Rice still treating us right | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Rice still treating us right

Steve Yingling

Rice-a-roni, the Oakland Raider treat.

Sounds disgusting.

Jerry Rice wearing Silver and Black makes about sense as gas prices soaring 40 cents per gallon in a week when summer is nearly over.

A reinvigorated Rice gave the Raiders on Sunday what he provided the Niners for 16 glorious seasons: a reliable and prepared athlete to open the season – and a winner.

Rice open his second chapter in the NFL with eight receptions for 87 yards.

Anyone who thought that the game’s greatest receiver ever would embarrass himself by dragging on his career, then you’re a cold-hearted 49er fan.

If the Niners hadn’t mortgaged their future years ago with salary cap abuse, they probably would have held on to Rice, despite the fact that he’ll turn 39 on Oct. 13.

Rice should have helped engineer a 49er victory over the Falcons on Sunday. Instead he helped the Raiders start off on the right foot with a come-from-behind 27-24 victory at Kansas City.

We learned how much becoming a Raider meant to Rice in early July when he didn’t make his usual appearance at the American Century Celebrity Golf Championship at Edgewood Tahoe. He wasn’t about to alienate his new teammates by making them think that he was through busting his tail, now that he was no longer in a 49er uniform.

Much to-do was made about how Rice and Tim Brown couldn’t co-exist in the Raiders’ offense. All they did collectively was torch the Chiefs’ secondary for 16 catches, two touchdowns and 220 yards. What will they do for anchor Sunday with the Jets coming to town after being shredded by Peyton Manning and the Colts?

As much as fans will miss Rice in San Francisco, the 49ers don’t have any holes in their receiving core. Terrell Owens, J.J. Stokes and Tai Streets proved that much against the Falcons on Sunday, combining for 15 receptions and 267 yards.

For the few football fans out there who don’t pace the living room floor, whining that Daunte Culpepper and Kurt Warner should throw more than one touchdown pass and doesn’t a 95 fumble return for a touchdown count more than 10 points, it sure was nice to see the season open with a few surprises.

What can we expect from the San Diego Chargers after their 30-3 demolition of the Washington Redskins? Will they go from the worst in the NFL last year (1-15) to Super Bowl champions this year? Or are the Redskins really that bad? Too bad the Chargers have a bye this week.

Certainly, the Bungles, I mean the Bengals, can’t make it two in a row this weekend at Tennessee? But wouldn’t it be nice if they did, especially for a marquee player like Corey Dillon, who decided to remain with one of the league’s worst franchises when he’d be wealthier and a superstar elsewhere?

And how about George Seifert’s Carolina Panthers. After parting with their top two quarterbacks from a year ago – Steve Beuerlein and Jeff Lewis – the ex-49er coach looked every bit like the first coach to be fired in 2001 by putting the team in rookie Chris Weinke’s hands.

But Seifert looks pretty smart today after Weinke ran for a TD and passed for another in the Panthers’ 24-13 upset of the Vikings.

Then again, isn’t Randy Moss being paid excessively because no can stop him? One reception for 28 yards against one of the weaker defenses isn’t what Moss, Vikings or fantasy team owners had in mind for his opening act.

However, Mike Crawford, a practice squad linebacker Vikings, might have seen it coming in training camp.

“He’s one of those guys who is above everyone else, for sure,” Crawford said. “He’s not working as hard, but he’s a receiver and he’s making $85 mil, so he doesn’t have to do it all.”

Just on Sundays.

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