Fantasy Football Doctors Podcast for NFL Week 2: Let’s win your matchup!


Fantasy Football Doctors Vasu Vaddiparty & Charlie O have the advice you need to win your Week 2 fantasy matchup.

  • Ben Roethlisberger may be a QB1 this Sunday vs. the Chiefs

  • Veteran Alex Smith is finding new life in D.C.

  • Sleeper? Patrick Mahomes

  • What about Matt Ryan this week?

  • You may want to keep Jared Goff on the bench!

  • The doctors review the roster of tight ends who might impact your lineup

  • Did Marshawn Lynch just go from the penthouse to the outhouse?

  • The Dolphins WR Kenny Stills could be a strong starter for you this week

Push Play and get ready to win!

Raiders’ offense a no show in Kansas City

Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr (4) has works with referee Carl Cheffers (51) and umpire Bill Schuster (129) during the second half of an NFL football game against the Kansas City Chiefs in Kansas City, Mo., Sunday, Dec. 10, 2017. The Kansas City Chiefs won 26-15. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

By Joe Hawkes-Beamon
SRS Contributor

With the chance to move into sole possession of first-place in the AFC West, the Raiders (6-7) didn’t put up much of a fight against their bitter rival the Kansas City Chiefs (7-6), losing at Arrowhead Stadium 26-15 Sunday afternoon.

The two teams came into the game tied atop of the division with identical 6-6 records, along with the Los Angeles Chargers. The Chargers, who host Washington Sunday, face the Chiefs in Kansas City next Saturday night.

The Raiders’ defense pressured Chiefs’ starting quarterback Alex Smith all day, sacking him four times, two by linebacker Bruce Irvin. Oakland also recorded just their second interception of the season by safety Karl Joseph, but the unit wore down as the Chiefs controlled the clock for 36:30 of the game. Kansas City racked up 408 yards of total offense, 268 of those yards thrown by Smith, who completed 20-of-34 passes on the day.

Chiefs’ starting running back Kareem Hunt rushed for 116 yards on 25 carries and a touchdown.

Oakland’s offensive unit mustered just 268 yards of total offense Sunday.

Kansas City jumped out to a 26-0 lead before Marshawn Lynch’s 22-yard touchdown run put the Raiders on the board with 8:51 to go in the game. Lynch finished the game with 61 yards on seven carries as the Raiders ran the ball just 11 times in the game.

Starting quarterback Derek Carr completed 24-of-41 passes for 211 yards one touchdown and two interceptions with a 60.1 passer rating for the game. Kansas City sacked Carr three times. In Carr’s last game against Kansas City on Oct. 19, he destroyed the Chiefs passing for 417 yards on 29-of-52 passes with three touchdowns and no interceptions and a 101.2 passer rating.

“It sucked,” Carr said via the Raiders’ official website. “It wasn’t good enough. And you put it all on me–don’t you blame one coach, one player.”

Oakland’s loss falls squarely on the offense, not just on Carr.

In the first half, Oakland had five possessions: four punts and one interception and were shutout through three quarters. The Raiders made just four first downs and were out-gained offensively by Kansas City, 362-110 yards through three quarters. The offense looked unfocused and lacked creativity against the NFL’s 30th-ranked defense in the Chiefs.

Tight end Jared Cook led Oakland with 75 yards on five receptions and a 29-yard touchdown catch down the middle of the field from Carr to trim Kansas City’s lead to 26-13 before Carr found wide receiver Michael Crabtree on a quick-slant route for a two-point conversion late in the game.

Crabtree finished with a team-leading seven receptions for 60 yards. To illustrate the Raiders’ struggles on offense Sunday, can be traced to a play in the third quarter.

On second down from his own 5-yard line, Carr launched a pass deep to Crabtree that fell short of the wide receiver. After diving for the football, Crabtree rolled over and remained seated with his shoulders slumped. It was a play that Carr and Crabtree connected on quite a few times last season.

“We had some opportunities we just didn’t connect on,” Carr said. “And that just can’t happen. There’s no easy way to go through this one. This one sucked.”

Wide receiver Amari Cooper, who missed Oakland’s 24-17 win over the New York Giants last Sunday with a left ankle injury, tried to give it a go Sunday, but didn’t look nowhere near healthy. Cooper re-aggravated the injury after being rolled up from behind on a downfield block for running back DeAndre Washington on a running play in the second quarter.

Cooper finished with zero receptions against Kansas City after posting career-highs in receptions in a game (11) and receiving yards (210) and two touchdowns against the Chiefs on Oct. 19.

This loss greatly hurts Oakland’s chances at making the AFC playoffs in back-to-back seasons. The Raiders finished 12-4 in 2016.

“We obviously came in with high hopes,” Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio said after the game via the San Francisco Chronicle. “Everything we wanted to accomplish in our season was in front of us. It was a big day and a big moment. And we did not play well.”

