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Raiders win in Callahan’s debut

By Janie McCauley The Associated Press The Associated Press
Monday September 09, 2002

OAKLAND – Oakland Raiders coach Bill Callahan had an impressive debut Sunday. 

Callahan, who replaced Jon Gruden after he left for Tampa Bay, saw Rich Gannon and Charlie Garner lead the Raiders to a 31-17 victory over the Seattle Seahawks. 

Gannon completed 19 of 28 passes for 214 yards and two touchdowns while Garner amassed 187 total yards and scored two touchdowns. 

The Raiders tallied 24 straight points to beat the Seahawks for the fifth straight time in the Coliseum since 1997. 

Because NFL realignment has separated the longtime AFC West rivals, Seattle is not slated to return to Oakland for a regular-season game until 2010. The Seahawks enter their first season in the NFC West this fall. 

Sunday’s meeting was much like last year’s game here, except this time Seattle quarterback Matt Hasselbeck played well. 

Hasselbeck, filling in for injured starter Trent Dilfer, completed his first eight passes and led the Seahawks into the end zone in their first offensive series with a 1-yard TD throw to Itula Mili. 

As the starter last season, he was sacked six times before getting benched with the Seahawks trailing 38-0 in an eventual 38-14 loss. 

In Seattle’s 1-3 preseason, Hasselbeck threw five interceptions and only one touchdown. 

Rookie Maurice Morris set up Mili’s touchdown when he returned a kickoff 66 yards to start the Seahawks’ drive on the Oakland 36. 

But then Seattle fell apart, struggling to convert third downs and allowing the Raiders touchdowns on their first three drives of the second quarter. 

Perhaps this win was enough for the Raiders to rid themselves of their bad memories from their embarrassing loss in Seattle last season, when Shaun Alexander ran all over them. 

Alexander’s name came up all week at the Raiders’ practice facility. He ran for 266 yards and three touchdowns, including an 88-yarder, as the Seahawks won 34-27 last November. 

Oakland’s new defensive front led by John Parrella and Sam Adams made sure to shut down Alexander. He was limited to 36 yards on 13 carries, but he added an 11-yard touchdown reception in the final minutes. 

Garner was the running back of the day. He carried 15 times for 123 yards and had five catches for 64. 

Gannon, who did not throw a touchdown pass the entire preseason, hit Tim Brown for an 8-yard TD pass on Oakland’s opening possession. 

Backup Raiders running back Zack Crockett was carted off the field late in the first quarter after injuring his neck while covering a punt. He was able to move his arms and legs but was taken to a local hospital for tests.