Originally published on SBReport.net on Sept. 30, 2012
Carson Palmer and the Raiders offense were unable to get into the end zone, scoring just two field goals by kicker Sebastian Janikowski.
Meanwhile, Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning was able to do as he wished against a porous Raiders defense. Manning looked comfortable as he was able to complete 30 of his 38 pass attempts for 338 yards and three touchdowns.
After winning the coin toss, the Raiders deferred to the Broncos and it didn't take long for Manning to orchestrate an 11-play, 80-yard drive for a touchdown.
The Raiders defense was unable to get off the field on third down on the drive, something that would become a problem as the game continued. Manning and the Broncos offense were able to get the first down 10 of 16 third down attempts.
After completing an eight-yard pass to his tight end Jacob Tamme for a first down on a fourth-and-one, Manning found his other tight end Joel Dreesen for a 22-yard touchdown.
The Broncos would never give up the lead, though they would only hold a 10-6 lead despite out gaining the Raiders by over 100 yards in first half.
The Raider had a chance to tie up the game heading into halftime but were unable to complete a third-and-three nor get into the endzone from the Denver six-yard line. The Raiders were forced to settle for Janikowski's second field goal of the day and head into the locker room with a four-point deficit at halftime.
While the Broncos were able to complete third downs, the Raiders were not. Palmer and the Raiders offense finished with just one third-down conversion on 12 attempts.
Manning and the offense didn't slow down in the second half as the Broncos out scored the Raiders 27-0 in the second half, including three touchdowns in the third quarter.
On the other side of the ball, the Raiders still couldn't get anything going in the third quarter as they ran just 12 offensive plays for a total of -1 yards for the entire quarter.
Much of the offensive woes can be attributed to the inability of getting Darren McFadden and the rushing game going. After rushing for a season-high 113 yards against the Steelers last week, McFadden was unable to find running room against the Broncos defense. McFadden finished with just 34 yards on 13 carries, just 2.6 yards per carry.
Palmer also struggled with a receiving corps that is banged up with injuries. With Denarius Moorw and Derek Hagan starting, Palmer finished the game just 19-34 for 202 yards and no touchdowns. He was able to avoid any interceptions though.
Willis McGahee was able to gash the Raiders defense for 112 yards on just 19 carries, averaging 5.9 yards per carry.
The Raiders have now had two games where they defended the rush well, as well as two games where they held their opposing rushing attack to under 100 yards. The Raiders will need to shore up their rush defense and be more consistent as the season progresses.
While it would have been to head into next week's bye at the .500 mark, head coach Dennis Allen and the Raiders will have to wait until they take on the Atlanta Falcons in week five to attempt to get their second win of the season.
Originally published on SBReport.net on Sept. 28, 2012
Raiders head coach Dennis Allen is heading into a familiar place as the Raiders head to Denver to take on the Denver Broncos at Mile High.
Allen served as the Broncos defensive coordinator last season, his only season with the Broncos.
The young coordinator improved the Broncos defense and earned praises from around the NFL as a bright defensive mind.
After only being a defensive coordinator for one year, Raiders new general manager Reggie McKenzie chose Allen to be the 18th head coach in franchise history.
But Allen will be facing a different team than the Broncos team he left.
Denver traded away Tim Tebow and signed a future Hall of Fame quarterback in Peyton Manning.
While there still remains questions about Manning's arm strength, there certainly aren't any questions about his ability to command the offense, especially at the line of scrimmage.
Oakland's defense will need to be on top of their game as Manning is an expert at exploiting a defense's weakness.
With their two starting corners still out with injury, it will be safety Michael Huff and Pat Lee getting the starts again. After giving up 384 yards in the air to Ben Roethlisberger last week, the secondary won't have an easier task with wide receivers Eric Decker and Demaryius Thomas.
Decker has appeared to become a favorite of Manning's, but Thomas has big-play capabilities and moves well after the catch.
Luckily Manning is primarily a pocket passer and has difficulty scrambling which should be beneficial to the Raiders defensive line which has struggled to provide any pass rush. The Raiders have recorded just three sacks through three games. McKenzie signed the veteran Andre Carter this week in hopes of gaining support in rushing the passer.
