Raiders head down south for final matchup with the Chargers this year

Photo credit: @Raiders

By Joe Hawkes
SRS Contributor

OAKLAND — With their final regular-season home game of 2019 in their rear view mirror, the Raiders will travel south to Los Angeles to face the Chargers in an AFC West battle at ROKiT Field at Dignity Health Sports Park in Week 16. Sunday’s game marks the final game between the two clubs this season, with the Raiders winning the first meeting, 26-24, back in Week 10 at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. The win for the Raiders gave the Silver and Black a 63-54-2 advantage over the Chargers in the all-time series.

Kickoff for Sunday’s game is set for 1:05 p.m. PT with Greg Gumbel and Trent Green on the call, and Melanie Collins reporting from the sidelines.

In Week 15, the Raiders snatched defeat from the clutches of victory, losing to the hapless Jacksonville Jaguars 20-16 in the final home game for the Silver and Black in Oakland to fall to 6-8 on the year. The Raiders held a 16-6 lead in the fourth quarter, before the Jaguars scored 14 unanswered points thanks to two touchdowns from rookie quarterback Gardner Minshew to wide receiver Chris Conley to steal the victory from Oakland.

For Oakland, tight end Darren Waller became just the second tight end in franchise history with 1,000 receiving yards in a single season, joining TE Todd Christensen (1983-84, 1986). In the contest, Waller recorded eight catches for 122 yards, tying a club record among tight ends for most 100-yard receiving games (four).

Rookie running back Josh Jacobs rushed for 89 yards on 24 carries, giving him 1,150 rushing yards on the season. Jacobs has the sixth-best rushing season in franchise history, and is the only rookie in team history to rush for 1,000 yards in a single season.

Defensively, rookie defensive end Maxx Crosby continues be an anchor on the defensive line for Oakland, recording a sack giving him 8.5 for the season. Crosby, who ranks third among rookies in sacks behind 49ers defensive end Nick Bosa (9.0) and Jaguars defensive end Josh Allen (10.0), needs just three more sacks in the final two games to move past defensive end Greg Townsend’s club record 10.5 sacks established in 1983.

The Chargers are coming off a game that they would like to forget, a 39-10 beating at the hands of the Minnesota Vikings at home in Week 15 to fall to 5-9 on the year.

Los Angeles shot themselves in the foot, committing seven turnovers in the game, four coming from quarterback Philip Rivers. Rivers, who threw for 307 yards on 28-of-39 passing and one touchdown, also threw three interceptions and one lost fumble.

Not to be outdone by Rivers, running back Melvin Gordon had a turnover filled day against the Vikings, lost two fumbles after rushing for just 28 yards on seven carries.

Following Sunday’s game, the Raiders will finish their 2019 season in the Mile High City where they will take on the Denver Broncos.

The Chargers will travel to Kansas City to face the Chiefs to conclude their season.

Jaguars leave sour taste in Raiders’ mouth, close out the Coliseum with 20-16 win

Photo credit: @Raiders

By Joe Hawkes
SRS Contributor

OAKLAND — After their offense was nonexistent for the first three quarters of the game and trailing 16-6 heading into the final frame, the Jacksonville Jaguars woke up in the fourth quarter, behind two touchdown passes from rookie quarterback Gardner Minshew to wide receiver Chris Conley to slip past the Raiders, 20-16 on Sunday afternoon in the final game at the Oakland-Alameda Coliseum for the Silver and Black.

With the win, the Jaguars (5-9) snapped their five-game losing streak and extended the Raiders’ losing streak to four games, dropping the Silver and Black’s record to 6-8. The Raiders entered the game on a three-game losing streak, in which they lost by an average of 21 points.

The Raiders are moving into a brand new home, Allegiant Stadium, in Las Vegas starting in the 2020 season. The Silver and Black’s $2 billion home is located right off the Vegas Strip and is expected to be one of the finest facilities in all of the NFL.

The Raiders weren’t able to give their loyal fans one more victory at their long-time home at 7000 Coliseum Way, a place that has seen some great football from 1966-1981 before moving to Los Angeles in 1982-1994, then returning to Oakland in 1995 until today, Dec. 15, 2019.

