Patriots

Curran's 44 lines on 22 Patriot issues

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Curran's 44 lines on 22 Patriot issues

By Tom E. Curran
CSNNE.com Patriots Insider Follow @tomecurran
The tenor of Tedy Bruschi's Ocho comments on WEEI suggest he's been itching for a chance to go off on the wideout. If he's seen how hard Ocho's been working, he wouldn't have gone after him like that.

That said, the bus is pulling away from the stop and Ocho is running down the driveway, papers falling out of his book bag with one shoe off.

The weird limbo that Brandon Spikes seems to be in has to come to a head at some point. Promising second-year linebackers don't get thrown in mothballs for nothing and that's what seems to be going on.

I theorized in the offseason that scoring would be way down early in the season since offensive timing would be hampered by the lockout. In only one game during Week 1 did the two teams fail to combine for fewer than 40 points.

I thought Nate Solder got away with an unbelievable amount of holding Monday night against Cameron Wake. On further review (watching the DVR), the rookie did his share but it wasn't as egregious as I believed from the press box.

Sat next to Ty Law in the press box Monday night; he played with Dolphins corner Benny Sapp. When Tom Brady's pass from 5 yards deep in the end zone whizzed past Sapp's ear and into Wes Welker's hands, Law said simply, "Oh, s, Sapp."

ESPNBoston's Mike Reiss charts player participation on offense, defense and special teams from the press box during the games. Everybody - sports talk, fellow writers, blogs - use the info but not enough people say where they got it and they ought to...it's a lot of work from Reiss.

Tom Brady's currently got an autographed baseball from Chili Davis in his locker. Turns out, Brady once mentioned he got stiffed for an autograph by the Giants outfielder when Brady was a kid and Davis - hearing that news - sent him the signed ball with a quick apology.

While Brandon Meriweather may not have been involved in the alleged rape that took place at his home over the summer, I've heard that he was the one that bailed the accused out of jail. Probably should have kept his distance from the situation in the interests of job preservation.

We all agree that "innocent until proven guilty" still applies, right? Well, the jury's back on Meriweather and he's been found guilty on several counts of stupidity.

That Eric Mangini feels awful about "Spygate" doesn't surprise me at all; I've mentioned before that the resulting national panic and outcry wasn't what he intended. It will take a lot of apologizing for the bitterness to go away though; and Jets GM Mike Tannenbaum may never be forgiven.

I have that Dan Koppen injury as an 8-10 week recovery; Albert Breer of the NFL Network pegged it a few hours after I reported it on Tuesday as a 6-10 week recovery. Begin looking for Koppen November 13 against the Jets.

Thought I'd be done with these by now, but gotta get down to Foxboro. Will finish later.

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.