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An Ugly Raider Victory

September 14, 1998|From Associated Press

OAKLAND — Greg Davis kicked a 26-yard field goal with 1:59 remaining, and the Oakland Raiders defeated the New York Giants, 20-17, Sunday, giving new Raider Coach Jon Gruden his first win in his home debut.

"It's like having your first kid. It's a great feeling," Gruden said.

On consecutive plays, the Raiders' Eric Turner sacked Danny Kanell for an 11-yard loss and then intercepted his fourth-down pass to clinch the win for the Raiders (1-1).

"There were too many penalties and mental mistakes killed us," Kanell said. "You can't expect to win when you shoot yourself in the foot so many times."

Oakland got an 80-yard touchdown run from Napoleon Kaufman on the first play from scrimmage, but, like New York (1-1), rarely had any sustained drives. Both teams were plagued by penalties, with Oakland flagged 16 times for 113 yards and New York 15 for 90 yards.

"That's major trouble," Gruden said. "We've got to take a good look at that. That's enough for a whole season as far as I'm concerned."

The Raiders and Jeff George, who was 25 for 44 for 303 yards and a touchdown, finally overcame the penalties with a mistake-free 10-play, 43-yard drive that led to Davis' decisive field goal.

"It was a big win for us. Those were the games in the past where we didn't come out on top," said George, who was with the Raiders for last season's 4-12 finish.

Kaufman said the Raiders made it harder on themselves with all the penalties but in the end overcame them.

"Obviously, it hurts you when you get penalties," he said. "You get upset, but you have to move on. You have to have a short memory."

Kaufman had 139 yards in 20 carries.

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