New England Patriots running back Stevan Ridley, left, breaks away from Oakland Raiders safety Tyvon Branch, right, and cornerback Stanford Routt to score a touchdown on a 33-yard run during the third quarter of their NFL football game in Oakland, Calif., Sunday, Oct. 2, 2011.

In a huge road test the New England Patriots were able to prevail and beat the Oakland Raiders at Coliseum in Oakland CA on Sunday afternoon, 31-19.

Despite the Patriots defense giving up 5-4 total yards they were able to once again hold the NFL’s leading rusher, Darren McFadden to under 100 yards as he has 75 yards on 14 carries.  Oakland QB Jason Campbell, a Washington Redskins reject, was 25 of 39 for 344 yards with 1 TD and 1 INT.  Campbell’s TD pass came in the games final minute to WR Denarius Moore.

On the bright side for New England defensively the held an opponent to fewer than 20 points, despite the yardage allowed.  They also kept Oakland to 8 for 13 on third down and 0 for 1 on 4th down conversion attempts, after being shredded on third down in the loss to the Buffalo Bills last week.

Oakland shot themselves in the foot early courtesy of former Patriot Richard Seymour who personally kept the Patriots first scoring drive alive by giving them 30 of the 80 yards they needed when he drew two personal foul penalties that resulted in first downs.

The first was a roughing the passer call on Tom Brady after the play was blown dead for delay of game.  Seymour came in and wrapped up Brady who was just standing there and proceeded to throw him to the ground in front of an official who did absolutely nothing to protect the league MVP.  Instead of looking at 3rd and 25 it was 15 yards the other way and an automatic first down.

The second was for a facemask on RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis later in the drive that once again improved the Patriots field position.  In all Oakland was flagged 9 times for 85 yards as they continue to be the NFL’s most penalized team.

Campbell also killed a pair of drives with INT’s.  The first was as the Raiders were trying to take the lead before the half as Patrick Chung snagged his pass in the end zone to kill that drive.  The Patriots then marched down field and added a Stephen Gostkowski field goal to go up 17-10 at the half and it was a 10-point swing.

The second was by Vince Wilfork, who has suddenly become an interception machine, who lumbered with the ball 19 yards in the fourth quarter and effectively all but ended the game.

Offensively Brady was not nearly as prolific as he had been the first three weeks he was a mere mortal on Sunday as he went 16 of 30 for 226 yards and 2 TD’s, one to Deion Branch and one to Wes Welker.  He was also sacked once.

Rookie Stevan Ridley had 97 yards and a score, while Green-Ellis has a TD and 75 yards on the ground.  Those are the Patriots two largest rushing totals this season.

Receiving Welker had 9 catches for 158 yards and Chad Ochocinco had 2 grabs for 26 yards to lead the club.

Both teams now go into Week 4 at 3-1.

Patriots at Raiders Gamebook. This includes the box score, all the stats, play by play, drive charts and more.

Patriots at Raiders Game Recap via Associated Press.

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Turning Point(s) of the Game

Chung’s pick of Campbell in the end zone before the half.  It turned into a huge 10-point swing and kept the Patriots in front going into half time and allowed them to build a lead early in the third quarter instead of having to come from behind.

Offensive Player of the Game

Patriots rookie RB Stevan Ridley who had 96 yards rushing and scored his first NFL TD while toting the rock for 10 carries.

Defensive Players of the Game

Patriots NT Vince Wilfork and S Patrick Chung, both had big INT’s to kill Oakland drives.  Chung also had four tackles while Wilfork added 1.

