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OAKLAND 23, CINCINNATI 20

No Greatness in This Win

September 15, 2003|From Associated Press

OAKLAND — Jerry Rice won't stand for being embarrassed in his 19th NFL season.

Something had better change in a hurry, because the probable Hall of Famer is annoyed with how the Oakland Raiders are playing.

Sebastian Janikowski kicked a 39-yard field goal, his third of the game, with nine seconds left as the Raiders overcame a lackluster performance in their home opener to beat the Cincinnati Bengals, 23-20, Sunday.

"I didn't come back for this," the 40-year-old Rice said. "We're at home. We won the game, but we didn't play well. I have a problem with that. We have to live with it, but we expect to play better. I expect to get the job done and I expect my teammates to get the job done. This is like two weeks in a row."

The Raiders (1-1), who lost their opener last week at Tennessee, got a break on their final drive when Jeff Burris was flagged for pass interference against Rice, giving Oakland the ball on the Cincinnati 22-yard line with 23 seconds left to set up the field goal. Cincinnati has beaten the Raiders once in 13 tries on the West Coast, with that victory coming in 1988 when the Raiders were in Los Angeles. But for more than three quarters, this seemed to be the Bengals' shot at a win.

"We didn't come here to lose," said first-year Bengal Coach Marvin Lewis, who had his team travel to California on Friday instead of Saturday to get acclimated. "Things don't always go the way you plan. We didn't panic, we didn't give up."

Jon Kitna calmly rallied his team back to tie, at 20-20, with 1:18 left when he completed an eight-yard touchdown pass to Peter Warrick minutes after throwing a costly interception.

The Bengals (0-2) picked on Phillip Buchanon all day in the secondary, then the young cornerback made a big play when he picked off Kitna's pass and returned it 83 yards for the go-ahead touchdown to make it 20-13 with 3:46 to go.

The interception spoiled a fine day for Kitna, who completed 25 of 41 passes for 303 yards and a touchdown. Oakland's Rich Gannon, who completed nine of his first 19 passes for 55 yards, ended up 13 for 28 for 103 yards and no touchdowns.

"I was struggling physically," Gannon said. "I had spasms in my back all day, but that's not the reason we struggled today. I'm sure everybody's got an opinion. I'll just keep my opinions to myself right now. We need to be more cohesive."

Cincinnati's Corey Dillon, who hyperextended his right knee late in the first half, had 19 carries for 84 yards, with 71 of those in the first half.

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