Takeaways from the Raiders’ win over the Lions

Photo credit: freep.com

By Joe Hawkes
SRS Contributor

OAKLAND, Calif. — The Raiders returned home from their whirlwind tour in which they logged over 20,000 miles with a gutsy, 31-24 victory over the visiting Detroit Lions on Sunday that pulled the team to the .500 mark at 4-4.

Quarterback Derek Carr threw a 9-yard touchdown pass to rookie wide receiver Hunter Renfrow with 2:05 left in the game, cementing Oakland’s win in the team’s first game at home in seven weeks.

Carr’s clutch throw to Renfrow for the win got the Raiders off on the right foot, as they enter a critical three-game homestand that will be key in Oakland’s playoff chances this season. The Raiders face the Los Angeles Chargers on Thursday Night Football on a short week, then host the Cincinnati Bengals at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on Nov. 11.

Check out my takeaways from the Silver and Black’s win against the Lions:

Josh Jacobs is the NFL’s Offensive Rookie of the Year without question

As much as Oakland’s win can be credited to its signal-caller (Carr completed 20-of-31 passes for 289 yards and 2 TDs), Jacobs’ performance was instrumental.

The rookie running back found gaping holes in Detroit’s defense, rushing for 120 yards and two scores on 28 carries. It was Jacobs’ third game this season in which he’s rushed for 120+ yards with 20+ carries.

With a 16-yard rush late in the first-half, Jacobs broke Marcus Allen’s franchise rookie record for rushing. Jacobs now has rushed for 740 yards and through eight games, breaking Allen’s mark of 697 set in the nine-game, strike-shortened 1982 season per Elias Sports Bureau.

Not only does Jacobs leads all rookies in rushing, but his six touchdowns and runs of 20+ yards (5) and 40+ yards (2) are tops among the group.

Raiders’ defense is opportunistic

Lions quarterback did have a big day against the Raiders’ suspect secondary, throwing for 406 yards and three touchdowns, but Oakland did capitalize on two Detroit turnovers in the first half to take a 17-14 lead.

Defensive tackle Maurice Hurst recovered a fumble deep inside Oakland’s territory after Stafford botched a handoff to running back JD McKissic on Detroit’s opening drive of the game. The Raiders would turn that into an 11-play, 68-yard drive in 5:32 that culminated in Jacobs’ first score of the game, a 2-yard run that put Oakland ahead 7-0.

After the Lions took a 14-10 lead following a 59-yard touchdown pass from Stafford to wide receiver Kenny Golladay, Stafford tried to hookup with Golladay again, but Raiders cornerback Daryl Worley made a terrific play on the football by intercepting Stafford in the end zone.

The Raiders would turn that takeaway into points, with Jacobs capping off a 12-play, 80-yard drive in 5:14 with his second score of the game from 3-yards out to put Oakland ahead 17-14 going into halftime.

For as much as the takeaways led to 14 points for Oakland, those weren’t the biggest plays in my book by the defense in the game.

With Detroit inches away from scoring and facing a fourth down, the Raiders defense looking to preserve a 31-24 lead, Karl Joseph’s pass breakup of the potential game-tying touchdown in the back of the end zone was the biggest play made by the defense on the day.

Quote of the game

“I love this place. It’s special. To come home in front of them and get a win, especially the way we did it. It would be nice to win something 40-0 some time. But when you win one like this, it does so many good things for a team.” – Derek Carr talking about the feeling he gets playing in Oakland in front of Raider Nation.

The Raiders are playing their final season in Oakland this year, before moving to their new 65,000-seat home, Allegiant Stadium, in Las Vegas in 2020.

Thursday night’s matchup against the Chargers (4-5) should make for an enticing game.

The Chargers will enter the game fresh off the heels of a 26-11 victory over the visiting Green Bay Packers at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif.

Running back Melvin Gordon scored two touchdowns, and kicker Michael Badgely booted four field goals for the Chargers, who snapped a three-game home losing streak and handed the Packers (7-2) their second loss of the year.

Raiders return home and get huge 31-24 win over Lions

Photo credit: detroitnews.com

By Jeremy Kahn

OAKLAND-What did former WWE competitor Dwayne The Rock Johnson always says when he returned to his hometown of Miami, Finally, The Rock has come home.