Next Sunday, the Raiders host the visiting Dallas Cowboys at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on NBC’s Sunday Night Football in the team’s final home game of 2017. The Cowboys (7-6) kept their playoff chances in the NFC alive with a dominating win over the New York Giants, 30-10, at MetLife Stadium.

Cowboys’ starting quarterback Dak Prescott overwhelmed the Giants, passing for a career-high 332 yards and three touchdowns and no interceptions on 20-of-30 passing.

Kickoff for the prime-time game is at 5:25 p.m. PT.

Raiders get set for crucial AFC divisional game with Chiefs in Kansas City

Photo credit: @RAIDERS

By Joe Hawkes-Beamon
SRS Contributor

OAKLAND — After back-to-back wins at home over the Broncos and the Giants, the Raiders head on the road to take on the Chiefs in Kansas City Sunday in a critical AFC West matchup. The Raiders are looking to complete the season sweep over the Chiefs after dispatching Kansas City, 31-30, in Week 7 at Oakland that halted Kansas City’s 11-game divisional win streak.

Kickoff is at 10:00 a.m. PT from Arrowhead Stadium. With both teams–along with the Los Angeles Chargers–sporting identical 6-6 records, the winner of this game would be in the driver seat of the division with three games to go in the regular season.

For the second straight week, Oakland’s defense held the opposing team to under 300 yards of total offense in limiting the Giants to 265 yards in Week 13. Defensive lineman Denico Autry recorded one of Oakland’s three sacks, his third in the last two games. Defensive end Khalil Mack and linebacker Bruce Irvin each posted a sack off of Giants starting quarterback Geno Smith.

Middle linebacker NaVorro Bowman led the team with eight solo tackles (one assisted).

Running back Marshawn Lynch carried the offensive load for Oakland, running for a 100 yards in a game since October 2015 as a member of the Seattle Seahawks. Lynch rushed for 101 yards on 17 carries, including a 51-yard touchdown run on Oakland’s first drive of the game. It was Lynch’s second-straight 100-yard game for Oakland this season.

Lynch owes the Raiders a big performance against the Chiefs, after getting ejected from the previous game for making contact with an official after coming off the bench to aid in defusing an altercation between Kansas City cornerback Marcus Peters, and the Raiders offensive line.

Lynch and Peters are “cousins” with the two having close ties from growing up in West Oakland.

With Oakland’s wide receiver corps depleted with Michael Crabtree serving a one-game suspension for fighting with Broncos cornerback Aqib Talib, and Amari Cooper out with a concussion/left ankle injury, wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson step up for the Silver and Black leading the team with 79 yards receiving on four receptions. Patterson’s 59-yard catch-and-run in the fourth quarter, helped seal Oakland’s victory over the Giants.

Crabtree is expected to be ready to go against the Chiefs, but Cooper is a different story. Cooper did clear the league’s concussion protocol, the team announced Wednesday, but has yet to practice on the sprained left ankle. If you’re part of Raider Nation, you better take a wait-and-see approach with Cooper.

Raiders starting quarterback Derek Carr completed 22-of-36 passing for 287 yards and a touchdown, a nine-yard toss to wide receiver Johnny Holton in the fourth quarter.

Carr’s biggest performance of 2017 came against the Chiefs in front of a national audience on NBC’s Thursday Night Football, throwing for a ridiculous 417 yards on 29-of-52 passing with three touchdowns and no interceptions. Carr and Cooper were in perfect harmony that night, with Cooper having a career night with 11 receptions (on 15 targets) for 210 yards and two touchdowns. Cooper scored on touchdowns of 38- and 45-yards respectively.

In seven career games against Kansas City, Carr is just 2-5 against the Chiefs, his worst record against one team. Carr is just 3-4 against the Broncos in seven career games, his second-worst record against one team.

But Sunday’s game is essentially a playoff game for Oakland’s signal-caller, who sports a 0-3 record at Arrowhead Stadium. Carr knows that he must play well in order for the Raiders to leave Kansas City with a win.

Speaking before Wednesday’s practice, Carr acknowledge that the Silver and Black have their work cut out for them facing the Chiefs.

“Definitely number one right now, especially this week,” Carr said via the team’s official website. “It’s definitely up there. It’s something that we have not been able to do since I’ve been here. We have to get on that.

“We have a tough task ahead of us because, although their record is the same as ours, we’re both pretty good football teams. We have to go out there and play hard.”

After starting the season 5-0, including an impressive 42-27 win at New England in Week 1, Kansas City’s season has fallen into a tailspin. The Chiefs are just 1-6 in their last seven games and are currently riding a four-game losing streak after falling to the New York Jets, 38-31, at MetLife Stadium in an offensive shootout last Sunday.

Kansas City’s offense racked up 474 yards of total offense against the Jets, with starting quarterback Alex Smith having a huge day throwing and running the football. Smith threw for 366 yards on 19-of-33 passing, with four touchdowns and no interceptions. The former Utah quarterback also had a 70-yard run in the game.

