Raiders 27, Patriots 20

-- Rich Gannon threw for 297 yards as the Oakland Raiders took control early on their way to a 27-20 victory over the New England Patriots tonight, the first meeting between the teams since the Super Bowl champions' controversial overtime victory against Oakland in last season's playoffs.

The Raiders are still steaming about the infamous "tuck rule" call on that snowy January night, with team owner Al Davis ridiculing the decision in an interview Saturday.

Tom Brady's ballhandling again figured into it, though. Chris Cooper forced Brady to fumble shortly before halftime, setting up a touchdown that gave the Raiders a double-digit lead they never relinquished.

Brady never got his team into the end zone, as the Raiders' revamped defense held New England to 195 total yards.

With their second straight win after losing four straight, the Raiders (6-4) stayed within a game of Denver and San Diego in the AFC West. The Broncos and Chargers won today.

The Patriots (5-5) are in a three-way tie for second place in the AFC East behind first-place Miami.

Oakland's Zack Crockett rushed for two short touchdowns and Charlie Garner ran for 57 yards and caught seven passes for 65 more. Gannon was 26 of 38, patiently directing a ball-control offense.

Kevin Faulk made things interesting with an 86-yard kickoff return for a score with 59 seconds left, but the Raiders recovered Adam Vinatieri's misdirected onside kick and ran out the clock.