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Bengals make just enough mistakes to lose

9/14/2003

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- Jerry Rice won't stand for being
embarrassed in his 19th NFL season.

Something had better change in a hurry, because the likely Hall
of Famer is annoyed with how the Oakland Raiders are playing.

Question on the Bengals: Should the Bengals be excited by Peter Warrick's outing?
Yes, they should. Warrick had a good performance against a great secondary. This should be a great sign for coach Marvin Lewis. If Warrick can show consistency in his performance, he could be a great complement to Chad Johnson.

Question on the Raiders: Has the competition caught up to Oakland or is it the injuries?


It's a combination of both. The injuries are obviously hurting this team, but the other teams in the AFC have gotten better. This is not going to be a runaway for the Raiders.

Eric Allen played cornerback for 14 NFL seasons with the Eagles, Saints and Raiders.

Sebastian Janikowski kicked a 39-yard field goal, his third of
the game, with 9 seconds left as the Raiders overcame a lackluster
performance in their home opener to beat the Cincinnati Bengals
23-20 on Sunday.

"I didn't come back for this," the 40-year-old Rice said.
"We're at home. We won the game, but we didn't play well. I have a
problem with that. We have to live with it, but we expect to play
better. ... I expect to get the job done and I expect my teammates
to get the job done. This is like two weeks in a row."

Oakland's offense sputtered through another week, barely
surviving against the lowliest team of the last decade. The Raiders
(1-1) have yet to find a rhythm on offense, and lost their final
three exhibition games and their opener last week at Tennessee.

They got a break on their final drive when Jeff Burris was
flagged for pass interference against Rice, giving Oakland the ball
on the Cincinnati 22 with 23 seconds left.

Rich Gannon completed a 25-yard pass to Charlie Garner with 36
seconds left to put the Raiders on the 37-yard line. Gannon then
threw two incomplete passes before Burris was penalized.

The Bengals fell to 0-9 in Oakland. But for more than three
quarters, this seemed to be their shot at a win. Cincinnati has
beaten the Raiders just once in 13 tries on the West Coast, with
that victory coming in 1988 when the Raiders were in Los Angeles.

"We didn't come here to lose," said first-year Bengals coach
Marvin Lewis, who had his team travel to California on Friday
instead of Saturday to get acclimated. "Things don't always go the
way you plan. We didn't panic, we didn't give up. We hung in there
and relaxed. There was no panic on the sideline. We came to play,
and we did."

Jon Kitna calmly rallied his team back to tie it at 20 with 1:18
left when he completed an 8-yard TD pass to Peter Warrick minutes
after throwing a costly interception.

The Bengals (0-2) picked on Phillip Buchanon all day in the
secondary, then the young cornerback made one of the biggest plays
when he picked off Kitna's pass and returned it 83 yards for the
go-ahead touchdown to make it 20-13 with 3:46 to go.

The interception spoiled a fine day for Kitna, who outplayed
Gannon, last season's NFL MVP, for most of the day. Kitna completed
25 of 41 passes for 303 yards and a touchdown a week after an awful
outing in his team's 30-10 season-opening loss to Denver.

Gannon completed just nine of his first 19 passes for 55 yards
and the Bengals flustered the NFL's top-rated offense from 2002.
Gannon, hit hard during the Raiders' first drive by Duane Clemons,
was so off he overthrew Brown by about five yards when he was wide
open on second-and-6 in the fourth. He finished 13-for-28 with 103
yards and no TDs.

It was Gannon's worst game for passing yards since Sept. 23,
2001, when he threw for 125 yards at Miami. He had only 79 yards on
7-for-14 passing in a rainstorm last Dec. 28 against Kansas City
when the Raiders primarily ran the ball.

"I was struggling physically," Gannon said. "I had spasms in
my back all day, but that's not the reason we struggled today. I'm
sure everybody's got an opinion. I'll just keep my opinions to
myself right now. We need to be more cohesive."

On a day when the Raiders were without two of their key players
-- safety Rod Woodson and receiver Jerry Porter -- the Bengals went
after Buchanon, a first-round draft pick in 2002 out of Miami who
was injured much of his rookie season.

"After a while, people keep picking on you and it takes one big
play," Buchanon said. "A lot of people are going to try me
because I played only four or five games last year. They still
think I'm young. I look forward to making plays."

Cincinnati's Corey Dillon hyperextended his right knee late in
the first half and played sporadically the rest of the way. Dillon
was limited to 84 yards on 19 carries, but had 71 of those in the
first half.

"I'm walking," he said. "There was no point in hurting it any
more than it was. It's only the second week of the season."

Game notes
While the Raiders appeared more disciplined on special
teams, they still made their share of penalties a week after
committing 17. Four-time Pro Bowl cornerback Charles Woodson
intercepted a pass by Kitna midway through the third quarter, but
was called for defensive pass interference. The Raiders would have
had great field position. Bill Romanowski was flagged for pass
interference against eligible lineman Levi Jones that gave the
Bengals first-and-goal at the 1, and Dillon scored to make it
10-10. ... Tyrone Wheatley, inactive last week, scored on a 2-yard
run in the first quarter for a 10-0 Raiders lead.

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