Brady plays mistake-free in 31-19 win over RaidersBy JOSH DUBOW, AP Sports Writer Monday, Oct 3, 2011
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP)—Tom Brady(notes) went back to his usual ways of protecting the ball and it was the New England Patriots who took advantage of interceptions a week after being doomed by Brady’s four picks.
Brady bounced back from his debacle in Buffalo by throwing for 226 yards and two touchdowns, and committing no turnovers to help the Patriots beat the mistake-prone Oakland Raiders 31-19 Sunday.
“If you’re going to throw passes you’re going to throw interceptions. That’s part of playing quarterback,” Brady said. “If it happens, it happens. You have to bounce back. We did a much better job of taking care of the football, which I think was a big reason why we won.”
The Raiders (2-2) were unable to say the same as Jason Campbell(notes) threw two interceptions, including a game-changer in the end zone at the end of the first half that went right to safety Patrick Chung(notes) with no receiver in the area.
“It was just a bonehead play,” Campbell said. “I was just going to throw the ball out of bounds, then I start running around trying to make a play.”
Wes Welker(notes) caught nine passes for 158 yards and a score, BenJarvus Green-Ellis(notes) and Stevan Ridley(notes) added rushing touchdowns, and the Patriots (3-1) played a mostly mistake-free game after last week’s surprising loss.
“It’s always big to bounce back,” said Welker, who has 40 catches for 616 yards through four games.
“We had the letdown last week and we got a bounce-back from that,” he said. “Coming on the road into a hostile environment, it’s a big win for us. It was good to see.”
Campbell threw another interception early in the fourth quarter to 325-pound defensive lineman Vince Wilfork(notes) as the Raiders were unable to give the energized sellout crowd much to cheer about after the opening minutes.
“We just didn’t play well enough to win,” Seymour said. “There’s no excuses about it. They played better than we did.”
But the biggest mistake was the one made by Campbell at the end of the first half.
The Raiders were at the New England 6 and in position to take a 17-14 lead when Campbell stepped up in the pocket and threw the ball directly to Chung.
The Patriots drove for a 44-yard field goal by Stephen Gostkowski(notes) in the closing seconds of the half. New England then took the opening kickoff of the third quarter down the field for a score on Ridley’s 33-yard run. The Raiders trailed 24-10 by the time Campbell took his next snap.
“It cost us. It cost our team,” Campbell said. “It’s something I don’t usually do. Unfortunately, it happened. And from that point on, it kind of stirred the momentum. We just pretty much were going tit for tat at that point. You’re going against a team like New England, an offensive juggernaut, you can’t have mistakes like that.”
Oakland settled for a field goal deep in New England territory late in the third quarter after the officials overturned a pass interference call against the Patriots.
New England answered with another touchdown drive capped by Brady’s 4-yard pass to Deion Branch(notes) that made it 31-13 and gave him 275 career TDs, tying Vinny Testaverde for eighth place. Brady passed his boyhood hero Joe Montana on the career list with his TD pass to Welker in the first quarter and he also tied Peyton Manning’s(notes) record of 13 straight games with at least two TD passes.
“I’ll never be in Joe’s category,” Brady said. “We throw the ball a lot more than they threw it back then. It’s much more of a passing league now than it’s ever been. Every one of those touchdowns was important today, so it was fun. It was fun to be back out there after last week.”
The Patriots held an opponent to under 20 points for the first time this season, a drastic change from last week’s 34-31 loss to the Bills.
Darren McFadden(notes), the NFL’s leading rusher, had 75 yards on 14 carries. Campbell finished 25 for 39 for 344 yards, but the Raiders made it into the end zone only once before Campbell’s 6-yard TD pass to Denarius Moore(notes) with 28 seconds left.
Brady, who threw for a record 1,327 yards in the first three games, needed to do much less against the Raiders. He completed 16 of 30 passes as New England did plenty of damage on the ground with Ridley rushing for 97 yards and Green-Ellis adding 75.
Notes: The Raiders held a moment of silence before the game for Myra Kraft, the late wife of New England owner Robert Kraft. … New England scored at least 30 points for the 12th straight game. … Oakland had 19 points on six trips inside the New England 30.
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