September 09, 2005
Patriots Beat Oakland 30-20
BY: Ian Logue/PatsFans.com
FOXBORO, MA -- Another trip to Foxboro, another long ride home.
That’s just the way it worked out for the Oakland Raiders again on Thursday night after the New England Patriots beat them 30-20 in front of a packed house at Gillette Stadium.
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady had another terrific performance, finishing the night 24 of 38 for 306 yards and two touchdowns. Brady spread the ball around well during the contest, with eight different receivers catching passes, including Deion Branch who finished with 7 catches for 99 yards and a touchdown reception.
However it didn’t exactly start out that well for the Patriots.
New England found out on the opening drive just how dangerous the Raiders’ offense was. On the third play from scrimmage when Richard Seymour was called for encroachment, Oakland quarterback Kerry Collins took a shot down the field and connected with wide receiver Randy Moss, who got behind Asante Samuel and Eugene Wilson for a 29-yard gain.
Then to make matters worse on the next play Collins connected with LaMont Jordan on a 28-yard pass, and two plays later Collins connected with Courtney Anderson for the touchdown to give the Raiders the quick lead 7-0.
The Patriots tried to come right back, with Brady connecting with tight end Ben Watson on passes of 20 and later 35 yards to set up first and goal at the Oakland 9-yard line. However the drive stalled after two Corey Dillon runs gained 0 and 1 yards, which was then followed by an incompletion to David Givens in the back of the endzone. New England would settle for a 26-yard field goal by kicker Adam Vinatieri to cut the lead to 7-3.
After forcing a Raider punt, New England went back to work, marching down the field led by Deion Branch, who caught passes of 20 and 10 yards. Branch eventually ended up in the endzone on an 18-yard touchdown reception, putting the Patriots up 10-7.
It looked like the Raiders were going to tie it up on their ensuing possession, driving from their own 33 down to the New England 25 yard line. Sebastian Janikowski then came out and attempted a 43-yard field goal which sailed wide left, turning the ball over on downs.
After Oakland’s defense forced a punt, it took just one play for them to take back the lead. Collins again went deep on their first play from scrimmage again to Moss who beat Tyrone Poole on the play. It appeared that Poole was supposed to have gotten help on the play from safety Rodney Harrison, but he couldn't come over and help out quick enough and also couldn't make the tackle after Moss got by him as well. The score put Oakland back up 14-10 with 9:04 remaining in the half.
But the Patriots would come right back, with Brady leading the charge by spreading the ball around to David Givens, Dillon, Daniel Graham, and finally Tim Dwight for a 5-yard touchdown pass to put New England back on top 17-14.
The Patriots then got a big break later in the third quarter. After failing to convert on a 4th and 1 at the Raiders 31, it would be New England’s defense that would come up big. On Oakland’s second play from scrimmage Collins was hit from behind by Jarvis Green as his arm was coming forward and Vince Wilfork yanked down an interception, giving the Patriots incredible field position at the Raiders’ 20. Three plays later Dillon took the ball in from 8 yards out to put New England up 23-14 with 5:05 left in the third quarter.
New England later got back into the endzone after a 25-yard pass to Dillon early in the fourth quarter which was later followed by a pass interference penalty put the Patriots at the Raiders 2-yard line. Dillon then took it in to put New England up to 30-14, sending many fans to the exits.
But the Raiders wouldn’t go away.
On the Patriots next possession when their drive stalled at midfield, the Raiders special teams stepped up and blocked their punt. Six plays later Oakland was in the endzone cutting the lead to 30-20 with 3:04 left in the game.
After failing on the two point conversion attempt, Oakland would then take a shot at an onside kick, giving the Raiders one last hope before the night was over. Unfortunately it wouldn’t come to pass as the kick went out of bounds.
With no timeouts remaining the Raiders simply ran out of time, and New England went on to victory.
New England will now prepare to face Carolina next Sunday in Charlotte.
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