- The Washington Times - Monday, November 21, 2005

The opportunity was there for the taking.

David Patten underwent season-ending knee surgery Friday. James Thrash left yesterday’s game before halftime because of a pulled hamstring.

Washington Redskins wide receiver Taylor Jacobs was there to fill in, a chance he had sought for so long.

Jacobs, however, didn’t take advantage of his first start in a two-wideout set. He caught just three passes for 17 yards as the Redskins lost to the Oakland Raiders 16-13 at FedEx Field.

“It was very disappointing,” Jacobs said. “The corner would be real close to you at the line of scrimmage, and at the snap of the ball, most of the time, he would turn around and start running.

“One of their corners runs 4.2, and the other one runs 4.4. When they turn around and start running, what do you do?”

Star receiver Santana Moss and reliable H-back Chris Cooley caught nine of the 14 balls quarterback Mark Brunell threw their way. Jacobs, however, caught only three of the 10 passes for which he was the quarterback’s target.

“When your number’s called, you’ve got to be able to. … This is what you get paid to do,” guard Randy Thomas said of the Redskins’ depleted receiver corps.

Jacobs referred to the loss of Thrash, also a big contributor on special teams, as “catastrophic.” It certainly didn’t help that the Redskins, who opened the game in a three-receiver set, were left with undrafted rookie Rich Parson as their No. 3 wideout after Thrash was sidelined. Parson was promoted from the practice squad just two days earlier.

Brunell admitted that opposing defenses are frustrating Washington’s once-potent downfield passing game by rolling coverage to neutralize Moss.

“When you don’t have your guys, you drop off a little bit, but it’s important for guys to step in there and make some plays,” Brunell said. “They brought a safety over the top the whole time. They pretty much double-covered Santana. They didn’t want Santana down the field.

“We got down there one time on a fade route. That should come as no surprise to us. If that’s the case, we have to find a way to get the ball to other guys.”

Sellers taken to hospital

Redskins H-back and special teams standout Mike Sellers suffered pain in his lower left back and was taken to a hospital after the game.

Sellers was injured during a Redskins punt midway through the fourth quarter when the Raiders’ Isaiah Ekejiuba blocked him from the side. Sellers remained on the field for several minutes before gingerly walking to the bench.

Director of sports medicine Bubba Tyer said X-rays revealed no rib fractures, but the medical staff was concerned about the possibility of a bruised kidney.

“He went to the hospital to get some tests, and we’ll possibly keep him overnight for observation,” Tyer said.

Moments after leaving the field, Sellers came back on for a Redskins punt return and lined up opposite Ekejiuba. Sellers basically started pounding on him and was called for a 10-yard holding penalty.

“He’s one of our best football players, particularly on special teams and one of our leaders,” coach Joe Gibbs said. “That’s a situation where you have to hold your poise and play football, and you can’t afford to get penalties.”

Once in the locker room after the game, Sellers was given oxygen and pain medication before boarding an ambulance.

Jordan fights back

LaMont Jordan walked into the interview room dressed in fatigues and combat boots, and he scoffed when he looked at the stat sheet.

Jordan, the all-time leading rusher at Maryland, now is the featured back for the Oakland Raiders. He managed only 52 yards on 27 carries for an unimpressive 1.9-yard average yesterday.

He didn’t like his numbers, but he liked the philosophy he saw at work.

“We were going power football,” said Jordan, whose season average coming in was 3.8 yards a carry. “It was only 1 yard here, 2 yards there. But what it does is develop a mind-set.”

The Suitland native kept the Redskins’ defense honest with a bashing style that eventually opened up the field for some big passing plays.

Jordan nearly scored the go-ahead touchdown in the final minutes when he caught a swing pass on a third-and-6 at the Washington 9 and was knocked out of bounds at the 1.

Jordan said he crossed the plane of the goal line with his outstretched arms.

“I know I got in,” said Jordan, who also had an 18-yard reception on the drive to set up the game-winning field goal. “I think the referees did a good job of trying to give the Redskins the game.”

Jordan signed as a free agent with Oakland in the offseason after spending his first four seasons as a backup with the New York Jets.

The 5-foot-10, 230-pound power rusher also is the Raiders’ leading receiver with 52 catches for 436 yards. Jordan caught five balls for 37 yards yesterday.

“I told [quarterback] Kerry [Collins] they were leaving me open out of the backfield,” Jordan said. “And if they don’t check me, just throw me the ball.”

Collins did.

Before Jordan made his mark on the final drive, he hurt the Raiders with two drops on the previous possession.

“It was third down, and we would have had a first down,” Jordan said of his final drop. “It’s one of those things you just have to let it go.”

Happy homecoming

Raiders receiver Jerry Porter scored the game’s only offensive touchdown on a 49-yard reception when he beat linebacker Lemar Marshall in the end zone to cut the Redskins’ lead to 13-10 in the third quarter.

The Washington native posted a stellar day with six catches for 142 yards to help bail out a struggling offense.

“I got a little choked up before the game,” said Porter, whose mother was in the crowd. The sixth-year veteran participated in four sports — football, basketball, baseball and track — at Coolidge High School before going to college at West Virginia.

Porter has 47 catches on the season for 663 yards and four touchdowns. Only Randy Moss, with five, has more touchdowns for the Raiders.

Porter was involved in a violent collision when he came across the middle for a 25-yard catch and was drilled by safety Sean Taylor.

“I came off a little woozy.” said Porter.

However, he came back later in the drive with an 8-yard catch to help set up the game-tying field goal.

Love for Norv

The Raiders came to FedEx Field knowing they needed a victory to keep their slim playoff hopes alive. They also came hoping to score a victory for Redskins-turned-Raiders coach Norv Turner.

“We had to get a win,” Raiders defensive end Bobby Hamilton said. “That is why we gave him the game ball. He came back to his hometown and the team that ran him out of town, and he succeeded. We are just extremely excited to win this game for the team and for Coach.”

Turner and the team didn’t speak of his tumultuous reign in Washington in the week leading up to the contest, although it was clearly in everyone’s thoughts.

“Everybody knew the history of what happened, and it was unjust,” Porter said. “We just wanted to come out and play well.”

Clark’s knee holds up

Safety Ryan Clark injured his knee during kickoff coverage but returned to make three tackles.

“A guy got me from the side, and it hurts, but who in Week [11] isn’t playing with pain?” Clark said. “We’re all playing with pain right now. I was nervous when it happened though.”

Pass rush issues

The Redskins produced one sack, by Chris Clemons, in 38 dropbacks by Raiders quarterback Kerry Collins.

In the past two games the Redskins scored one sack in 68 combined dropbacks by Collins and Bucs quarterback Chris Simms and have only 15 sacks in 10 games this season.

“It seems like teams block differently when they play us because of the pressure we bring,” defensive end Phillip Daniels said. “They max protect, slide the line and leave guys in to block. But we have to find a way to keep pushing.”

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