© St. Petersburg Times, published January 26, 2003
GAME 1: RAIDERS 31, Seahawks 17
OAKLAND, Calif. -- Rich Gannon completed 19 of 28 passes for 214 yards and two touchdowns and Charlie Garner had 187 total yards and scored twice as coach Bill Callahan won in his debut. The Raiders scored 24 straight points to beat the Seahawks for the fifth straight time in the Coliseum.
PITTSBURGH -- Rich Gannon broke nearly every major single-game Raiders passing record and Oakland's defense forced five turnovers. Gannon came out throwing and completed 43 of 64 passes for 403 yards and a touchdown. The 43 completions were two short of the league record. The Raiders rushed only 14 times, but their second attempt resulted in a 36-yard TD by Charlie Garner.
OAKLAND, Calif. -- Rookie Phillip Buchanon scored on a punt return, handed off on another punt brought back for a TD and had an interception that led to another score. Rod Woodson had three interceptions, including one he returned 82 yards for a touchdown, making him the league's career leader in interception return yardage. Rich Gannon was 29-of-39 for 381 yards and four touchdowns, and Jerry Rice had seven catches for 144 yards and a TD.
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Rookie Phillip Buchanon returned an interception by Drew Bledsoe 81 yards with just over eight minutes left as the Raiders remained the league's only unbeaten team. With the Raiders clinging to a 35-31 lead, Buchanon stepped in front of Bledsoe's pass toward Peerless Price and ran untouched up the left sideline. Rich Gannon was 23-of-38 for 357 yards. The teams combined for 974 yards.
ST. LOUIS -- The Rams, the defending NFC champions who were on a five-game slide, routed the previously unbeaten Raiders behind a third-string quarterback. Marc Bulger threw three touchdowns and ran for another, and Marshall Faulk, slowed by back spasms the week before, showed his familiar form by running for a season-high 158 yards for the Rams.
GAME 6: Chargers 27, RAIDERS 21, OT
OAKLAND, Calif. -- LaDainian Tomlinson ran 19 yards for the winning touchdown with 11:22 left in overtime in a game between the AFC West's top teams. Tomlinson carried 39 times for 153 yards, and his game-winner was his second TD of the day. Oakland's Jon Ritchie scored the tying touchdown on a 7-yard pass from Rich Gannon with 1:21 left.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Priest Holmes had 184 yards running and receiving as the Chiefs handed the Raiders their third straight loss. Kansas City had lost five straight to the Raiders. Oakland's Rich Gannon was 35-for-55 for 334 yards and joined Steve Young and Kurt Warner as the only players in NFL history to pass for more than 300 yards in six straight games.
OAKLAND, Calif. -- Jose Cortez, who missed a 27-yard field goal at the end of regulation, made a 23-yarder 8:41 into overtime. Terrell Owens had 12 catches for 191 yards for San Francisco. Oakland's Rich Gannon threw for 164 yards, ending his NFL-record streak of 300-yard games at six. The Raiders lost their fourth straight after starting 4-0.
DENVER -- Rich Gannon completed 21 consecutive passes and Jerry Rice became the first player to score 200 career touchdowns as the Raiders ended a four-game losing streak. Rod Woodson added to his career record of interception returns for touchdowns with a 98-yarder in the first quarter.
OAKLAND, Calif. -- The Raiders took an early lead and held on to beat the Patriots in their first meeting since the infamous "tuck rule" playoff game the season before. Rich Gannon threw for 297 yards and the Raiders won their second straight game.
TEMPE, Ariz. -- Rich Gannon threw for 340 yards and three touchdowns and Charlie Garner ran for 100 yards and a score. Gannon topped 300 yards for the eighth time in 10 games, one game short of the record. The Raiders, with the league's No. 1 offense, had 520 yards against the Cardinals, who lost their fifth in a row and were outscored 168-84 during the span.
OAKLAND, Calif. -- Tim Brown got his 1,000th career reception, and Jerry Rice caught the go-ahead touchdown on the next play as the Raiders snapped New York's four-game winning streak. Gannon was 31-of-42 for 342 yards, tying a league record with his ninth 300-yard game of the season. After New York pulled within 23-20 on Wayne Chrebet's 13-yard TD catch with 5:32 left, Gannon led a drive that ended with Sebastian Janikowski's fourth field goal with 1:12 left.
SAN DIEGO -- Rich Gannon and Jerry Rice overwhelmed the Chargers' young stars as the Raiders took sole possession of first place in the AFC West. Gannon set an NFL record with his 10th 300-yard game of the season, throwing for 328 yards. The Oakland defense intercepted Drew Brees three times and held LaDainian Tomlinson to 57 yards on 18 carries.
MIAMI -- The Dolphins limited the league's top-ranked offense to 218 yards as Miami tied the Raiders for the best record in the AFC. Ricky Williams ran for 101 yards, Jason Taylor had three sacks and Patrick Surtain intercepted Rich Gannon's pass to end Oakland's last bid. Oakland had 162 yards passing.
OAKLAND, Calif. -- Rich Gannon set the NFL single-season record for completions, besting Warren Moon's 11-year-old mark, and passed for 201 yards as the Raiders clinched their third straight division title. After scoring on its first three possessions, Oakland weathered a comeback led by Steve Beuerlein, who passed for 234 yards after relieving an injured and ineffective Brian Griese.
OAKLAND, Calif. -- The Raiders earned homefield advantage by winning a game of slip-and-slide. Charlie Garner made running in deep puddles and a steady downpour look easy, successfully cutting and grinding his way to 135 yards and a touchdown. The Raiders locked up the top seed for the AFC playoffs and shut out the Chiefs for the first time in franchise history.
OAKLAND, Calif. -- League MVP Rich Gannon started looking downfield in the second half with the score tied at 10, and it paid off. Jerry Porter caught a 29-yard touchdown and set up Jerry Rice's 9-yard score with a 50-yard reception. Chad Pennington, who had a 104.2 rating during the season, was 21-of-47 for 183 yards and a 44.9 rating. The Raiders had two interceptions and recovered two fumbles by Pennington to earn their second trip to the AFC title game in three years.
OAKLAND, Calif. -- Rich Gannon, the 37-year-old league MVP, led the way with three touchdown passes and a touchdown run. His 30-something teammates -- Bill Romanowski, Rod Woodson and Tim Brown -- along with 40-year-old Jerry Rice, sent the Raiders and maverick owner Al Davis to the Super Bowl for the first time since 1984. The Raiders looked like the teams of old with 14 penalties for 127 yards, a handful of cheap shots and a bevy of vicious hits. But the play-calling wasn't old-time Raiders: They called one running play in the first three quarters, and Gannon threw 41 times for 286 yards. He scrambled for 41 more, including a fourth-quarter touchdown.