Oakland jumped on the Jaguars early, thanks to a 40-yard touchdown throw from Derek Carr to wide receiver Tyrell Williams that capped off a 7-play, 75-yard drive that to gave the Raiders a 7-0 lead in the first quarter. On their opening drive to start the game, Carr completed 3-of-3 passes for 59 yards and the touchdown.

The Raiders jumped out to a 16-3 lead and looked comfortable for most of the game, but saw its defense fall completely apart in the fourth quarter allowing Jacksonville to score 14 unanswered points in the final minutes to snatch the game.

Minshew, who completed 17-of-29 passes for 201 yards on the day, drove the Jaguars 79 yards to cut Oakland’s lead, 16-13, behind a 6-yard touchdown throw to Conley with 5:15 left in the fourth quarter.

Oakland tried to run the clock out and got a pair of first-downs on runs by running back Josh Jacobs and quarterback Derek Carr. But Carr was ruled out of bounds with 2:05 left in the fourth quarter as he tried to slide down inbound, sparing Jacksonville from using their final timeout.

Oakland then got a delay of game in the confusion and wide receiver Tyrell Williams dropped a third-down pass. Kicker Daniel Carlson then missed a 50-yard field goal only to get another chance after Parry Nickerson was called for running into the kicker.

Carlson missed again from 45 yards and the Jaguars took over at the 35 with 1:44 to go. Minshew moved them down the field and connected with Conley on the 4-yard score with 31 seconds left giving Jacksonville their first and only lead of the game, 20-16.

The Raiders drove the ball to the Jacksonville 40 yard line, but Carr’s desperation heave to the end zone in the closing seconds fall to the Coliseum turf.

Carr completed 22-of-36 passes for 267 yards and one touchdown, but was sacked three times by the Jaguars. Tight end Darren Waller finished with eight catches for 122 yards, but 109 yards came in the first half.

Oakland was dominant on offense, racking up 364 yards total, 27 first-downs, and controlled the game for 34 minutes. Defensively, Oakland limited Jacksonville to just 262 yards of total offense, 17 first-downs and limited the Jaguars to 26 minutes of ball control.

After the game, several Raiders, including Carr, walked to the Black Hole to thank the fans, many of whom booed Carr and the Raiders as the team exited the field for the final time.

It wasn’t the way that Raider Nation wanted to send out the Coliseum, on a day that was very emotional for many diehard Raiders fans. The sour taste that this loss leaves in the mouths of Raider Nation will take quite a while to wash out.

Up next for the Raiders: a trip to Carson to take on the Los Angeles Chargers next Sunday in Week 16.

For the Jaguars: a visit to Atlanta to face the Falcons.

Raiders to host the Jaguars in final home game of 2019

Photo credit: bleacherreport.com

By Joe Hawkes
SRS Contributor

OAKLAND — The Raiders end their 2019 regular season home schedule in Week 15 as they will host the visiting Jacksonville Jaguars at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, Sunday Dec. 15. This will mark the first time since 2016 that these teams have met each other in the regular season, when the Raiders traveled to northeast Florida and defeated the Jaguars 33-16 for Oakland’s first-ever road win in the series.

The all-time series is tied at four games apiece, with the Raiders riding a three-game winning streak dating back to 2012.

Kickoff is set for 1:05 p.m. PT with Kevin Harlan and Trent Green calling the action from the booth, and John Schriffen patrolling the sidelines.

The Raiders took one on the chin last Sunday, losing to the Tennessee Titans, 42-21 at home to fall to 6-7 on the year.

In the contest, quarterback Derek Carr threw for 263 yards on 25-of-34 passes and two touchdowns with 115.2 passer rating. It was the fourth time this season that Carr had a passer rating of 115.0 in a game.

Tight end Darren Waller registered six catches for 73 yards in the game. Waller, who has 72 catches for 880 yards, became just the third tight end in franchise history to surpass 70 catches in a season. With three games left in the year, Waller is on pace for his first career 1,000-yard season.

The Raiders didn’t have the services of talented rookie running back Josh Jacobs, who sat out the game with a shoulder injury. Jacobs, who is the sixth leading rusher in the NFL with 1,061 yards, is expected to return against the Jaguars.

