''You always bring it up,'' Shanahan said earlier this week. ''You don't
dwell on it. We talked about them coming into our backyard and beating us at
home after we dominated the game the first time, and if you're not completely in
tune to what you're doing then you're going to get beat in the National Football
League. That's the nature of this game.
''All I know is (the Raiders) came into our backyard last year and played
pretty good. Their quarterback threw very well and the receivers came up with
some great catches.''
That game on Nov. 28 last season was the high-water mark for an Oakland team
that has had more valleys than peaks since playing in Super Bowl XXXVII in 2002.
Quarterback Kerry Collins passed for 339 yards and four touchdowns, three of
them going to Jerry Porter including the game-winner with less than two minutes
Porter dominated Denver cornerback Champ Bailey in the game, catching six
passes for 135 yards and the three scores. Fellow wideout Ronald Curry also had
a huge game with 110 yards in receiving, highlighted by his leaping, one-handed
grab for a touchdown.
All of this came five games after the Broncos had laid a 31-3 whipping on
Oakland at the Coliseum and while the Raiders were mired in their second-half
The scenario is very similar this season. Six weeks ago Denver handed Oakland
a 31-17 thumping the Raiders have been unable to recover from. They've won just
one game since and are mired in a four-game losing streak.
While Oakland is out of the postseason chase and thus playing only for pride,
the Broncos have a chance to clinch the AFC West and improve their shot at
getting a first-round bye in the playoffs. The Raiders would love nothing better
than to throw a wrench into those plans.
''Of course, it's Denver,'' Oakland safety Stuart Schweigert said. ''They
hate us, we hate them. Last time we played them they could have downed the ball
and they were trying to run a reverse pass. Stuff like that we remember and of
course it puts a bad taste in our mouth. We want to go out there and upset them
on their home field like we did last season.''
If the Raiders hope to pull off the win in Denver they'll have to do it
without running back LaMont Jordan. Jordan, who last week went over 1,000 yards
for the first time in his career, has been sidelined with a turf toe injury that
will keep him out of Saturday's game against the Broncos.
That means Oakland will rely on the tandem of Zack Crockett and seldom-used
Justin Fargas, who has just two carries for four yards this season. For his
career Fargas has rushed 75 times for 329 yards and one touchdown.
Pulling off a repeat upset in Denver like they did a year ago won't mend all
that ails the Raiders but it would give the team a little peace of mind heading
into the offseason.
''The fact that we've done that (last year) there's no question is
motivation,'' Oakland head coach Norv Turner said. ''The guys who played in the
game and guys who were a part of it, it has got to give you a feeling that 'Hey
it's doable and we can go do it.' The game we played here (against Denver), even
though it got out of hand, it was 13-0 at halftime. There were a lot of things
in the first half you look at and say, 'Hey we had plenty of chances to make
plays and make this a very good football game.' ''
NOTES: The Raiders brought in several players for tryouts this week,
including quarterback Rohan Davey of Louisiana State. Also brought in for
workouts were tight end Mark Anelli, running back Jarrod Baxter, defensive end
Kevin Huntley, defensive back Adrian Mayes and quarterback Casey Printers.