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Madden Selects Raiders as Top Protectors


The Raiders offensive line led the team to 151 yards rushing. Photo by Tony Gonzales

Playing with heavy hearts in their first home game since the passing of owner Al Davis, the Oakland Raiders grinded out an emotional victory against the Cleveland Browns. NFL rushing leader Darren McFadden led an Oakland rushing attack that gained 151 yards. In a game that included a special teams trick-play and an injury to Raiders starting quarterback Jason Campbell, the offensive line remained a constant. The Raiders offensive line played penalty-free football, allowing offensive coordinator Al Saunders and Head Coach Hue Jackson to execute their game plan. This impressive performance establishes the Raiders offensive line as contenders for the third annual Madden Protectors Award, presented by Prilosec OTC. The award honors the NFL's best offensive line and will be presented during the week of Super Bowl XLVI, which will be played on February 5, 2012 in Indianapolis. Past Madden Protectors Award recipients include the New England Patriots (2010) and the New Orleans Saints (2009).

The Madden Protectors *Award *recognizes the fundamental role offensive linemen play in their teams' success by providing consistent and powerful protection day in and day out, just as Prilosec OTC can provide 24-hour heartburn protection when used as directed for 14 days.   

The Raiders earned their fourth win under Coach Jackson. The offensive line starts outside with tackles Jared Veldheer and Khalif Barnes. The guards providing protection inside are Stefen Wisniewski and Cooper Carlisle, while center Samson Satele called the signals from the middle. Tackle Joe Barksdale also saw action. Offensive line coach Bob Wylie is in his first season with the Raiders. First-year assistant offensive line coach Steve Wisniewski, uncle of Raiders guard Stefen, helped Wylie prepare the players for the game against the Browns. Campbell completed 6-of-9 passes for 52 yards before being injured and was replaced by veteran*Kyle Boller who was 8-of-14 for 100 yards. McFadden rushed for 91 yards and a score on 20 attempts, while wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey caught 6 passes for 82 yards. *                                                                                                                                                                     

"On an emotional day for the Oakland Raiders and a big game against Cleveland, the Raiders needed to run the ball well and their offensive line did a great job in making that happen," said Pro Football Hall of Fame Coach John Madden.

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