Game Notes

Starters for the Patriots were:

On Offense:

LT Light
LG Mankins
C Connolly
RG Waters
RT Solder
TE Gronkowski
TE Welch
WR Branch
WR Welker
QB Brady
RB Green-Ellis

On Defense:

DE Ellis
DT Wilfork
DT Love
DE Carter
OLB Mayo
ILB Spikes
OLB Ninkovich
CB McCourty
CB Arrington
S Chung
S Barrett

Inactives for the Game:


1. DE Mike Wright (concussion)

2. RT Sebastian Vollmer (back)

3. TE Aaron Hernandez (MCL)

4. DT Albert Haynesworth (back)

5. CB Ras-I Dowling (hip)

6. CB Leigh Bodden (groin)

7. QB Ryan Mallett


1. CB Chris Johnson (hamstring)

2. WR Louis Murphy (groin)

3. S Michael Huff (concussion)

4. LB Ricky Brown (concussion)

5. FB Marcel Reece (ankle)

6. DE Matt Shaughnessy (shoulder)

7. T Stephon Heyer

Two cool moments occurred prior to the game, 1st Raiders Black Hole members applauded Patriots owner Robert Kraft when he came on the field during pregame warm ups.   Kraft was seen talking and signing autographs for Black Hole members.

Secondly the Raiders held a moment of silence for Kraft’s late wife, Myra.  Very classy gestures by both the fans and Raiders organization who at times take a lot of heat.

New England and Oakland players wore pink apparel in support of the NFL’s Breast Cancer Awareness initiatives this month.

The spread (Patriots minus 4) was covered; the over/under (55) was not.  I am now 3-1 vs. the spread and 3 of 4 calling the under/over.

The Patriots have scored 30 or more points in 12 consecutive games.  The NFL record is 14 games.

The Patriots lead the all-time series 17-15-1 including playoffs dating back to 1960 when both clubs were founding members of the AFL.

Since Robert Kraft purchased the team in 1994 the Patriots are 4-2 vs. the Raiders.

The Patriots are just 3-6 vs. the Raiders in Oakland including playoffs.

Since 2000 the Patriots have the 2nd best road record in the NFL at 59-32.  Only Indianapolis 59-30 has better road record in the same span.

Since 2003 New England is 30-5 in October with a 14-4 mark on the road.

The New England defense has sacked the opponents quarterback 6 times in 3 games.

Bill Belichick now has 180 wins – 10th all-time.

He is 6-1 vs. Oakland in his career.  He is 4-1 against them as the head coach in New England including 1-0 in the playoffs.

Tom Brady is 3-1 vs. the Raiders including 1-0 in the playoffs.

Brady is 51-23 on the road in his career in the regular season.

Brady has thrown 13 TD’s and 5 INT’s while being sacked 4 times in four games.

Brady has 274 TD passes in his career he is now 9th all-time.  He passed his idol, Joe Montana who has 273.  Former teammate Vinnie Testaverde is 8th with 275.

New England is now plus 4 in turnover differential.

WR Wes Welker now has catches in 83 consecutive games including playoffs, 69 as a Patriot.  The last time Welker did not have a catch in a game was 12/24/05 as a Dolphin.

Patriot injuries of note are: LB Jerod Mayo (knee), RB Danny Woodhead (ankle), LB Rob Ninkovich (cramping), C Dan Connolly (neck) and DL Kyle Love (ankle).

A source says Mayo has a sprained MCL and could be out 6 weeks.

The Raiders re-sodded the field this week and there was no dirt infield area as the Athletics are done playing for the year.

The Raiders are 10-7 all-time against New England at home including 1-1 in the playoffs.

Oakland is 11-16 vs. the AFC East since 2001 including playoffs.

Raiders QB Terrelle Pryor’s 5 game suspension was upheld by the NFL late last week.

Tony Corrente was the game referee.  The temp at kickoff was 74 and it was sunny.

Post Game Interviews

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick and Patriots QB Tom Brady post game press conferences via

This Week in the AFC East

Cincinnati downed Buffalo, 23-20

San Diego beat Miami, 26-16

NY Jets @ Baltimore 820p

AFC East Standings

Patriots                   3-1/1-1

Bills                        3-1/1-0

Jets                        2-1/0-0

Dolphins                  0-4/0-1

Next Game

The Patriots host their AFC East rival New York Jets at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro MA on Sunday.  Kick off is at 4:15 p.m. on CBS.

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