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Callahan notches first NFL coaching win

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- Tim Brown made sure his new coach got the
game ball.

Were the Seahawks good enough to test whether the Raiders are balanced enough to contend this year?
Offensively, the Raiders have no questions. They're strong in the running department, and they'll develop even more of a running, physical attitude with new coach Bill Callahan. The big test is defensively up front, and the Seahawks were a perfect team to start the season against. DTs John Parrella and Sam Adams were great pickups for the Raiders, and I believe they will help Oakland reach the AFC championship game again.

Eric Allen played 14 seasons in the NFL for the Eagles, Saints and Raiders.

After the Oakland Raiders defeated the Seattle Seahawks 31-17 on
Sunday, Brown congratulated new coach Bill Callahan, who replaced
Jon Gruden when he left for Tampa Bay.

"Obviously, there has been a lot of talk about that, can we be
the same team?'' said Brown, the longest tenured Raider who is
playing for his sixth coach since joining the team in 1988.

"This is only one victory, but it's important he get the game
ball. Everybody can settle down, they know he can coach. If we
don't win another game, it's not his fault.''

Rich Gannon completed 19 of 28 passes for 214 yards and two
touchdowns, and Charlie Garner amassed 191 total yards and scored
two touchdowns.

The Raiders tallied 24 straight points to beat the Seahawks for
the fifth straight time in the Coliseum since 1997.

"I thought our team came out and played physical today,''
Callahan said. "We wanted to be physical from the onset. I thought
our units were cohesive. Our run defense was outstanding, and we
limited Seattle a great deal.''

Because NFL realignment has separated the longtime AFC West
rivals, Seattle is not slated to return to Oakland for a
regular-season game until 2010. The Seahawks enter their first
season in the NFC West this fall.

Sunday's meeting was much like last year's game here, except
this time Seattle quarterback Matt Hasselbeck played well.

Hasselbeck, filling in for injured starter Trent Dilfer,
completed his first eight passes and led the Seahawks into the end
zone in their first offensive series with a 1-yard touchdown pass
to Itula Mili.

As the starter last season, Hasselbeck was sacked six times
before getting benched with the Seahawks trailing 38-0 in an
eventual 38-14 loss.

"It's a great place to play,'' Seattle coach Mike Holmgren said
of the Coliseum. "We haven't played our best football here. We've
played poorly. I wish I had an answer for that, but I don't.''

In Seattle's 1-3 preseason, Hasselbeck threw five interceptions
and only one touchdown.

Rookie Maurice Morris set up Mili's touchdown when he returned a
kickoff 66 yards to start the Seahawks' drive on the Oakland 36.

But then Seattle fell apart, struggling to convert third downs
and allowing the Raiders touchdowns on their first three drives of
the second quarter. The Seahawks were penalized 13 times for 105
yards.

"There wasn't anything we hadn't seen in practice,'' Seahawks
cornerback Shawn Springs said. "They outblocked us, they outran
us, they out-toughed us. There weren't any secret plays.''

Perhaps this win was enough for the Raiders to rid themselves of
their bad memories from an embarrassing loss in Seattle last
season, when Shaun Alexander ran all over them.

Alexander's name came up all week at the Raiders' practice
facility. He ran for 266 yards and three touchdowns, including an
88-yarder, as the Seahawks won 34-27 last November.

"I told everybody what he did against us was a fluke last
time,'' said defensive tackle Rod Coleman, who had two sacks. "And
I didn't expect it to happen again.''

Oakland's new defensive front led by John Parrella and Sam Adams
made sure to shut down Alexander. He was limited to 36 yards on 13
carries but added an 11-yard touchdown reception in the final
minutes.

"The only tough thing about this is we don't get another shot
at them like we used to,'' Alexander said.

Garner was the running back of the day. He carried 15 times for
127 yards and had five catches for 64.

Gannon, who did not throw a touchdown pass the entire preseason,
hit Brown for an 8-yard TD pass on Oakland's opening possession.

Backup Raiders running back Zack Crockett was carted off the
field late in the first quarter after injuring his neck while
covering a punt. He was able to move his arms and legs but was
taken to a local hospital for tests. Callahan said X-rays were
negative.

Game notes
Springs recovered a fumble and returned it 71 yards to set
up a 32-yard field goal by Rian Lindell early in the fourth
quarter. Gannon tackled Springs. ... The Seahawks played without
key offensive linemen Chris McIntosh (neck) and Walter Jones
(contract dispute). ... The Raiders outgained the Seahawks 423 to
186.

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