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Old 11-07-2005, 12:46 AM  
Count Zarth Count Zarth is offline
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Contra Costa Times - Bad Trip for Reeling Raiders

http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercu...s/13099547.htm

Bad trip for reeling Raiders

By Steve Corkran

CONTRA COSTA TIMES

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Free safety Stuart Schweigert had just saved the day for the Raiders, at least for the time being. Or so he thought. His tackle of Kansas City Chiefs running back Larry Johnson inside the Raiders 1-yard line with 5 seconds to play preserved a three-point lead and necessitated a game-tying field goal attempt.

Chiefs coach Dick Vermeil had other ideas. Kansas City called timeout. Vermeil summoned quarterback Trent Green to the sideline, dished out instructions and waited for the outcome.

"There was total silence in the huddle," Chiefs left guard Brian Waters said.

Green called "20 z-blast." He took the snap, handed the ball to Johnson and watched. Johnson followed Waters, tight end Jason Dunn and fullback Tony Richardson into the line, leaped atop the pile, lunged forward and landed in the end zone for a game-winning touchdown as time expired and 79,033 delirious fans erupted at Arrowhead Stadium.

"Pretty ballsy," Raiders wide receiver Jerry Porter said of Vermeil's call that gave the Chiefs a 27-23 victory. "Either score or lose."

Johnson scored, the Raiders lost, and, in an instant, a game that moved in fits and starts was transformed into yet another classic in a long-standing rivalry.

"I don't think losing the Super Bowl (XXXVIII) hurt this much," said Raiders safety Jarrod Cooper, who was a member of the Carolina Panthers in their Super Bowl loss to the New England Patriots. "This one hurts the heart."

Kansas City notched its sixth straight win over Oakland. None were by more than seven points.

The Raiders fell to 3-5 overall and 0-3 in the AFC West. They now sit three games behind the division-leading Denver Broncos, two behind the Chiefs (5-3) -- though Kansas City is 2-0 against the Raiders this season -- and 11/2 behind the San Diego Chargers.

A victory Sunday would have thrust the Raiders into the thick of the playoff race, only one game behind the 5-3 Jacksonville Jaguars.

"It's just another obstacle that we have to overcome," Raiders linebacker Danny Clark said. "We've got to get something done next week. There's no other option."

The well-rested, well-oiled Broncos machine rolls into Oakland on Sunday for a game that now takes on a must-win feel for the Raiders. It won't be easy putting this game behind them.

"That was one of the worst defeats we've had," Clark said. "We put ourselves in position to win the game. With all the effort we put forth, there was no way I saw us coming out of that game without a win."

The Raiders rallied from a 20-9 fourth-quarter deficit on the strength of two passes by quarterback Kerry Collins that resulted in touchdowns. The second of those came with 1 minute, 45 seconds remaining on a third-down play from the Chiefs 7 to wide receiver Randy Moss.

Three successive completions moved the Chiefs from their 23-yard line to the 47. Then, Raiders defensive end Tommy Kelly sacked Green for a 7-yard loss and left the Chiefs only 27 seconds.

However, a tripping call on Raiders defensive tackle Ed Jasper gave the Chiefs 10 yards and a first down at midfield. Two plays later, Green found Johnson alone in the Raiders secondary and delivered a pass that Johnson turned into a 36-yard gain to the 1.

"It was a blown coverage," Schweigert said.

The Raiders blitzed linebacker Kirk Morrison on the play and assigned two defenders to tight end Tony Gonzalez. Everyone should have been accounted for, Schweigert said.

"People got confused with who had whom," Schweigert added.

Clark credited the Chiefs with exploiting the Raiders alignment.

"That was a good offensive call against that defense," Clark said. "If there was a weakness, that was it."

Everyone in the Raiders locker room agreed the controversial call on Jasper for tripping Green is the one that hurt the most.

"I didn't even see the quarterback," Jasper said. "I was too busy being yanked to the ground (by Chiefs right guard Will Shields). I didn't even see the quarterback, so how can I tackle him?"

Raiders coach Norv Turner backed Jasper.

"(Jasper) thought he was held and was (thrown) into it," Turner said. "I didn't get to see it, but it's obviously a big call in the game."

Vermeil gets credit for making the biggest call. Few likely would have questioned him had he opted for a game-tying field goal attempt and taken his chances in overtime.

"Wow, was I scared," said Vermeil, 69. "I just figured, 'I'm too old to wait.' You can do everything by the books all the time, but it's time. I had great confidence where we were going to run the ball."

Waters said, "It's one of our favorite plays. We've run it since Coach Vermeil got here (in 2001)."

Several Raiders refused to speak after the game. Others vented their frustration at the call on Jasper. All vowed to overcome whatever adversity faced them the rest of the season.

Few can match Green's saga. He played Sunday only 11 days after his father died of a heart attack and for the first time at Arrowhead without his dad in attendance.

So it was that Green arrived early, placed a tribute to his father on his customary seat and taped it off so that no one would sit there.

"Hopefully, the message got across ... ," Green said. "That one seat; it really meant a lot."

Green's anguish wasn't lost on the Chiefs.

"We gave the game ball to the Trent Green family in honor of his dad," said Vermeil before he burst into tears. "And, believe me, he was there when I made that last call. ... It was not an impulsive call; it was the right thing for us to do."
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Old 11-07-2005, 01:57 AM   #2
Digital Takawira Digital Takawira is offline
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"I don't think losing the Super Bowl (XXXVIII) hurt this much," said Raiders safety Jarrod Cooper, who was a member of the Carolina Panthers in their Super Bowl loss to the New England Patriots. "This one hurts the heart."





schadenfreude \SHAHD-n-froy-duh\, noun:
A malicious satisfaction in the misfortunes of others.
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Old 11-07-2005, 02:09 AM   #3
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I hope Jasper gets some ointment for his bruised vagina. That really must sting.
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Old 11-07-2005, 07:07 PM   #4
VonneMarie VonneMarie is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Digital Takawira
"I don't think losing the Super Bowl (XXXVIII) hurt this much," said Raiders safety Jarrod Cooper, who was a member of the Carolina Panthers in their Super Bowl loss to the New England Patriots. "This one hurts the heart."





schadenfreude \SHAHD-n-froy-duh\, noun:
A malicious satisfaction in the misfortunes of others.
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