Un-welcome home

Un-welcome home

Sometimes going up against a former team in one¹s former home stadium brings out the best in professional athletes. For instance, ask Rich Gannon, who beat Kansas City in Arrowhead three straight times after leaving the Chiefs as a free agent in 1999. Don¹t add LaMont Jordan to that list just yet, though. Sunday¹s 26-10 loss to the New York Jets was not the kind of homecoming that Jordan, who said that he hadn¹t talked to any of his former teammates this year prior to the game, had in mind

For one thing, he couldn¹t find any room to run against a Jets team that crowded the line of scrimmage in order to keep him under control while harassing new starting quarterback Marques Tuiasosopo. "Obviously, we couldn¹t get anything going offensively,² Raiders coach Norv Turner said.

"We wanted to get some run going, and we struggled in that area."

Playing against the team that he spent the first four years as a pro, Jordan suffered through a very frustrating outing. While he seemed to find the groove that was noticeably missing the week before at San Diego early in the game, his longest gain of the game was 10 yards and the Raiders struggled to move the ball consistently enough to have a chance of victory.

In a game that featured two young, struggling quarterbacks in Tuiasosopo and New York¹s Brooks Bollinger, the difference in Sunday¹s game was the rushing attack: the Jets had it, and the Raiders didn¹t. Upon entering the league in 2001 as a second-round draft pick, he backed up Curtis Martin and didn¹t figure to unseat him as the Jets¹ starter before signing with Oakland in the offseason. Having Martin in street clothes for Sunday¹s game after having season-ending knee surgery provided a big opportunity for Jordan to take the spotlight. That didn¹t happen. Instead, Jordan had to watch as the Jets controlled the clock with their own running game down the stretch. New York gained 184 yards on the ground while the Raiders totaled 95.

The Raiders¹ offensive line failed to adequately protect Tuiasosopo (more on that in the adjacent game notes) and Jordan seemed to suffer along with the team¹s new starting signal-caller. He carried the ball only 14 times, his second-lowest total of the season, and gained only 49 yards in the process while a rookie named Cedric Houston ran for 74 yards and scored on a 2-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter that extended the Jets¹ lead to 26-10, ensuring the Raiders their third straight losing season.

What went right

* Defensive end Derrick Burgess notched his 12th and 13th sacks of the season, providing what little pressure the Raiders were able to put on Jets quarterback Brooks Bollinger

* Oakland¹s defense held up fairly well, giving up only two touchdowns on six drives into the red zone by New York¹s offense

* Quarterback Marques Tuiasosopo recorded the first touchdown pass of his career, though given the circumstances it lost some of its luster

* Chris Carr did all he could to help the Raiders win the field position battle, returning six kicks for an 22.7-yard average. Unfortunately Oakland didn¹t capitalize when given the opportunity by their rookie return man

What went Wrong

* The Jets didn¹t have their top running back and were without two key offensive linemen yet they still rushed for 184 yards, gouging the Raiders for big runs throughout the game

* Oakland¹s offensive line had yet another horrible day, allowing the Jets to hammer Tuiasosopo repeatedly. New York recorded six sacks, two of which resulted in fumbles the Jets converted into 10 points

* Alvis Whitted let a touchdown pass bounce off his chest because he was too busy looking for a penalty against a Jets defender. Instead of an easy six points the Raiders were forced to settle for a field goal

* The Raiders couldn¹t contain Jets¹ third-string quarterback Brooks Bollinger, who rushed for 56 yards and four first downs

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