Raiders fans came to their long-awaited silver and black reverie wearing vintage jerseys bearing names such as Stabler and Blanda. They left praising a guy called Hoss and an opportunistic defense.
The Raiders, playing their first game in Oakland since moving back to the city they abandoned 13 years ago, won 27-22 Saturday over the St. Louis Rams in an exhibition matchup of Los Angeles deserters.Jeff Hostetler went 9-of-14 for 63 yards and a touchdown while playing most of the first half for the Raiders. Chris Miller was 14-of-22 for 146 yards with a touchdown for St. Louis in the first half.
It was just like old times for Raiders fans, some of whom wore jerseys taken out of closets for the first time since late 1981. Huge silver and black flags waved in the stands, and owner Al Davis prowled the sidelines during pre-game warmups wearing a white satin Raiders jacket.
Despite some tickets being discounted up to 40 percent and other seats being offered free to season ticket holders in the 24 hours leading up to the game, several thousand seats were empty at the 50,000-seat Oakland Coliseum.
Attendance for the game still appeared to be better than the crowd for three of the Raiders' eight home games last season at the Los Angeles Coliseum. Saturday's attendance was not available an hour after the game.
The most crowded areas were the parking lots, where tailgate parties started early Saturday morning and continued until well after the game.
The Rams (0-2) were held to 35 rushing yards on 21 carries and Jerome Bettis, seeing his first action since a training camp holdout, gained eight yards on five carries. Bettis also fumbled once. The Rams did not have a first down by rushing.
Greg Robinson's 10-yard run opened the scoring less than five minutes into the game. Following Steve McLaughlin's 22-yard field goal for the Rams, Oakland free safety Patrick Bates returned a fumble 45 yards and Hostetler capped a 27-yard drive with a 3-yard scoring toss to Kevin Smith.
Miller then finished a 10-play, 78-yard drive with a 26-yard scoring pass to Isaac Bruce. Miller was 5-of-6 for 66 yards on the drive.
McLaughlin kicked a 23-yard field goal with three seconds left in the half to pull St. Louis within 14-13.
Jeff Jaeger had field goals of 41 and 38 yards for Oakland (2-0) in the third quarter, the first set up by a 52-yard scramble by backup quarterback Vince Evans. McLaughlin added a 22-yard field goal for St. Louis early in the fourth quarter.
Calvin Jones, who rushed 10 times for 64 yards for Oakland, made it 27-16 on a 24-yard run with 8:53 left in the game. The Rams pulled within five points on a 1-yard pass from Tommy Maddox to Jim Price with 2:27 remaining, but failed on a 2-point conversion attempt.