Wide receiver Tyreek Hill erupted for six receptions for 165 yards and two touchdowns, while tight end Travis Kelce finished with four receptions for 94 yards and two touchdowns.

Defensively, Kansas City was shredded by the Jets allowing 488 yards of total offense to Gang Green. Journeyman quarterback Josh McCown threw for 331 yards on 26-of-36 passing and a touchdown. Kansas City’s secondary allowed wide receivers Jermaine Kearse (9 receptions for 157 yards) and Robby Anderson (8 receptions for 107 yards) to run uncovered for most of the game.

The Jets converted 13-of-20 third downs and hogged the time of possession, controlling the clock for 42:49 and didn’t allow the Chiefs to get near McCown. Justin Houston, Kansas City’s most feared pass-rusher, was held to just one tackle for the game.

That won’t cut it for a team who has a rich history of getting to the quarterback with guys named Derrick Thomas, Neil Smith and Tamba Hali just to name a few.

In Kansas City’s biggest game of the season, the team will play without the aforementioned Peters, who was suspended by the team Wednesday for leaving the field while the game was still being played against the Jets. Peters also threw a penalty flag in the stands after a Jet touchdown.

With Peters out against the Raiders, the Chiefs already leaky secondary has gotten weaker and that could be a place where Oakland could attack. Teams are averaging 252.8 passing yards a game against the Chiefs this season. Kansas City ranks 28th in the league against the pass.

Oakland averages 241.2 passing yards per game this season, good for 15th in the league. Overall, the Silver and Black rank 21st in the league averaging 20.8 points per game.

Following Sunday’s game, the Raiders will host the visiting Dallas Cowboys at the Oakland-Alameda Coliseum in Oakland’s final home game of the regular season, while Kansas City hosts the Chargers in another pivotal AFC West matchup in Week 15.

Raiders look for second half turnaround after bye week head to Mexico City Nov. 19th

Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr (4) signs autographs at the end of an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins, Sunday, Nov. 5, 2017, in Miami Gardens, Fla. The Raiders defeated the Dolphins 27-24. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

By Joe Hawkes-Beamon
Sports Radio Service Writer

OAKLAND — With nine games in the books, the Raiders are 4-5 at the bye week. Coming into the 2017 season, not many people had the Silver and Black under .500 especially with the offensive talent the Raiders sport led by starting quarterback Derek Carr.

In eight games (Carr missed Week 5 with a back injury), Oakland’s signal-caller has thrown for 1,954 yards with 13 touchdowns and seven interceptions. Carr is completing a career-high 65.2-percent of his passes this season and is on pace for another 3,000-yard passing season (his fourth-straight).

As much as wide receivers Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper get most of the praise in the passing game, it has been tight end Jared Cook that has proven to be Carr’s most trusted pass-catcher through the first half of the season.

Cook leads Oakland in receptions (39) and receiving yards (499) this season. The nine-year veteran is just 13 receptions away from tying his career-high of 52 he established in 2014 as a member of the then-St. Louis Rams, and is just 261 receiving yards away of from surpassing his career-high of 759 yards he set in his third season with the Tennessee Titans in 2011.

Cook caught a team-leading eight passes for 128 yards in Oakland’s 27-24 win in Miami last Sunday in prime time on NBC Sunday Night Football.

For Oakland, it was a much needed win coming off a 34-14 loss in Buffalo the previous Sunday, and entering Hard Rock Stadium having lost the previous five straight matchups to the Dolphins.

Despite struggling with dropping the football early in the season, Cooper is second on the team with 38 receptions for 462 yards and three touchdowns. His 11 catches for 210 yards and two touchdowns in a 31-30 victory over AFC West rival the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 7 helped snap Oakland’s four-game losing streak after starting the season 2-0.

Crabtree has 36 receptions for 451 yards and a team-leading six touchdowns, three of those scores came in Oakland 45-20 demolishing over the visiting New York Jets in Week 2.

Running back Marshawn Lynch leads the Raiders ground game with 323 yards rushing and four touchdowns this season. The Oakland-native hasn’t put up big numbers this season in his return to the football field after a year of retirement, but his ability to slow down the game and pick up first-downs could be key for the Raiders down the stretch.

If Oakland is leading in the fourth quarter, the ball should be fed to No. 24. No questions asked. Lynch had a bounce back performance against the Dolphins, rushing for 57 yards on 14 carries for two touchdowns after serving a one-game suspension the previous week for making contact with an official against the Chiefs in Week 7.

The NFL’s reigning Defensive Player of the Year in defensive end Khalil Mack leads Oakland with 4.5 sacks this season and continues to be a terror to opposing offensive linemen, but its been the play of cornerback TJ Carrie that flies under the radar.

Carrie is tied with fellow secondary mates Reggie Nelson and Karl Joseph for the team-lead with 50 tackles and has four passes defensed in eight games. The in-season pickup of inside linebacker NaVarro Bowman, who was released by the San Francisco 49ers after seven seasons on Oct. 13, has added a veteran presence and leader with big-game experience to the locker room.

