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Collins rallies Raiders past Cards

TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) -- Kerry Collins proved better at playing long
ball again, and showed he was a diplomat, too.

The backup to Rich Gannon rallied Oakland from a 13-3 deficit to
a 17-13 lead in a 2:17 span, and the Raiders held on for a 17-16
exhibition win over the Arizona Cardinals on Saturday night.

Collins attributed it to luck by the second stringers.

"I think it's a matter of we just got lucky in the sense we got
the right coverages for some of the stuff we called," Collins
said, sidestepping questions about his place on the depth chart.

The Cardinals' first-string offense scored its first touchdown
on a 2-yard run by Josh Scobey with 2:55 left in the third quarter,
but that and three field goals by Neil Rackers didn't earn Arizona
its first preseason win in its third game.

"We showed improvement," Cardinals quarterback Josh McCown
said. "I just think it tells us that we've got to turn it up a
little bit more."

Last week, Collins threw an 89-yard scoring pass to Doug
Gabriel, igniting a controversy among fans who believe Collins has
a better chance of answering coach Norv Turner's call to "become a
big-play, big-strike team."

This time, he threw a 45-yarder to Gabriel on a three-play drive
that began with Gabriel's 15-yard catch. Gabriel's
over-the-shoulder reception just ahead of cornerback David Macklin
and subsequent dash into the end zone late in the third quarter cut
the Raiders' deficit to 13-10.

Seconds later, Grant Irons sacked McCown, forcing a fumble that
Maugaula Tuitele recovered on the Arizona 27.

Justin Fargas covered the distance in four carries, starting
with an 18-yard burst and finishing with a 1-yard dive into the end
zone on the first play of the fourth quarter.

"Different plays come at different times," Turner said. "We
had a couple shots up the field early, and Rich got pressure. One
time they had a max blitz against him. It's important to judge
circumstances. I'm going to say I like the way both guys are
playing."

Gannon felt Arizona's ball-control offense (35 plays) in the
first half limited the Raiders' scoring chances.

"We ran 19 plays in the first half," he said. "That's the
bottom line right there. We couldn't get off the field
defensively."

Arizona coach Dennis Green left his starters in for nearly three
quarters, trying to get the first-unit offense to produce something
besides field goals.

It worked despite the kind of misfortune so familiar to
Cardinals fans.

McCown's 7-yard pass to Nate Poole for an apparent TD was
overruled after a challenge by Oakland (2-1). Officials held that
Poole's right foot, the second one down after his acrobatic leap,
landed on the sideline.

But Scobey gained 5 yards on his first attempt and scored on the
next, sending Arizona to a 10-point lead.

"We scored two touchdowns today," Green said. "We only got
points for one."

The Cardinals, who worked all week on completing drives, put
together 15- and 16-play marches in the first half, but settled for
26- and 23-yard field goals by Rackers and a 6-3 halftime lead.

He added another from 35 yards with 2:54 left after backup Shaun
King threw a 44-yard strike to Reggie Newhouse to the Oakland 17.
Arizona reached the 10 on a penalty, but on the next play Larry
Croom fumbled a handoff and King recovered for a 5-yard loss,
leading to another field goal.

The Cardinals didn't get the ball back until 49 seconds
remained, and they couldn't set up for Rackers' fourth attempt as
time expired.<
^Notes: Arizona started the game in a shotgun formation, cautious
against the Raiders' new 3-4 defense. ... Gabriel had four catches
for 87 yards. ... McCown was 16-of-23 for 187 yards and also led
the Cardinals in rushing with 35 yards on three scrambles. ... FS
Ifeanyi Ohalete, making his first start for the Cardinals, sprained
his left ankle in the first half and did not return.