Patriots
Raiders
49 - 26 Final
  for this game

Grieving Cassel sticks it to Raiders

Dec 15, 2008 - 2:28 AM OAKLAND, California (Ticker) -- Nearly five years later, the Oakland Raiders were victimized by another grieving quarterback.

Matt Cassel threw for a career-high four scores - including three in the first half - as the New England Patriots won a shootout with the Raiders, 49-26, on Sunday.

Sammy Morris ran for 117 of the Patriots' 277 yards on the ground. Overall, New England (9-5) racked up 487 yards to keep pace with the New York Jets (9-5) and Miami Dolphins (9-5) in the AFC East.

Former Raider Randy Moss caught a pair of touchdown passes in his return to Oakland. Moss spent two mostly unproductive seasons in Oakland before being traded to New England for a fourth-round pick on draft day 2007.

In any other week, Moss' return would have been the main story line of this game. However, Cassel put aside his emotions and directed an offensive onslaught just six days after his father Greg passed away.

"I can't say enough about Matt Cassel," New England head coach Bill Belichick said.

"I've been through that myself a couple years ago. I know what that's like. I thought he did a great job in his preparation and his focus and showed a lot of commitment to the team. He carried us a long way today."

Cassel left the team on Wednesday, but returned to practice the next day. He honored his dad with an impressive performance, much like Brett Favre did on December 23, 2003, when he threw four first-half touchdown passes against the Raiders after his father passed away.

Playing with a heavy heart, Cassel led the Patriots (9-5) to scores on each of their first four possessions. Cassel finished 18-of-30 for 218 yards and one interception.

"Football is important to him, but it's a big loss for Matt and I'm sure that it is tough for him," Patriots linebacker Mike Vrabel said. "But he's a professional, he went out and, first of all, he prepared really well all week and went out and played hard like he always does and makes big plays."

The Northridge, California native hit Kevin Faulk for a 7-yard score and added a 20-yard strike to Moss just over two minutes later for a 14-0 lead.

Cassel addressed the emotional week afterward.

"It's been a tough week for me and my family and the coaches, the players, Mr. Kraft (owner Robert Kraft), everybody has done such a great job of supporting me through this tough time, and my family as well," Cassel said.

"I just wanted to thank everybody for the messages and their condolences and we appreciate it as a family and I appreciate it as a person, and that's all I really wanted to say about that."

Morris scored from 29 yards out with 3:50 left in the first, and Wes Welker hauled in a 13-yard TD as New England stretched the lead to 28-7 with 13:19 left in the second.

"He came out and focused. ... He tried to put everything aside and go out there for his dad and play well for him and he accomplished that today," Welker said of Cassel.

"Our mentality is each game is a playoff game and we can't afford to lose a game," Morris said.

Oakland's Justin Miller and Ellis Hobbs exchanged 91- and 95-yard kickoff returns respectively, and the Patriots carried a 35-14 lead into the locker room.

The points continued to rain down in the second half, as Cassel hooked up with Moss on a 9-yard score early in the third quarter to make it 42-14. Moss finished with five catches for 67 yards.

Another former Raider, LaMont Jordan, added to Oakland's misery with a 49-yard TD run with 6:09 left. Jordan carried 12 times for 97 yards.

"It was a great feeling for me personally, but to see us as a team, go out here and dominate a team the way we did, especially the position we're in, you always like to see that," said Jordan, who spent three seasons with the Raiders.

JaMarcus Russell threw a pair of touchdowns and rookie Darren McFadden had a TD run for Oakland (3-11).






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    Patriots 49, Raiders 26  FinalDec 15 12:52 AM
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    Patriots 49, Raiders 26  FinalDec 15 12:49 AM


  • NFL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    NEW ENGLAND 21 14 7 7 49
    OAKLAND 7 7 6 6 26 FINAL
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: NWE - TD, KEVIN FAULK 7 YD PASS FROM MATT
    CASSEL (STEPHEN GOSTKOWSKI KICK),
    4:37. Drive: 9 plays, 40 yards in
    2:59. Key plays: Faulk 14-yard punt
    return to Oakland 40; Cassel
    16-yard pass to

    Dec 14 7:27 PM


  • NFL
    TD OAK
    DARREN MCFADDEN 7 YD RUN
    (TWO-POINT CONVERSION FAILED)
    NEW ENGLAND 49
    OAKLAND 26 1:53 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Patriots 49, Raiders 26  4th - 1:53Dec 14 7:22 PM


  • NFL
    TD NWE
    LAMONT JORDAN 49 YD RUN
    (STEPHEN GOSTKOWSKI KICK)
    NEW ENGLAND 49
    OAKLAND 20 6:09 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Patriots 49, Raiders 20  4th - 6:09Dec 14 6:59 PM


