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Turnovers loom large in Oakland’s loss at Cleveland
By Joe Hawkes-Beamon
CLEVELAND — Brian Hoyer completed 19-of-28 passes for 275 yards and a touchdown, as the Cleveland Browns forced three turnovers to upend the Oakland Raiders 23-13 Sunday afternoon in Week 8 action.
Andrew Hawkins caught a game-high seven passes for 88 yards, including a four-yard touchdown pass from Hoyer to push Cleveland’s lead, 16-6 at 14:51 mark in the fourth quarter.
Browns’ strong safety Donte Whitner leveled Raiders’ running back Darren McFadden late in the third quarter, forcing McFadden to fumble which was recovered by cornerback Joe Haden to give Cleveland the ball clinging to a 9-6 lead. Haden led Cleveland with eight tackles.
Running back Ben Tate finished with 15 carries for 26 yards and a touchdown for Cleveland (4-3), who bounced back after falling to the Jaguars 24-6, in Jacksonville in Week 7. Cleveland was horrendous on third down, converting 2-of-12 opportunities, while gaining 15 first downs.
Paul Kruger sacked Raiders quarterback Derek Carr three times, and recorded a forced fumble.
Oakland (0-7) have now lost their 13 straight game dating back to last season, but this loss is tough to swallow.
Whenever Carr wasn’t under pressure, he actually threw the ball well, completing 34-of-54 passes for 328 and a 10-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Andre Holmes in the fourth quarter to make the score 23-13. Oakland controlled the time of possession, 34:52 to 25:08, but fumbled the ball four times, two by Carr.
The Raiders’ 32nd ranked running attack had its moments, but still couldn’t muster its first 100-yard runner of the season with the aforementioned McFadden finishing with 59 rushing yards on 12 carries. Oakland ran the ball early well in the game, but appeared to abandon the run as Cleveland’s defense started to clamp down as the game wore on.
With Cleveland leading 3-0 in the first quarter and Oakland’s opening drive stalled, the Raiders outsmarted themselves by faking a field goal that lead to place kick holder Matt Schaub throwing an interception to Browns safety Tashaun Gipson.
That was the sign of things to come for Oakland who remains 0-for-2014, and may have squandered one of their best chances to win a football game this season.
The Silver & Black continue their two-game road trip with a voyage to the Pacific Northwest to take on the Super Bowl Champion, Seattle Seahawks in Week 9.
Seattle gritted out a 13-9 victory over the Carolina Panthers in Charlotte Sunday to improve to 4-3 behind quarterback Russell Wilson’s 20-of-32 passing for 199 yards, one touchdown and one interception performance.
Coupled that with games divisional games against Denver, San Diego, and Kansas City, Oakland could be 0-11 by Thanksgiving.
Defensively, linebackers Sio Moore and Miles Burris each recorded nine tackles to lead Oakland.
By Joe Hawkes-Beamon
OAKLAND — Still in search of win No. 1 on the season, the Silver and Black head to Cleveland to take on the up-and-down Browns Sunday. The game can be seen locally in the Bay Area on CBS/KPIX Channel 5 at 1:25 p.m. PDT.
Quarterback Derek Carr completed 16-of-28 passes for 173 yards, with no touchdowns and no interceptions, in Oakland’s 24-13 loss to the visiting Arizona Cardinals last Sunday at O.co Coliseum.
Scoring-wise, Oakland was led by two Sebastian Janikowski field goals and a one-yard touchdown run by running back, Darren McFadden. McFadden rushed for 48 yards on 14 carries, leading the Raiders’ ground game.
Defensively, free safety Charles Woodson recorded his 58th career interception, and rookie linebacker Khalil Mack led the team with a game-high 10 tackles (1 assisted), but Oakland never seemed to get on track against Arizona.
Outside of strong safety Usama Young’s sack, Palmer threw for 253 yards and two touchdowns on 22-of-31 completions. Not only did Oakland lose their 12th straight game dating back to last season, but loss key pieces to their defenses.
