OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- Kerry Collins is new to the whole Tampa
Bay-Oakland rivalry, and maybe that was a good thing.
Collins, the amiable backup quarterback who has repeatedly
promised to be ready when needed, replaced injured starter Rich
Gannon and calmly directed the Oakland Raiders to an emotional
30-20 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday night.
"I just tried to keep my emotions in check and tried to lean on
my experience. Fortunately, it happened fairly fast, so I didn't
have a lot of time to think about it," said Collins, who had a
superb preseason. "As the night wore on I felt like I was finding
a little bit of a rhythm."
Collins entered late in the first quarter and led four scoring
drives, completing 16-of-27 passes for 228 yards and one touchdown.
Oakland spoiled the return of former coach Jon Gruden, longtime
Raiders receiver Tim Brown and running back Charlie Garner, who was
likely lost for the season with a torn patellar tendon in his right
After Jerry Rice's record receptions streak was snapped last
week, Brown owns the longest active run, and he extended it to 176
games on a 7-yard reception with 14:28 left. Brown's 16-yard TD
reception with 10:45 left was his 100th career touchdown catch --
and the Bucs' first offensive TD of the season.
Brown passed Hall of Famer Don Hutson for fourth in career
touchdown catches. He received a warm ovation from the otherwise
hostile Raider Nation.
Brown, who spent his first 16 NFL seasons with the Raiders
(2-1), was released during training camp when he refused to accept
a drastically reduced role.
"The record was the furthest thing from my mind," Brown said.
"Obviously, to get 100 in front of the Raider Nation, there's no
There were more handshakes before this one than at a political
fund-raiser. Warren Sapp had to love it.
Oakland's loquacious defensive tackle said this game was for
bragging rights, and he beat his old team handily.
"Big buildup, great game and the right outcome," Sapp said.
"It felt like deja vu at times. ... There's nothing like wanting
to go after them."
Sapp, who led his new team onto the field, never played football
outside of Florida until agreeing to a seven-year, $36.6 million
free agent contract after the Bucs didn't re-sign him.
Tampa Bay (0-3) looks nothing like the team that beat Oakland
48-21 in the 2003 Super Bowl in Gruden's first year as Bucs coach.
Before Brown's touchdown, Martin Gramatica kicked field goals of
36 and 30 yards. He missed a 44-yarder.
Brad Johnson threw for 309 yards, but Phillip Buchanon
intercepted a pass and returned it 32 yards in the third quarter to
make it 23-6. Tyrone Wheatley capped his 102-yard day with a 2-yard
score. Wheatley previously broke three tackles for a 60-yard run on
Oakland's first play from scrimmage.
Collins connected with Ronald Curry for a 19-yard TD just before
halftime -- a play that included a key block by Rice. During the
10-play drive, Collins completed three straight long passes for 44
Gannon left in the first quarter after taking a helmet-to-helmet
hit from linebacker Derrick Brooks. Coach Norv Turner said Gannon
hurt his neck, but added, "It doesn't seem to be too serious."
Gannon ran 2 yards during Oakland's first offensive series, and
was stopped at the Tampa Bay 5 by Brooks. The 38-year-old Gannon
grimaced in pain, but walked off the field on his own, looking
He was taken to the locker room for examination of his back,
then returned to the sideline in the second half.
"I know this, Rich Gannon is a tough guy, and if he's ready to
go next week he'll be in there," Collins said. "I'm just glad it
wasn't real, real serious. Any time you get hit in the head like
that, bad things can happen. I think Rich Gannon will be back
before we know it."
Garner was carted off the field with 5:57 left before halftime
and didn't return.
Gruden, who coached the Raiders for four seasons, is 0-3 for the
first time in his career, and Tampa Bay has lost five straight
games dating to last season. The coach dressed in all black for a
change, as if making a statement to his old team. He was on the
field early saying hello to friends, then was booed when he ran
onto the field before the game. He ran right past Raiders owner Al
Davis without stopping.
"I don't mean any disrespect. I wasn't greeted very nicely,"
Gruden said. "I've got a full understanding of Raiders fans and
the Black Hole. God bless them. ... It was a great feeling for me.
It is one of the more exciting times in my career to go back where
I came from."
Sebastian Janikowski kicked three field goals for Oakland.
^Notes:@ The Raiders rushed for 173 yards after getting only 134
total in their first two games. ... Tampa Bay's Bill Schroeder
caught four passes for 126 yards, including a 41-yard TD pass late.