In a soggy slugfest at the Coliseum, the (9-5) New England Patriots stayed in the playoff hunt with a 49-26 win over the (3-11) Oakland Raiders.
Patriots quarterback Matt Cassel, who left the team earlier in the week after the death of his father, had four touchdown passes on the day -- two to former Raider Randy Moss.
Another former Raider, LaMont Jordan, all but put the final nail in the coffin with a 49-yard touchdown run for the Pats with 6:09 left in the game. (3 plays, 57 yards, 1:28)
The Raiders kept the fight alive as rookie running back Darren McFadden took off on an 11-yard touchdown run with 1:53 left in the game. The two-point conversion attempt failed. (11 plays, 57 yards, 4:16)
Ronald Curry pulled in a 10-yard lob from JaMarcus Russell for a touchdown with 5:01 in the third quarter. The extra point was blocked. (5 plays, 54 yards, 2:08)
The Patriots opened up the third quarter with a bang, driving the field before a 7-yard Matt Cassel to Randy Moss touchdown pass -- their second TD connection of the day, and the second time Moss pointed to the name on the back of his jersey with his back to the Black Hole. (7 plays, 68 yards, 3:24)
The first half was a 49-point track meet where New England scored touchdowns on 5 drives out of 7 total. Defense on special teams was less than stellar for both teams. Here's a breakdown of the first half:
The Patriots opening drive ended with Matt Cassel finding Kevin Faulk for a 7-yard TD pass and an early 7-point lead at 10:23 in the first quarter. (9 plays, 40 yards, 2:59) [NE 7 - OAK 0]
Randy Moss faced the Black Hole section and celebrated his 9th TD of the season after hauling in a 20 yard pass from Matt Cassel with former Pats DB Rashad Baker defending for the Raiders at 7:57 in the first quarter. (3 plays, 35 yards, :57) [NE 14 - OAK 0]
Sammy Morris blasted 29 yards for the Patriots third touchdown in their first three drives. (9 plays, 83 yards, 3:08) [NE 21 - OAK 0]
The Raiders ended the drought with an electric 56 yard touchdown catch by Johnnie Lee Higgins -- assisted by a great block from TE Zach Miller -- at 1:34 in the first quarter. It was Oakland's first, first half offensive touchdown since Sept. 28 versus San Diego. (4 plays, 66 yards, 2:09) [NE 21 - OAK 7]
Wes Welker made it 4-for-4 -- four touchdowns in four straight drives -- with a 13 yard scoring catch at 13:12 in the second quarter. (7 plays, 77 yards, 3:22) [NE 28 - OAK 7]
Justin Miller scampered 91 yards on a kickoff return for a touchdown to get Oakland back to within two scores at the 12:59 mark of the second quarter. [NE 28 - OAK 14]
The Patriots answered an Oakland kickoff return for a touchdown with one of their own on the ensuing kick as Ellis Hobbs went 95 yards down the New England sideline for the Pats fifth straight score of the first half at 12:46 in the second quarter. [NE 35 - OAK 14]
NFL Commissioner Sighting -- Roger Goodell was in Oakland for the game. It began to rain at the Coliseum just after the National Anthem and during the coin toss. After the death of his father earlier in the week, Patriots quarterback Matt Cassel started the game. Former Raiders WR Randy Moss made his return to Oakland where his 3 touchdowns in the 2006 season were immediately improved upon by a +20 -- he had an NFL record 23 touchdowns for the Pats last season.