SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Tim Brown let his catches speak for
Without any of the grandstanding expected in the Battle of the
Bay, Brown caught two touchdown passes, including a 31-yarder in
overtime, as Oakland beat San Francisco 34-28 on Sunday.
"It was a beautiful throw," Brown said. "Just perfect."
The game could have been called the Blunder of the Bay, marked
by turnovers, miscues and missed opportunities.
"It was a crazy game, but it was a victory," Raiders receiver
Andre Rison said. "That's what counts the most."
The Raiders (4-1) won soon after Anthony Dorsett blocked Wade
Richey's 29-yard field-goal attempt.
Sebastian Janikowski, Oakland's top draft pick, missed two field
goals, including one in overtime, that could have given the AFC
West-leading Raiders the winning edge a lot earlier.
Tyrone Wheatley scored on a 1-yard run, Rich Gannon had a
13-yard keeper, and Janikowski did hit from 23 and 35 yards.
Janikowski missed a 41-yarder with less than five minutes to go
that would have broken the tie. Then he missed 35-yarder in
overtime, a questionable attempt that came on second-and 2. The
kick went wide right.
|Tim Brown pulls in the game-winning touchdown reception during Oakland's 34-28 overtime victory on Sunday.|
For San Francisco (2-4), Terrell Owens scored on 31- and 4-yard
passes from Jeff Garcia, and finished with 176 yards on 12
receptions. Jerry Rice added a 5-yard TD catch, and Charlie Garner
had a 9-yard scoring catch.
In an unusually lighthearted moment, Owens' 4-yard touchdown
catch midway through the second quarter put the 49ers up 7-6. He
started to run for the middle of the field -- like he had two weeks
ago against Dallas -- then he abruptly stopped and shook his head
no. The crowd roared.
It was Owen's first game back since a weeklong suspension for
his two flamboyant touchdown celebrations against the Cowboys, when
he ran to the midfield star logo at Texas Stadium and taunted the
fans. Owens sat out the 49ers' victory over Arizona.
"I wasn't going to let everything that happened to me get me
down," he said.
On the first series of the game, the Raiders recovered Garner's
fumble on the 49ers' 26. But the 49ers stalled on the 5, and
Janikowski kicked a 23-yard field goal.
The Raiders missed an opportunity on their next possession. On
first-and-10 at their own 29, Napoleon Kaufman was completely alone
on the left side. But the speedy running back couldn't hold onto
Later in the first quarter, with the Raiders at first-and-goal
on the 9, Kaufman fumbled and the ball was picked up by 49ers
tackle Bryant Young.
Oakland linebacker Bobbie Brooks blocked Chad Stanley's punt and
the Raiders got as close as the 17, but Gannon didn't see Zack
Crockett wide open in the end zone on third down and the Raiders
settled for Janikowski's 35-yard field goal.
After Owens' touchdown put the 49ers up 7-6, Garcia found Rice
with a 5-yard scoring pass before halftime. The scoring drive was
marked by Garcia's 33-yard pass to Tai Streets.
Wheatley's 1-yard scoring run and Gannon's scamper on the
2-point conversion it at 14 midway through the third quarter.
The 49ers were threatening on the next series, but Garner again
fumbled the ball and Grady Jackson recovered on the Oakland 20. On
the same series, Gannon hit Rison with a 35-yard pass, and then hit
Brown with the 30-yard TD pass.
Gannon, who had a similar second-half against Indianapolis
earlier this season, opened the final quarter with a 13-yard
Gannon connected on 21-of-43 passes for 310 yards. His speed
impressed 49ers coach Steve Mariucci.
"There were times when we had a spy, a defensive lineman, a
looking for him, but we couldn't run him down," Mariucci said.
"He's a fast guy."
Owens kept his celebration in check again on the 31-yard
catch-and-run play in the final quarter, as the 49ers mounted their
comeback. Then, after Pierson Prioleau's interception, Garner
caught a 9-yard pass from Garcia to tie it at 28.
With less than five minutes to go, Janikowski missed a 41-yard
field goal that went wide left.
Garcia finished 28-of-41 for 336 yards. The 49ers have scored
20-or-more points in 11 consecutive games dating to last season.
San Francisco hadn't played the Raiders in the regular season
since 1994, a memorable Monday night matchup that featured Rice's
127th touchdown reception to top Jim Brown's NFL record.
||TOM DONAHOE'S BREAKDOWN
There was loads of offense in this game, for those who love offense. Each team had more than 470 yards. Particularly impressive in this game was 49ers QB Jeff Garcia and his ability to use different receivers.
The game see-sawed early, but the Raiders came on only to see Garcia rally the 49ers late to tie the game and send it to overtime.
Garcia's favorite receiver today was Terrell Owens, who returned from his one-game suspension with a monster game.
Impressive in the Raider attack was Rich Gannon and his ability to move the football around to Tim Brown and Andre Rison. Gannon's scrambling ability also helped (12 rushes, 85 yards).
The 49ers have to be encouraged by what they're seeing. They're a young team, they're competitive and it appears they're getting better each week.
I don't think this loss will have a negative psychological effect on the 49ers -- they have to take away the positives from the game.
For Oakland, this is a big win that puts them in good shape with a tough part of their schedule coming up. The Raiders have several away games on the horizon, but they're looking good in the AFC West race.
Tom Donahoe, ESPN.com's NFL analyst, was formerly the Steelers' director of football operations.
The 49ers have sold out 170 consecutive games, including
the postseason, in a streak dating back to Oct. 11, 1981. .... The
49ers start four rookies on defense, the most of any team in the
league. ... 49ers running back Charlie Garner is averaging 100
yards per game this season, the best start for a 49er over six
games in team history. ... The last time the Raiders beat the 49ers
was 1991 in Los Angeles. ... Raiders fullback Jon Ritchie did not
play; he had emergency appendectomy surgery last Saturday. ... The
49ers said Garrison Hearst is eligible to come off the
reserve/physically unable to perform list this week. He may
participate in workouts with the 49ers, who have three weeks to
decide whether to activate him. Hearst fractured his left ankle in
a January, 1999 playoff game.
San Francisco Clubhouse