Final Score: Oakland 16, St. Louis 14
Oakland, CA (Sports Network) - Bruce Gradkowski replaced Jason Campbell after
halftime and led Oakland to the go-ahead touchdown, as the Raiders held off
the St. Louis Rams, 16-14, in their home opener.
Gradkowski completed 11-of-22 throws for 162 yards and was picked off once,
while Campbell threw for 87 yards on 8-of-15 passing, with one interception.
Darren McFadden ran for 145 yards on 30 carries for Oakland (1-1), which was
blown out by Tennessee, 38-13, in its opener.
"It's a good win in that it's the first of the year. Not a very pretty win,
obviously, but we'll take it," said Raiders head coach Tom Cable. "I made the
switch at halftime at quarterback...just to give the team a lift. I felt like
we needed to change it up a little bit. My job is to win games and do whatever
it takes to do that."
Rookie Sam Bradford completed 14-of-25 passes for 167 yards and two
touchdowns to Mark Clayton, and was intercepted once as the Rams (0-2)
dropped another close game. They had lost their opener to Arizona by a 17-13
With Campbell pulled, Gradkowski took over to begin the second half and drove
the Raiders to the St. Louis 23 before Sebastian Janikowski kicked a 41-yarder
to make it a 7-6 game. After a Rams punt, Gradkowski led Oakland to the end
On the first two plays of the drive, Gradkowski connected with Darrius
Heyward-Bey for 16 yards and Zach Miller for 24. McFadden ran for nine yards
before busting out for a 30-yard gain to the Rams' four.
Then, on third down, Gradkowski found Louis Murphy open on the right side of
the end zone for a touchdown and 13-7 lead. Oakland tacked on a 22-yarder from
Janikowski five minutes into the fourth.
Bradford was intercepted by Stanford Routt on the second play of the ensuing
series, but got St. Louis to the end zone later in the quarter. After
Gradkowski was intercepted by Jerome Murphy, the Rams took over at their own
41-yard line with 4:05 to play and advanced thanks to two Oakland penalties.
The second, an unnecessary roughness call on linebacker Rolando McClain -- who
slammed receiver Danny Amendola to the ground after a catch -- put the Rams at
the Oakland 33.
Two plays later, Bradford found Clayton at the goal line for a catch. It was
initially ruled incomplete, but replays showed Clayton got his right foot in
the corner of the end zone as he was being pushed out of bounds, and the call
The score had St. Louis within 16-14 with 3:18 to play, but the Rams didn't
get another touch. With just under three minutes left, Gradkowski converted a
3rd-and-7 with a 13-yard pass to Murphy, and the Raiders held on from there.
"You can't win in the NFL when you beat yourself. I preface that by saying I
do think Oakland did a nice job in the second half, they win the football game
and we lose," said Rams head coach Steve Spagnuolo.
There was no scoring in the first quarter, as each team missed a field goal.
After Janikowski's 46-yard try went wide left late in the frame, the Rams took
over at their own 36.
Steven Jackson rushed for 23 yards on the final play of the quarter, and St.
Louis continued to drive in the second. Bradford's 24-yard pass to Jackson had
the Rams in a 1st-and-goal from the eight, and after Jackson ran for a yard,
Bradford connected with Clayton for a touchdown.
The Raiders got on the board thanks to Janikowski's 38-yarder with 3:22 left,
then forced the Rams to punt. Oakland took over with 1:22 to play, but
Campbell made two mistakes. He fumbled before recovering the ball, then was
picked off by James Butler.
Jackson had 75 yards on 19 carries for the Rams, while adding four catches for
50 yards...Murphy finished with six receptions for 91 yards. Heyward-Bey had
six grabs for 80 yards...The interception was the first for Jerome Murphy, a
rookie defensive back for the Rams...McFadden, the fourth overall pick in the
2008 draft, recorded his second career 100-yard rushing game...The Raiders
held the ball for 36:49.
09/19 21:04:07 ET
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