Defensively, defensive tackle Maurice Hurst provided the lone bright spot for the Silver and Black last Sunday. Hurst registered his first career interception off a tipped pass from Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill, and returned it 55 yards to put the Raiders in position to score their first touchdown of the game.

Jacksonville is currently riding a five-game losing streak, after dropping their latest game to the Los Angeles Chargers, 45-10 at home in Week 14. The Jaguars allowed Chargers running back Austin Ekeler to explode in the game, racking up 213 yards from scrimmage (rushing for 101 yards on 8 carries, and 112 yards receiving on 4 catches). Ekeler’s 84-yard touchdown catch in the game was the longest completion in quarterback Philip Rivers’ 16-year career.

Following Sunday’s game, the Raiders will finish up their 2019 regular season schedule on the road with games against the Chargers and Broncos in Week 16 and 17.

Raiders look to end losing streak, return home to host the Titans

Photo credit: sfchronicle.com

By Joe Hawkes
SRS Contributor

OAKLAND — After losing back-to-back road games in which they were outscored 64-12 in both contests, the Raiders will look to get back into winning column as they host the visiting Tennessee Titans in Week 14 action at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. Sunday’s game will mark the first of the final two home games this season, both of which are against AFC South opponents.

This will be the fourth time in the last five years that these two teams have met, the first matchup in Oakland since 2013. The Raiders currently own a three-game winning streak against the Titans, dating back to 2015. Oakland’s most recent victory over Tennessee, a 26-16 in Nashville in 2017, gave the Raiders a 26-20 edge in the all-time series.

The Raiders are 11-2 at home against the Titans all-time.

Kickoff for this matchup is set for 1:25 p.m. PT on CBS, with Greg Gumbel, Trent Green and Melanie Collins on the call.

In Week 13, the Raiders were embarrassed again on the road, losing to the Kansas City Chiefs, 40-9, to drop their record to 6-6 on the season. Oakland lost to the New York Jets, 34-3, in East Rutherford, NJ in Week 12.

The Black and Silver lining in the loss to the Chiefs was rookie running back Josh Jacobs registering his fifth 100-yard game of the year, tying Mark van Eeghen for the fourth-most 100-yard rushing performances during a single season in franchise history. With his 104 rushing yards on 17 carries, Jacobs surpassed 1,000 yards for the season and became just the 11th player in franchise history to accomplish that feat.

Jacobs is the only rookie in franchise history to record a 1,000 yards in a single season with 1,061 yards through 12 games, good for fourth-most in the league.

Tight end Darren Waller was Oakland’s top receiving threat against Kansas City, hauling in 7 catches for 100 yards. For the season, Waller has been the Raiders best receiving option, leading the team in receptions (66) and receiving yards (807) through Week 13.

Waller is second on the team in receiving touchdowns (3) behind wide receiver Tyrell Williams.

Sunday’s game could have a playoff-type feel to it, as both teams desperately need to win keep pace for a wild card berth in the AFC playoffs. Oakland and Tennessee are currently behind the Pittsburgh Steelers (7-5) for the final berth with four games remaining in the season.

The Titans (7-5) are currently riding a three-game winning streak, and are coming off a huge 31-17 win on the road against their AFC South rival, the Indianapolis Colts in Week 13.

Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill, who is 5-1 since taking over for an ineffective Marcus Mariota following Tennessee’s 2-4 start, has thrown for 1,602 yards, with 12 touchdowns and 4 interceptions. Tannehill has a passer rating of 113.9 in his six starts this season.

Tennessee’s running game is spearheaded by running back Derrick Henry.

He, like Jacobs, is a former Alabama running back that has turned into a vital piece for his team’s offense this season. There’s a good chance that both running backs will be representing their teams at the Pro Bowl at the end of the season.

The four-year pro is currently third in the NFL in rushing with 1,140 yards and is tied for second with Green Bay’s Aaron Jones with 11 rushing touchdowns among running backs.

Henry rumbled through Indianapolis, rushing for 149 yards on 23 carries and a touchdown. During the Titans’ three-game winning streak, Henry has rushed for 496 yards and 5 touchdowns on 68 carries proving that he’s Tennessee’s workhorse.

