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Raiders' Sapp says Rams ripe to lose Sunday
By Steve Corkran
Contra Costa Times
ALAMEDA, Calif. - The Oakland Raiders have an 85 percent chance of losing Sunday against the St. Louis Rams, based on Oakland's 2-11 record this season. Take the Raiders to win, defensive tackle Warren Sapp said.
"The money's good this week," Sapp assured everyone within earshot.
That's right, Sapp said. The Raiders stand an 83 percent chance of beating the Rams based on the Rams' playing a Monday night game and then having to play a road game six days later.
Or so Sapp was told by his former coach with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tony Dungy. He said Dungy, now the Indianapolis Colts coach, once told his players that a team that has to play a road game after a Monday night game wins only 17 percent of the time.
Fuzzy math, you say? Not quite. A quick check of the teams in the Rams' situation this week shows that they have won three of 11 such games this season, or 27 percent.
That figure stood at 11 percent before the Seattle Seahawks and Philadelphia Eagles pulled off the rarity in the past two occasions.
The Raiders experienced two such games this season. They hosted the San Diego Chargers in a Monday night game Sept. 11, then lost to the Baltimore Ravens six days later. They beat the Arizona Cardinals on Oct. 22, six days after the Cardinals played the Chicago Bears on a Monday night.
So, why the difficulty? It's easy, Sapp said.
"Your body says it's Saturday," Sapp said of playing games six days apart.
That leads to a discussion with your body, he said.
``What the (heck) are you doing? Come on, dog, we got work to do. You kidding me? Come on, we got to go (play).''
Rams quarterback Marc Bulger made his NFL debut Oct. 13, 2002, against the Raiders in St. Louis.
Bulger guided the 0-5 Rams to a stunning 28-13 victory against the 4-0 Raiders that day by completing 14 of 21 passes for 186 yards and three touchdowns. He also rushed for a touchdown and finished with a career-high passer rating of 134.1.
"I remember getting the ball on our (3-yard) line, walking into the huddle and Marshall Faulk, Torry Holt and Isaac Bruce, all those guys are in there," Bulger said in a conference call with Bay Area media Wednesday. "It was in our `Greatest Show on Turf' heyday, and it was almost like, `What the heck am I doing in here?""
It didn't take long for Bulger to silence any critics and prove to himself he belonged. The Rams marched 97 yards on a drive that culminated with receiver Bruce catching a pass from Bulger for a touchdown.
"That's one of those game's I'll never forget," Bulger said.
Tui to the Rams?
Raiders No. 3 quarterback Marques Tuiasosopo will be an unrestricted free agent once this season ends. He has spent his six-year NFL career with the Raiders. However, there isn't any reason to believe the Raiders would attempt to re-sign him after this season, or that Tuiasosopo would even be interested.
One possible destination is Tampa Bay, where former Raiders coach Jon Gruden runs the show and always is looking for quarterback help. Also, Gruden was instrumental in the Raiders' selecting Tuiasosopo in the second round of the 2001 NFL draft.
Yet, don't rule out a Rams team coached by Scott Linehan, who coached at the University of Washington when Tuiasosopo was the starting quarterback.
Linehan calls Tuiasosopo "one of my all-time favorites" and someone just in need of an opportunity. Tuiasosopo has started only two games for the Raiders.
"He's a great competitor and he's a patient guy," Linehan said. "If he just sticks with it and does what he's always done and just believes in himself, like I said, he'll land on his feet. Because he's one of those kids that you can't help but believe in. He's just got that right stuff, so to speak."
Left offensive tackle Robert Gallery (elbow) and wide receiver Randy Moss (ankle) are doubtful for Sunday's game, Shell said. Running back Zack Crockett (heel) is questionable and will be a game-day decision
Re: Raiders' Sapp says Rams ripe to lose Sunday
The Oakland Raiders have an 85 percent chance of losing Sunday against the St. Louis Rams, based on Oakland's 2-11 record this season.
That number changes when they are playing a 5-8 team.
.38 + .15 = .53
.53 / 2 = .27
1 - .27 = .73
Raiders have a 73 percent chance of losing Sunday based on current team records.