  • NFL
    END, 3RD QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    NEW ENGLAND 21 14 7 42
    OAKLAND 7 7 6 20 END, 3RD QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: NWE - TD, KEVIN FAULK 7 YD PASS FROM MATT
    CASSEL (STEPHEN GOSTKOWSKI KICK),
    4:37. Drive: 9 plays, 40 yards in
    2:59. Key plays: Faulk 14-yard punt
    return to Oakland 40; Cassel
    16-yard

    Dec 14 6:40 PM


  • CORRECTION
    NFL TD OAK
    RONALD CURRY 10 YD PASS FROM JAMARCUS RUSSELL
    (PAT BLOCKED)
    NEW ENGLAND 42
    OAKLAND 20 5:01 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    Patriots 42, Raiders 20  3rd - 5:01Dec 14 6:30 PM


  • NFL
    TD OAK
    RONALD CURRY 10 YD PASS FROM JAMARCUS RUSSELL
    (SEBASTIAN JANIKOWSKI KICK)
    NEW ENGLAND 42
    OAKLAND 21 5:01 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    Patriots 42, Raiders 21  3rd - 5:01Dec 14 6:28 PM
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    Patriots 42, Raiders 14  3rd - 9:20Dec 14 6:17 PM


  • NFL
    TD NWE
    RANDY MOSS 9 YD PASS FROM MATT CASSEL
    (STEPHEN GOSTKOWSKI KICK)
    NEW ENGLAND 42
    OAKLAND 14 11:36 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    Patriots 42, Raiders 14  3rd - 11:36Dec 14 6:05 PM


  • NFL
    HALFTIME 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    NEW ENGLAND 21 14 35
    OAKLAND 7 7 14 HALFTIME
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: NWE - TD, KEVIN FAULK 7 YD PASS FROM MATT
    CASSEL (STEPHEN GOSTKOWSKI KICK),
    4:37. Drive: 9 plays, 40 yards in
    2:59. Key plays: Faulk 14-yard punt
    return to Oakland 40; Cassel
    16-yard pass

    Dec 14 5:50 PM


  • NFL
    TD NWE
    ELLIS HOBBS 95 YD KICKOFF RETURN
    (STEPHEN GOSTKOWSKI KICK)
    NEW ENGLAND 35
    OAKLAND 14 12:46 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Patriots 35, Raiders 14  2nd - 12:46Dec 14 5:17 PM


  • NFL
    TD OAK
    JUSTIN MILLER 91 YD KICKOFF RETURN
    (SEBASTIAN JANIKOWSKI KICK)
    NEW ENGLAND 28
    OAKLAND 14 12:59 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Patriots 28, Raiders 14  2nd - 12:59Dec 14 5:13 PM


  • NFL
    TD NWE
    WES WELKER 13 YD PASS FROM MATT CASSEL
    (STEPHEN GOSTKOWSKI KICK)
    NEW ENGLAND 28
    OAKLAND 7 13:12 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Patriots 28, Raiders 7  2nd - 13:12Dec 14 5:10 PM


  • NFL
    END, 1ST QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    NEW ENGLAND 21 21
    OAKLAND 7 7 END, 1ST QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: NWE - TD, KEVIN FAULK 7 YD PASS FROM MATT
    CASSEL (STEPHEN GOSTKOWSKI KICK),
    4:37. Drive: 9 plays, 40 yards in
    2:59. Key plays: Faulk 14-yard punt
    return to Oakland 40; Cassel
    16-yard

    Dec 14 5:04 PM


  • NFL
    TD OAK
    JOHNNIE LEE HIGGINS 56 YD PASS FROM JAMARCUS RUSSELL
    (SEBASTIAN JANIKOWSKI KICK)
    NEW ENGLAND 21
    OAKLAND 7 1:34 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Patriots 21, Raiders 7  1st - 1:34Dec 14 5:01 PM


  • NFL
    TD NWE
    SAMMY MORRIS 29 YD RUN
    (STEPHEN GOSTKOWSKI KICK)
    NEW ENGLAND 21
    OAKLAND 0 3:43 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Patriots 21, Raiders 0  1st - 3:43Dec 14 4:51 PM


  • NFL
    TD NWE
    RANDY MOSS 20 YD PASS FROM MATT CASSEL
    (STEPHEN GOSTKOWSKI KICK)
    NEW ENGLAND 14
    OAKLAND 0 7:57 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Patriots 14, Raiders 0  1st - 7:57Dec 14 4:36 PM


  • NFL
    TD NWE
    KEVIN FAULK 7 YD PASS FROM MATT CASSEL
    (STEPHEN GOSTKOWSKI KICK)
    NEW ENGLAND 7
    OAKLAND 0 10:23 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Patriots 7, Raiders 0  1st - 10:23Dec 14 4:30 PM
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