The Broncos have struggled to establish a rushing attack with running back Willis McGahee, averaging just 90.3 yards per game. While the Raiders rushing defense is allowing 116.3 yards per game so far, they will need to maintain gap control and force the Broncos to be one-dimensional.
Quarterback Carson Palmer has quietly been having a solid season so far, even with all the injuries to his starting receivers. After losing Jacoby Ford for the season, Rod Streater was poked in the eye last week and Darrius Heyward-Bey was carted off the field and remains out with a neck injury and concussion.
Denarius Moore and Derek Hagan will likely get the start at wide receiver. Hagan has shown good chemistry with Palmer despite being signed after training camp.
Darren McFadden was able to get the running game going last week after averaging just a measly 27 yards per game the first two contests. McFadden has shown his explosiveness to the Broncos during their last three meetings, averaging 144.6 yards per game, including a 150-yard effort in the Raiders season-opening victory against the Broncos last season.
With the numerous injuries to the wide receiving corps, the Raiders may have to rely on their star running back more, in the passing and rushing game.
Out: S Quinton Carter (knee)
Doubtful:G Chris Kuper (forearm)
Questionable:LB Nate Irving (concussion), WR Matt Willis (hamstring)
Probable: CB Chris Harris (ankle), RB Willis McGahee (ribs), CB Tracy Porter (knee), TE Jacob Tamme (groin)
Out: T Khalif Barnes (groin), CB Shawntae Spencer (foot)
Doubtful:WR Darrius Heyward-Bey (concussion, neck)
Questionable: RB Mike Goodson (hamstring), TE Richard Gordon (hamstring), TE Brandon Myers (concussion), WR Rod Streater (eye, neck)
Probable: TE David Ausberry (shoulder), S Michael Huff (knee), K Sebastian Janikowski (left groin), DT Tommy Kelly (knee), RB Darren McFadden (shoulder), C Alex Parsons (shoulder), DT Richard Seymour (knee)
Originally published on SBReport.net on Sept. 26, 2012
The Raiders announced on Wednesday the signing of veteran defensive end Andre Carter.
Carter, listed at 6-foot-5 and 260 pounds, originally tried out for the Raiders at their Napa training camp facility in August but the Raiders ultimately passed on the free agent.
Reports surfaced during training camp that Carter was missing the explosiveness he had shown before a leg injury forced him to the injured reserve towards the end of the 2011 season. Carter had played in 110 consecutive games before being placed on the injured reserve on Dec. 20, 2011 with a leg injury.
The 12-year veteran has played for the San Francisco 49er's, Washington Redskins and, most recently, the New England Patriots. Carter recorded 10 sacks with the Patriots last season in 14 games, earning his first Pro Bowl selection.
The veteran pass rusher has recorded 10 or more sacks in a season four times during his career. Carter's career-high is 12.5 sacks for the 49er's in the 2002 season.
A Bay Area-native, Carter attended Oak Grove High School in San Jose before playing ball at Cal, where he finished as Cal's all-time leader with 31 sacks.
Carter has played in 163 games, starting 147 of them, while recording 76 sacks, 23 passes defended, 17 forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries. The 76 sacks recorded is good for eighth among active NFL players.
The Raiders also officially announced the signing of wide receiver Tori Gurley after reports surfaced of the signing last night due to a tweet by Gurley: http://www.sbreport.net/raider_news/008/9814.html
To make room for Carter and Gurley, general manager Reggie McKenzie waived offensive lineman Joe Barksdale. Barksdale was the Raiders third-round draft pick last season and was thought to be in competition for the starting right-tackle position at the beginning of training camp. Khalif Barnes quickly asserted himself as the starting right tacklee and it became clear that Barksdale fell out of favor when newly-acquired tackle Willie Smith started for the injured Barnes as opposed to Barksdale.
Originally published on SBReport.net on Sept. 25, 2012
Wide receiver Tori Gurley tweeted Tuesday that he is officially a Raider.
