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Week 6 NFL Roundup

Raiders gain some respect

Long touchdown pass sends Eagles home with ugly defeat

After Zach Miller scampered 86 yards for a TD, Raiders quarterback JaMarcus Russell ran downfield to give his tight end a deserving hug. After Zach Miller scampered 86 yards for a TD, Raiders quarterback JaMarcus Russell ran downfield to give his tight end a deserving hug. (Paul Sakuma/Associated Press
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Associated Press / October 19, 2009

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Louis Murphy sprinted upfield and laid out a defender with a punishing block. Not satisfied, he caught up to the play again and delivered a second block that allowed Zach Miller to cruise into the end zone on an 86-yard catch-and-run.

For an offense criticized for lacking big plays, intensity, and leadership, a rookie receiver gave the Oakland Raiders all three in one play that answered the skeptics.

Miller scored the only touchdown of the game in the first quarter, Justin Fargas helped control the clock by rushing for 87 physical yards, and Oakland’s defense harassed Donovan McNabb all day in a surprising 13-9 home win over the Philadelphia Eagles yesterday.

“We went out and threw a fight on somebody and said, ‘Enough. Let’s play,’ ’’ coach Tom Cable said. “That’s all you can say. There’s no magic words or anything like that.’’

It was a major turnaround after the Raiders (2-4) came in having lost by at least 20 points three straight weeks for the first time in franchise history, capped by a 44-7 loss to the Giants last week. The Eagles were a 14-point favorite.

The key for Oakland was its defense. Coordinator John Marshall mixed in more zone coverages and blitzes than usual to combat a high-powered Philadelphia offense that was averaging the second-most points in the league.

The Eagles abandoned the run early, calling only 14 rushes, allowed six sacks, and were the first team in three years to fail to score a touchdown against the Raiders.

“They were able to get home and hit our quarterback,’’ coach Andy Reid said. “When we did have opportunities we didn’t take advantage of opportunities.’’

Philadelphia’s last chance ended when McNabb underthrew DeSean Jackson on fourth and 4 from the Oakland 44 with 2:14 remaining.

David Akers missed a pair of field goals for the Eagles, a 43-yarder wide left in the first quarter and a 47-yarder wide right in the third quarter that proved crucial down the stretch.

McNabb finished 22 of 46 for 269 yards. He struggled without left tackle Jason Peters, who left in the first quarter with an injured left knee.

“I’m embarrassed by the way we came out here and played. We’re a much better football team,’’ McNabb said.

JaMarcus Russell completed 17 of 28 passes for 224 yards, with two interceptions and the touchdown to Miller that was the Raiders’ longest pass play in 25 years. Russell found Miller open over the middle 16 yards downfield. Miller then ran up the sideline and got sprung by a devastating block by Murphy that flattened Quintin Mikell. As Miller got close to the end zone, he slowed up to give Murphy time to catch up and block Ellis Hobbs to help complete the touchdown.

“I came over to him and was like, ‘Man, that’s the best two blocks I’ve ever seen from a wide receiver,’ ’’ Miller said. “I have to buy him something now. He deserves it.’’

Cardinals 27, Seahawks 3
Visiting Arizona moved into a tie for the NFC West lead as Kurt Warner passed for two scores while reaching a personal milestone and Larry Fitzgerald tied his career high with 13 receptions for 100 yards and a TD.

The Cardinals (3-2) led, 14-0, before Seattle ran its first offensive play 12 minutes into the first quarter. On Arizona’s opening drive, Warner completed all nine throws and ended the 15-play march with a 2-yard TD toss to Fitzgerald. Warner finished 32 of 41 for 276 yards, and tied Dan Marino as the fastest QB to reach 30,000 yards passing, doing it in 114 games.

Arizona’s swarming defense held Seattle (2-4), which scored 41 points last week, to 128 yards and its fewest points in a home game since 2002. Matt Hasselbeck completed just 10 of 29 throws for 112 yards and was sacked five times. The 34 percent completion rate was Hasselbeck’s lowest since 2004, also in a loss to Arizona.

Texans 28, Bengals 17
Matt Schaub tied his career high with four TD passes - two to tight end Owen Daniels - and Houston had its way in Cincinnati, denying the Bengals the chance for another dramatic victory.

The Bengals (4-2) had won three straight games in the last 22 seconds, and were given another chance for an unlikely comeback when Steve Slaton fumbled with the Texans (3-3) in field goal range with 6:12 left. But Cincinnati fumbled the ball back two plays later.

Schaub was 28 of 40 for 392 yards, the second-highest total of his career. The Bengals’ pass rush took a big hit in the first quarter when defensive end Antwan Odom hurt his right Achilles’ tendon and didn’t return.

Steelers 27, Browns 14
Ben Roethlisberger threw for 417 yards and two TDs to help host Pittsburgh (4-2) overcome a sloppy performance and beat Cleveland for the 12th consecutive time. The Steelers had a 543-197 edge in total yards, but matched the Browns (1-5) with four turnovers.

Roethlisberger was 23 of 35 in his second career 400-yard game, the other coming in 2006. Hines Ward made eight catches for 159 yards and a TD and Santonio Holmes had five grabs for 104 yards.

The Browns trailed, 17-14, after driving for only their fourth offensive TD in their last 12 games, on Derek Anderson’s 1-yard pass to Lawrence Vickers that capped a 66-yard drive to start the second half.

Packers 26, Lions 0
Aaron Rodgers threw for 358 yards and two TDs, and Donald Driver became Green Bay’s all-time leader in receptions as the host Packers (3-2) shut out a Detroit team that was down to its third-string quarterback.

In the first quarter, Driver recorded his 596th career catch to pass Sterling Sharpe’s franchise mark. He finished with seven receptions for 107 yards, and has caught a pass in 116 straight games, also a Packers record.

Without rookie quarterback Matthew Stafford and star wide receiver Calvin Johnson because of injuries, the Lions (1-5) managed only 79 yards of total offense in the first half and 149 for the game. Fill-in quarterback Daunte Culpepper hurt his hamstring in the third quarter and Drew Stanton was intercepted twice.

Falcons 21, Bears 14
Michael Turner scored the go-ahead TD on a 5-yard run with 3:06 remaining, and Atlanta held off visiting Chicago by stopping the Bears in the red zone in the final minute.

Matt Ryan threw two TD passes for the Falcons (4-1), who matched the best five-game start in franchise history. The Bears (3-2) will surely regret all the mistakes down close that helped end their three-game winning streak: a fumble at the 1, an interception at the 9, and Jay Cutler’s incompletion on fourth and 6 from the 10 with 29 seconds left.

Chiefs 14, Redskins 6
Ryan Succop’s four field goals, including the go-ahead 46-yarder with 3:36 to play, plus a last-minute safety were all Kansas City needed to win at Washington and give rookie coach Todd Haley his first victory.

Once again, the Redskins (2-4) were booed off the field, the only life all afternoon coming when embattled coach Jim Zorn benched quarterback Jason Campbell at halftime and replaced him with Todd Collins. The 37-year-old Walpole native completed his first pass 42 yards to Santana Moss, and led two drives for field goals.

Jaguars 23, Rams 20
Torry Holt had 101 yards receiving in his first game against his former team, Maurice Jones-Drew ran for 133 yards and three TDs, and Josh Scobee booted a 36-yard field goal in overtime to lift host Jacksonville (3-3).

St. Louis (0-6) took a 17-13 lead with 4:36 remaining on Leonard Little’s 36-yard interception return for a score, but Jones-Drew put the Jaguars back on top with a 3-yard run with 1:53 left. The Rams got near the goal line in the final seconds, but settled for a tying field goal.

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