suffered Oct. 23, replaced Chandler and completed 13 of 26 passes for 131 yards. He threw the ball on 21 consecutive plays in the second half.

"I still feel pressure on my eyes, but it's more like whiplash in my neck," Miller said. "I felt fine, though, throwing the ball, but we just couldn't get it done."

Chandler's loss forced wide receiver Todd Kinchen to step in and hold for kicker Tony Zendejas, who had made his last 12 field-goal tries. However, in their first effort together in the second quarter, Zendejas was wide left from 41 yards, and the lost three points would come back to haunt him.

The Rams had a chance to come from behind in the second half after the Raiders failed to make it 21-7 on fourth-and-goal from the one.

Ram linebacker Shane Conlan rocked a leaping Williams and shut him down for no gain at the goal line, thereby irritating the Raiders and prompting a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.

The Raiders added a 44-yard field goal by Jeff Jaeger in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter to extend their lead to 17-7, but the Rams responded with a 22-yard field goal by Zendejas. While successful in regaining the ball a few minutes later, they quickly lost their opportunity to tie the game when Raider cornerback Terry McDaniel intercepted a pass by Miller at the Ram 34-yard line and returned it to the 25.

Jaeger came on again to hit from 47 yards, and then the Rams marched 71 yards in seven plays, capped by Miller's four-yard scoring toss to Kinchen to set up an onside kick.

Brown, the player the Raiders rely on so much, fell on the kick and the Raiders had their victory.

"We've been knocked down so many times," said Ram cornerback Todd Lyght. "It's tough to keep getting up, but we have no choice. We have the 49ers this week."

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