In three games with the Raiders, Bowman has registered 32 tackles (11 tackles in back-to-back games and 10 tackles against the Dolphins), immediately paying dividends for Oakland.

But the fact that the Raiders haven’t recorded an interception through the team’s first nine games (an NFL record), is still a problem. The team’s top pick in last April’s NFL Draft  in cornerback Gareon Conley was expected to be a big part of the defense, but has only played in a handful of plays this year while battling shin splints.

For those of you who are wondering, the 1982 Houston Oilers own the record for fewest interceptions recorded by a defense in a season with three, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Along with the then-1982 Baltimore Colts, the 2005 edition of the Raiders are tied for second in NFL history recording just five interceptions.

When Oakland returns from the bye week, they will have to prepare for quarterback Tom Brady and the Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots in Mexico City on Nov. 19.

The 40-year-old Brady is still going strong in his 18th season in the league, second among passers in yards (2,541) and touchdowns (16). His two interceptions are the second-fewest thrown by starting quarterbacks behind Kansas City’s Alex Smith, (league-high 18 touchdowns) who threw his first interception of the season in Week 9.

Before Oakland plays New England, the Raiders will be rooting for the Patriots (6-2) in Week 10, who travel to Denver to take on the Broncos (3-5) Sunday night at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on NBC’s Sunday Night Football in prime time.


Raiders prepare for short turnaround with KC Chiefs rolling into Oakland for Thursday Night Football

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith (11) runs the football during an NFL football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017, in Kansas City, Mo. The Steelers defeated the Chiefs, 19-13. (Ryan Kang via AP)

By Joe Hawkes-Beamon
Sports Radio Service Writer

OAKLAND — If I told fans of the Silver and Black if their beloved Raiders would be sitting at 2-4 after the first six weeks of the season, many of them would want to toss me in a garbage can and roll me down a hill.

Well, the Raiders are 2-4 and their  2017 NFL season is circling the drain in a major way.

With the Kansas City Chiefs (5-1) traveling to the Black Hole this week for the first of two meetings with Oakland this season on Thursday Night Football at 5:25 p.m. PT, the second game is Dec. 10 in Kansas City, this is a true must win game for the Silver and Black if they have any chance of saving their season.

Oakland is coming off a tough 17-16 loss at home to the visiting L.A. Chargers Sunday, their fourth-straight loss following a 2-0 start to the season. It was also the fourth-straight game that the Silver and Black was held under 20 points in a game.

After missing Oakland’s 30-17 loss at home in Week 5 to the Baltimore Ravens with a back injury, starting quarterback Derek Carr returned to action for the Silver and Black against the Chargers in Week 6, completing 21-of-30 passes for 171 yards with a touchdown but threw two interceptions. Carr threw a 23-yard touchdown to wide receiver Michael Crabtree, who led the team with six catches for 52 yards on 10 targets.

Running back Marshawn Lynch recorded 63 of Oakland’s 109 rushing yards on 13 carries. Wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson took a handoff and blazed past the Chargers’ defense for a 47-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.

Defensively for Oakland, linebacker Bruce Irvin recorded his second sack of the season to go along with six tackles. Cornerback TJ Carrie led Oakland with eight tackles. Oakland allowed 343 yards of total offense to the Chargers, with most of the damage coming from running back Melvin Gordon.

Gordon was the Chargers’ offense, with a 150 total yards (83 rushing and 67 receiving) on 34 touches (25 rushes and nine catches) and two touchdowns (one rushing and one receiving). Second-year tight end Hunter Henry gave the Raiders fits on Sunday, hauling in five catches for 90 yards.

With the addition of four-time All-Pro linebacker NaVorro Bowman to the defense, the Raiders are hoping that the middle linebacker position will be stabilized for the rest of the year.

Bowman, a seven-year pro out of Penn State, requested his release from the San Francisco 49ers on Friday after losing playing time, signed a one-year deal worth $3 million on Monday.

Kansas City was the last team to lose a game this season after dropping a 19-13 contest to the visiting Pittsburgh Steelers at Arrowhead Stadium in Week 6, giving the Steelers their third straight win over the Chiefs in the last two seasons, counting last year’s meeting in the playoffs.

Strangely, Sunday’s matchup between Pittsburgh and Kansas City was eerily similar to their playoff game in January, an 18-16 Steelers’ win on Kansas City’s home turf.

Chiefs starting quarterback Alex Smith completed just 19-of-34 passes for 246 yards and a touchdown, a 57-yard pass to wide receiver De’Anthony Thomas in the fourth quarter that pulled Kansas City within 12-10 with 6:13 left in the game.

Pittsburgh shut down the NFL’s hottest offense, limiting the Chiefs to 251 yards of total offense and holding the NFL’s top scoring offense per game (32.8) to just 13 points.

