Rams spoil Gru­den’s re­turn

Manteca Bulletin - - Sports -

OAK­LAND (AP) — Jared Goff threw two touch­down passes, newcomer Mar­cus Peters re­turned an in­ter­cep­tion 50 yards for a touch­down and the Los An­ge­les Rams spoiled coach Jon Gru­den’s much-an­tic­i­pated re­turn to the Oak­land side­line by beat­ing the Raiders 33-13 on Mon­day night.

The Rams (1-0) scored on a 19-yard shovel pass from Goff to Todd Gur­ley in the first quar­ter and an 8-yard strike to Cooper Kupp in the third to win in Gru­den’s first game as coach of the Raiders (0-1) since the end of the 2001 sea­son.

Gru­den was traded to Tampa Bay af­ter that sea­son and beat the Raiders in the Super Bowl the fol­low­ing year. He has been an­nounc­ing for ESPN for the past nine sea­sons be­fore Oak­land owner Mark Davis fi­nally lured him back to the de­light of Raiders fans.

But there were only boos by the end of the night af­ter Peters iced the game with his touch­down re­turn. He punc­tu­ated that with a cel­e­bra­tory dive into the end zone rem­i­nis­cent of his close friend Mar­shawn Lynch.

Gru­den’s sec­ond stint started well with the Raiders tak­ing the open­ing kick and driv­ing 75 yards for a touch­down on a 10-yard run by Lynch. The Rams had Lynch stood up at the 3, but he pow­ered his way into the end zone with help from a push by his of­fen­sive line­men.

Oak­land man­aged just six points the rest of the way against a de­fense for­ti­fied by the off­sea­son ad­di­tions of for­mer All-Pros Peters, Aqib Talib and Ndamukong Suh.

Derek Carr threw an in­ter­cep­tion in the end zone to John John­son in the sec­ond quar­ter, an­other in the fourth when he lofted a pass right to line­backer Cory Lit­tle­ton, and then the third to Peters.

The Rams, who rested their en­tire of­fense in the pre­sea­son, matched the early score when Gur­ley took a flip from Goff and raced to the end zone. They took con­trol in the sec­ond half as they try to build on last sea­son’s break­through year that led to an NFC West ti­tle.

Los An­ge­les tied it at 13 on a field goal by

Greg Zuer­lein on the open­ing drive of the third quar­ter and then took the lead for good on a 58-yard, four­play drive that fea­tured two passes down­field to an­other off­sea­son ad­di­tion, Brandin Cooks, and then the TD to Kupp.

MISS­ING MACK The Raiders barely touched Goff all night just over a week af­ter trad­ing star pass rusher Khalil Mack to Chicago for a pack­age that in­cluded two first-round picks. Bruce Irvin had the only sack when Goff held the ball too long and there were few other pres­sures.

TOUGH STARTS Gru­den’s de­feat dropped the league’s new head coaches to 0-7 in Week 1.

FLAG DAY The Raiders once again had is­sues with penal­ties, com­mit­ting 10 for 145 yards in the first half alone thanks to two long pass in­ter­fer­ence calls against Rashaan Melvin (37 yards) and Do­minique Rodger­sCro­mar­tie ( 50). That’s more yards in penal­ties than they had in any game dur­ing Gru­den’s first four-year stint and the most in the first half for any team since at least 2000. The Raiders had one penalty for 10 yards in the sec­ond half.

IN­JURIES Raiders long snap­per Andrew DePaola in­jured his knee in the first quar­ter and didn’t re­turn. TE Lee Smith filled in and pro­vided ac­cu­rate snaps on two field goals. He had a high snap on a punt but Johnny Townsend leaped and brought it down with no is­sues. It was a far cry from the 2012 sea­son opener when Jon Condo got hurt for Oak­land and Travis Goethel came in and botched three snaps in a loss to the Charg­ers.

Rams re­turner Pharoh Cooper left in the sec­ond half with an an­kle in­jury.

AN­THEM Lynch sat once again dur­ing the na­tional an­them. Lynch also sat for the an­them all of last sea­son but never gave a rea­son for his de­ci­sion.

UP NEXT Rams: Host Ari­zona on Sun­day.

Raiders: Visit Den­ver on Sun­day.

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