Moss, who suffered a bruised ribs, a groin strain and a pelvic bruise the previous week against San Diego, was listed as "doubtful" all week. Only in rare instances have Raiders players listed as "doubtful" ended up playing on Sunday.
"Wednesday, I would have said he was very, very doubtful," coach Norv Turner said. "I thought Friday there was a chance, but Saturday morning
I would have said no. He went out Sunday morning and said he was excited
about the way he felt, so we plotted out a plan how we'd use him."
Moss may not be full strength against Tennessee this Sunday, but
sitting out the second half against Buffalo while the Raiders ran the
ball and worked the clock prevented further injury.
"Randy is no worse than he was," Turner said. "I think each day he'll
continue getting better."
Moss must have been saving himself during warmups, because he loped
through most of them at something less than full speed. The Raiders
obviously weren't sure how much he could play, hence the activation of
wide receiver Johnnie Morant for the first time this season.
He entered the game for the first time on the fifth play of Oakland's
second series, with quarterback Kerry Collins throwing incomplete under
a heavy rush. On the next play, Collins hit Moss for 15 yards to the
Buffalo 10, and on third and goal from the 7, Collins threw a fade to
Moss toward the end zone which was broken up by Nate Clements.
The Raiders settled for a field goal, and on the Raiders' next
series, Moss broke off a perfect corner route on Clements and Collins
led him perfectly for a 22-yard touchdown.
He ended up being the target of five passes, catching three for 43
yards as the Raiders took a 17-10 lead into the half.
"On Wednesday and Thursday, I don't think too many people thought
he'd be ready to go," safety Renaldo Hill said. "He warmed up Friday and
looked a little better. But it wasn't until I saw him suiting up before
the game that I thought, 'OK, it's on. He's ready to go.' That shows
what kind of fighter he is."
Fullback Zack Crockett said there was never any doubt.
"I knew he was going to go all week. It as just a gut feeling,"
Crockett said. "I've known him since he came out of high school and I
know what kind of player he is. Guys who lay it on the line like that,
those are the guys you want in your locker room."
--Charles Woodson suffered a broken left fibula and Derrick Gibson a
dislocated left wrist. Woodson will not need surgery. Gibson had surgery
Monday morning to insert pins in his wrist.
Both will be out at least six to eight weeks, and Norv Turner said
Monday their progress will be monitored. If they don't appear to be
recovering in time for the final two to four games, they could be put on
"It completely changes what we're doing," Turner said. "But our guys
certainly stepped up yesterday."
Jarrod Cooper, a special teams player who rarely plays on defense,
was forced into action as a safety in the "Wolverine" alignment which
was designed for Woodson.
"I can't even tell you how much we're going to miss Charles Woodson
and Derrick Gibson," Cooper said. "I can't even express that. But
paid. Just step up and do the job, that's all we're asking."
-- Raiders linebacker coach Pat Jones called on some veteran
defenders Saturday night to answer the challenge of Willis McGahee, who
proclaimed himself better than LaDainian Tomlinson "cased closed,"
earlier in the week.
McGahee was a non-factor with 50 yards in 16 carries.
"I got manhandled. The O-line got manhandled," McGahee said after
gaining 50 yards on 16 carries. "All of us probably got manhandled, to
tell you the truth."
-- For the first time this season, the Raiders opened the second half
by driving for a touchdown, building a 17-10 lead to 24-10. In the
previous five games, the best opening possessions of the second half
netted a field goal and a missed field goal.
"That was huge," left tackle Barry Sims said. "I think the first
possession of the third quarter is the most important of the game, and
it's nice to get a touchdown right after our halftime. If we'd have
stalled out we could have lost our momentum. Instead, we kept it going."
-- Place kicker Sebastian Janikowski had a field goal and four extra
points and has 587 points, passing Marcus Allen for fifth on the
Raiders' all-time scoring list.
-- Tight end Courtney Anderson, for the second time this season, was
not the intended target of a single pass. After catching 5 passes for a
career-high 100 yards in a Week 3 loss to Philadelphia, Anderson has 4
catches for 46 yards in his last three games. He had two penalties
against Buffalo (one illegal motion, one holding penalty).
-- Fullback John Paul Foschi, a converted tight end inactive since a
Week 2 knee injury against Kansas City, caught the first two passes of
his career for 11 yards on checkdowns from QB Kerry Collins.
-- Defensive tackle Warren Sapp had his second sack of the season and
several pressures of Buffalo quarterback Kelly Holcomb. He was awarded
one of three game balls, along with defensive tackle Ted Washington and
safety Renaldo Hill, and Norv Turner said it was his best game as a
STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL
REPORT CARD VS. BILLS
PASSING OFFENSE: B-plus -- Kerry Collins (19-for-27, 261 yards) had
his most steady and accurate performance of the season. Randy Moss
caught a 22-yard touchdown pass in a limited role. Doug Gabriel had a
career-high 101 yards on five receptions. A couple of dropped passes
from an "A" grade.
RUSHING OFFENSE: B-plus -- LaMont Jordan had personal bests in
(28) and rushing touchdowns (3) while running for 122 yards. Zack
Crockett had 33 yards on 7 carries. Run-blocking was excellent in second
half after a so-so first half.
PASS DEFENSE: B-plus -- Considering the loss of starters of
cornerback Charles Woodson and safety Derrick Gibson, the secondary held
up well. With only a few exceptions, Buffalo receivers were brought down
after short gains. Bills quarterback Kelly Holcomb had 159 yards on 19
completions. Cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha let Lee Evans beat him to the
inside for a 5-yard touchdown.
RUSH DEFENSE: B-plus -- Defensive tackle Ted Washington walled off
the inside and Buffalo running back Willis McGahee was held to 50 yards
on 16 carries. Effort included a goal line stand in which McGahee and
Damon Shelton were stopped on third and fourth down at the 1. Strong
game inside by Warren Sapp (5 tackles).
SPECIAL TEAMS: B -- Chris Carr gave the Raiders prime field position
for two touchdowns with a 29-yard punt return to the Buffalo 35 and a
32-yard kickoff return to the Raiders' 40. Buffalo kickoff return
specialist Terrance McGee got loose once for 57 yards but otherwise was
held in check. Carr muffed a punt, but recovered it at the Oakland 6.
Shane Lechler had just three punts for a 45.7-yard average with a long
COACHING: A-minus -- Only quibble was the slow start, with the Bills
driving 82 yards in nine plays on their first possession. Buffalo's
rushing defense was suspect, giving up 158.5 yards going into the game,
and the Raiders ran right at it with 37 attempts for 162 yards.
Defensive coaches adjusted well on the fly to the absences of Woodson
Using the Buffalo Bills as a forum for their rushing prowess is one thing. Doing it on the road…