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Raiders Slide Past Broncos

From Associated Press

The Silver and Black looked right at home in the snow.

Kerry Collins threw for 339 yards and four touchdowns to lead the Oakland Raiders to a 25-24 upset Sunday night of the Denver Broncos at Denver.

Collins hit Jerry Porter for three of the scores, including the winner on fourth and goal from the five with 1 minute 49 seconds remaining.

After Oakland took the lead, Jake Plummer drove the Broncos (7-4) 49 yards to the Raider 25 to set up Jason Elam’s field-goal attempt.

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But the snap was high, Elam kicked the lace-side of the ball, and Langston Walker blocked the kick to preserve the win for Oakland (4-7), which will surely count this as a major highlight of a difficult year.

The Broncos were 11-point favorites but lost at home for the second time in three games. The loss puts them one game behind the San Diego Chargers in the AFC West with a game at San Diego coming next week.

Oakland’s winning touchdown was set up by a 63-yard completion from Collins to Ronald Curry, who a few minutes earlier had made a spectacular one-handed grab in the back of the end zone to cut his team’s deficit to 24-19.

Collins completed 26 of 45 passes and showed no fear of Bronco cornerback Champ Bailey. In fact, his first two touchdown throws -- both to Porter -- came at Bailey’s expense.

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The first score came on a post route down the middle of the field in which the Bronco cornerback let Porter slip behind him. The second was on a simple slant in which Collins rifled the ball perfectly and Bailey couldn’t prevent Porter from making the catch or tackle him before he crossed the goal line.

Plummer threw for 245 yards, including an 85-yard touchdown to Rod Smith that went down as the longest play in either player’s career. Plummer also hit Ashley Lelie for 57 yards to set up a touchdown that gave Denver a 17-13 lead.

A few plays later, Denver defensive tackle Ellis Johnson intercepted a batted pass and returned it 32 yards and the Broncos looked secure.

Collins finished with his second 300-yard game of the season.

San Diego 34, Kansas City 31 -- The Chargers got expert quarterbacking from Drew Brees and two touchdowns each from tight end Antonio Gates and running back LaDainian Tomlinson to beat the Chiefs at Kansas City, Mo.

The Chiefs (3-8) gave up big plays, sustained costly penalties and turned the ball over at the worst possible time.

“Everybody got their money’s worth today,” said San Diego Coach Marty Schottenheimer, whose Chargers (8-3) were a league-worst 4-12 last year. “It was quite an exciting game.”

Nate Kaeding, set up by Donnie Edwards’ interception of Trent Green’s pass, made up for missing two field-goal tries with a tiebreaking 43-yarder with 2:24 left.

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A few minutes earlier, Brees’ 11-yard touchdown pass to Gates had tied it, 31-31.

Making it possible was Kassim Osgood’s 65-yard run-and-catch on second and 22 from the Charger 19.

“Kassim Osgood made what, in my mind, is as fine a play as I’ve seen in my entire career in football,” Schottenheimer said.

Brees was 28 for 37 for 378 yards and two touchdowns and has thrown 18 touchdown passes and only one interception in his last eight games.

Kansas City seems headed for its worst season since 1988.

“Something’s not right this year,” said Chief tackle Willie Roaf. “It’s been going on all year.”

Derrick Blaylock, starting for the injured Priest Holmes for the third game in a row, scored on a five-yard run and a 22-yard run.

Houston 31, Tennessee 21 -- David Carr threw for 201 yards and two touchdowns, and Domanick Davis rushed for a season-high 129 yards and a score in Houston.

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Carr and the Texans rallied from the team’s largest deficit ever for a victory.

“I just said it couldn’t get any worse,” Carr said. “We just had to go out and keep believing in ourselves. That’s what we did, and it worked out for us.”

The Texans (5-6) ended a three-game losing streak and swept the season series from the team they replaced in Houston.

Houston also tied its win total from last season in its 11th game, a clear improvement for the third-year team.

The Titans (4-7) dropped into last place in the AFC South, probably ending their slim playoff hopes much earlier than expected. Tennessee has missed the playoffs once in the previous five seasons.

“These are uncharted waters,” Titan Coach Jeff Fisher said. “We haven’t been here before.”

Tennessee wasted a brilliant first-half performance from Steve McNair, who completed his first seven passes for 80 yards, including two touchdown throws to Erron Kinney. He added a touchdown pass to Derrick Mason early in the second quarter.


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