Smith leads the league in passer rating (119.2), second in touchdown passes (12) and is third in passing yards (1,637). Kansas City’s signal-caller has yet to throw an interception in 202 passes this season.

The Steelers also held the NFL’s top rusher, rookie running back Kareem Hunt, to just nine carries for 21 yards.

But Pittsburgh sliced up a very good Chiefs defense by racking up 439 yards of total offense. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger threw for 252 yards on 17-of-25 passes with a touchdown and one interception. Eight of Roethlisberger’s completions went to wide receiver Antonio Brown, who hauled in 155 yards and a 51-yard touchdown catch that put Pittsburgh up 19-10 in the fourth quarter.

Running back Le’Veon Bell found gaping holes in the Chiefs’ run defense, carrying the ball 32 times for 179 yards and a touchdown. Bell also rushed for 170 yards against Kansas City in the playoffs.

The Chiefs have great playmakers in cornerback and Oakland native, Marcus Peters and fellow cornerback Terrance Mitchell. Peters and Mitchell each have two interceptions this season for a Chiefs secondary that have five for the year, pacing 13th in the NFL.

Veteran linebacker Justin Houston leads Kansas City with 5.5 sacks, ranking seventh in the NFL.

Kansas City sits on top of the AFC West, while Oakland is sitting in the basement of the division. With a win for Kansas City, it could be the final nail in the coffin of the Raiders’ season as it will drop the team to 2-5 and put the season on life support.

But, win on Thursday night on primetime, and it could put the team back on course.

Kansas City has won the last five-straight games against Oakland, with the Raiders’ last victory over the Chiefs, coincidentally, on Nov. 20, 2014, which was a game on Thursday Night Football.

The 0-10 Raiders defeated the 7-3 Chiefs 24-20 in a rainy game in Oakland.

Thursday night’s game will conclude Oakland’s three-game homestand, with Oakland’s next game coming in Buffalo on Oct. 29.





Red hot Raiders travel to frigid KC with AFC West at stake on TNF

AP photo: Oakland Raiders Derek Carr (4) speaks at the post game press conference following their game with the Buffalo Bills last Sunday at the Oakland Coliseum

By Joe Hawkes-Beamon
Sports Radio Service Writer

OAKLAND, Calif — In what is arguably the biggest game for the franchise since their Super Bowl XXXVII loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the end of the 2002 season, the Raiders will be on the national stage once again when they face their bitter rival the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium on Thursday Night Football.

Kickoff is set for 7:35 p.m. CT (5:35 p.m. PT) with temperatures predicted to be in the high-teens with a windchill factor that will make it feel like 10 degrees.

Thursday’s game begins a stretch for Oakland that sees them play three of their final four games on the road.

Ever since the Chiefs’ 26-10 victory over the Raiders on the rain-soaked Oakland Coliseum turf on Oct. 16, Oakland (10-2) is riding a season-high six-game winning streak (winning by an average of nine points) and sit one game ahead of Kansas City (9-3) in the ultra-competitive AFC West.

Oakland rallied from a 15-point deficit to dispatch the visiting Buffalo Bills 38-24 just four days ago and now have to travel two time zones on a short week and play in one of the loudest stadiums in pro football.

Quarterback Derek Carr engineered an Oakland offense that scored 29 unanswered points in the second half after trailing 24-9 early in the third quarter. Carr has become the first player in NFL history to throw five game-winning touchdowns in the fourth quarter or overtime in a season, according to the Associated Press.

Carr completed 19-of-35 passes for 260 yards and two touchdowns while taking the majority of the snaps in the shotgun or the pistol in Sunday’s game, despite playing with a fracture pinkie on his throwing finger.

For the season, Carr has thrown for 3,375 yards with 24 touchdowns and five interceptions with a 100.3 quarterback rating.

Let’s not forget, Carr lost his first 10 games of his career before winning his first game against the Chiefs, but the Chiefs continue to be a thorn in Carr’s side.

In his last five starts against Kansas City, Carr is just 1-4 versus the Chiefs completing just 58 percent of his passes,  with six touchdowns, five interceptions and a 72.0 quarterback rating.

Legendary quarterbacks make their names from performing on the biggest stages with all of the money on the table so if Carr is going to be named the league’s MVP, he has to play better against Kansas City and why not do that on Thursday Night Football?

Latavius Murray, who didn’t play in the first meeting, rumbled for 82 of Oakland’s 139 yards against Buffalo. Oakland’s stout offensive line will need to find running lanes against a Chiefs defensive front that surrendered 128 yards to Atlanta in the Chiefs’ 29-28 win on the road in Week 13.

Kansas City is 20-4 in their last 24 regular season games, and have won six of their last seven games this season.

Alex Smith, who is 6-1 all-time against Oakland, was efficient with the football, completing 21-of-25 passes for 270 and a touchdown against the Falcons.

Tight end Travis Kelce recorded his third consecutive 100-yard receiving game Sunday when he hauled in eight catches for 140 Kelce’s 65 catches and 815 yards not only leads all AFC tight ends, but all tight ends in the league.

