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OAKLAND 31, SEATTLE 17

Raiders Start Out on the Right Foot

September 09, 2002|From Associated Press

OAKLAND — Tim Brown made sure his coach got the game ball.

After the Oakland Raiders defeated the Seattle Seahawks, 31-17, on Sunday, Brown congratulated new Coach Bill Callahan, who replaced Jon Gruden when he left for Tampa Bay.

"Obviously, there has been a lot of talk about that, can we be the same team?" said Brown, playing for his sixth coach since joining the team in 1988.

"This is only one victory, but it's important he get the game ball. Everybody can settle down, they know he can coach. If we don't win another game, it's not his fault."

Rich Gannon completed 19 of 28 passes for 214 yards and two touchdowns, and Charlie Garner amassed 191 total yards and scored two touchdowns.

The Raiders tallied 24 consecutive points to beat the Seahawks for the fifth time in a row in the Coliseum.

"I thought our team came out and played physical today," Callahan said.

"We wanted to be physical from the onset. I thought our units were cohesive. Our run defense was outstanding, and we limited Seattle a great deal."

Because NFL realignment has separated the longtime AFC West rivals, Seattle is not scheduled to return to Oakland for a regular-season game until 2010.

Sunday's meeting was much like last year's game here, except this time Seattle quarterback Matt Hasselbeck played better.

Hasselbeck, filling in for injured starter Trent Dilfer, completed his first eight passes and led the Seahawks into the end zone in their first offensive series, passing to Itula Mili for a one-yard touchdown.

As the starter last season, Hasselbeck was sacked six times by the Raiders before getting benched with the Seahawks trailing, 38-0, in an eventual 38-14 loss.

In Seattle's 1-3 preseason, Hasselbeck threw five interceptions and only one touchdown.

Rookie Maurice Morris set up Mili's touchdown when he returned a kickoff 66 yards to start the Seahawk drive on the Oakland 36.

Then Seattle fell apart, struggling to convert third downs and allowing the Raiders touchdowns on their first three drives of the second quarter. The Seahawks were penalized 13 times for 105 yards.

"There wasn't anything we hadn't seen in practice," Seahawk cornerback Shawn Springs said. "They outblocked us, they outran us, they out-toughed us. There weren't any secret plays."

Oakland's new defensive front led by John Parrella and Sam Adams made sure to shut down Shaun Alexander, who rushed for 266 yards against the Raiders in Seattle last season.

He was limited to 36 yards in 13 carries this time. "The only tough thing about this is we don't get another shot at them like we used to," Alexander said.

Garner was the running back of the day. He carried 15 times for 127 yards and had five catches for 64.

Gannon, who did not throw a touchdown pass in the preseason, connected with Brown for an eight-yard scoring pass on Oakland's first possession.

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