For the second straight week, Collins was a bright spot, albeit in a 23-17 Oakland Raiders loss to the San Diego Chargers. Collins completed 18-of-30 passes for 227 yards, two touchdowns and most importantly no interceptions. Collins entered Sunday with five touchdowns and 12 interceptions.
"I felt I played better today," Collins said. "I'm seeing the field better. I think that has come with playing but it's hard to feel good when you lose."
For the first eight weeks of the season, one might have been compelled to put out an APB for second-year tight end Teyo Johnson. The Raider coaching staff made Johnson inactive for the first eight games of the season before suiting him up for the last two.
Johnson had fallen out of favor with the coaching staff but his eight-yard touchdown pass late in the third quarter cut San Diego's lead to 16-14. When jokingly asked if he would request playing time in four wide receiver sets, Johnson said, "That's what got me in trouble the first time."
Rough day for Gallery
Rookie right offensive tackle Robert Gallery has had a solid rookie season but not a game to remember on Sunday. Gallery was penalized three times including one for an illegal block in the back, which nullified Collins' 15-yard touchdown pass to Doug Gabriel. Oakland settled for a Sebastian Janikowski field goal of 31 yards.
Raiders head coach Norv Turner expressed his displeasure with the explanation of the penalty being a "shove in the back." So did Gallery.
"(I just have to) look at the tape, see what I did and don't do it," Gallery said. "If they're going to call that then I've got to me changes. That's their job."
Third down woes
An offense failing to convert third downs and a defense not being able to prevent them is usually a sure recipe for defeat. The Raiders defense allowed San Diego to convert 9-of-16 third down plays while the offense made good on just 3-of-10.
"We got them in third downs many times," Raider defensive end Bobby Hamilton said. "We've just got to get off the field."
-- The Chargers manhandled the Raiders 42-14 on Oct. 31. Their win over Oakland on Sunday marked the first time since 1992 that the Chargers swept the season series from the Raiders.
Vince D'Adamo can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org