INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- Rich Gannon's instincts were as quick as his
The 34-year-old quarterback, coming off his first Pro Bowl
appearance in 12 years in the NFL, rushed for a career-high three
touchdowns as Oakland overcame a 21-0 deficit and beat the
Indianapolis Colts 38-31 Sunday.
"It was hard to hear all the protection calls," he said of the
deafening noise from the raucous RCA Dome crowd. "So we had to
make adjustments. We completed a couple of big passes, and I think
they became more worried about our pass than our run."
Big mistake by the Colts.
"One of the touchdown runs was designed," Gannon said. "But
the other two just happened. I had to make last-minute decisions,
and fortunately they were the right ones."
The three rushing touchdowns were a record for a Raiders
quarterback and the most by an opposing quarterback against the
Colts since Green Bay's Tobin Rote had three in 1954.
Tyrone Wheatley also rushed for two TDs for the Raiders (2-0),
who scored 24 points in the third quarter, took a 38-24 lead on
Wheatley's second touchdown midway through the final period and
held off the Colts (1-1) in the closing minutes.
Gannon had never rushed for more than one touchdown in any game.
"Our pass rush was not good," Colts coach Jim Mora said. "He
had a lot of time back there, he's a good athlete, he scrambled and
we weren't able to get him down before he hurt us."
Gannon, who has rushed for 15 touchdowns in his career, was
15-for-22 for 207 yards passing and carried 10 times for 37 yards.
|Tory James intercepts a pass in the end zone intended for Colts wideout Jerome Pathon to seal Oakland's comeback win.|
Peyton Manning, who threw touchdown passes to Marcus Pollard and
Edgerrin James in the first half, brought the Colts within seven
with four minutes to go on a 50-yard completion to Marvin Harrison.
Indianapolis got the ball back after an Oakland punt, and the Colts
reached the 34 before a fourth-down pass to Harrison was
intercepted by Tory James in the end zone with a minute to go.
Manning was 33-for-48 for 367 yards -- but just 8-for-18 for 129
yards in the Colts' dismal second half.
"They came with a different defense and it took us a little
while to communicate at the line. We had a couple of missed
assignments," Manning said. "We really did (feel a change of
momentum). In the third quarter, we couldn't get much going. You've
got to give them credit, though. They made the plays. But we
certainly helped that by not executing."
The game-ending interception by James was his second of the
game. He returned an earlier theft 25 yards in the third quarter to
set up the third TD run by Gannon, tying the game at 24.
The Colts went three-and-out on the next series, then a 34-yard
pass from Gannon to Andre Rison set up a 6-yard scoring run by
Wheatley that gave the Raiders their first lead with 41 seconds
left in the third quarter. Wheatley also scored from the 1 on the
Raiders' first possession of the final period.
"Rich did a good job of putting down the ball and getting some
big yards for us," Raiders coach Jon Gruden said. "He made some
good adjustments and made some big plays.
"We showed great confidence in our running and passing in the
The Colts scored on their first three possessions, when Manning
completed 14 straight passes after missing on the first play of the
A 10-yard pass to Harrison and a 15-yard run by Edgerrin James
set up a 13-yard completion to Pollard for the first touchdown on
the opening series. Continuing to use his tight ends as receivers,
Manning passed 17 yards to Ken Dilger on the next possession, and
three plays later hit Dilger again for 5 yards before James ran the
final 6 for the touchdown.
A 9-yard pass to Dilger, a 10-yard completion to Harrison -- a
play the Colts successfully challenged after it initially was ruled
he had trapped the ball -- and a roughing-the-passer penalty on the
Raiders' Regan Upshaw helped the Colts to the Oakland 10. Two plays
later, James caught a 10-yard pass for his second touchdown and a
21-0 lead early in the second period.
Gannon scored his first touchdown on a 3-yard run late in the
second quarter and his second on a 7-yard carry on the first
possession of the third period. A fumble by Dilger set up a 24-yard
field goal by Sebastian Janikowski midway through the quarter, and
the Raiders tied it on a 6-yard run by Gannon three plays after the
first interception by James.
||TOM DONAHOE'S BREAKDOWN
This was another game that went back and forth, similar to the Jacksonville-Baltimore game.
Peyton Manning was exceptional early, throwing for 367 yards overall. But Oakland hung in there, scoring 31 unanswered points to rally for the victory. The Colts had a chance to tie it late in the game, but on a fourth-and-25 they were unsuccessful.
Rich Gannon did a great job for Oakland being a leader in the second half with some of his throws and scrambles -- he rushed for three touchdowns and was able to bring the Raiders back.
This is a significant win for Oakland because it was a road game against one of the teams that people feel is a team to beat in the AFC.
It was Oakland's first regular-season game in Indianapolis,
leaving Jacksonville and Minnesota as the only NFL teams that have
never played in the RCA Dome. Both of those teams will play here
later in the season. ... Harrison, playing despite a sore shoulder,
caught 10 passes for 141 yards. It was his 62nd straight game with
at least one reception, tying him with Jessie Hester for second
behind Marshall Faulk's club-record 77 consecutive games. ...
Oakland DT Darrell Russell, quoted earlier in the week as saying
Manning has never won a "big game," had three tackles and one of
two sacks against Manning.
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Jon Gruden says the Raiders are on their way to gaining respect.
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