Gurley, who's twitter handle is @TGurley81, tweeted the following:
"I'm officially an Oakland Raider!!! So blessed & thankful to be in the NFL"
Gurley last played for the Minnesota Vikings but originally got his first job in the NFL when he signed with the Green Bay Packers as an non-drafted free agent last season.
He was then part of the Packers 53-man roster cuts before signing to the Minnesota Vikings practice squad on Sept. 1.
Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie has brought in numerous players from his former team, the Green Bay Packers.
It's not surprising to see the Raiders looking at wide receivers after injuries to their young wide receiving corps. With Jacoby Ford already out for the season and Darrius Heyward-Bey out for an unspecified time with a neck injury and concussion, the Raiders need some added depth at the position.
While he has not hauled in a reception at the NFL level, Gurley hauled in 75 receptions for 905 yards and six touchdowns in two years at the University of South Carolina.
Originally published on SBReport.net on Sept. 25, 2012
The Oakland Raiders announced on Tuesday the signing of linebacker Vic So'oto.
So'oto comes from the Green Bay Packers, the former team of Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie as well.
The 6-foot-2, 255-pound linebacker played in seven games for the Packers last season after signing as a non-drafted free agent out of BYU. So'oto recorded seven tackles and one sack while playing on both special teams and defense.
So'oto is the second cousin of the late San Diego Chargers linebacker Junior Seau.
The team also announced that they have waived linebacker Carl Ihenacho to make room for So'oto on the roster. The Raiders also released defensive tackle Vaughn Meatoga from the practice squad.
Originally published on SBReport.net on Sept. 23, 2012
Nobody said his first win would be easy, but head coach Dennis Allen earned his first regular-season victory as the Raiders defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers 34-31 at O.Co Coliseum on Sunday afternoon.
“It’s a great feeling but I’ll tell you what, I’m so proud of those guys in the locker room for the way that they fought for 60 minutes,” Allen said of his team. “We knew it was going to be a 60-minute fight against a very good football team that we played out there today. They fought all the way up until the very end and we were fortunate to come out on top.”
After struggling to stop the Steelers from converting on third down, the Raiders defense came up with the stop they needed with just two minutes remaining in the game.
With the game tied at 31-31 and the Steelers with 3rd and nine, defensive coordinator Jason Tarver sent a formation on the field with just two defensive lineman: Matt Shaughnessy and Tommy Kelly. Tarver still sent a blitz that allowed linebacker Miles Burris to pressure quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and force an errant throw too high for Steelers wide receivers Mike Wallace.
Following a punt, Raiders quarterback Carson Palmer was able to orchestrate a game-winning two-minute drive that culminated in a last-second 43-yard field goal from Sebastian Janikowski for the win.
A lot of times when you play with young guys you need to keep their focus, keep their attention because it is chaotic, especially against a team like that with multiple fronts, multiple pressures,” Palmer said of operating during two-minute drives. “But our group was calm, we were just playing. We try to make it no different than practice. We do two minute situations all the time, every week, almost every day in practice.”
Perhaps one of the biggest plays occurred on the third play of the drive. Facing a 3rd and 10 from their own 25-yard line, Palmer put a ball right on the money of tight end Brandon Myers who was covered well. Myers was able to pluck the ball out of the air and complete the 15-reception for the first down.
Myers has become a reliable target in the passing game as he hauled in four receptions for 55 yards in the victory.
“He’s been critical for us in the passing game. He’s done an outstanding job for us,” Allen said of his tight end. “He was a guy that we identified fairly early in camp as a guy that we thought could be productive for us so his play has really been beneficial.”
Palmer was able to manage the clock nicely as they left just five seconds on the clock at the time of the final snap for the field goal. Even more importantly, Palmer was able to kneel the ball on the left hash mark. The downing allowed punter Shane Lechler to hold the ball on the grass just off the infield dirt where the Oakland Athletics second baseman would position himself.
“We ran the ball on the play before and the ball got stopped and it was kind of right there on the edge. We wanted to make sure we got it all the way on the edge so that Sebastian could kick off the grass.”