Well, after an odyssey that saw them travel nearly 20,000 miles and to the United Kingdom for a game, Finally, the Oakland Raiders have come home.

Derek Carr found rookie Hunter Renfrowe for a nine-yard touchdown pass with 2:04 remaining in the game, as the Raiders defeated the Detroit Lions 31-24 at the Coliseum.

Karl Joseph came up with the defensive play of the game, as he batted down in the end zone with three seconds remaining in the game, as the Lions drove the length of the field with the help of a pass interference penalty; however, the Lions could punch it in for the potential game-tying touchdown and the Raiders evened their record at 4-4.

This was the Raiders first game in the Coliseum since losing to the Kansas City Chiefs on September 15.

During that stretch, the Raiders played four games on the road and a game against the Chicago Bears in London during the time away.

Carr also threw a touchdown to rookie tight end Foster Moreau, and rookie running back Josh Jacobs continues to shine, as he two touchdowns. This is the first time since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970 that the Raiders got four touchdowns from rookies in the same game.

Matthew Stafford attempted to find Logan Thomas for that potential game-tying touchdown, but Joseph got his hands in the way and the Raiders walked away with a huge win in the opener of a three-game home stand.

Jacobs, the rookie out of Alabama gained 120 yards and scored two touchdowns in helping the Raiders to even their record at 4-4 on the season.

Throughout the first three quarters of the game, neither team punted and the Raiders retook the lead 24-17 in the opening moments of the fourth quarter, as Carr found Moreau for a three-yard touchdown pass.

The Lions tied up the game with just 5:16 remaining in the game, as Stafford found L.J. Mikissic for a 26-yard touchdown pass.

Carr went 20-for-31 for 289 yards and two touchdowns on the afternoon. Renfrowe led the Raiders with six receptions for 54 yards, while Jalen Richard caught three passes for a team-leading 56 yards.

Jacobs led the Raiders in rushing with 126 yards on the ground on 28 carries and those two touchdowns.

One of the biggest plays of the game will not appear in the box score, as the Raiders went for a fake punt and Derek Carrier scrambled 27 yards for a first down. Unfortunately, the fake punt went for naught, as Daniel Carlson missed a 45-yard field goal that would have extended the Raiders lead up to six.

I was pretty nervous. I was pretty nervous. We faked one versus Chicago. We faked one today. We felt we had a chance to pull it off and credit to (assistant head coach/special teams coordinator Rich) Bisaccia. Hes one of the best special teams coaches in football. I wish we had made the field goal and gotten something out of it, said Jon Gruden.

On the ensuing series, the Lions drove down to the five-yard line, but the Raiders defense held the Lions out of the end zone and Matt Prater kicked a 23-yard field goal to tie up the game.

Stafford went 26-for-41 for 406 yards, three touchdowns and an interception.

McKissic was the leading ground gainer for the Lions, as he carried the ball four times for 32 yards. The running back was on the receiving end of a Stafford touchdown.

Kenny Golladay caught only four passes on the afternoon, but gained a whopping 132 yards and a touchdown for the Lions, while former CAL star Marvin Jones, Jr., caught eight passes for 126 yards and a touchdown.

The Raiders benefitted from two big Lions turnovers, as Stafford fumbled on the Lions opening series and it was recovered by Maurice Hurst. The second turnover came with the Lions leading 14-10 in the second quarter, and the Lions on the Raiders 20-yard line, Staffords pass was intercepted in the end zone by Darrell Worley.

We scored a touchdown off a takeaway, but we had to go 80 yards. It wasnt like we were knocking on the door. We love the takeaways. We think thats a winning edge in football, said Gruden.

UP NEXT: The Los Angeles Chargers come to the Coliseum on Thursday night, as the longtime division rivals face off against one another.

Oakland Raiders podcast with Joe Hawkes Beamon: Raiders can really depend on O-line to protect Carr

Photo credit: nbcsports.com

On the Raiders podcast with Joe Hawkes:

#1 The Oakland Raiders (3-4) have improved as the O-line had furnished good protection for quarterback Derek Carr. This year, Carr has been sacked eight times compared to 51 times last season.

#2 Last season after a game against the 49ers, Carr said the sacks were having an effect on him physically and mentally, but right now, he’s feeling great.

#3 Carr said he feels a difference this year. He says he feels fresh even after all the game they played and finishing up a long road trip in the last six weeks.

