Patriots Defeat Raiders, 31-19

The New England Patriots (3-1) defeated the Oakland Raiders (2-2) 31-19 on the strength of another strong performance by wide receiver Wes Welker.

Vince Wilfork is also becoming a ball hawk, with his second interception on the season this week.  The 325 pound nose tackle now has two interceptions with returns of 28 yards in week two and 19 yards this week, and it’s always a gratifying sight to see big nose tackle running with the ball.

Quarterback Tom Brady recovered from his uncharacteristic 4 interception performance against the Buffalo Bills last week, and threw no interceptions this week.  Brady finished the day 16 of 30 for 226 yards with 2 TDs and no INTs.

Being in the Bay Area for the game, where Brady grew up as a fan of 49ers quarterback Joe Montana, he was asked about the comparison to Montana.  “I’ll never be in Joe’s category,” said Brady.  He was actually at Candlestick Park in 1982 when Montana and Dwight Clark connected on “The Catch” to beat the Dallas Cowboys.

Welker had another exceptional game, following his 16 reception for 217 yards last week.  He accounted for 70 percent of Brady’s passing yardage today, catching 9 balls for 158 yards and 1 TD.

“It’s always big to bounce back,” said Welker, who now is up to 40 receptions for 616 yards through four games.

“We had the letdown last week and we got a bounce-back from that and coming on the road into a hostile environment, it’s a big win for us. It was good to see.”

The Raiders were much more effective passing the ball than running it, even though they came into this week’s game with the top ranked rushing offense, with 185 yds per game, and the 26th ranked passing offense, with 190 yds per game.  Jason Campbell had 344 yards passing, with 1 TD and 2 INTs, while the Raiders managed 160 yards on the ground led by Darren McFadden’s 14 rushes for 75 yards.

Darrius Heyward-Bey had a strong game with 4 receptions for 115 yards, and tight end Kevin Boss had 4 receptions for 78 yards.

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