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Cincinnati at Oakland

Raiders beat Bengals, but aren't pleased with effort

SportsLine.com wire reports

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

Something had better change in a hurry, because the likely 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 9 seconds left as the Raiders overcame a lackluster performance in their home opener to beat the Cincinnati Bengals 23-20 on 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."

Oakland's offense sputtered through another week, barely surviving against the lowliest team of the last decade. The Raiders (1-1) have yet to find a rhythm on offense, and lost their final three exhibition games and their opener last week at Tennessee.

They 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 with 23 seconds left.

Rich Gannon completed a 25-yard pass to Charlie Garner with 36 seconds left to put the Raiders on the 37-yard line. Gannon then threw two incomplete passes before Burris was penalized.

The Bengals fell to 0-9 in Oakland. But for more than three quarters, this seemed to be their shot at a win. Cincinnati has beaten the Raiders just once in 13 tries on the West Coast, with that victory coming in 1988 when the Raiders were in Los Angeles.

"We didn't come here to lose," said first-year Bengals 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. We hung in there and relaxed. There was no panic on the sideline. We came to play, and we did."

Jon Kitna calmly rallied his team back to tie it at 20 with 1:18 left when he completed an 8-yard TD 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 one of the biggest plays 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 outplayed Gannon, last season's NFL MVP, for most of the day. Kitna completed 25 of 41 passes for 303 yards and a touchdown a week after an awful outing in his team's 30-10 season-opening loss to Denver.

Gannon completed just nine of his first 19 passes for 55 yards and the Bengals flustered the NFL's top-rated offense from 2002. Gannon, hit hard during the Raiders' first drive by Duane Clemons, was so off he overthrew Brown by about five yards when he was wide open on second-and-6 in the fourth. He finished 13-for-28 with 103 yards and no TDs.

It was Gannon's worst game for passing yards since Sept. 23, 2001, when he threw for 125 yards at Miami. He had only 79 yards on 7-for-14 passing in a rainstorm last Dec. 28 against Kansas City when the Raiders primarily ran the ball.

"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."

On a day when the Raiders were without two of their key players -- safety Rod Woodson and receiver Jerry Porter -- the Bengals went after Buchanon, a first-round draft pick in 2002 out of Miami who was injured much of his rookie season.

"After a while, people keep picking on you and it takes one big play," Buchanon said. "A lot of people are going to try me because I played only four or five games last year. They still think I'm young. I look forward to making plays."

Cincinnati's Corey Dillon hyperextended his right knee late in the first half and played sporadically the rest of the way. Dillon was limited to 84 yards on 19 carries, but had 71 of those in the first half.

"I'm walking," he said. "There was no point in hurting it any more than it was. It's only the second week of the season."


  • While the Raiders appeared more disciplined on special teams, they still made their share of penalties a week after committing 17. Four-time Pro Bowl cornerback Charles Woodson intercepted a pass by Kitna midway through the third quarter, but was called for defensive pass interference. The Raiders would have had great field position. Bill Romanowski was flagged for pass interference against eligible lineman Levi Jones that gave the Bengals first-and-goal at the 1, and Dillon scored to make it 10-10.
  • Tyrone Wheatley, inactive last week, scored on a 2-yard run in the first quarter for a 10-0 Raiders lead.

The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2003, The Associated Press, All Rights Reserved
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Sebastian Janikowski celebrates his 39-yard field goal that gives the Raiders the victory.
Sebastian Janikowski celebrates his 39-yard field goal that gives the Raiders the victory.(AP)


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Scoring Summary
FGSebastian Janikowski 40 Yd, 12:12. Drive: 4 plays, 8 yards in 1:20.
TDTyrone Wheatley, 2 Yd run (Sebastian Janikowski kick is good), 9:27. Drive: 4 plays, 68 yards in 1:54.
FGShayne Graham 31 Yd, 5:14. Drive: 9 plays, 68 yards in 4:13.
TDCorey Dillon, 1 Yd run (Shayne Graham kick is good), 11:46. Drive: 14 plays, 84 yards in 7:20.
FGSebastian Janikowski 26 Yd, 8:18. Drive: 7 plays, 38 yards in 3:28.
FGShayne Graham 22 Yd, 0:30. Drive: 16 plays, 70 yards in 7:48.
TDPhillip Buchanon, 83 Yd interception return (Sebastian Janikowski kick is good), 3:46.
TDPeter Warrick, 8 Yd pass from Jon Kitna (Shayne Graham kick is good), 1:18. Drive: 6 plays, 53 yards in 2:28.
FGSebastian Janikowski 39 Yd, 0:09. Drive: 8 plays, 55 yards in 1:09.
J. Kitna25/4130312
C. Dillon1984118
B. Bennett194309
P. Warrick1202
C. Johnson8131034
P. Warrick8109130
R. Kelly32409
B. Bennett116016
M. Schobel113013
C. Dillon1606
T. Stewart1303
J. Johnson2101
R. Gannon13/2810300
C. Garner1363021
J. Fargas256053
T. Wheatley41417
R. Gannon1101
J. Rice440018
C. Garner539024
T. Johnson1909
D. Jolley1808
T. Brown1707
Z. Crockett1000
Complete Player Stats