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

Mahomes throws for four touchdowns in Chiefs’ 28-10 win

photo from sfgate.com:  Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) calls out the audibles during Sunday’s game at the Oakland Coliseum against the Oakland Raiders

By Jeremy Kahn

OAKLAND — Patrick Mahomes continues his magical run thru the NFL, and it was another impressive showing on Sunday afternoon.

Mahomes went 30-for-44 for 443 yards with four touchdowns, as the Kansas City Chiefs defeated the Oakland Raiders 28-10 before a crowd of 52,748 at the Coliseum.

The second-year quarterback put on a show in the second quarter, as he threw four touchdowns in the quarter and the Chiefs took a 28-10 lead into the locker room at the end of the first half.

Demarcus Robinson caught six passes for 172 yards and two touchdowns, including two in the second quarter that helped the Chiefs overcome a 10-0 deficit.

Robinson was the receiving end of a Mahomes 44-yard touchdown pass with just five seconds gone into the second quarter, and then a 39-yard touchdown pass seven seconds after the Raiders punted the ball.

In the second quarter alone, the Chiefs gained exactly 300 yards and scored four touchdowns to take a 28-10 lead into the halftime.

Derek Carr went 23-for-38 for 198 yards passing, one touchdown and two interceptions on the afternoon.

Rookie Josh Jacobs continues to impress, as he carried the ball 12 times, while gaining 99 yards on the game.

Tyrell Williams caught a four-yard pass from Carr that gave the Raiders a 10-0 early in the first quarter.

Daniel Carlson got the Raiders on the board on their first series of the game, as he kicked a 28-yard field goal to give the Raiders an early 3-0 lead.

Mecole Hardman also caught a touchdown pass that gave the Chiefs the lead for good, as Mahomes found Hardman for a 42-yard touchdown that ended a 14 play 95-yard drive that took 6:32 off the clock.

Hardman caught three passes off the clock, as the Chiefs improved to 2-0 on the season, while the Raiders fall to 1-1 after the first two weeks of the season.

LeSean McCoy, who was picked up on waivers by the Chiefs after he was released by the Buffalo Bills led the team in rushing, as he carried the 11 times for 23 yards.

Bashaud Breeland led the Chiefs with eight tackles, while Daryl Worley and Tahir Whitehead led the Raiders with seven tackles.

Gareon Conley picked up three tackles just one week after he sustained a neck injury in Mondays 24-16 victory over the Denver Broncos.

NOTES: Mahomes threw for 278 yards in the decisive second quarter were the most by a quarterback since Drew Brees threw for 294 yards in the fourth quarter against the Atlanta Falcons on December 9, 2008.

Carr passed Ken Stabler as the all-time leading passer in Raiders history, as he connected for a 16-yard pass to Darren Waller in the second quarter. In just his sixth season in the NFL, Carr has thrown for 19,196 yards.

UP NEXT: This is the last Raiders home game with the baseball configuration ever, as the team is scheduled to open Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas in 2020.

The Raiders’ next game in the Coliseum will be on November 3 against the Detroit Lions; however, the Raiders will be the home for their Sunday evening game against the Chicago Bears on October 6 in London.

Raiders travel to the East Coast to face the Ravens

Photo credit: reviewjournal.com

By Joe Hawkes-Beamon
SRS Contributor

OAKLAND — The Raiders hit the road once again as they will travel East to take on a tough Baltimore Ravens team to close out Thanksgiving Weekend. The Week 12 matchup will mark the fourth consecutive year that the two teams have clashed, with Oakland winning two of the last three contests, including a thrilling 28-27 victory in 2016 at M&T Bank Stadium. Baltimore won last year’s meeting 30-17 in Oakland.

Kickoff for the 11th meeting is this Sunday, Nov. 25 at 10:00 a.m. PT. The Ravens lead the all-time series, 7-3.

Last week, the Raiders (2-8) defeated the Arizona Cardinals 23-21 at State Farm Stadium.

Raiders quarterback Derek Carr earned his 15th career fourth quarter comeback, engineering an impressive 9-play, 63-yard drive in the final minutes of the game, capped off by rookie kicker Daniel Carlson’s 35-yard game-winning field goal through the uprights as time expired.

The win snapped Oakland’s five-game losing streak and more importantly, shinned a little light on what has been a dark season for the Silver and Black with the losses mounting up week after week.

Carr finished the game completing 19-of-31 passes for 191 yards and two touchdowns and no interceptions with a 100.6 passer rating. His two touchdowns against the Cardinals moved him past Rich Gannon (114) for third on the club’s all-time list with 115, trailing only Daryle Lamonica (148) and Ken Stabler (150).

