Oakland at New England

Brady efficient in Patriots' opening-night win over Raiders

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The New England Patriots lost two linebackers and two coaches in the offseason.

They still know how to win, thanks in large part to two stars they didn't lose.

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Tom Brady threw for 306 yards and two touchdowns and Richard Seymour helped make a game-turning defensive play as the Patriots opened their quest for an unprecedented third straight Super Bowl victory by beating the Oakland Raiders 30-20 on Thursday night.

In the process, they held Randy Moss, the Raiders' new star, to one big play: a 73-yard touchdown catch.

"Richard's so disruptive," Brady said of Seymour, who helped force the turnover that broke open a tight game in the third quarter. "He's the best defensive lineman in the league."

New England's 35th win in 39 games since the start of the 2003 season was an odd one -- all offense at the start, mostly defense after intermission. One key early adjustment was made by the Patriots, switching from their traditional 3-4 defense to a 4-3 to help fill the gap caused by the loss of inside linebackers Tedy Bruschi and Ted Johnson.

It paid off in the third quarter, when the Patriots held a tenuous three-point lead and neither team could really get going.

Seymour, who as usual made a half-dozen big plays on defense, pushed Raiders center Jake Grove into quarterback Kerry Collins. Meanwhile, Jarvis Green, who became the fourth lineman when the Pats switched to the 4-3, came around from the right side and sandwiched Collins as he was throwing. The ball popped into the air and into the hands of 325-pound nose tackle Vince Wilfork at the Raiders 20.

Three plays later, Corey Dillon ran in from 8 yards to give New England a 23-14 lead -- Adam Vinatieri's extra-point attempt was blocked. The Patriots never really were threatened after that.

"We know Richard is a pretty good force inside. He has been for four years," coach Bill Belichick said of the two-time All-Pro. "We thought we could get some force from the outside with Jarvis and Rosie (Rosevelt Colvin)."

Said Grove: "Seymour did a twist and he caught me in an awkward angle. We were handling it pretty well until that play."

The Patriots, who also lost coordinators Charlie Weis and Romeo Crennel to head coaching jobs, led 17-14 at halftime on touchdown passes by Brady of 29 yards to Super Bowl MVP Deion Branch and 5 yards to newcomer Tim Dwight. That offset a 2-yard TD pass by Kerry Collins to tight end Courtney Anderson on the game's first series and the bomb to Moss, who at 6-feet-4 simply went over 5-8 Tyrone Poole.

Dillon's TD after the turnover made it 23-14, and Dillon scored again in the fourth quarter on a 2-yard run set up by a 24-yard pass interference penalty on rookie Stanford Routt as the Patriots won their 21st straight home game. The call on Routt was one of 16 penalties for 149 yards by Oakland, traditionally one of the NFL's most flagged teams.

"I thought we played a competitive game against a championship team," Raiders coach Norv Turner said. "There's a reason why they have won 20 straight games in this stadium."

Anderson caught a 5-yard touchdown pass with 3:04 left set up by Randal Williams' block of Josh Miller's punt. But Moss was called for offensive pass interference on the 2-point conversion play.

That wasn't Moss' only mistake. He also dropped a short first-down pass that could have gotten the Raiders out a hole early in the third quarter.

That eventually led to the game-turning play by Seymour, Green and Wilfork.

The Raiders, 9-23 the past two seasons, showed more improvement on defense than on offense, holding the Patriots to 73 yards on the ground. Dillon started with 11 yards on his first 11 carries before finishing with 63 yards on 23 carries.

Collins, who threw for 159 yards in the first half, finished 18 of 40 for 265 yards. Moss had five catches for 130 yards.

Overall, the Patriots were satisfied with the win, not necessarily the way it went. Belichick acknowledged he might go to the 4-3 more often, but added that "it will go week-to-week and it will depend on who we play and how the matchups go."

Added Brady:

"I'm glad we're not peaking here in Week 1. This is a long season, as we all realize."

Notes

  • This was the ninth 300-yard passing game for Brady in his four-plus years as a starter.
  • The blocked extra point marked the first time Vinatieri had missed a conversion in 28 games and 82 kicks, including playoffs.
  • Moss' touchdown catch was the 91st of his career. With Jerry Rice's retirement, he is the active leader.
  • Collins surpassed 30,000 yards passing for his career. He now has 30,143.
Copyright 2015 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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New England's Corey Dillon rushes for only 63 yards but finds the end zone twice in the victory.
 
New England's Corey Dillon rushes for only 63 yards but finds the end zone twice in the victory. (Getty Images)
 

 

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Thurs. Sept. 8Final
Oakland
(0-1)
770620
1076730
Scoring Summary
1ST QUARTER
TDCourtney Anderson, 2 Yd pass from Kerry Collins (Sebastian Janikowski kick is good), 11:51. Drive: 6 plays, 72 yards in 3:09.
FGAdam Vinatieri 26 Yd, 7:04. Drive: 10 plays, 60 yards in 4:47.
TDDeion Branch, 18 Yd pass from Tom Brady (Adam Vinatieri kick is good), 2:05. Drive: 5 plays, 68 yards in 2:48.
2ND QUARTER
TDRandy Moss, 73 Yd pass from Kerry Collins (Sebastian Janikowski kick is good), 8:52. Drive: 1 play, 73 yards in 0:12.
TDTim Dwight, 5 Yd pass from Tom Brady (Adam Vinatieri kick is good), 4:49. Drive: 7 plays, 64 yards in 4:03.
3RD QUARTER
TDCorey Dillon, 8 Yd run (Adam Vinatieri kick Failed), 5:05. Drive: 3 plays, 20 yards in 0:47.
4TH QUARTER
TDCorey Dillon, 2 Yd run (Adam Vinatieri kick is good), 9:29. Drive: 6 plays, 84 yards in 2:34.
TDCourtney Anderson, 5 Yd pass from Kerry Collins (Kerry Collins 2 Pt. Conversion pass to Randy Moss failed), 3:04. Drive: 5 plays, 21 yards in 0:57.
Players of the Game
New England

T. Brady
Att 38
Comp 24
Yds 306
TD 2

R. Moss
Rec 5
Yds 130
Avg 26.0
TD 1
 
Oakland
PassingCP/ATYDSTDINT
K. Collins18/4026530
RushingATTYDSTDLG
L. Jordan1870014
Z. Crockett320019
K. Collins1202
ReceivingRECYDSTDLG
R. Moss5130173
J. Porter348027
L. Jordan540028
A. Whitted229022
C. Anderson318211
New England
PassingCP/ATYDSTDINT
T. Brady24/3830620
RushingATTYDSTDLG
C. Dillon2363210
K. Faulk51104
T. Brady3-100
ReceivingRECYDSTDLG
D. Branch799129
B. Watson255035
T. Brown651020
D. Givens231026
C. Dillon230025
K. Faulk31808
D. Graham117017
T. Dwight1515
Complete Player Stats
Other Games
PHI 10 Final
ATL 14
IND 24 Final
BAL 7
STL 25 Final
SF 28
DAL 28 Final
SD 24
ARI 19 Final
NYG 42
GB 3 Final
DET 17
CHI 7 Final
WAS 9
TEN 7 Final
PIT 34
TB 24 Final
MIN 13
DEN 10 Final
MIA 34
NYJ 7 Final
KC 27
SEA 14 Final
JAC 26
CIN 27 Final
CLE 13
NO 23 Final
CAR 20
HOU 7 Final
BUF 22