The aforementioned Young tore his ACL and MCL in his left knee and, starting defensive end LaMarr Woodley tore his biceps. Both players are going to be lost for the season, adding to Oakland’s dreadful season that just gets bleaker by the minute.
At 0-6, Oakland is off to its worst start in 52 years.
But could Sunday’s trek to Northeast Ohio be Oakland’s best chance at securing their first win of the season?
At 3-3 in a hotly contested AFC North, the Cleveland Browns are an enigma.
A team that throttled the Pittsburgh Steelers at home 31-10 in Week 6 behind quarterback Brian Hoyer’s 217 passing yards and a touchdown, Cleveland looked horrible in a 24-6 loss in Week 7 at winless Jacksonville. The Browns were 0-of-2 from inside the red zone for the game and
Cleveland is one of those teams that makes you want to believe in them and take them as a serious playoff contender this year, but wets the bed against a team that on paper, they should’ve beaten.
Jacksonville rookie running back Denard Robinson steamrolled Cleveland’s 32nd ranked rushing defense for 127 yards on 22 carries and a touchdown.
Oakland’s 32nd ranked rushing offense should be chomping at the bit ready to run the ball Sunday.
Something has to give right?
Players to Watch
Oakland: RB, Darren McFadden – Toss in McFadden’s backfield mate, Maurice Jones-Drew as well. The playbook should be run heavy against the Browns and both McFadden and Jones-Drew should find running lanes against a porous Cleveland run defense.
Cleveland: WR, Travis Benjamin – With Cleveland’s passing game just ho-hum on the outside without dynamic wide receiver Josh Gordon (suspension), Benjamin and speedy WR Andrew Hawkins have provided the Browns a tourniquet at the position. Hawkins leads Cleveland in catches (29) and receiving yards (382), while Benjamin leads the team with three touchdown catches.
By Joe Hawkes-Beamon
OAKLAND — Ryan Fitzpatrick threw for 139 yards on 14-of-19 passes and two touchdowns, while running back Arian Foster galloped for 138 yards rushing on 28 carries and a touchdown as the Houston Texans forced four turnovers and spoiled the Oakland Raiders home opener, 30-14 in front of 54,063 fans.
“Overall, I thought we played well, but we need to play better,” Raiders head coach Dennis Allen said after the game. We got to protect the ball better.”
Houston (2-0) took their first two drives 80 and 70 yards, the first one culminating in a 1-yard touchdown pass from Fitzpatrick to an tight end-eligible defensive end, J.J. Watt; the second on a 6-yard touchdown run by Foster to put Houston up, 14-0 in the first quarter. The Texans controlled the ball for 13:30 in the first quarter, compared to 1:30 for Oakland.
Overall, Houston won the time of possession battle, keeping the ball for 38:36, while Oakland only mustering 21:24.
Veteran Raider safety Charles Woodson summed up the loss the best.
“We suck,” Woodson said. “That’s as blunt as I can put it. For whatever reason, defensively we just won’t stop people, especially early in games. Every drive, every first drive, teams are able to go and get points. Today, it happened all day. Offensively, we put the ball on the ground. We had opportunities and didn’t capitalize on it. Collectively, we look bad.”
After cornerback Kareem Jackson returned an interception off quarterback Derek Carr 56 yards, Houston added a Randy Bullock 33-yard field goal to push the lead to 17-0 at halftime.
Andre Johnson led all Texans receivers with six catches and 74 yards, while DeAndre Hopkins had three catches, including a 12-yard touchdown catch in the third quarter to run Houston’s lead, 24-0.
Cornerback Johnathan Joseph recovered a Mychal Rivera fumble and returned it 49 yards to setup a Bullock 39-yard field to push the Texans lead to 27-0.
Derek Carr didn’t have one of his better days as a pro for Oakland.
Carr completed 27-of-42 for 263 yards passing and a late nine-yard touchdown to wide receiver James Jones, but threw two interceptions, the final one coming after Watt hit him as he threw and linebacker Brooks Reed making the play.
