Patriots

Curran: Haynesworth singing a familiar tune

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Curran: Haynesworth singing a familiar tune

By Tom E. Curran
CSNNE.com Patriots Insider Follow @tomecurran
I think Albert Haynesworth will be a good football player in New England. I like the trade. I know he's alleged to have swiped a credit card through a waitress' cleavage, rammed fellow drivers on Tennessee highways while going over 100 mph, raged in the road and on the field, and stolen millions of dollars from Daniel Snyder. But I don't plan on going to dinner with him, riding shotgun in some absurd vehicle he's driving orhopping out of my compact car to see if he wants a piece of me. As for bilking Snyder...well, it just shows Haynesworth's deeds aren't all bad. I guess I'm in the media minority. Many of my brethren and sisterenhave been fanning themselves with their hymnals since Haynesworth got here. What about the children? What about Myra Kraft's legacy? Will it be safe to leave my house after 8 p.m.? You know, self-righteouscrap that never gets a centimeter below the surface of a situation because indignation and the moral high ground are the Jordan and Pippen of media conversation these days. Sonobody wonders if the Patriots' track record of taking raging jerks and turning them into productive employees might help wayward Albert find himself and live blissfully ever after. Nobody considers the liberal idea that this is a nice chance for him torehab his self-worth a bit. Nobody bothers to point out that it's a football team he's joined, not the state legislature. Instead, we get an onslaught of crass, cringe inducing finger-wagging about the Patriots betraying Myra Kraft's memory. It's an argument built on an example mined from a moment 15 years and two football administrationsago and it's supposed to demonstrate Mrs. Kraft's sway over personnel decisions. Sorry, only the internet has evolved more since 1996 than the Patriots. It's an inane contention that ignores recent history and the present reality that if Haynesworth is a jackass, he will be cut. The New England Patriots' organization -- the company -- has earned the right to hire employees with questionable histories and be given the benefit of the doubt that they will do the right thing if said employee commits crimes in the community or on the football field. They earned it, not because of the three Super Bowls, but because of the way in which they've conducted their business since 2000. Now that that's off my chest, I feel better. And I can move on to the point of this column, which is: Haynesworth is not at all stupid. He may act like an idiot and have some self-esteem and anger issues, but he is intelligent. Which is why the words he speaks must be heard with jaundiced ear. On Tuesday, he said the right things to the assembled media at Gillette Stadium. He made it sound like he embraces the perfection the Patriots demand and looks forward to "rewriting my name as Albert Haynesworth the Patriots."But he knows how to say the right things. When he signed the 100 million contract with 41M guaranteed with the Redskins, here's what he had to say, With the contract, it's going to be all on me, he said. What they want me to come here and do is play football and be disruptive, do what I do, so thats what I've come here to do. When you get on the field, you're not thinking about dollar signs or anything like that, you're just going out there to play. It's a lot of money, but honestly, I put more pressure on myself than what the contract will do.I have such high standards for myself that, you know, Snyder can pay me half a billion dollars, and it still would have been the pressure I put on myself. I expect myself to play at a high level and to dominate. And if Im not making plays, then people around me are making plays. As far as the number, I mean, yeah, it's great. Its awesome, dont get me wrong, but as far as the pressure, no. He disgraced himself. So thoroughly that in just two seasons, a chronicle of the Worst of Haynesworth was easy from Dan Steinberg of the Washington Post to cobble together. Haynesworth can talk it. He hasn't shown if he can walk it. That he's being given the chance to take his steps back to redemption in New England? Don't bother me none.
Tom E. Curran can be reached at tcurran@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran

THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Raiders score on final play for 31-30 win over Chiefs

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THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Raiders score on final play for 31-30 win over Chiefs

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Wins have been so hard to come by for the Oakland Raiders that it took three tries at the final play for them finally to pull this one out and possibly save their season.

Derek Carr threw a 2-yard touchdown pass to Michael Crabtree on the final play after the game was extended by two straight defensive holding calls and the Raiders snapped a four-game losing streak with a 31-30 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs on Thursday night.

"We didn't give up," Crabtree said. "We got a team full of fighters. We believe. ... No matter how hard the game was, we believed. We came out with the W and I'm excited. It's a good way to win, a great way to win."

With their season on the line following the recent slump, Carr led an 85-yard touchdown drive in the final 2:25 to give the Raiders (3-4) the thrilling comeback in a game they trailed by nine points heading into the fourth quarter.

Carr finished 29 for 52 for 417 yards and three touchdowns, with Amari Cooper catching 11 passes for 210 yards and two of the scores. The Raiders had struggled to get the ball downfield while being held to 17 or fewer points in four straight games but Carr repeatedly beat the Chiefs with deep passes.

"No. 4 kept making plays," coach Jack Del Rio said. "This is a special, special win."

Alex Smith threw for 342 yards and three touchdowns but it wasn't enough for the Chiefs (5-2). They lost consecutive games for the first time since Oct. 11-18, 2015, and had their 12-game winning streak in the AFC West snapped in a thrilling finish.

"I've never been part of a game that came down so dramatic," linebacker Derrick Johnson said. "But, still had a chance to win. Period. Just have to make a play. One play. One play."

The Raiders had an apparent go-ahead touchdown pass to Jared Cook with 18 seconds left overturned when replay ruled he was down at the 1. An offensive pass interference on Crabtree wiped out another touchdown on the next play.

But holding calls on Ron Parker and Eric Murray set the stage for the final play. Carr hit Crabtree in the front corner of the end zone to tie it at 30. Giorgio Tavecchio won it with the extra point , setting off a celebration on a wild night that included Oakland running back Marshawn Lynch getting ejected in the second quarter for shoving an official.

HOT TEMPERS: The game took an odd turn midway through the second quarter after Kansas City's Marcus Peters hit Carr late, angering the Raiders. Offensive linemen Kelechi Osemele and Donald Penn confronted Peters and Lynch sprinted off the Oakland sideline to join the fray. Lynch, a close friend of Peters, ended up shoving line judge Julian Mapp and getting ejected . Peters also was called for a personal foul on the play. Lynch congratulated his teammates in the locker room after the game but didn't speak to reporters.

"I was disappointed he ran out because I knew we had a 15-yard penalty and we'd be in good shape," Del Rio said.

LONG DRIVE: After Marquette King pinned the Chiefs at their own 1 with a perfect punt early in the second quarter, Kansas City needed little time to turn the momentum. Smith hit Demarcus Robinson on a 33-yard pass on the first play of the drive. After a short run, Tyreek Hill beat David Amerson for a 64-yard touchdown pass that gave the Chiefs their first 99-yard drive since doing it Dec. 3, 2006, against Cleveland.

DEEP CONNECTION: Carr had not connected on a single deep ball to Amari Cooper all season before the two teamed twice for long TDs in the opening quarter. On the first, Cooper appeared to push Terrance Mitchell but the officials picked up the flag and gave Cooper the 38-yard TD . Later in the quarter Carr and Cooper connected on a 45-yard score, making Cooper the first Raiders receiver with two TD catches in the first quarter since Mervyn Fernandez in 1989.

KICKING WOES: The Raiders were hurt last week when a bad snap by Jon Condo led to a missed extra point by Giorgio Tavecchio in a 17-16 loss to the Chargers. That was Tavecchio's first missed kick of any kind this season but he then had a 53-yarder blocked and missed a 45-yarder wide left in the second quarter. Tavecchio also had a false start on an extra point in the third quarter.

UP NEXT

Chiefs: Host Denver on Oct. 30.

Raiders: Visit Buffalo on Oct. 29.