Henry, who has been dealing with a hamstring issue, didn’t practice for the Titans on Wednesday.

Defensively, the Titans are the 7th-ranked scoring defense, yielding just 19.5 points per game this season and could pose a problem for the Raiders. Oakland is averaging just 19.8 points per game this season.

Second-year linebacker Harold Landry III registered one of Tennessee’s three sacks on Colts quarterback Jacoby Brissett. Landry III leads the Titans with 9.0 sacks on the season.

Cornerback Logan Ryan and safety Kevin Byard are tied for the team lead with four interceptions apiece. Ryan and Byard each recorded an interception against the Colts.

Following Sunday’s matchup, the Raiders will host the Jacksonville Jaguars in their final home game in Oakland in Week 15. The Titans will return home for a divisional matchup against the Houston Texans.

Raiders are breathing down the Chiefs’ neck

Photo credit: reviewjournal.com

By Joe Hawkes
SRS Contributor

OAKLAND — Don’t look now, but the Oakland Raiders are knocking on the door for the top spot in the AFC West.

With Kansas City losing to the Tennessee Titans, 35-32, in Nashville on Sunday to drop their record to 6-4, the Raiders (5-4) are just now a half-game back of the Chiefs for first place with six games left in the season for both teams.

The Raiders defeated the visiting Los Angeles Chargers, 26-24, on Nov. 7 in prime-time on FOX’s Thursday Night Football at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum to kickoff Week 10. Oakland’s defense performed tremendously under the lights, registering five sacks, three interceptions and one touchdown.

Kansas City already holds a victory over the Raiders, back in Week 2.

In that game, the Raiders jumped out to a 10-0 lead in the first quarter before the Chiefs scored 28 unanswered points behind four touchdowns by quarterback Patrick Mahomes as Kansas City held on for a 28-10 win.

Mahomes would throw for 443 yards on 30-of-44 passing with a 131.2 passer rating for the game

The two teams will meet again on Dec. 1 at Arrowhead Stadium in Week 13.

With the winless Cincinnati Bengals (0-9) coming into Oakland next Sunday for a Week 11 matchup, the Raiders are almost a shoe-in to win that game and apply even more pressure on the Chiefs.

Kansas City hosts the aforementioned Los Angeles Chargers on ESPN’s Monday Night Football on Nov. 18, which won’t be an easy game for them.

Mahomes looked very healthy playing for the first time since dislocating his right kneecap Oct. 17 against the Denver Broncos. His best play came with the pocket collapsing around him when he jumped up to throw over the linemen to wide receiver Mecole Hardman, who ran for a 63-yard TD with 11:54 left and a 29-20 lead.

Oakland, who were picked by many prognosticators to finish near the bottom of the division this year but the infusion of young, rookie talent on both the offensive side (running back Josh Jacobs and wide receiver Hunter Renfrow), and the defensive side (defensive lineman Clelin Ferrell and Max Crosby) has rejuvenated the Raiders.

Jacobs is running away with the AFC’s Offensive Rookie of the Year Award in my opinion, leading all rookies in rushing yards (811), rushing attempts (168), and touchdowns (7).

With all due respect to tight end Darren Waller, who leads the team in receptions (51), targets (65) and yards (588) and wide receiver Tyrell Williams, who leads the team with five touchdown catches, Renfrow has become quarterback Derek Carr’s security blanket. Carr loves to look for Renfrow with the game on the line.

Renfrow is second on the team in receptions (28) and targets (42) for 299 yards and two touchdowns. His second-career touchdown against the Lions in Week 9 was his first game-winner.

Coupled with the fact that Carr, whose engineered 19 fourth quarter comebacks (which includes two in the span of four days) has played some of his best football in his career, throwing for 2,202 yards with 14 touchdowns to just four interceptions with a career-high 104.4 passer rating, Oakland is a legit playoff contender.

Raiders return home for matchup against the Lions

Photo credit: @Raiders

By Joe Hawkes
SRS Contributor

After being away from the Oakland-Alameda Coliseum for a five-game stretch in which they finished 2-3, the Oakland Raiders return home to begin a three-game homestand starting with a in Week 9 matchup as they host the visiting Detroit Lions this Sunday, Nov. 3.