For Carlson, his three made field goals on the day from 49 (career-long), 21, and 35 yards (first career game-winner) earned him AFC Special Teams Player of the Week honors. His 11 points (two made extra points) were also a career-high and were the most among kickers in the AFC in Week 11.

Defensively, cornerback Gareon Conley and safety Karl Joseph each recorded an interception that led to touchdowns on ensuing drives, and rookie defensive tackle Maurice Hurst tallied a sack for the second consecutive week, bringing his total to four on the season and elevating him to second among rookie defenders in the NFL.

After coming of their bye week, the Ravens defeated their AFC North rivals, the Cincinnati Bengals 24-21 in Week 11 at M&T Bank Stadium snapping their three-game losing streak.

Baltimore’s offense was paced by two rookies in quarterback Lamar Jackson and running back Gus Edwards.

Jackson did throw one interception in the game, but showed why he was a dual-threat quarterback at Louisville, completing 13-of-19 passes for 150 yards and rushing for 119 yards on 26 carries (team-high) in his first career start in place of franchise quarterback Joe Flacco. Flacco was inactive for last week’s game due to a injured hip.

Edwards, an undrafted rookie from Rutgers University, rushed for a career-high 115 yards on 17 carries and one touchdown.

Following Sunday’s game, the Raiders will return home for two weeks to take on two first-place teams in the AFC, as they will host their AFC West rivals the Kansas City Chiefs (9-2) in Week 13, and the Pittsburgh Steelers (7-2-1) in Week 14.

The Ravens (5-5) who trail the Steelers in the AFC North, hit the road for back-to-back games against the Atlanta Falcons (4-6) in Week 13 and the Chiefs in Week 14.

Raiders three-point stance: Three takeaways from Raiders’ OT win over Browns

Photo credit: @theorganicfrost

By Joe Hawkes-Beamon
SRS Contributor

OAKLAND, Calif — The Raiders can finally breathe a little bit after picking up win No. 1, defeating the visiting Cleveland Browns 45-42 in overtime in front of an announced crowd of 53,387 at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on Sunday.

It was a roller-coaster fourth quarter for the Silver and Black, who held a six-point lead with 10 minutes to go, but managed to let it slip away.

Cleveland scored two unanswered touchdowns, but the Raiders (1-3) managed to tie the game with 30 seconds remaining and force overtime where they won the game behind rookie kicker Matt McCrane’s 29-yard field goal.

McCrane missed a 50-yard field goal attempt on the Raiders’ first possession of overtime, but Oakland’s defense forced the Browns to punt and quarterback Derek Carr drove the Raiders into position to kick the eventual game-winning field goal.

Here are my three takeaways from the Raiders’ win over the Browns:

Derek Carr needs to tame the turnovers
Sure, Carr completed 35-of-58 passes for 437 yards and four touchdowns, but he also threw two interceptions. In the four games he’s played this season, Carr has thrown two or more interceptions in three of them.

No other quarterback in the league has more interceptions than Carr, who leads the NFL with seven interceptions. According to ESPN Stats and Info, Carr has thrown four of those interceptions on first down.

I get it, Carr is going to take chances to make the big-play, but not every throw needs to be risky. The pair of interceptions that Carr threw today put the Raiders in tough spots.

With Oakland trailing 17-14 and looking for points late in the first-half, Carr tried to hit tight end Jared Cook that would’ve set Oakland up in field goal range, but the ball bounced of Cook’s hands and landed in Browns cornerback E.J. Gaines’s hands that thwarted any scoring chances for the Silver and Black.

Carr’s second interception came on Oakland’s first possession in the third quarter. Oakland was driving before Carr lofted a pass down the left sideline into double-coverage that was intended for wide receiver Martavis Bryant that would be picked off by cornerback Damarious Randall. Randall would return the interception 50 yards to set up Cleveland for an easy score.

Three plays later, Browns rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield found wide receiver Jarvis Landry for a two-yard score that gave Cleveland a 14-point lead.

Marshawn Lynch should be averaging 20 carries a game
With the NFL turning into a passing league with teams opting for multiple wide receiver formations, it was good to see a running back get 20 carries in a football game.

In the midst of Carr throwing the football 58 times, running back Marshawn Lynch rushed for 130 yards on 20 carries, his most productive game in four years. Lynch’s 52-yard blast down the Browns’ sideline late in the third quarter was vintage ‘Beast Mode’ as he alluded a bevy of Cleveland defenders before being brought down.