#4 Richie Incognito will start at center for the Raiders (3-4) as starting and backup centers Rodney Hudson and Andre James are out with ankle injuries.

#5 The Raiders host the Detroit Lions (3-3) this Sunday. The Raiders, who lost to Green Bay during the road trip, will face a team that nearly beat Green Bay in the Lions. Joe Hawkes sets this matchup for us at the Oakland Coliseum on Sunday.

Joe Hawkes does the Raiders podcast each Friday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

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.

Oakland Raiders podcast with Joe Hawkes Beamon: Conley to face old teammates this Sunday; Can Edebali get to the quarterbacks for Raiders?

Photo credit: reviewjournal.com

On the podcast with Joe Hawkes:

#1 Former Oakland Raider Gareon Conley will be facing his former team this Sunday as Gareon was dealt to the Houston Texans on Monday. What will it mean for Conley to face his old teammates this Sunday?

#2 Conley represents the third first round draft pick to be dealt by the Raiders in the last 14 months, which included former Raiders Khalil Mack and Amari Cooper. Will Conley be a void much like Mack and Cooper were?

#3 The Raiders filled Conley’s spot with defensive end Kasim Edebali. Edebali (30) has eight sacks and 54 tackles with the New Orleans Saints between 2014-2016. In 2017, he had played the season without a sack and has played for the Broncos, Lions, Rams, Saints and Bengals during that time. Can he keep a roster spot with the Raiders?

#4 Taking a look at last week’s loss to the Green Bay Packers, there was little doubt the Raiders defense were almost nonexistent against Packers quarterback Aaron Rogers who had plenty of time to throw the football last Sunday.

#5 The Raiders complete their long six weeks and five games away from Oakland this Sunday against the Texans in Houston. Taking a look at the trip, how did the Raiders fare considering the grueling trip, which included a stop in London?

Catch the Oakland Raiders podcast each Friday with Joe Hawkes at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

San Jose State podcast with Ana Kieu: Men’s basketball tumbles down; Lots of football updates to talk about

Photo credit: @SJSUMBB and 11alive.com

On the San Jose State podcast with Ana:

1. San Jose State men’s basketball got blown out by Saint Mary’s 75-45 at McKeon Pavilion last Saturday.

2. The Detroit Lions announced Sunday that they placed cornerback DeShaw Shead on injured reserve with a knee injury and signed cornerback and SJSU alum Andre Chachere to the active roster from the practice squad.

3. On December 28, 2000, president Bill Clinton, California governor Gray Davis and SJSU president Robert L. Carat visited Neil Parry, a sophomore on the Spartans’ football team, who lost his leg from playing football.

4. 2019 went off to a bad start for SJSU men’s basketball as they got blown out by Fresno State 73-53 on Wednesday night.

Ana Kieu does the San Jose State podcasts each week for SportsRadioService.com

49ers welcome Foster back, but face an uphill battle

Photo credit: @247Sports

By Jeremy Harness

The 49ers got their first win of the year last Sunday, getting past the Detroit Lions, who made a hard charge in the fourth quarter to make things mighty interesting, to say the very least. But now, they have a completely different challenge on their hands.

The Lions have a potent offense – particularly with a guy like Matthew Stafford pulling the trigger – but the Kansas City Chiefs have an offense that has just exploded onto the scene in this young season.

Patrick Mahomes, who has taken over the reins as the Chiefs’ starting quarterback after the team traded away Alex Smith, is off to a blistering start to this season. Mahomes has thrown for a whopping 10 touchdown passes over the first two games and has not thrown a single interception, and he brings a dimension to the Kansas City offense that has not been there for a very long time.

The second-year signal-caller specializes in throwing the deep ball, which allows big-play receivers such as Tyreek Hill and Sammy Watkins, as well as tight end Travis Kelce, to rack up big yards and get upfield.

That is something that was not prevalent when Smith, who was much more proficient in the short-to-intermediate throws, was at the controls. He is now the starting quarterback for the Washington Redskins.

The 49ers will get some help on the defensive side. However, the team welcomed back linebacker Reuben Foster, who was suspended by the NFL for the first two games due to disciplinary issues stemming from his domestic assault case in the offseason.

He practiced on Wednesday and is expected to start on Sunday against the Chiefs. Also making his way to the practice field for the first time was fellow linebacker Malcolm Smith, who had been recovering from a hamstring injury.