Kickoff is set for 1:05 p.m. PT on FOX.

Oakland is looking to snap a four-game losing streak to the Lions, and finish off with a .500 record against the NFC North this season in which the Raiders are 1-2 with a win over the Chicago Bears in London in a “home game,” and road losses in Minnesota and Green Bay.

In Week 8, the Raiders lost to the Houston Texans, 27-24, that saw their record fall to 3-4. Oakland’s offense had success against a very tough Houston defense, with quarterback Derek Carr tossing three touchdowns in a game for the first time in 2019. Carr finished 18-of-30 with 285 yards and a blistering passer rating of 125.0

Tight end Darren Waller and wide receivers Hunter Renfrow and Tyrell Williams each caught a touchdown in the game. For Waller, it was the first time he’s scored a touchdown in consecutive games in his career after scoring a pair of touchdowns in Week 7 at Green Bay.

Renfrow’s touchdown, a 65-yard score, was his first-career score.

Defensively for the Raiders, linebacker Tahir Whitehead led all defenders with a season-high 11 tackles, while defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins and defensive ends Arden Key and Benson Mayowa each recorded a sack.

Entering Week 9, Oakland is second in the NFL with with eight sacks surrendered on offense. Only in 1970 and 2016 have the Raiders surrendered fewer sacks (seven) through the club’s first seven games of the season.

Additionally, the Raiders also rank second in the NFL with sacks allowed per pass play percentage of 3.5 percent on the season.

The Lions (3-3-1) enter Week 9 coming off a 31-26 victory over the NFC East’s New York Giants at Ford Field in Detroit that snapped the team’s three-game losing streak.

Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford completed 25-of-32 passes for 325 yards, three touchdowns and one interception.

Wide receiver Kenny Golladay finished with six catches for 123 yards and two touchdowns, while fellow wide receiver Danny Amendola chipped in 95 yards for a team-high eight catches.

Following Sunday’s game, the Raiders will host their AFC West rival the Los Angeles Chargers on a short week on Thursday Night Football. The Lions will remain on the road as they head to Chicago to take on their NFC North rivals, the Bears.

Raiders set to finish extended road trip Sunday in Houston

Photo credit: @Raiders

By Joe Hawkes
SRS Contributor

The Oakland Raiders have finally come to the finish line of their 49-day stretch away from the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum as they prepare for a trip to Houston to take on the 4-3 Texans. This will be the first meeting between the two clubs at NRG Stadium since the 2016 Wild Card game, which the Texans prevailed over the Raiders, 27-14.

The two teams met earlier that season, an international home game in Mexico City for Oakland, in which the Raiders defeated Houston, 27-20, that brought the all-time series to 6-4 in favor of Houston.

Originally slated for a 10:00 a.m. PT start time, the kickoff was flexed to 1:25 p.m. PT by CBS. The Raiders are looking to finish their five-game road trip at 3-2, and win their third-straight road game over the Texans.

Last week, the Raiders (3-3) were hammered by the Green Bay Packers, 42-24 at Lambeau Field in Week 8 following their Bye Week. Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers lit up the Raiders defense, throwing for five touchdowns and rushing for another one en route to completing 25-of-31 passes for 429 yards as the Packers defeated the Raiders for the eighth-straight time dating back to 1990.

Green Bay (6-1) has scored 30-plus points in their last five meetings against the Raiders.

Raiders running back Josh Jacobs recorded his second-straight 100-yard rushing game, rushing for 124 yards on 21 carries with 5.9 yards per attempt. With 554 yards rushing through the first six games of his career, Jacobs surpassed Bo Jackson’s mark of 553 yards in 1987 for most in franchise history.

Quarterback Derek Carr completed 22-of-28 passes for 293 yards, two touchdowns, but had two costly turnovers in the red zone for Oakland.

With Oakland trailing 14-10 late in the first half, Carr had Oakland in position to retake the lead. After Carr found tight end Darren Waller on a 48-yard hookup down the middle of the field, the Raiders had first and goal at the Packers’ 3-yard line.

On second down, Carr rushed for the pylon, but Packers linebacker Blake Martinez forced a fumble and the ball went through the back of the end zone for a touchback.

