Linebacker Aaron Curry had three tackles in his Raiders debut Sunday, none of which drew nearly the roar of the 57,300 fans as a big special teams hit by deposed starter Quentin Groves.

Moments after Jacoby Ford raced 101 yards for a touchdown, Groves reignited the crowd when he came flying in on kickoff coverage to drop Joshua Cribbs at the 13-yard-line.

"It was a tough week emotionally, but the biggest thing I learned this week is to be a professional," Groves said. "Don't be mad. Don't be disgruntled. God has a plan for everybody."

Groves was told by coach Hue Jackson Wednesday when the Raiders traded for Curry his days as a starting player were over.

"I mean, that's what a team is," Jackson said. "I put a guy ahead of another guy, the other guy went and did his job and made plays. That's what this thing is all about."

Curry started at weakside linebacker but was off the field whenever the Raiders went to packages calling for five or six defensive backs. With only the Friday practice under his belt, he had three tackles.

"It's been awhile since I had this type of feeling, just this comfortable happiness," Curry said. "Winning the game helps but even still going out and playing on this defense and getting exactly what I saw on film felt great."

Said Jackson: "I thought he was out there flying around, trying to make plays. I traded for him for a reason, to stick him in there."


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  • Ford's 101-yard kickoff return touchdown was the fourth of his career and his second from that distance. He broke free along the right sideline and managed to keep inbounds. An officials' replay after the score verified the touchdown.

    "Rock Cartwright actually called that," Ford said. "He said it in practice, as soon as we got running that exact return. He said, 'You're due to break one this week.' "

    Ford also lined up in the backfield and took a short pass from Boller for 27 yards on a third-and-7 play that helped set up Sebastian Janikowski's 48-yard field goal and a 17-7 lead in the third quarter.

    Ford is in his third game back after a hamstring pull sidelined him for two games.

    "I think he's finally healthy and playing at full speed, and that's the most important thing," Jackson said.

  • Cleveland got nowhere on the ground, gaining 65 yards on 21 carries and a 3.1 average.

    Jackson's assessment of the run defense, which also shut down Houston last week, was blunt.

    "Hit 'em in the mouth," Jackson said. "I keep telling you guys we're going to get better at defending the run. We're going to quit getting the ball run down our throats, and we're getting better at it."

    Defensive tackle Tommy Kelly said the Raiders are staying true to their responsibilities.

    "Nobody is trying to be Superman out there," Kelly said. "When you got the A gap, just get in the A gap. And if something happen, we'll correct it on Monday. Just do your job while you're out there."

    Middle linebacker Rolando McClain may have had his best game, making seven tackles and filling the proper gaps in addition to deflecting two passes.

  • The Raiders had just five penalties for 35 yards, their lowest totals of the season in both areas.

  • Wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey had his third consecutive strong game, leading the Raiders with six receptions for 82 yards.

  • Running back Darren McFadden rushed for 91 yards on 20 carries, including a 24-yard burst on his first attempt with the help of a seal block from guard Stefan Wisniewski.

    The Raiders rushed for 151 yards on 40 attempts.

  • Estimates on recovery time on Jason Campbell's broken right collarbone range from six to eight weeks with surgery and 10 to 12 weeks without it.

    Right tackle Khalif Barnes believes backup quarterback Kyle Boller is up to the task.

    "He's done all this before," Barnes said. "It's not like we've got a rookie coming in. No one's worried about Kyle one bit."

  • Other than Campbell, the only injury of note according to Jackson was Samson Satele, who had a knee strain.

    Wide receiver Louis Murphy, active for the first time this season after training camp surgery for a sports hernia, did not catch a pass and had just one thrown in his direction.