Oakland looked like it would be off to another rough game as Palmer through an interception on the game’s first play from the line of scrimmage. From there, the Raiders were able to get running back Darren McFadden free for a 64-yard touchdown run, more yards than he had gained rushing over the first two games of the season.
McFadden cut through a huge hole on the right side on 1-10 and made the safety miss as he scampered 64 yards into the end zone.
McFadden carried the ball 18 times for 113 yards, his tenth career 100-yard rushing game, but first since week three of last season.
Nearly a full 10 quarters into the regular season, the Raiders were able to get their first defensive turnover when defensive tackle Desmond Bryant got into the backfield and forced a fumble on Steelers running back Jonathan Dwyer. Cornerback Joselio Hanson recovered the ball, giving the Raiders the ball on the Steelers 30-yard line.
After driving down to the Steelers six-yard line, Palmer and the offense faced a 4th and two in which Allen chose to send his offense back out.
Using lots of motion, the Palmer was able to draw a penalty from the defense, giving the Raiders first and goal from the three-yard line.
“We were trying to keep the defense off rhythm a little bit and we were fortunate that they jumped offsides and gave us the free first down,” Allen said of the play.
When asked if he intended on running a play if no penalty was drawn, Allen simply smiled and said they did indeed run a play.
Palmer took advantage of the first down by throwing a perfect ball to wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey on a fade route for a three-yard touchdown pass.
With so many injuries at the cornerback position, Michael Huff got the start at cornerback with Matt Giordano starting at free safety.
The defense did allow 31 points and allowed Roethlisberger to throw for four touchdowns and 384 yards on 36-49 throwing. Luckily for the Raiders, the Steelers were unable to get the running game going as they rushed for just 54 yards on 20 carries.
But the defense came up big when it was needed in the fourth quarter, forcing a punt and a forced fumble caused linebacker Phillip Wheeler while shutting the Steelers out in the fourth quarter.
While the Raiders got the victory, it wasn’t all good news on the field for the Raiders.
Wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey suffered a neck injury in the early parts of the fourth quarter. Heyward-Bey received a hit to the face from Steelers safety Ryan Mundy while going up for a ball in the endzone. Heyward-Bey was knocked unconscious and remained on the ground before being taken off on a stretcher.
The Raiders squad took a knee on the sideline as they looked on and hoped for their fellow teammate to be okay.
“It was a long time so we started thinking a lot like “What could be wrong with him?” We just prayed and let God take care of him,” linebacker Philip Wheeler said.
The Raiders announced following the game that Heyward-Bey is in stable condition but will remain at the hospital overnight.
While the offense scored more points in Sunday’s game than they had in their first two games combined, Palmer likes what he saw but knows there is still room to grow.
“We have a long ways to go. Our third game in and our schedule is extremely difficult,” Palmer said. “We play tough defenses week in, week out, but the sky’s the limit. There’s No doubt. But there’s a lot of work that needs to be done, there’s a lot of things that need to be ironed out.”
Originally published on SBReport.net on Sept. 21, 2012
Raiders head coach Dennis Allen is still looking for his first regular-season victory as an NFL head coach.
Already 0-2, the Raiders play host to a tough Pittsburgh Steelers team with a stout defense and an offense lead by All-Pro quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.
To the Raiders benefit, it appears that the Steelers defense will be without two of its top playmakers in safety Troy Polamalu (calf) and linebacker James Harrison (knee).
The Steelers stingy defense is allowing a stingy 276.5 yards per game so far, good for seventh in the NFL.
The departure of Polamalu is beneficial to Raiders running back Darren McFadden who has struggled to find any running room through two games.
McFadden has totaled a measly 54 yards on 26 carries. McFadden’s numbers are a problem for any offense, but especially in an offense that depends on the rushing attack for play-action calls like offensive coordinator Greg Knapp’s does.
Knapp’s offense has struggled to find the endzone, scoring just two touchdowns through two weeks of play. One of those touchdowns occurred late in the season opener against the San Diego Chargers.