Following Carr’s turnover, Rodgers would connect with wide receiver Jake Kumerow for a 37-yard touchdown that would give Green Bay a 21-10 lead heading into halftime.

With Oakland desperately trying to mount a comeback in the fourth quarter trailing 28-17 following a 7-yard touchdown from Carr to Waller, Packers cornerback Kevin King intercepted Carr with 8:09 left to play in the game that seemingly iced the game for Green Bay.

Following the turnover by Carr, Rodgers would throw register his sixth score of the day, a 74-yard pass to wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling, who finished with two catches for 133 yards.

Waller recorded his second 100-yard receiving game this season, hauling in seven catches for 126 yards and two touchdowns. Both scores were Waller’s first for the season.

Waller’s 44 catches are the most for a Raiders player through the first six games, breaking Hall of Famer Tim Brown’s 41. Waller also lead the team with 485 yards.

Defensively, rookie defensive end Maxx Crosby registered a sack for the second-straight week. Crosby recorded a sack against the Bears in Week 5 in London.

The Texans are coming off a 23-20 loss to their AFC South rival, the Indianapolis Colts, at Lucas Oil Stadium in Week 7.

Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson is one of the best passers in the league, throwing for 1,952 yards with 13 touchdowns and five interceptions with a 104.1 passer rating. Watson leads the NFL’s ninth-best scoring offense, averaging 26.4 points per game.

Houston wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins will have Oakland’s defense on high alert. Hopkins is currently third in the NFL in catches with 49 to go along with 508 receiving yards and three touchdowns (tied with fellow teammates Will Fuller and tight Darren Fells).

Fuller is second on the team in catches (34) and yards (450).

Defensively for Houston, linebackers Zach Cunningham (53 tackles) and Benardick McKinney (52 tackles) are always around the ball and barely misses tackles.

Fellow linebacker Whitney Mercilus leads the team with 5.5 sacks, while defensive end J.J. Watt is second with 4 sacks.

Following Sunday’s game, the Raiders will return home to begin a three-game stretch where they will face the Detroit Lions, Los Angeles Chargers and Cincinnati Bengals, respectively.

Houston will travel to Jacksonville to take on the Jaguars in Week 9 before heading into their Bye Week.

Raiders enter the bye week a game over .500

Photo credit: @Raiders

By Joe Hawkes-Beamon
SRS Contributor

After five weeks of NFL games, the Raiders find themselves on a bye week entering Week 6 of the 2019 schedule.

The Raiders (3-2) shook off a 1-2 start and are riding a two-game winning streak heading into break thanks in large part of a efficiency on offense, and aggressive defense.

Quarterback Derek Carr has gotten off to a good start, completing 118 of 161 passes for 1,117 yards with six touchdowns and three interceptions while sporting a 96.7 passer rating through five games.

In a season that was expected to feature superstar wide receiver Antonio Brown to be a key weapon for Carr after acquiring the mercurial Brown from the Pittsburgh Steelers in an offseason trade before Brown would force his way out of Oakland, the Raiders signal-caller has spread the ball around field most notably to tight end Darren Waller.

Waller, who is in his second season with Oakland, leads the team in receptions (37) and receiving yards (359) this season. Even though wide receiver Tyrell Williams leads the team with four touchdown catches, Carr looks for Waller on almost every passing play.

Oakland ranks 18th in total offense, averaging 20.6 points per game.

But the true weapon for Oakland’s offense is rookie running back Josh Jacobs, who is the engine that powers Oakland’s ninth-ranked rushing attack.

Through five games, Jacobs is easily the NFL’s Offensive Rookie of the Year with 88 carries for 430 yards and four touchdowns to lead all rookie rushers. His 430 yards on the ground are more than Hall of Fame running back Marcus Allen through Allen’s first five games in Silver and Black per the Elias Sports Bureau.

Throw in six catches for 77 yards as an added bonus, and Jacobs is a complete running back who fits in today’s NFL where running backs must be reliable in the passing game.

Defensively, linebacker Tahir Whitehead paces the team with 31 total tackles (25 solo, 6 assisted); while defensive end Benson Mayowa leads the Raiders with 4.5 sacks this season.

Oakland ranks 16th in the NFL in scoring defense, surrendering 24.6 points per game.

