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Silver & Black back to playing Raiders football
Posted: Wednesday November 01, 2000 12:34 PM
Updated: Sunday November 05, 2000 12:45 PM
By B. Duane Cross, CNNSI.com
After only three postseason appearances in the 1990s -- zero since '93 -- Oakland has gotten back to playing Raiders football. The Silver & Black defeated Washington 38-9 to win Super Bowl XVIII after the 1983 season. In the 16 seasons since, the Raiders have made the playoffs five times, one less than the number of head coaches employed by owner Al Davis in the same span.
Enter third-year head coach Jon Gruden. After consecutive 8-8 seasons, Gruden has the AFC West-leading Raiders at 7-1 -- and winning close games that had been the team's Achilles' heel in recent years.
On Sunday, Oakland plays host to Kansas City. The Raiders defeated the Chiefs 20-17 in Week 7 when Sebastian Janikowski kicked a 43-yard field goal in the waning seconds. Oakland quarterback Rich Gannon threw for 244 yards and two touchdowns, and also rushed for 38 yards in bringing the Raiders back from a 10-point deficit.
Note: Won Super Bowl XV after 1980 season, Super Bowl XVIII after '83 season.
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That game was Oakland's second consecutive victory against Kansas City since 1990 in a game decided by three points or less. The Chiefs had won the previous six by 15 combined points.
Kansas City QB Elvis Grbac threw for 288 yards and two TDs in that game. This week, with one touchdown throw, he can break his tie with Chiefs Pro Football Hall of Fame QB Len Dawson (1964-65) with his 15th consecutive game with a TD pass.
Kansas City has won five of its past six games, while the Raiders play for their sixth consecutive victory for the first time since 1985. Oakland has not started a full season 8-1 since '77. (During the strike-shortened 1982 season, the Raiders were 8-1.)
| Nashville sounds |
Tennessee plays host to Pittsburgh in a matchup of two of the NFL's hottest teams. The Titans have won seven consecutive games, while the Steelers have allowed only 22 points during their current five-game win streak.
| Political omen |
Fact: For the past 15 presidential elections, when the Redskins won their last home game preceding the election, the incumbent party won. Washington lost Monday night to Tennessee.
| Charging ahead |
San Diego remains the NFL's only winless team in 2000. The Chargers play Seattle for the 44th time Sunday. The series' point total: 898-897 ... with San Diego -- again -- on the short end of the stick.
| 50/50 proposition |
Minnesota, coming off its first loss of the season, visits Green Bay on Monday night. The teams have split their past 12 games, while the Packers have won five of past six against Vikings at Lambeau Field.
| Flattery -- Jacksonville third-year RB Fred Taylor had 107 rushing yards last week against Dallas. It was the first time in Jaguars history a running back had three consecutive 100-yard rushing games. |
| Flag -- Cincinnati second-year QB Akili Smith is only 9-for-29 passing for 118 yards and one interception in the past two games. His 49.9 rating tops only one QB with at least 100 attempts: San Diego's Ryan Leaf.
| Flattery -- Buffalo defense has not allowed a 300-yard passer in 36 games -- tops in the NFL. The Bills also are stout against the run, ranking No. 3 (73.0 ypg). Linebacker Sam Cowart (61 tackles) is the team's only player among the top 50 in tackles. |
| Flag -- San Diego is averaging 20 rushing attempts per game (2.8 yards per carry). Jermaine Fazande is the team's leading rusher with 176 yards -- a total topped seven times by a player in a single game this season. |
| Eight teams have a winning percentage of .750 or better. That total ties 1975 and '98 for the most through nine weeks since current division format was instituted in 1970. || |
| St. Louis RB Marshall Faulk's four touchdowns last week marked the fifth time since 1970 that a player has scored two rushing and two receiving TDs in a game.|| |
| Baltimore defensive back Rod Woodson has 10 career interceptions and two INT-return TDs against Cincinnati, his most against any team. |
| The winner of the season's first meeting between Buffalo and New England has earned a playoff berth in each of the past four seasons. Only once have the teams met in the postseason: 1963 -- Boston Patriots 26, Buffalo 8. |
| Pittsburgh at Tennessee (1 p.m. EST) -- Titans QB Steve McNair came off the bench to rally Tennessee to a 23-20 victory against Steelers in Week 4. Since then, Pittsburgh has allowed only one TD in 20 quarters.
| San Francisco at New Orleans (1 p.m. EST) -- Saints have 36 sacks, including league-high 12.0 by La'Roi Glover, and four players with at least 4.0 sacks. The 49ers have scored 23 TDs in 33 red-zone possessions (69.7 percent), tops in the NFL. |
| Kansas City at Oakland (4:15 p.m. EST) -- The Chiefs are averaging 30.7 points in the past six games, and have a 100-yard receiver in each of those games. While Sebastian Janikowski is hitting under 65 percent of his field-goal attempts, opponents' NFL-best average drive start is 24.1-yard line. |
| Minnesota at Green Bay (9 p.m. EST Monday) -- In four career games against Packers, Vikings WR Randy Moss has 20 catches for 487 yards and six TDs. In five career Monday Night Football games, he has 23 catches for 562 yards and seven TDs. |
| Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 7. What better time to talk politics, presidents and football? That's what will be done in the next two weeks in the two-part TV special NFL Films Presents - Politics & Football. In the first episode (ESPN2, 7:30 p.m. EST Friday) NBC's Meet the Press host Tim Russert and political talk radio host Rush Limbaugh join NFL Films President Steve Sabol in a discussion of the historic links between politics and football. Then, on Nov. 13, David Maraniss, author of When Pride Still Mattered: A Life of Vince Lombardi, will join Russert, Limbaugh and Sabol to discuss leadership in politics and football (ESPN, 2:30 a.m., 4 p.m. EST).
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