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For Wheatley and Raiders, It's Just Run, Baby

October 23, 2000|From Associated Press

OAKLAND — The key to running downfield, according to Tyrone Wheatley, is not to think about it.

Wheatley finished with a career-high 156 yards in 15 carries and scored on an 80-yard touchdown run, as the Oakland Raiders defeated the Seattle Seahawks, 31-3, Sunday.

"Once you get into open space like that, you just run and run," Wheatley said about his long scoring run. "Because when you start thinking about it, that's when you get caught."

Wheatley, a six-year veteran, rushed for 111 yards against Tampa Bay last year, his previous best.

"That dude is amazing," said Raider fullback Jon Ritchie said. "It reminded me of watching him in the Michigan days. He would make big runs consistently."

Rich Gannon found Tim Brown in the end zone on plays covering 16 and nine yards, and had a 24-yard scoring pass to James Jett as the surging Raiders (6-1) won their fourth consecutive game. Sebastian Janikowski kicked a 32-yard field goal.

The Seahawks (2-6) lost quarterback Brock Huard to a concussion in the first half as they dropped their fourth in a row. Rian Lindell kicked a 45-yard field goal in the game's opening drive, and the Raiders held Seattle scoreless the rest of the way.

Huard's replacement, one-time starter Jon Kitna, also had a concussion during the game, Seahawk Coach Mike Holmgren said. Kitna finished the game.

Gannon completed 15 of 22 passes for 177 yards and three touchdowns. He was intercepted once.

"I think we did some things well," Gannon said. "But overall there are some things we need to clean up. If it wasn't for a lot of Seattle's misfortunes, it wouldn't have been as lopsided as it was."

The Seahawks, who allowed 219 yards rushing by Edgerrin James in a 37-24 loss to the Indianapolis Colts last weekend, allowed 206 yards on the ground to the Raiders.

Ricky Watters' 45-yard catch and run put Seattle in field-goal range for Lindell on Seattle's opening series. And that was it for the Seahawks.

"It's a test for the players, it's a test for the coaching staff," Holmgren said. "I told them you can't realize it right now, but there's a light at the end of the tunnel."

Lindell later missed a 43-yard attempt into a gusty wind just before halftime with the Raiders leading 21-3. Janikowski's field goal to start the fourth quarter was with the wind.

Eric Allen intercepted Huard on the Seattle 21 late in the first quarter, and Brown caught his 16-yard pass from Gannon to put the Raiders up, 7-3.

On another Oakland drive, Andre Rison was hit late by Anthony Simmons after a 25-yard catch, and the unnecessary roughness penalty put the Raiders on the 11. When Gannon again found Brown in the end zone, Oakland was up, 14-3.

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