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New England Patriots defensive back Eugene Wilson (26) breaks up a pass intended for Oakland Raiders wide receiver Randy Moss (18) during the first quarter in Foxborough, Mass. Thursday, Sept. 8, 2005. At right is Patriots' Asante Samuel. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
There were 16 penalty flags thrown on the Raiders, but three were still stuck in Norv Turner's craw Friday after the team got back from its trip from Boston as 30-20 losers to the New England Patriots.

"Three times we gained enough yards for a first down — an 8-yard gain, an 8-yard gain and a 17-yard gain," Turner said. "But we had penalties that knocked us back and in each case, we were either first-and-20 or second-and-20.

"If you do that in that (Foxborough) environment we were in, against a real good football team, a team that has pressured most quarterbacks they play against, then you are playing into their hands."

Actually Turner's numbers, and to a degree his memory, were a little off, but there is no debating how badly these penalties hurt the Raiders.

-Second Raiders possession, first quarter: second-and-8 at the Raiders 47, LaMont Jordan gains 7 at left end but receiver Ronald Curry is called for holding to make it second-and-18. Result: Raiders punt. Outcome: Patriots drive 68 yards for a touchdown and a 10-7 lead.

-Late third quarter: it's first-and-10 after a 20-yard run by Zack Crockett. Crockett follows with a gain of 7 but center Jake Grove is called for holding and now it is first-and-20. Result: Raiders punt. Outcome: New England does not score, but Raiders blow possession that would have been at midfield trailing 23-14.

-Early fourth quarter: over last six Patriot possessions, the Raiders have forced four punts and held on fourth down once (giving up one touchdown).


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They take over at their 27 and quarterback Kerry Collins fires a 16-yard completion to Alvis Whitted to the 43 but it is wiped out when Ron Stone is called for a face mask personal foul. Result: Raiders eventually punt and New England drives 84 yards for a touchdown that makes the score 30-14.

Three penalties nullify Raider gains, force punts that come back at them for 14 New England points in a 30-20 Patriots victory.

Turner's point was that in each of those instances, Raider penalties forced Collins into disadvantageous down-and-distance settings, affected the amount of pressure New England was able to place on Collins and his line, taking Oakland out of any kind of comfort zone.

Furthermore, it subverted the success of two of the Raiders goals — a fast start on offense and effectively preventing the Patriots from turning Corey Dillon loose in the rushing game.

The problem wasn't just penalties, of course. The key sequence, Turner said, were the two punts New England's Josh Miller dropped inside the Raiders 5 followed by Collins' turnover that set up the Pats on the Raiders 20 for an easy touchdown.

"That's probably where the game got away from us," Turner said.

But the penalties won't soon be forgotten ... not by Turner, not by his players. They'll hear about it.

"We took a look at all 16 of them," Turner said. "There are some in every game that are going to be called. There are some we can avoid. We just have to keep coaching it.

"The biggest thing is guys understanding what they (officials) are going to call and what they are not going to call. Then eliminate those situations when you are in that position, and you know it's going to get called. You just can't do it."

Although the Raiders have been one of the most penalized teams in the NFL for years, Turner believes the players will listen.

"There were two or three penalties (Thursday) where guys were making an extra effort, trying to make a play."

And others where there was just a loss of control.

EXTRA POINTS: Turner said the team came out of the game with no key injuries. ... Turner conceded that Collins, who threw 14 times to Randy Moss and only once to Curry, maybe would have been best served by throwing elsewhere. Moss was double and triple covered much of the night. ... Turner said the elevation of Stone over Brad Badger as starting RG should be considered permanent. ... The coach said he was not abandoning the notion of Tyler Brayton and Grant Irons filling the outside linebacker spots. "They weren't in there in a lot of the situations where New England was making plays," Turner said. "We are going to look at it and evaluate what it is, not just what it may have appeared to be. Both are good players and are going to help us."