Hot Topic & Player Notes: Raiders

Hot Topic & Player Notes: Raiders

With his team 3-6 and the boos cascading down upon his quarterback, Raiders coach Norv Turner began to field queries about the status of Kerry Collins.It figures to be a common theme throughout the remainder of the season if Collins continues to play as he did Sunday in a 31-17 loss to the Broncos at McAfee Coliseum.

Collins was 26-for-50 for 310 yards and two touchdowns, but also had three interceptions -- including a back-breaking 80-yard return for a touchdown by Broncos rookie Darrent Williams when it looked as if the Raiders were poised to climb within 23-17.

Was Turner ever thinking of replacing Collins?

"I wasn't," Turner said. "He's played all the snaps. He gets all the practice. There were things I think he could have handled better. There were things I think we could have handled better."

When asked if Collins would start Sunday at Washington, Turner said, "Kerry will be the starter. Yes."

Playing at FedEx Field may be less hostile than the home environment. Raiders fans booed Collins early and often with a fury not seen in Oakland since the home fans gave a big thumbs down to Dan Pastorini as the replacement for the beloved Ken Stabler in the late 1970s and instead the embraced Jim Plunkett.

If Collins has little support in the stands, he appears to have it in the locker room. Wide receiver Jerry Porter, who dropped what could have been a 57-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter, thought the fans went overboard.

"These guys are ready to chop his head off if he throws an interception. If he makes a great play, he's supposed to," Porter said. "Praise the guy, give him a little love. He's the Oakland Raiders starting quarterback. Treat him as such. Don't treat him like he's the visiting quarterback coming in here."

Running back LaMont Jordan, who waited his turn while Collins was gracefully fielding pointed questions from the media, also had his quarterback's back.

"The last thing I'm going to accept, whether he plays well or not, is anyone taking shots at my quarterback," Jordan said.

Collins, who reacted last year with a "bring it on" gesture while getting booed at home during a bad stretch against New Orleans, showed no sign of defiance after the Broncos game.

"I was playing lousy," Collins said. "I understand their frustration. It happened last year. They want to win. They're passionate about it. It is what it is ... a lousy day for me. I will take responsibility for that and move on."

REPLAY

The Raiders sunk deeper into the AFC West cellar with a 31-17 loss to the Broncos at McAfee Coliseum. Kerry Collins threw three interceptions, and the Raiders fell behind 23-0.

Oakland's offense had very little going until Collins hit Randy Moss with a 29-yard touchdown pass early in the fourth quarter to give the Raiders some life. Oakland appeared on the verge of closing within 23-17 while getting deep into Denver territory, but Darrent Williams intercepted a Collins pass intended for Jerry Porter and raced 80 yards for a touchdown to put the game away.

The Oakland acquitted itself well, holding the Broncos to a season-low 3.2 yards per carry (38 carries, 121 yards). After Mike Anderson ran 23 yards on the first play from scrimmage, the Raiders held Denver to 98 yards on 37 carries.

The Raiders are 0-4 in the AFC West and 2-14 since the beginning of the 2003 season.

PLAYER NOTES

--C Adam Treu removed himself the Denver game because of a sore knee, telling coach Norv Turner he wasn't helping the team. He was replaced by Jake Grove, who started the first four games before undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery. Grove has served as a backup at both guards spots and center the past two weeks.

--RB LaMont Jordan had 48 yards on 14 carries against Denver, his third-lowest output of the season. Jordan had 12 carries for 37 yards against San Diego and 16 carries for 19 yards against Philadelphia.

--WR Randy Moss rejoined the Raiders offense, catching a season-high six passes for 89 yards and a 29-yard touchdown against Denver. Moss hadn't caught as many as five passes since Week 3 against Philadelphia and had seven receptions in his previous four games after suffering rib, groin and pelvis injuries against San Diego.

--DE Bobby Hamilton was inactive for the second consecutive game with an ankle injury.

--K Sebastian Janikowski had a streak of 10 consecutive successful field goal attempts snapped when he was wide left from 45 yards in the second quarter against Denver. It was his first failure since missing from 37 yards in Week 3 against Philadelphia.

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