Jones was Carr’s favorite target, as the quarterback targeted Jones 14 times, with Jones finishing with 112 receiving yards.
But it was Jone’s double fumble that really did the Raiders in on this day.
Jones caught a pass from Carr and lost the ball away twice on the same play, gained 14 yards, but he lost the ball on a hit by Joseph, picked it back up and raced for more yardage until Joseph recovered, forced another fumble and safety D.J. Swearinger recovered at the 3-yard line.
Oakland, showed again the inability to run the ball. Carr led all rushers with 58 yards on four carries, but 41 yards came off on one rush.
Running back Darren McFadden (starting for the injured Maurice Jones-Drew), gained only 37 yards on the ground on 12 carries, but did record his first rushing touchdown of the season with a six-yard score in the fourth quarter.
Defensively, Oakland had some bright spots, but didn’t have the same competitiveness today as it showed in last week’s 19-14 loss to the Jets in New York.
Sure safety Tyvon Branch led the team with 12 tackles (10 solo), and Woodson chipped in with eight tackles (7 solo), but the team couldn’t rush the quarterback. Oakland only recorded one quarterback hit on the day.
In two games, the Silver and Black only have two sacks. Branch has one of them.
Now staring down the gun barrel of an 0-2 start, Oakland is hitting the road for 11 days with games in New England and “home” against the Miami Dolphins in London, may be in danger of falling to 0-4 before the bye week in Week 5 if they don’t get their acts together.
“It’s disappointing,” Woodson later added.
“I don’t know what else to say about it. Coming into the season we felt a lot better about where we were at that point. For whatever reason we haven’t put it together on the field.”
By. Joe Hawkes-Beamon
OAKLAND — With two rough and tough practices with the Dallas Cowboys under their belts where tempers were hotter than the Oxnard sun that both teams practiced under this week, the Raiders will try to keep that same intensity when they host their first preseason game at O.co Coliseum Friday night against the visiting Detroit Lions.
It will be the second consecutive time Oakland will face a team from the NFC North as the Raiders fell to the Minnesota Vikings, 10-6, in Minneapolis last Friday.
The first-team offense was anemic early with anointed starter Matt Schaub at one point, finding themselves down 10-0. Schaub finished 3-of-7 for 21 yards, but was plagued by three dropped passes that could’ve turned into first downs.
Matt McGloin played well with the second-team offense, finishing with a team-high11-of-18 for 90 yards and a 10-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter that pulled Oakland within a score.
“I thought our guys came back and fought. I thought late in the game we were able to move the ball a little bit…I thought at times we could run the ball pretty well,” said Raiders head coach Dennis Allen after the game. “There are some positives there that we can take and continue to work with but obviously we have a long, long way to go as a football team to be the type of team that we want to be, but I’m sure our guys are going to continue to work.”
Derek Carr, the Raiders second round draft pick, finished 10-of-16 for 74 yards and an interception.
Darren McFadden finished with one carry on a nice 23 yard-burst in the first quarter, while Maurice Jones-Drew had 10 yards on two carries (he had a 7-yard run called back due to a penalty).
Overall, Oakland outgained the Vikings, 268-236 in total yards.
Defensively, Oakland looked sound, finishing with six sacks. Defensive tackle Pat Sims recorded a sack on the first drive of the game.
The Lions (1-0) are coming off a 13-12 home victory over the Cleveland Browns to kickoff their preseason schedule.
Detroit backup quarterback Kellen Moore threw for 121 yard on11-of-13 passing, including the game-winning touchdown from 21-yards out to wide receiver Corey Fuller with 1:05 remaining in the fourth quarter.
On the defensive side of the ball for Detroit, safety Isa Abdul-Quddus and linebacker George Johnson had great showings, combining for six tackles, a forced fumble, and an interception.
After Friday’s game, Oakland will continue their through the NFC North when they will travel to Green Bay for their third preseason game against the Packers.
