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Pro Football | TENNESSEE at OAKLAND AFC championship

An Early End to Season for Armstrong

January 16, 2003|Sam Farmer

OAKLAND — Raider defensive end Trace Armstrong was put on injured reserve Wednesday because of a groin injury, meaning his season is over.

Armstrong, 37, aggravated the injury while warming up before Sunday's 30-10 victory over the New York Jets. He was on the field for one play but spent the rest of the time either standing on the sideline or getting treatment on a medical table behind the bench. He had come back this season from an Achilles' injury that sidelined him for most of the 2001 season.

"I really don't have words to describe it right now," he said. "It's frustrating with where this team is and the opportunities we have. You'd like to be there to help and be a part of it, but this game is nine-tenths misery. That's why you've got to enjoy the high moments because there are usually a lot more bad ones than good ones."

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When Tennessee played at Oakland in the third week of the season -- a 52-25 rout by the Raiders -- the home team took a 21-0 lead in the first five minutes. The Raiders had two punt returns for touchdowns and set up another score with an interception by Rod Woodson.

"I remember the score being 21-nothing with like 10 minutes left [in the first quarter] and thinking, man, this cannot be," cornerback Samari Rolle said.

"I remember being in the locker room and I think we closed it to 38 to 25 or something like that and it seems like they just kicked it to another gear. The game was never the same after that."

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The Raiders and Titans were 6-2 against teams with winning records. The only other playoff team with a record better than .500 against winning teams was Green Bay (4-3).

-- Sam Farmer

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