NFL news of September 16, 2002

Rich Gannon broke nearly every major single-game Raiders passing record, even those from the early days of the AFL, by throwing 64 times and Oakland’s defense forced five turnovers as the Raiders romped.

Gannon went 43-of-64 for 403 yards and a touchdown. The 43 completions were only two short of Drew Bledsoe‘s 1995 NFL record – that in an overtime game – and all but the yardage were Oakland records. The Raiders rushed only 14 times.

Coach Bill Callahan insisted all week the Raiders (2-0) wouldn’t do as the Patriots did Monday by using a no-huddle offense, emptying the backfield, and throwing on nearly every down.

They passed a remarkable 41 times just in the first half, including 30 of their first 32 offensive plays.

— Record “Raiders 30 – Steelers 17″

With a defense that’s too much for the NFL’s most potent offenses, the Denver Broncos have knocked off two Super Bowl hopefuls – though the San Francisco 49ers certainly didn’t look like contenders for anything.

Mike Anderson rushed for 95 yards and caught a touchdown pass, and Brian Griese threw two TD passes as the Broncos rolled. Olandis Gary rushed for 61 yards and a TD as Denver (2-0) turned in a dominant defensive performance against San Francisco (1-1).

Griese, almost benched for Steve Beuerlein last week, was unimaginative but efficient in completing 14 of 19 passes for 119 yards. He threw a 1-yard scoring pass to Anderson in the third quarter as Denver overcame a slow start on offense with 24 straight points over the final three quarters.

— Record “Broncos 24 – 49ers  14″

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