Smith has yet to play in a game for the 49ers, as he missed the first two games of the year with the hamstring issue. Smith also missed the entire 2017 season with a pectoral injury.

49ers Hang On in Home Opener vs. Lions for First Win of the Year 30-27

Photo credit: @49ers

By: Joe Lami

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — It came down to the wire and with a little help from the officials, but the San Francisco 49ers have their first win of the 2018 season as they beat the Detroit Lions 30-27 in the home opener at Levi’s Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

After going into halftime with a 13-10 lead, San Francisco started the second half with a bang. D.J. Reed Jr. got the half started by bringing the kick back to the house, only to be penalized for grabbing a defender’s face mask along the way. Despite the penalty, the 49ers were set up with excellent field position at the Lions’ 25-yard line to start the third quarter.

“Everyone held their blocks. For me, it was easy, and anybody could have done what I did. My whole special teams unit did a good job blocking. [Special team’s] coach Hightower did a good job setting it up,” added Reed.

Jimmy Garoppolo capped off the drive with his second touchdown pass of the day, finding Garrett Celek underneath. The 30-year-old tight end carried three defenders with him across the goal line to make the score 20-10.

The 49ers extended their lead in the third with a 66-yard Matt Breida rushing score to cap a three-play, 97-yard drive. The longest rush for the 49ers since 2014 made the score 27-13, but they then allowed the Lions to get back in it.

Breida had his coming out party for the 49ers, lighting up the Lions’ defense, carrying the ball 11 times for 138 yards and the score.

Led by Matthew Stafford, the Lions crawled their way back into the game bringing the score within three with 3:33 remaining, putting all the pressure on the 49ers offense to move the ball.

When the pressure came San Francisco’s way, Garoppolo made a mistake with 2:24 left and threw a pick that the Lions returned down to seven-yard-line. However, a crucial defensive holding call saved the day for San Francisco giving an automatic first down. The 49ers ended up punting with 1:08 remaining, but the defense stepped up and shut the door, not letting Lions get past midfield to secure the win.

In the win, Garoppolo improved from last week, throwing 18-of-26 for 206 yards and two touchdowns. However, Garoppolo was sacked five times in the process, with most of them being coverage sacks. The wide receivers didn’t do their job in man coverage as they struggled to get open, which allowed the pass rush to get to Garoppolo.

More importantly, three of the five sacks came within the red zone, which continues to be a pain point in the 49ers’ offense. San Francisco is reportedly exploring the possibility of acquiring wide receiver, Josh Gordon to come in and help in the red zone after the Browns came out and said he would be available come Monday.

The 49ers once again leaned heavily on kicker, Robbie Gould, who was perfect in knocking down all three of his field goals from 45, 42, and 36-yards, respectively. In doing so, he set a new franchise record for consecutive field goals made, passing Phil Dawson with 29 straight.

San Francisco did escape Sunday with a win, but there was no reason for the game to be even close. The 49ers got comfortable with the lead and let the Lions back in the game. Let it be a lesson for a young team learning how to win and don’t let it happen again, or it will cost them against stronger opponents in the future.

“I feel like the energy kind of fell off a little bit, and we needed to build it back up that last defensive stand that we had. I feel like guys kind of woke up during that last drive on defense. We’ve got to keep the pedal down all four quarters,” said defensive lineman DeForest Buckner.

The 49ers will attempt to keep the pedal down all four quarters next week, as they travel to Kansas City to try and stop Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs next Sunday at 10:00 am PDT.

49ers look to bounce back in home opener vs. Lions

Photo credit: @49ers

By Jeremy Harness

The 49ers will get their season on track on Sunday, as they will host the Detroit Lions in their first home game of the year.

However, as was the case most of last season, the team is dealing with a multitude of injuries at key positions, following an opening-week 24-16 defeat at the hands of the Minnesota Vikings, a game that saw Jimmy Garoppolo throw three interceptions, including one that was returned for a touchdown.

The 49ers got a little thinner at the linebacker position this week, as they placed Brock Coyle on the injured reserve/eligible to return list. According to head coach Kyle Shanahan, he had not only a concussion in the team’s opening week loss to Minnesota, but he also suffered a T-4 compression fracture in his back.

Coyle will be out at least six weeks, and at that point, he is expected to be able to resume football activities. Beyond that, his timetable for return is uncertain.