Safety Erik Harris has Oakland’s biggest play on defense this season, cementing Oakland’s 31-24 win in Indianapolis in Week 4 with a pick-6 interception in the fourth quarter.

Following Oakland’s Week 6 bye, the Raiders continue their five-game road trip (even though last week’s 24-21 victory over the Chicago Bears in London was considered a “home” game), with a trip to Lambeau Field to take on the Green Bay Packers in Week 7 before finishing up against the Houston Texans in Week 8.

Raiders look to get back into the win column with road test against the Colts

Photo credit: raiderswire.usatoday.com

By Joe Hawkes-Beamon
SRS Contributor

With the Raiders in the midst of their 49-day stretch away from the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, the Raiders will try to avoid a three-game losing streak as they travel to Indianapolis to take on the Colts in Week 4 action. Sunday’s game will mark the first time since 2013 that Oakland has played in Indianapolis, with the Raiders holding a 4-2 edge as the away team in the all-time series. Overall, Oakland is 8-7 all-time against the Colts in head-to-head locations.

The 16th matchup between the two teams will kickoff at 10:00 a.m. PDT from Lucas Oil Stadium.

Last week, the Raiders (1-2) lost to the Minnesota Vikings (2-1), 34-14, in Week 3 at U.S. Bank Field. Oakland quarterback Derek Carr went 27 for 34 for 242 yards and touchdowns to wide receivers J.J. Nelson and Tyrell Williams, but also threw an interception to Vikings safety Harrison Smith.

Nelson scored on a 29-yard flea-flicker pass midway through the second quarter that pulled the Raiders within two touchdowns, but that was as close as Oakland would get for the game.

With his 25th game with at least 100 passer rating, Carr tied Daryle Lamonica for second-most in franchise history.

Even as the Raiders were getting rolled by the Vikings, tight end Darren Waller had a career day for the Silver and Black catching 13 passes for 134 yards. Both the catches and yards were the most by a tight end this year in any game.

Through 3 games, Waller’s 26 catches ranks second behind Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen’s 29 for most in the NFL; and the most for a Raider through the first three weeks of the season in franchise history.

After dropping their first game of the season, the Colts have won two in a row and enter Sunday’s contest 2-1. Indianapolis took down the Atlanta Falcons, 27-24, in Week 4 at home.

Colts quarterback Jacoby Brissett had a strong performance, completing his first 16 passes of the game before finishing 28 for 37 with 310 yards and two touchdowns.

Indianapolis scored on five of their seven possessions in the game.

Following Sunday’s game, the Raiders will fly to London to take on the Chicago Bears for the NFL’s first game at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in Week 5.

The Colts will head to Kansas City to face the Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium in prime-time on NBC’s Sunday Night Football.

Raiders host Chiefs at Black Hole on Sunday in Week 2 action

Photo credit: kansascity.com

By Joe Hawkes
SRS Contributor

Fresh off an emotional win on opening night against the Denver Broncos, the Raiders look to continue their winning ways within the AFC West as they host reigning NFL MVP in quarterback Patrick Mahomes and the visiting Kansas City Chiefs this Sunday.

Kickoff from the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum for this Week 2 matchup is at 1:05 p.m. PDT.

Raiders quarterback Derek Carr was in midseason form, throwing a touchdown on the game’s first drive of the season, while rookie running back Josh Jacobs scored two touchdowns to help the Raiders defeat the Denver Broncos, 24-16 to cap off ESPN’s Monday Night Football doubleheader.

The Raiders (1-0) simply outplayed the Broncos (0-1) for most of the night, as Carr surgically dissected Denver by completing 22-of-26 passes for 256 yards and one touchdown while posting a 121.0 passer rating for the game. For the entire night, the Broncos’ pass rush (most notably linebackers Von Miller and Bradley Chubb), didn’t lay a hand on Carr as he was just pressured just four times on 27 dropbacks according to ESPN Next Gen Stats.

Carr led Oakland on a 10-play, 72-yard drive that ended with a 8-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Tyrell Williams to give Oakland an early 7-0 lead on the game’s first drive.