Kelce could prove to be a difficult cover for a Raiders secondary that will be without rookie safety Karl Joseph (foot) Thursday.

Rookie Tyreek Hill is listed as a wide receiver in most media guides, but when you pull up the film, Hill is a offensive specialist who is a matchup nightmare for most defenses.

With wide receiver Jeremy Maclin battling a groin injury, Hill has become a valuable target and weapon in Kansas City’s passing game. Hill is second to Kelce on the Chiefs with 50 catches for 481 yards, but his five touchdown catches ranks first on the team.

In their last meeting, Oakland had trouble stopping running back Spencer Ware, who carried the ball 24 times for 131 yards and a touchdown. Kansas City has put together a solid running game without starting running back Jamaal Charles this season led by Ware, who leads the Chiefs with 734 rushing yards and three scores.

Ware’s hard-nose running style is tailor made to carry the ball in the frigid conditions that is Kansas City in early December.

Both teams have pass rushers who can make life difficult for the opposing quarterback.

Kansas City outside linebacker Dee Ford and Oakland defensive end Khalil Mack are tied for third in the NFL in sacks with 10 apiece.

Mack, who won the AFC Defensive Player of the Month for November, has recorded seven sacks in his last seven games. No other player has that many sacks during that span.

Chiefs All-Pro safety Eric Berry accounted for eight points (a pick-6 and a pick-2) to seal Kansas City’s win in Berry’s return to his hometown of Atlanta. Two of Berry’s three interception on the season have gone for touchdowns.

Shadowy cornerback Marcus Peters is tied for second in the league with Giants safety Landon Collins with five interceptions. Peters’ eight total takeaways leads the NFL to go along with a Chiefs defense that leads the NFL in total takeaways with 25.

Peters and the rest of the Chiefs secondary will have their hands full with the receiving  tandem of Michael Crabtree (67 catches, 785 yards, 7 TDs) and Amari Cooper (68 catches, 981 yards, 4 TDs).

A win for Oakland gives the Silver and Black a two-game lead in the AFC West with three games to go, but a loss to their arch-rival would not only give Kansas City a season sweep for the second straight year, but the inside track on the division title and No. 1 overall seed in the AFC.

But the biggest question that must be answered before kickoff for yours truly, what to eat to go with the frosty beer (Corona with lime most likely) that I’m sure I will consume?

Carne Asada tacos for the Raiders  win!







Oakland Raiders post game analysis: Carr, Raiders take step back with loss to Kansas City

By Joe Hawkes-Beamon
Sports Radio Service Writer

AP photo: Tamba Hali recovered for the Kansas City Chiefs (left) and defensive back Daniel Sorenson (49) and in the foreground Michael Crabtree of the Oakland Raiders

OAKLAND, Calif — Rookie Jalen Richard opened the game with a 50-yard return and quarterback Derek Carr completed four of five passes, including a 3-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Andre Holmes in the back of the end zone, but that was all the big plays that Oakland would generate, dropping their second home game of the season to the visiting Kansas City Chiefs 26-10 in Week 6.

For an offense that averaged 28.4 points per game coming into the game, Carr and the offense struggled on a rainy and soggy Sunday afternoon in Oakland, being held scoreless in the second half.

Carr completed 22 of 34 passes for 225 yards, one touchdown, and an interception.

It was the 12th straight game that Carr has thrown a touchdown, a career-high, but the third-year quarterback threw a terrible pass intended for wide receiver Michael Crabtree that was intercepted by Oakland native Marcus Peters on Oakland’s second drive of the game.

Peters’ first quarter interception was his league-leading fifth of the season.

Wide receiver Amari Cooper had a huge first half, hauling in nine catches for 117 yards, but only had one catch the rest of the way finishing with 10 catches for 127 yards. Fellow wide receiver Michael Crabtree had just one catch for five yards in the first half, finished with two catches for 10 yards.

Oakland was force-feeding Cooper the ball, targeting the former Alabama wide receiver 13 times, while Crabtree finished with just four targets.

The Raiders, who were without starting running back Latavius Murray, was held to just 65 yards on the ground by Kansas City, the lowest by the Chiefs versus any opponent this year.

Kansas City unleashed defensive end Dee Ford, who wrecked havoc on Carr by recording two sacks, one resulting in a fumble that the Chiefs recovered and killed any chances for an Oakland comeback.

Alex Smith finished 19 of 22 for 224 yards and Spencer Ware rumbled for a career-high 131 yards and one touchdown helping Kansas City (3-2) pick up their third straight win against the Silver and Black, and seventh straight win within the AFC West.

Smith is now 3-1 against the Raiders in Oakland for his career.

Oakland (4-2) will head to Florida for the next two weeks, gearing up for games in Jacksonville and Tampa Bay before returning home for a showdown with the Denver Broncos, the co-leader in the AFC West with Oakland on Nov. 6.