The Raiders will need to get McFadden going to relieve some pressure off starting quarterback Carson Palmer and the offensive line.
Having come from the Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC North division, Palmer is familiar with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Palmer has faced the Steelers 12 times and come up with just four victories.
Palmer needs to be quick with his reads and fine the open receiver to avoid sacks against a Steelers defense that enjoys getting in the opposing quarterback’s face.
Palmer has been able to avoid the interceptions for the most part, with the exception to a bad throw towards the end of last week’s rout by the Dolphins. Palmer will have to keep track of safety Ryan Clark at all times as he has a knack of always being around the ball.
Second-year wide receiver Denarius Moore returned to the field last week after missing much of training camp with a hamstring injury. Moore hauled in three receptions for 67 yards.
Moore is capable of making the big play down the field that the Raiders have not found yet this season.
Oakland’s injury list has been quite lengthy this week, with the biggest problems occurring on the defensive side of the ball.
The Raiders are without both of their starting cornerbacks Shawntae Spencer (foot) and Ron Bartell (shoulder). Oakland will have to use patch work moving forward at the corner position, at least until their starters return.
Pittsburgh’s speedy wide receivers will no doubt be a tough matchup against the Raiders patched up secondary. Wide receivers Mike Wallace and Antonio Brown both possess big-play capabilities.
Oakland also needs to keep an eye on veteran tight end Heath Miller, a favorite of Roethlisberger, especially on third down.
Oakland has struggled to get off the field on third downs, allowing their opponent to complete the third-down conversion 14 out of 30 attempts thus far. The task doesn’t get any easier this week as the Steelers have completed the highest percentage of third downs in the league. Pittsburgh has gained the first down 19 out of 34 tries.
One of the biggest letdowns of the young season has been the play of the Raiders defensive line. The talented defensive line was thought to be a strength of the team but has only been able to record two sacks so far.
There’s no doubt that the defensive line will have to not only apply pressure on Big Ben, but also limit his ability to scramble to relieve their hurting secondary.
Oakland leads the all-time record against the Steelers 10-9, including a win for the Raiders in week seven of the 2006 season, the last time Pittsburgh came to Oakland. The victory that year was just one of two on the season for the Raiders.
OUT: T Khalif Barnes (groin), CB Shawntae Spencer (foot)
QUESTIONABLE: TE David Ausberry (shoulder), CB Coye Francies (concussion), RB Mike Goodson (hamstring), K Sebastian Janikowski (left groin), RB Taiwan Jones (ribs), LB Rolando McClain (concussion, ankle), C Alex Parsons (shoulder), DT Richard Seymour (knee)
PROBABLE: WR Juron Criner (ankle)
OUT: LB James Harrison (knee), RB Rashard Mendenhall (knee), S Troy Polamalu (calf), LB Stevenson Sylvester (knee)
QUESTIONABLE: T Mike Adams (back)
PROBABLE: RB Jonathan Dwyer (toe), T Marcus Gilbert (groin), QB Byron Leftwich (illness), TE Heath Miller (abdomen), WR Emmanuel Sanders (knee), WR Mike Wallace (groin)
Originally published on SBReport.net on Sept. 19, 2012
The Oakland Raiders have announced three more roster moves as they attempt to rebuild a secondary decimated by injuries.
With starting cornerbacks Ron Bartell and Shawntae Spencer out with injuries, general manager Reggie McKenzie signed cornerback Brandian Ross off of the Green Bay Packers' practice squad.
Ross began the 2012 season on the Packers' active roster but was waived when Green Bay activated linebacker Erik Walden.
Ross signed with the Packers as a non-drafted free agent in 2011 after playing college ball at Youngstown State.
In addition to signing Ross, the Raiders also signed two new players for their practice squad: defensive back Akwasi Owusu-Ansah and bringing back defensive tackle Vaughn Meatoga.
Owusu-Ansah entered the league as a fourth-round pick for the Dallas Cowboys in 2010 and has played in 14 games with Dallas and Jacksonville from 2010-2011. Owusu-Ansah has kick-return experience, returning 28 career kickoffs for 599 yards (21.4 yard average) and six punts for 47 yards (7.8 yard average).
