4:05 PM ET, September 19, 2010
O.co Coliseum, Oakland, CA
Each club would be especially disappointed to be 0-2 after their meeting Sunday, when the Raiders try to avoid losing a sixth consecutive home opener and hand the Rams a 10th consecutive defeat.
A new quarterback is at the center of each team's hopes, but Oakland had trouble protecting Jason Campbell in his Raiders debut.
Campbell, acquired from Washington in the offseason to replace JaMarcus Russell, was sacked four times while going 22 of 37 for 180 yards, one touchdown and one interception in a 38-13 loss at Tennessee last Sunday.
Oakland's revamped defense also had trouble as the Titans ran for 205 yards and scored two touchdowns from more than 50 yards out.
"It's a wake-up call for our guys," tight end Zach Miller said. "We had a lot of confidence, maybe we were overconfident going into the season. Maybe because of the things we did we thought we could just show up."
A lack of confidence may be a more understandable problem for the Raiders, who have lost at least 11 games in a record seven consecutive seasons.
They're an NFL-worst 17-39 at home in that stretch, and they haven't won a home opener since beating Buffalo 13-10 on Sept. 19, 2004, dropping their last five by an average of 15.8 points.
The Rams, however, have been the league's worst overall team the last three years, winning a total of six games. Their 1-15 record last season gave them the top overall draft pick, which they used to select quarterback Sam Bradford.
St. Louis didn't waste any time making the former Oklahoma star the focal point of its offense. In last Sunday's opener against Arizona, Bradford attempted 55 passes -- the third-highest total in franchise history.
While throwing for 253 yards and his first career touchdown, Bradford also threw two of his three interceptions in the fourth quarter of a 17-13 loss -- the Rams' ninth straight since a Nov. 1 victory at Detroit.
"You can't expect him to just turn things around in one day," running back Steven Jackson said. "But he's made huge strides and he's going in the right direction."
Bradford was one of nine active rookies for St. Louis last weekend, but the youth movement won't be an excuse. Jackson said the team is "not going to accept (losing) anymore," and second-year coach Steve Spagnuolo agreed.
"It's not good enough to say we played hard," Spagnuolo said. "We've got to win."
The Rams have lost 12 consecutive games against AFC opponents, but their last interconference win came at Oakland on Dec. 17, 2006. Jackson had 31 carries for 127 yards and two touchdowns to power the 20-0 victory.
St. Louis, however, will need to overcome a few injuries to beat the Raiders again. Linebacker Chris Chamberlain could miss up to two months due to turf toe, while the status of wide receiver Laurent Robinson (sore ankle) is uncertain.
Robinson caught Bradford's lone touchdown pass against the Cardinals, but Mark Clayton was the rookie's favorite target with a career-high 10 receptions for 119 yards. The Rams acquired Clayton from Baltimore on Sept. 6.
Finding a reliable wideout remains a problem for Oakland. Wide receivers accounted for 58 yards against Tennessee even though the Raiders faced a big deficit for most of the game.
Darren McFadden had the team's best offensive day, carrying the load while fellow running back Michael Bush was inactive due to a broken thumb -- his status for Sunday is uncertain. McFadden had 18 carries for 95 yards, adding six catches for 55 yards and a touchdown.
That was one of the few positives for the Raiders. Rookie center Jared Veldheer was among those having problems on Oakland's offensive line, while the team also needs improvement from a new group of linebackers featuring rookie Rolando McClain.
"We're not going to sit around and overanalyze it or overcook it," coach Tom Cable said. "We're going to look at what the issues are and fix it. We feel great about our team."
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|Avg Points Allowed||16.5||26.0|
Team Averages & NFL Ranks
|TEAM OFFENSE||TEAM||PER GAME AVERAGE|
|TEAM DEFENSE||TEAM||PER GAME AVERAGE|
|Pass Yds Allowed||STL|
|Rush Yds Allowed||STL|
Head to Head Matchups (Since 2001)
|St. Louis leads 2-1|
|Dec 17, 2006||STL 20, @OAK 0|
|Oct 13, 2002||STL 28, OAK 13|