The return of JaMarcus Russell lead to even more disappointment in Oakland as the Raiders fell to the Redskins 34-13. In a rematch of the two teams featured in the Raiders last Super Bowl win -- SB XVIII in 1984, Oakland and the Redskins grinded it out on a wet field in intermittent rain throughout the afternoon.
Russell entered the game at the start of the Raiders first possession of the second half amid an outpouring of boos after it was announced that starter Bruce Gradkowski was out for the rest of the game with a knee injury. The nine-play drive stalled out after 20 yards but lead to a 54-yard Sebastian Janikowski field goal cutting the Skins lead to 17-13.
That was as close as it would be in the second half. East Bay native, running back Quinton Ganther, scored his first ever NFL touchdown in the fourth quarter on a one-yard dive to give Washington an 11-point lead making it 24-13. Russell followed on the next possession by throwing an interception to Redskins safety LaRon Landry. After the Skins took over in Raiders territory, Ganther broke across the goal line for another TD at 9:42 in the fourth helping Washington break open a 31-13 lead.
The Raiders started the game with some offensive spark. After a 48-yard pick up on a Gradkowski to Darren McFadden pass play, Janikowski hit a 33-yard field goal to give Oakland the first lead of the game. On the following drive, Washington QB Jason Campbell and Ganther helped the Skins run the field 77-yards en route to a six-yard Fred Davis TD catch.
The Raiders responded with a 50-yard drive culminating in a downpour and a Justin Fargas one-yard TD dive before he dove into the Black Hole, not to emerge for a good 15 seconds during an endzone celebration in the rain. Then Graham Gano kicked his first NFL field goal, a 46-yarder to tie the game at 7:27 in the second quarter. Gano added one more field goal, a 41-yarder taking the lead to 34-13 with 2:47 left in the game.
After the Raiders punted with under two minutes left before the half, 30 yards of penalties augmented a Washington drive that in 52-seconds saw the former USC Trojan tight end Davis catch his second touchdown of the day, a 17-yard grab giving the Skins a 17-10 halftime lead.
Redskins rookie Brian Orakpo had four sacks on the afternoon taking his season total to 11. Raiders rookie receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey was inactive for a second straight week for the Oakland Raiders because of a foot injury. The Raiders also placed left guard Robert Gallery on injured reserve before Sunday’s game.
Oakland faces the Broncos in Denver next Sunday.