OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- Coach Jim Haslett gathered his special
teams players together and told the Saints they were about to line
up for one of their most important kickoffs of the season.
A rookie took it to heart.
Moments later, Colby Bockwoldt scooped up Carlos Francis' fumble
on the kickoff and ran it 6 yards into the end zone for what turned
out to be the deciding score Sunday in New Orleans' 31-26 victory
over the Oakland Raiders that snapped the Saints' three-game losing
"That was pretty nice," said Bockwoldt, who made a similar
play last season while with BYU. "We practice these drills,
fumbles. You don't have time to think about it. My eyes were on the
His big play made it 31-19 only 14 seconds after John Carney
kicked a 41-yard field goal for the Saints with 4:31 left. Oakland
charged back down the field to score again -- on Jerry Porter's
first touchdown catch of the season with 2:34 left -- making the
special teams' performance so critical.
"I told them field position was going to be big, and try to
stick them inside their own 20," Haslett said.
It took New Orleans nearly a half to get a first down. Once the
Saints finally found a little success, they practically did
whatever they wanted.
Jerome Pathon added six catches as the Saints (3-4) used a
strong second half to send the Raiders to their fourth straight
"That's all we needed, to get a first down," said Brooks, who
was 23-for-39 with a 4-yard TD pass to Lamont Hall. "Once we got
into the groove, we were able to take it to them."
Ten points in 14 seconds was a nice way for New Orleans to end
its first visit to the Oakland Coliseum in seven years -- the Saints
beat the Raiders 13-10 during that 1997 trip. The teams last played
in 2000, when the Raiders won 31-22 at the Louisiana Superdome.
Now, let the finger-pointing begin again in Oakland. Feuding was
the story of the Raiders' sour 4-12 season a year ago.
Oakland (2-5) ended a seven-quarter touchdown drought when Kerry
Collins connected with wide-open tight end Doug Jolley on a 34-yard
TD pass 26 seconds into the fourth quarter.
But that wasn't enough to satisfy the unforgiving Raider Nation,
which booed its struggling quarterback for the second straight week
when he headed out to the huddle. Collins even encouraged the fans
one time by waving his arms toward the rowdy Black Hole section
behind the south end zone.
"I guess it's the competitor in me," Collins said. "I get
fired up. When people get down on you and are calling for you to
get pulled, it gets my juices flowing."
Collins has thrown nine interceptions and only four touchdown
passes in 4½ games since taking over as starter after Rich Gannon
broke a vertebra in his neck last month. Collins still finished
26-of-45 for 350 yards.
It was another disappointing day for an Oakland offense that
generated only 145 total yards in a 31-3 loss to the Broncos last
Sebastian Janikowski kicked field goals of 28, 42, 44 and 40
yards for the Raiders, who outgained New Orleans 432-322.
"We ended up kicking field goals, and that has an effect as the
game goes on," Raiders coach Norv Turner said.
Collins completed passes to nine receivers in the Raiders' first
game without Jerry Rice, who was traded to Seattle last Monday.
Tebucky Jones intercepted a pass by Collins late in the third
quarter and returned it 55 yards, setting up McAllister's second
touchdown, from 1 yard.
The Saints went three-and-out on their first four offensive
series against Oakland's swarming defense.
New Orleans finally got a first down with 5:30 left in the
second quarter on Brooks' 27-yard completion to Pathon on
third-and-three, which led to Hall's 4-yard touchdown that sent the
Saints into halftime trailing 9-7.
Raiders left guard Frank Middleton was carted off the field with
a left leg injury midway through the first quarter.
Guard Brad Badger blocked a New Orleans player into him, causing
the 6-foot-3, 330-pound Middleton to fall awkwardly with most of
his weight on his left leg. The Raiders said he was taken into the
locker room for observation of a quadriceps injury.
Collins completed a 32-yard pass to Alvis Whitted on the play.
Raiders defensive line coach Sam Clancy was on the sideline
three days after leaving the team's practice facility on a
stretcher and being rushed to the hospital after complaining of
chest pains and shortness of breath. ... CB Jason Craft stripped
Francis on the fumble and the ball rolled to Bockwoldt. ... Porter
caught a 13-yard TD pass. ... Raiders DT Ted Washington sustained