Hot Topic, Instant Replay and Player Notes

Hot Topic, Instant Replay and Player Notes

The Raiders have harped every week about areas where they have made improvement. Now, improvement is about all they have to look ahead to. As they return home for their first home day game of the year against Dallas (2-0 against West Coast teams), their 0-3 record leaves them with little hope for that wistful goal they set for themselves eight weeks ago when they reported to training camp. Playoffs. In the immortal words of Jim Mora Sr.: "Playoffs? Playoffs?"

Between 1990 and 2004, 74 teams started the season 0-3. Three of them reached the playoffs, none since 1998 when Buffalo did it. But the Bills won seven of their next eight games.

As tough as the schedule has been -- both Super Bowl qualifiers from a year ago in the first three weeks -- Oakland looks like a team that may have improved from last year's 5-11, but shows no more skill at learning how to win.

For now the fight will be to avoid losing confidence. "The biggest thing for our team is to keep competing and fighting the way we have," coach Norv Turner said. "We've played three outstanding football teams. We're going to look at this and get better. What we need to do, obviously, is to win a football game."

One. So far that's been too much to ask.

REPLAY

The Raiders failed to put the Eagles away in the first half when Philadelphia was struggling on offense and ultimately paid the price in a 23-20 loss. Oakland surrendered 299 yards of offense in the second half, lost a 10-6 lead by giving up a pair of touchdowns, then tied the game at 20 with 2:17 to play on a Kerry Collins-to-Doug Gabriel touchdown pass covering 27 yards.

"We showed a lot of character today," Collins said.

The Raiders also showed a continuing inability to hold teams on defense. The Eagles used the final 137 seconds to move from their 20 to a David Akers field goal from 23 yards with nine seconds remaining.

Along the way, the Raiders yielded 208 yards of total offense to Eagles running back Brian Westbrook, saw Sebastian Janikowski miss two field goals, were penalized 13 times for 94 yards, gained 21 yards on the ground on 22 attempts and allowed 448 yards of offense to the Eagles.

PLAYER NOTES

--DT Warren Sapp intercepted the fourth pass of his 11-year career and nearly had another Sunday against Philadelphia.

--CB Charles Woodson spent most of Sunday's game defending Eagles WR Terrell Owens, who caught nine passes for 80 yards and a 4-yard touchdown on which he was covered by Renaldo Hill. Woodson was knocked woozy late in the game but returned and finished.

--WR Doug Gabriel, in his first action since mid-August, caught a 27-yard touchdown pass against Philadelphia. In the last game he had played, he had two touchdown receptions in an exhibition game at Houston.

--QB Kerry Collins has now played three games without yielding an interception.

--RB LaMont Jordan had a 14-yard run against Philadelphia, but aside from that, he carried 15 times for a mere 5 yards.

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