By. Joe Hawkes-Beamon
OAKLAND — Home is where the heart is and the Oakland Raiders are in dire need of some good fortune.
After a two game road trip, Oakland return to the familiar surroundings of O.co Coliseum when they’ll host their bitter rival the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 15 Sunday. Kansas City nipped Oakland, 24-7 at Arrowhead in Week 6 behind a ferocious defense that forced three second-half interceptions and sacked then starting quarterback Terrelle Pryor 10 times.
Oakland (4-9) was dropped by the New York Jets, 37-27, in New York last week.
With running backs Rashad Jennings (concussion) and Darren McFadden (ankle), fullback Marcel Reece supplied the ground game for Oakland rushing for a career-high 123 yards on 19 carries, including a career-long 63-yard touchdown run on the second play of the third quarter.
Quarterback Matt McGloin finished the game 18 of 31 for 245 yards passing, two touchdowns and an interception, while wide receiver Rod Streater had a career-high 130 yards receiving and a touchdown.
Kansas City (10-3) throttled hapless Washington, 45-10, last week in the Nation’s Capital.
The Chiefs jumped on Washington from the start, building a 31-0 lead in the second quarter behind two special teams touchdowns and their running game. Running back Jamaal Charles racked up 151 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries.
Charles leads the AFC in rushing with 1,161 yards and 10 touchdowns, and is third overall in the NFL in rushing yards behind Minnesota running back Adrian Peterson (1,221), and Philadelphia running back LeSean McCoy (1,3o5).
By Joe Hawkes-Beamon
OAKLAND — For the second time this season, the Raiders will visit MetLife Stadium this time, will take on the New York Jets Sunday. Oakland lost to the New York Giants, 24-20 in Week 10. The Raiders are playing their fourth road game in five games and have won two of the last three against the Jets, the last being a 34-24 victory in September 2011.
Oakland (4-8) is coming off a close 31-24 loss to the Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving Day, delivering the kill shot to their playoff dreams.
Quarterback Matt McGloin played decent in his third-career start, finishing 18 of 30 for 255 yards passing, but throw a crucial interception in the end zone to Cowboys cornerback Brandon Carr in the fourth quarter that iced the game of Dallas.
Second-year wide receiver Andre Holmes had a marvelous day filling in for the injured Denarius Moore. Holmes posted career-highs in catches (seven) and receiving yardage (136). Even though Holmes did have a breakout game, Holmes still runs questionable routes and misplayed a back-shoulder pass from McGloin.
Running back Rashad Jennings rushed for 35 yards on 17 carries, scoring two touchdowns. Darren McFadden (hamstring) played for the first time in four games, carrying the ball five times for 13 yards, before leaving the game with an ankle injury. McFadden never returned to the game.
New York (5-7) has lost four of their last five games, including last week’s 23-3 lost to their AFC East rivals, the Miami Dolphins.
Quarterback Geno Smith has come under fire in New York for his up-and-down play this season. Smith completed just 4 of 10 passes for 29 yards and interception before being replaced by Matt Simms. Smith is expected to start for the Jets.
Former New Orleans Saints running back Chris Ivory paced the Jets with 61 rushing yards on 21 carries.
By Jeremy Kahn
After scoring on a fumble return on the opening kickoff, everything looked to be going the Oakland Raiders way.
Unfortunately, the game is four quarters and not first team to score points in the game and the game continued from that point.
DeMarco Murray ran for three touchdowns, and his backup running back Lance Dunbar ran for a career-high 82 yards, as the Dallas Cowboys overcame a 14-point deficit to defeat the a Raiders 31-24 at AT&T Stadium.
Tony Romo overcame a virus to throw for 225 yards on a 23-for-32 day and a touchdown, as the Cowboys moved into first place in the NFC East.
The Raiders scored on the opening kickoff after rookie kickoff returner Terrance Williams, who replaced an injured Dwayne Harris fumbled the ball and rookie Greg Jennings picked up the ball and scored just 12 into the game.