Meatoga was previously on the practice squad with the Raiders before being waived on Sept. 12 after spending training camp with the Cincinnati Bengals as a non-drafted free agent out of the University of Hawaii.
Originally published on SBReport.net on Sept. 16, 2012
The Oakland Raiders struggles against the Dolphins continued as they fell to Miami 35-13 in South Beach on Sunday.
Oakland hadn't defeated Miami since 2007 and will have to wait until next time to get revenge.
The Dolphins picked on cornerback Pat Lee throughout the game who was in the game in place of Ron Bartell, who is out for at least six weeks with a broken shoulder blade.
Rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill continuously connected with wide receiver Brian Hartline, who was covered by Bartell's replacement. Hartline finished with nine receptions for 111 yards.
The Raiders defensive line was unable to apply pressure to Tannehill, giving him time to orchestrate five touchdown runs. The rookie quarterback finishedc 18/30 for 200 yards, one touchdown and no interception. Defensive end Matt Shaughnessy recorded the lone sack on Tannehill.
Oakland was unable to stop the combination of Hartline and running back Reggie Bush. Bush, who had 100 yards against the Raiders last season, carved his way through a Raiders defense that allowed Bush to rush 176 rushing yards to go along with 25 receiving yards.
Bush continued to find running room on a Raiders defense that struggled to wrap him up and left gaping holes for the former USC Trojan to rush through.
Overall, the Raiders returned to old defensive form, allowing 254 total rushing yards.
Oakland was once again unable to get the rushing game going as star running back Darren McFadden was held to just 22 rushing yards on 11 carries.
Offensive coordinator Greg Knapp's offense is known to run off of the rushing attack, leaving no doubt that the Raiders will need to get McFadden going to have success moving forward in the season.
Starting quarterback Carson Palmer was able to spread the ball around, completing passes to nine different receivers. Palmer's struggles occurred on third down, where the Raiders were just one for 12 on third-down conversions. Palmer finished 24/48 for 373 yards, one touchdown and one interception.
Palmer's lone interception occurred late in the game when the Raiders were already down 22 points.
Palmer had little time as the offensive line struggled to open up any holes, nor provide adequate time for Palmer to find the open receiver.
While there was little for Raider fans to be excited about, two-time Pro Bowl long snapper Jon Condo returned to the field and was able to complete all snaps with no troubles on Shane Lechler's nine punts.
The Raiders struggled in the first half with penalties but were able to correct the mistakes in the second half. Oakland finished with 5 penalties for 42 yards.
Wide receiver Denarius Moore returned to the field after missing much of training camp and hauled in three catches for 67 yards.
Oakland's next couple of weeks will be even more difficult as they host the Pittsburgh Steelers next week before heading to Denver to take on Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos.
Originally published on SBReport.net on Sept. 15, 2012
The Oakland Raiders announced for roster moves the Saturday, just a day before they take on the Miami Dolphins in their week two matchup.
General manager Reggie McKenzie promoted cornerback Coye Francies and newly-acquired long snapper Nick Guess from the practice squad.
Francies was claimed by the Raiders prior to the final preseason game but waived on Sept. 6 but then added back to the practice squad on Wednesday.
Guess was also added to the Raiders practice squad on Wednesday after an early-morning tryout among five long snappers to alleviate a hole left when two-time Pro Bowl long snapper Jon Condo went down with a concussion against the Chargers. Guess was originally signed by the Chargers this offseason as a non-drafted free agent out of Tennessee.
In order to make room for Francies and Guess on the roster, the Raiders placed injured wide receiver Jacoby Ford on the season-ending injured reserve list and put cornerback Ron Bartell on the NFL's new reserve/injured list.
The new reserve/injured list allows Bartell to return later this season. Each team is now allowed to put one player with a major injury on the list and bring the player back to the active roster six weeks after his injury. This means Bartell could return to practice Oct. 27 and could play as early as Nov. 11 against the Baltimore Ravens.