The run would setup a 29-yard field goal by Matt McCrane that cut Cleveland’s lead 28-24.

With each game, Lynch’s carries and workload has increased:

  • 11 carries for 41 yards and one touchdown in 33-13 loss to the Los Angeles Rams at home in Week 1.
  • 18 carries for 65 yards and one touchdown in 20-19 loss to the Broncos in Denver in Week 2.
  • 19 carries for 64 yards and one touchdown in 28-20 loss to the Dolphins in Miami in Week 3.
  • 20 carries for 130 yards in 45-42 win over the Cleveland Browns in Week 4.

The Raiders need to give the ball to Lynch more as life for Carr will become that much easier. Simply put, feed the beast.

Oakland’s defense deserves a gold star for its efforts
The Raiders have been racked over the hot coals for the trading of premiere pass rusher in defensive end Khalil Mack to the Chicago Bears a week before the start of the regular season, and rightfully so, but the effort and energy the unit played with today has to be recognized.

In the first three games, Oakland’s defense forced just one turnover before recording three on Sunday which kept the Raiders close throughout the game.

Second-year cornerback Gareon Conley delivered the game’s first score, by intercepting a Baker Mayfield pass that bounced off the hands of wide receiver Antonio Callaway and into Conley’s who returned the pass 36 yards for the touchdown.

Oakland forced a pair of second-half fumbles that set up the Raiders for scoring opportunities that kept the game tight. The Raiders did yield 487 yards of total offense to the Browns, including two long touchdowns, but did manage to force four turnovers (two force fumbles and two interceptions) off Mayfield.

Mayfield finished 21-of-41 for 295 yards and two touchdowns in his first-career start.

Linebacker Bruce Irvin and rookie defensive tackle Maurice Hurst each recorded a sack for Oakland.

Up next for Oakland: A trip to Los Angeles to take on AFC West rival the Chargers in Week 5, before flying over to London for a Week 6 matchup with the Seattle Seahawks.

Raiders Report: Sean Smith falls behind TJ Carrie on depth chart

AP Photo File: Oakland Raiders cornerback Sean Smith stands on the field during an NFL football game against the Denver Broncos, Sunday, Jan. 1, 2017, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

By Joe Hawkes-Beamon
Sports Radio Service Writer

NAPA — In football when a guy signs a four-year, $38 million contract ($20 million guaranteed) to play one of the NFL’s toughest positions, cornerback, you better be good and produce because you’re being paid starter’s money.

Sean Smith could be in trouble of losing his starting job after signing with Oakland two offseasons ago.

According to NBC Sports Bay Area Raiders Insider Scott Bair, Smith has fallen behind backup TJ Carrie on the depth chart at training camp and hasn’t worked with the starting 11 the past three days in favor of Carrie. Smith lined up at outside cornerback with the second team on Friday and Saturday, but was used as a hybrid linebacker/safety covering tight ends in sub packages on Sunday and at slot corner when the offense went to four wide receivers Bair further reported.

Carrie who is entering his fourth season with the team, and rookie cornerback Gareon Conley are pushing the nine-year veteran for his starting spot in training camp.

Smith played well in most of his 15 games started last season registering 40 tackles (33 solo, 7 assisted), 11 pass defensed and two interceptions, but was notoriously picked on by opposing offenses.

Smith first game with Oakland in New Orleans was atrocious, where he was burned for two touchdowns, one of those scores a 98-yarder to former Saints wide receiver Brandin Cooks that got Smith bench thereafter.

According to Bair, opposing quarterbacks had a passing rating of 114.0 against Smith last year, completing 44 receptions on 77 targets for 749 yards and eight touchdowns. There was a seven-game stretch where Smith didn’t allow a touchdown, living up to the big money the Raiders rewarded him with.

But Smith started to struggle down the stretch last season while dealing with a shoulder injury that required offseason surgery.

Now Smith is in an open competition and just because he has a huge contract, doesn’t mean he is guaranteed to be the starter when the Raiders open up the 2017 season in Nashville against the Titans on Sept 10.

Information from the NBC Sports Bay Area was used in this report.

 

Gareon Conley stirs the pot after being accused of rape

Ohio State defensive back Gareon Conley runs a drill at the NFL football scouting combine Monday, March 6, 2017, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

By: Ana Kieu

The Oakland Raiders drafted Ohio State cornerback Gareon Conley in the first round with the 24th overall pick during the 2017 NFL Draft.