Rashad Jennings carried the ball 17 times for just 35 yards, and Darren McFadden returned after missing the last three games with a hamstring injury and carried the ball five times for 13 yards.
Rookie Matt McGloin started for the third consecutive week, and went 18-for-30 for 255 yards and finished off five consecutive third down drives on two scoring drives for the Raiders.
Former Cowboys receiver Andre Holmes hauled in seven catches for a career-high 136 yards, breaking his previous high of 33 yards.
Murray tied up the game in the final minute of the first quarter, as he scored from two yards out.
Jennings then scored two touchdowns in the second quarter, the second coming in the final two minutes of the half.
Murray got the Cowboys within seven points with just 10 seconds remaining before the end of the half, as he scored on a four-yard run.
Romo connected with Dez Bryant for a four-yard touchdown pass to tie up the game in the third quarter.
Murray scored his third and final touchdown of the day on a seven-yard run just 40 seconds into the final quarter to give the Cowboys the lead for good.
Dan Bailey closed out the scoring for the Cowboys, as he hit a 19-yard field goal with just 1:56 remaining in the game.
Sebastian Janikowski got the Raiders within seven points, as he hit a 45-yarder with 35 seconds remaining.
Janikowski’s onside kick was recovered by the Cowboys and Romo kneeled for the final play, as the Cowboys comeback was complete.
by David Zizmor
ALAMEDA–The Houston Texans are not a very good team they’ve lost eight in a row and they hosted the Oakland Raiders last Sunday. The Texans are going through a lot of problems with injuries and poor performance and a whole lot of other things the fact of the matter you got play whose in front of you. The Raiders are banged up as well their not the picture of perfect health, they put in quarterback Matt McGloin as the starter last Sunday for injured quarterback Terrelle Pryor.
McGloin is a undrafted rookie back there behind center and you know what he looked pretty good and he doesn’t have the arm strength of a lot of quarterbacks but he’s pretty accurate and that makes up for a lot of the problems the arm strength. As long he knows what throws he can and can not make he should be able to at least step in and be a decent back up.
We saw him come into this game last Sunday in Houston and go 18-32 for 197 yards, with three touchdowns passes. That’s as much as you could hope for from a guy like McGloin and he really is a work in progress by all accounts. He’s a guy who came on late in college to even get into the position to join the team and boom he’s in there filling in for Pryor and already your hearing on our talk shows and in the Bay Area “hey maybe McGloin should be the starter instead of Pryor.
Well it’s a little too soon to say that and going forward this year you have to put Pryor back there as long as he’s healthy because that’s the real purpose of the Raiders this season is to figure out whether Pryor is the future quarterback of this football team. You got a guy like McGloin there and he does well it makes you feel a little bit better you have something to build on. If Pryor doesn’t pan out then McGloin can step in and do some business and take care of things for the Raiders for at least a short time.
Now is McGloin a long term solution for the Raiders at a bare minimum they probably have a solid back up behind Pryor whether McGloin is a full time starting option is anybody’s guess. One game against a really bad Texans team doesn’t prove too much in that respect. McGloin has proven for a game or two at least he can step in and be of service to any team in league let alone the Oakland Raiders.
The other big development is the emergence of Rashad Jennings who had just a fantastic game he had 22 rushes for 150 yards 80 of those yards came on one long bruising touchdown run that was just fantastic. Jennings ran through the line and lowered his shoulder and knocked the Texans safety backwards before rumbling the rest of the way it was an eye opening run that kind of served notice to running back Darren McFadden that Jennings is not going to give up that position anytime soon.
McFadden certainly helps by never being on the field but McFadden is a free agent after this season and if Jennings keeps this up it already is a 50-50 proposition whether McFadden returns to the Raiders and the better Jennings. The less likely that McFadden remains a Raider going into 2014. Jennings is proving that he can be a starter in this league, that he should be the Raider guy the rest of the way and he’s the guy to key on.
David Zizmor covers the NFL for Sportrstalk Radio