Williams, who signed four-year, $44.3 million ($22 million guaranteed) deal with the Raiders in the offseason after spending three seasons with the San Diego/Los Angeles Chargers, caught six passes (on seven targets) for 105 yards and a touchdown.

Tight end Darren Waller established himself as a dependable pass catcher for Carr, hauling in a game-high seven passes for 70 yards on (eight targets.) Last season, Waller caught just six passes the entire year.

Jacobs, who got the start at running back had himself a debut to remember. Not only was the former Alabama Crimson Tide in the starting lineup, he recorded 23 carries for 85 yards and two touchdowns, but also caught one pass for 28 yards totaling 113 yards from scrimmage.

The rookie was the first player since LaDainian Tomlinson in 2001 to record 100+ yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns in their first game of their career. In Tomlinson’s first game as a San Diego Charger, he had 125 yards from scrimmage (113 rushing and 12 receiving) on 36 carries and one catch, respectively.

Oakland’s offense racked up 357 yards and converted 10-of-14 third down opportunities. The Raiders did commit nine penalties for 62 yards in the game.

But the play of Oakland’s defense was greatly a surprise, making life difficult for Broncos’ starting quarterback Joe Flacco and Denver offense for much of the night as he was sacked three times. Oakland mustered an NFL-low 13 sacks last season.

Flacco completed 21-of-31 passes for 268 yards and a touchdown, but wasn’t able to get the Broncos into the end zone until 2:15 left in the fourth quarter when he threw a 1-yard touchdown to wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders to make the score 26-14, which would be the game’s final score.

It was Sanders’ first game back since rupturing his Achilles tendon last season.

And now, Carr (who is just 2-8 lifetime against Kansas City) and the Raiders will face a Chiefs team that destroyed the Jaguars, 40-26 down in Jacksonville on Sunday. Kansas City has won eight of the last nine meetings with the Raiders, including sweeping the season-series against Oakland in 2018 by a combined score of 75-36.

Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes was blistering hot against a tough Jaguars defense, completing 25-of-33 passes for 378 yards and three touchdowns with a passer rating of 143.2 despite losing explosive wide receiver Tyreek Hill with a collarbone injury early in the game.

Hill, who won’t be available in Sunday’s game, will be sidelined with the injury for “weeks” according to reports, but won’t require surgery.

Mahomes did suffer a left ankle sprain in the game, but is expected to be ready for his encounter with the Raiders. In both wins against Oakland last season, Mahomes threw for 576 yards, six touchdowns and one interception with a 116.1 passer rating.

Jacksonville’s defense had no answers for wide receiver Sammy Watkins, who destroyed the Jaguars the entire day. Watkins exploded for nine catches for a career-high 198 yards and three touchdowns.

On Kansas City’s third play from scrimmage on their opening drive, Watkins slipped through the middle of Jacksonville’s defense for a 68-yard score, and added a 49-yard touchdown catch late in the first quarter. On both touchdowns, Watkins made Jacksonville’s defenders look foolish trying to catch him.

On his third score, Watkins beat Pro Bowl cornerback Jalen Ramsey for a 3-yard touchdown early in the fourth quarter to make the score 37-13, further putting the game away for Kansas City.

Running back LeSean McCoy, who reunites with Chiefs head coach Andy Reid, rushed for 81 yards on 10 carries in his debut for Kansas City. Reid coached McCoy in his first four seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles — in which he earned the first of six Pro Bowl bids and the initial of two All-Pro selections — with Reid calling the plays.

McCoy, a 10-year veteran, signed a one-year, $3 million deal with Kansas City on Sept. 1 after being cut by the Buffalo Bills following a four-year stint in Western New York. The deal could be worth as much as $4 million with incentives. In 2018, McCoy established career-lows of 514 yards rushing and 3.2 yards per carry.

Following Sunday’s game against Kansas City, the Raiders will begin a 49-day stretch in which they will be away from the Oakland-Alameda Coliseum; with road games in Minnesota and Indianapolis in Weeks 3 and 4; to go along with a “home” game against the Chicago Bears in London in Week 5 before returning to Oakland for their bye week in Week 6.

After road games in Green Bay (Week 7) and Houston (Week 8), the Raiders will finally play in front of Raider Nation in Week 9 against the Detroit Lions on Nov. 3.