Meanwhile, fellow linebacker Malcolm Smith did not practice Wednesday due to a hamstring injury he suffered during the preseason. Among the others who did not practice were receiver Marquise Goodwin (quadriceps), guard Joshua Garnett (toe) and safety Adrian Colbert (hamstring).

All of them are listed as questionable to play Sunday against the Lions, whose injury report is not nearly as long as that of the 49ers. Guard T.J Lang (back) and tackle Andrew Donnal (knee) were both held out of practice on Wednesday.

Just like the 49ers, the Lions are still licking their wounds after a tough loss in Week 1. However, the Lions were more decisively beaten at home Monday night against the New York Jets. Just like Garoppolo, Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford had his bouts with interceptions. The veteran threw four to the other team, including one that was returned for a touchdown in a 48-17 rout.

Cook leads Raiders to 16-10 preseason victory over Lions

Photo credit: @RAIDERNATlON

By Jeremy Kahn

OAKLAND, Calif. — It may be just the preseason, but it was the first game back on the sidelines for Jon Gruden, who coached for the Oakland Raiders from 1998-2001 before being traded to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Connor Cook threw a touchdown pass in the second quarter, helping the Raiders to a 16-10 over the Detroit Lions at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on Friday night.

“It was awesome,” Gruden said. “I saw some recognizable faces that had gotten a little bit older. I saw some old friends who mean a lot to me. Like I said all along, this is a great responsibility. The nostalgia has worn off. We have to do something with the opportunity. But it was sure great to see the Raiders fans.”

The last time Gruden was on the Raiders’ sidelines was in January of 2002, when the Raiders defeated the New York Jets, but then lost to the New England Patriots the following week in “The Tuck Rule” game.

After being dismissed by the Buccaneers after the 2008 season, Gruden was an analyst for ESPN’S Monday Night Football until this past season.

When the Raiders did not return to the playoffs after making it in 2016, Raiders’ owner Mark Davis dismissed Jack Del Rio and gave Gruden a 10-year, reported $100 million contract to come back to the Raiders.

Marshawn Lynch gave the fans an early treat, as he raced down the sidelines for what looked like a 60-yard touchdown run, but it was called by after a holding penalty on rookie tackle Kolton Miller, out of UCLA.

“I was really ticked off after watching that get called back,” Gruden said. “Chucky came out for a brief moment tonight.”

The Raiders were forced to settle with a punt on the only series with Derek Carr on the field, but Cook led the Raiders to the 16-10 victory over the Lions.

Cook ended up going 11-for-19 for 141 yards and a seven-yard touchdown pass to newcomer Ryan Switzer. The Raiders also got two field goals from rookie Eddy Piniero.

In his first preseason game as Lions head coach, Matt Patricia decided to rest Matthew Stafford and inserted Matt Cassel into the starting lineup and Cassel went 10-for-18 with 81 yards passing.

Cassel led the Lions on three drives, and Ameer Abdullah scored the only touchdown for the Lions, as he scored on a one-yard run.

Jake Ruddock, who is competing with Cassel for the backup spot at quarterback for the Lions went 12-for-19 with 84 yards passing.

It looked like the Raiders were going to score on their first series of the third quarter, as they got down to the Lions six-yard line, but E.J. Manuel fumbled the ball and the Lions recovered the ball.

The Lions eventually kicked a field goal after an 18 play 88-yard drive that took 8:10 off the clock to get the Lions within three.

Piniero gave the Raiders a six-point lead, as he nailed a 45-yard field goal that came off the infield dirt with just over two minutes remaining in the game.

“I remember when we drafted (Sebastian) Janikowski, it was like being on a foreign planet for him when he got here and started kicking off the dirt,” Gruden said of Oakland’s first-round pick in 2000. “We did manage to get him a couple of looks.”

Cassel replaced Rudock for the Lions final series of the game, and the Lions got all the way down to the Raiders 35-yard line, but James Cowser sacked Cassel, who fumbled the ball and Frostee Rucker recovered the fumble to clinch the game for the Raiders.

NOTES: After returning for the final three days of training camp in Napa, the Raiders will head to Los Angeles to face the Rams on August 17.

UP NEXT: The Raiders head to the Southland to take on the Rams on Saturday, August 18 at 1 pm PDT.