Getting drafted should be a joyous moment for both the player and his new NFL team, but this wasn’t the case for Conley. Just days before Conley was selected by the Raiders, a 23-year-old woman accused him of raping her at a Cleveland hotel on April 9. She claimed that she met Conley in an elevator at 3 a.m. and he propositioned her and another woman to have a foursome. She also claimed that Conley had sex with her after watching another couple have sex. The case remains ongoing as Conley denied her allegations.

Conley’s lawyer said that he won’t talk to Cleveland police until after the draft. Conley went through an interview and submitted his DNA on Monday, according to his attorney Kevin Spellacy. Spellacy also said that he’s been trying to obtain video surveillance from the Westin Hotel, but his attempts have been unsuccessful so far. Two of Conley’s friends told the police that nothing happened between Conley and the unnamed woman, who got upset when they asked her to leave.

Despite all the negativity, Conley is ecstatic about being selected in the first round of the draft. He sent out a tweet last Thursday, giving shoutouts to his Ohio State teammates, cornerback Marshon Lattimore (New Orleans Saints, first round, 11th overall pick) and safety Malik Hooker (Indianapolis Colts, first round, 15th overall pick).

Conley also retweeted tweets from quarterback Derek Carr and defensive end and linebacker Khalil Mack.

It’s clear the Raiders got what they wanted. They were looking for an upgrade at the cornerback position. Conley’s draft position called for a $5.8 million signing bonus on top of a four-year rookie contract worth $10.5 million. However, his draft value can decrease and that’s not a good thing.

Conley had doubts about his NFL future, but he knows that he must take responsibility for his actions. He said that he didn’t know what he was getting himself into at the time and could’ve used his judgement to make better decisions. When he got drafted, things felt surreal and he felt much more special.

Conley’s storyline doesn’t consist of him being an entitled athlete who vanished in the big leagues. He’s a humble man who attended Massillon Washington High School in Massillon, Ohio. He finished his high school career with 50 receptions, 25 tackles, 16 touchdowns on offense and an interception on defense. He also visits his high school occasionally to tell students about the significance of coaching and doing things the correct way.

Conley initially committed to the University of Michigan, but later switched to the Ohio State University. In 2013, he reshirted his freshman year. In 2014, he played in all 15 games, recording 16 tackles. In 2015, he started all 13 games, recording 49 tackles and two interceptions. In 2016, he was named the Second Team All-Big Ten and Third Team. He forwent his senior year to enter the 2017 NFL Draft.

Not many residents in Conley’s hometown of Massillon express doubt in him.

Washington High offensive coach Joe Pierce said that Conley wasn’t the best player in his junior year as he slowed down due to a broken arm, but continued to excel on defense. As a senior, Conley caught 51 passes for 1,095 yards and 16 touchdowns in addition to being a top-rated defensive back.

Former defensive back Dan Hackenbracht said that Conley’s self-discipline and dedication set him apart from others, adding that he also studied film at a different level.

Conley’s stepmother provided a financial incentive to her son to play college football. She has a daughter named Dajia who had a lower chance of attending college at no cost due to the fact that she’s a cheerleader. Conley ended up obtaining his dream scholarship.

Besides, the rape allegation against Conley might not even be true. Both Conley and the female accuser admitted they were in the same hotel room, but he already took a polygraph test and passed it before the draft.

A recent video posted online shows the accuser following him inside and outside a Cleveland bar and even reaching out to touch him.

No charges have been filed against Conley. He maintained his innocence throughout the process. Yes, he could be indicted, despite passing a polygraph test. However, these are two separate issues — whether he’s telling the truth and whether the evidence would allow a prescutor to indict him.

The process demands for a one-sided introduction of evidence with the defendant having no representation. The legal standard for an indictment is lower than the standard required for a conviction. The prosecutor has to convince the grand jury that probable cause exists to believe a crime was committed. The fact that the defendant has nobody arguing the opposite position makes it easy to receive an indictment.

Many people believe that a judge has the most power within the justice system, but the truth is that the prosecutor does. He decides who gets charged, who doesn’t get charged and what they both get charged with. If this prosecutor decides that the victim told the truth and that the defendant didn’t or if he simply decides to turn the defendant’s life upside down, an indictment can be acquired.

Yet, there are two factors that could influence the process, and that’s when the victim was administered a rape kit and Conley has agreed to provide a DNA sample. Nothing happened between Conley and the victim, according to his defense along with the witnesses in the hotel room.

Conley is innocent until proven guilty.