Oakland Raiders preview: Raiders welcome Chiefs to Oakland with first place in the AFC West at stake

By Joe Hawkes-Beamon
Sports Radio Service Writer

AP photo: Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr is jubilant after throwing a second half touchdown pass to wide receiver Michael Crabtree last Sunday at the Oakland Coliseum

OAKLAND, Calif — With the Denver Broncos (4-2) losing to the Chargers (2-4) 21-13 in San Diego Thursday night, the Raiders have a chance to move into sole possession of first place in the AFC West with a win Sunday over the visiting Kansas City Chiefs  at the Oakland Coliseum.

Kickoff is set at 1:05 p.m. PT.

The Raiders had to rely on a botched field goal attempt by San Diego last Sunday to preserve a 34-31 home win over the visiting Chargers.

Oakland quarterback Derek Carr completed 25-of-40 passes for 317 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception against a banged up Chargers’ defense that carried 14 players on injured reserve.

Carr has definitely stepped up his game in year three, ranking in the top-1o in the league in passing touchdown passes (11; ranking fourth), passing yards (1,383; ranking eighth) and passer rating (102.3; ranking 11th) through the first five games this season.

Carr is engineering the NFL’s fourth ranked offense, averaging 28.4 points per game.

These are one of those “benchmark” games that will determine if Oakland is a definite contender in the AFC this year, as Carr recently told 95.7 the Game via the Raiders’ official website.

“Huge test for us, and that’s the thing, that’s the mindset,” Carr said this week. “We’ve got to stay focused, we’re getting a team we haven’t beaten in two years coming to our place,” Carr further explained.

“That’s a big deal, that’s a huge deal, they had our number last year, they beat us twice and that’s what they earned. We can’t sit here and look at records and pat ourselves on the back, we’re playing a team we have not beat.”

Oakland, winners of three straight games, are off to their best start at 4-1 since the 2002 season when the Raiders appeared in the Super Bowl.

Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio thinks there is still room for improvement, but likes what he has seen from his squad so far this season.

“I think we have a healthy perspective of what we want to look like and knowing that we’re not quite there,” Del Rio said recently via “There is a lot of work in front of us. I don’t think anybody would disagree with that. A lot of things we must do better as we go forward. We’re working hard at it.”

Kansas City (2-2) are coming off a bye week in Week 5, but have been one of the hardest teams to figure out through the first quarter of the year.

After looking like world-beaters by forcing eight turnovers (six interceptions) in a 24-3 win over Ryan Fitzpatrick and New York Jets at Arrowhead Stadium in Week 3, the Chiefs allowed 300 yards through the air and five touchdown passes from Ben Rothelisberger in a 43-14 loss in Pittsburgh in Week 4.

But Kansas City  may have the secret formula to slow down Oakland in the form of head coach Andy Reid, whose teams are 15-2 coming off a bye week.

“Every year is different,” Reid said per the Kansas City Star. “It’s situational, who you play and where you play. I don’t even look at that.”

Since arriving in Kansas City in 2013, Reid is 5-1 against Oakland as Kansas City’s head coach. With a win, Reid will move into 13th place on the NFL all-time wins list for coaches passing former Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks head coach, Mike Holmgren, a coaching mentor to Reid.

Chiefs starting quarterback Alex Smith has performed well in the past against Oakland, sporting a 7-1 record against the Raiders throwing 18 touchdowns and just three interceptions.

Smith is 2-1 in Oakland, throwing nine touchdowns and zero interceptions. This season, Smith has thrown for 1,073 yards, five touchdowns, and two interceptions with a passer rating of 87.7.

The Silver and Black can have their hands full against a Kansas City team that took both meetings from Oakland last season, a 34-20 win in the Bay Area in Week 13, and a 23-17 victory in Kansas City in Week 17.

Including the postseason, Kansas City leads the all-time series between these two fierce rivals, 60-52-2.

Kansas City’s 17th ranked defense sports one of the game’s best young players in West Oakland native, cornerback Marcus Peters, the reigning NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year who leads the NFL with four interceptions this season.

Peters should see a lot of wide receiver Michael Crabtree, but the real battle will be between Peters and the Raiders other wide receiver, Amari Cooper. Two of the best young players at their positions should be fun to watch.

Peters returned an interception 58 yards and broke up two passes in Oakland last season.




Raiders head to Kansas City for season finale

By Joe Hawkes-Beamon

OAKLAND — Quarterback Derek Carr and the Raiders look to spoil Kansas City’s chances at the AFC West crown when the Silver and Black travel to the Show Me State Sunday to take on the Chiefs in the season finale for both teams.

Oakland (7-8) can finish with a .500 record for the first time since 2011 with a win in Kansas City, where they have lost their last two trips to Arrowhead.

A .500 record would be great for Oakland, who have won a combined 11 games over the past three seasons.

Oakland is coming off a 23-20 overtime victory over the visiting San Diego Chargers in Week 16 behind Carr’s 204 yards, one touchdown and one interception performance.

It was Oakland’s last home game for the season, and potentially the last Raiders’ game in Oakland as the team is rumored to be heading to Los Angeles for the 2016 season.

The win for Oakland was great in what was safety Charles Woodson’s final home game. The 18-year veteran announced his retirement last week.

”Charles is one of the greatest players to ever put on a uniform,” coach Jack Del Rio said. ”He’s a great Raider. To be able to send him out the right way, to be able to cap off a special evening like this, our last home game of the year … I’m just really proud of the effort.”

Running back Latavius Murray carried the ball 19 times for 79 yards and a touchdown. The third-year running back from Central Florida leads the AFC in rushing with 1,035 yards and has become the bellcow for the Raiders.

Oakland’s defense had trouble generating a solid pass rush on Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers for nearly three quarters, registering just one sack.

After starting the season 1-5, Kansas City (10-5) have been red hot winning their last nine in a row.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, only the 1970 Cincinnati Bengals have ever qualified for the playoffs after starting 1-5, until Kansas City clinched a playoff spot with a 17-13 home win against the Cleveland Browns in Week 16.

The Chiefs are seeking a franchise-record 10th straight victory, but want more.

With a win over their hated rivals from Oakland, coupled with a Chargers’ victory over the Broncos in Denver, Kansas City could win the AFC West title for the first time since 2010.

Wide receiver Jeremy Maclin has been what head coach Andy Reid and Kansas City have hoped and then some in his first season with the team.

Maclin, who was voted to his first Pro Bowl this season, is having a monster season with 84 catches (one shy of his career-high set last season in Philadelphia), 1,034 yards, and seven touchdowns.

Kansas City didn’t have a wide receiver catch a touchdown all of last season. Maclin has caught a touchdown in four of the last five games for the Chiefs, including a pair of touchdowns against Oakland in Kansas City’s 34-20 Week 13 victory at Coliseum.

With Pro Bowl linebackers Justin Houston (hyperextended knee) and Tamba Hali (broken finger) sitting out last week, Kansas City failed to record a sack for the first time since Week 4.

Houston and Hali have combined for 14 of Kansas City’s 41 sacks this season, which are tied for fourth-most in the league this season.

Both players are day-to-day, but could suit up Sunday.

Kansas City have won four of the last five meetings, and forced the Raiders second-year signal caller into throwing three interceptions, returning one for a touchdown.



Raiders off to KC looking for seconds

By Joe Hawkes-Beamon

OAKLAND — After a dominating performance on both sides of the ball in a 24-13 victory over their cross-bay rivals the San Francisco 49ers at Coliseum last Sunday, the Raiders look to take that momentum into Kansas City Sunday against their arch rival the Chiefs.

Oakland (2-11) earned their first win of the season with a 24-20 victory over Kansas City in Week 12 at the Black Hole and would like nothing more to take the season series from the Chiefs.

Raiders’ signal caller Derek Carr played more like a 10-year veteran than a rookie, completing 22-of-28 passes for 254 yards and three touchdowns against the 49ers No. 2 ranked defense that gave up two touchdown drives of 80 yards and rarely pressured Carr.

Carr completely outplayed 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who didn’t fair too well against a Raiders defense that sacked Kapernick five times, two apiece by rookie linebacker Khalil Mack and defensive tackle Antonio Smith.

“This week it was preached to us just how important this game was,” Smith said after the game. “This week more and more of us became true Raiders, knowing what the heritage is about, knowing what this game was about, how important it was to this city.”

Safety Charles Woodson sealed the victory (and possibly San Francisco’s playoff chances) in style with a fourth quarter interception.

Kansas City (7-6), are coming off close 17-14 loss to the Cardinals in Arizona last Sunday, their third straight loss dating back to their first encounter with Oakland on Nov. 20.

Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith completed 26-of-39 passes for 293 yards one touchdown and an interception. Running back  Jamaal Charles finished with 10 carries for 91 yards, including a 63-yard touchdown run. Charles’ second touchdown (an 18-yard toss from Smith), gave Kansas City a 14-6 halftime lead only to see the lead slip away.

Oakland could have some trouble against a Chiefs team that is No. 5 overall in defense, and No. 2 against the pass and who are desperate to end their three-game losing streak and stay afloat in a tight AFC playoff race.

Players to Watch

Kansas City, OLB, Justin Houston.

Houston has been nothing less then stellar for Kansas City this season. With 16 sacks (a career-high), Houston is tied with Baltimore outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil for the most in the NFL. The fourth-year pro from Georgia recorded a sack the last time Oakland saw Kansas City.

Oakland, QB, Derek Carr.

There is no question that Carr is Oakland’s quarterback for the next five-to-10 years. That should be music to the ears of Raider Nation, who’ve had 18 different starting quarterbacks since Rich Gannon in 2003. Carr leads all rookies in touchdown passes (17) and passing yards (2,676).