Oakland Raiders podcast with Joe Hawkes Beamon: First place Steelers come to the Coliseum against a Raider team looking for the next win

Photo credit: post-gazette.com

On the Oakland Raiders podcast with Joe Hawkes Beamon:

#1 The Oakland Raiders and Pittsburgh Steelers were originally scheduled to be the Sunday Night Game, but were moved to a 1:00 PM time slot. Did the Raiders poor season have anything to do with them being moved from Sunday Night Football?

#2 The Steelers make their first trip to Oakland since 2013 when the Raiders defeated the Steelers 21-18. The Raiders have a 12-10 edge over the Steelers in their all-time meetings record.

#3 The Raiders have a three-game home winning streak over the Steelers when playing in Oakland. Could the Raiders get a little of that sensation this Sunday when the Steelers come to town?

#4 The Raiders’ offense was humming, with big performances by quarterback Derek Carr, tight end Jared Cook, wide receiver Jordy Nelson, and running back Jalen Richard on offense from last Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs.

#5 The Steelers first in the AFC North (7-4-1) and the Raiders (2-10) with only two wins this season. Do the Raiders have a chance even with home field?

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

Raiders welcome the Steelers to the Black Hole Sunday

Photo credit: @mohurstjr

By Joe Hawkes-Beamon
SRS Contributor

OAKLAND, Calif. — In a game that was originally set for NBC’s Sunday Night Football, the Raiders will complete their two-game homestand when they will take on the visiting Pittsburgh Steelers at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum this Sunday in a classic AFC tilt. Kickoff is set for 1:25 p.m. PT on FOX.

The Steelers are making their first trip to Oakland since 2013, where they lost the Raiders 21-18. Oakland holds a slim 12-10 record over Pittsburgh all-time in 22 meetings, and are riding a three-game winning streak over the Steelers at home.

Oakland (2-10) lost to their bitter AFC West rival, the Kansas City Chiefs in a 40-33 shootout last Sunday at home in Week 13. The Raiders’ offense was humming, with big performances by quarterback Derek Carr, tight end Jared Cook, wide receiver Jordy Nelson, and running back Jalen Richard.

Carr threw for 285 yards on 29-of-38 passes with three touchdowns and no interceptions. With his 14th completion of the day, Carr moved into second place in NFL history for most completions (1,655) through a player’s first five years, trailing only Peyton Manning (1,749) with four games remaining this season per the Elias Sports Bureau. Carr also moved into second place on the all-time passing list for the franchise with 17,802 yards, passing Rich Gannon.

Cook hauled in his sixth touchdown catch of the season, establishing a new career-high. The tight end finished with seven catches for 100 yards. Nelson tied a team season-high 10 catches in the game, six of them going for first downs.

Richard showed great versatility against the Chiefs, finishing with 126 yards from scrimmage, including a career-high 95 yards on the ground on six carries for a 15.8 yards per carry average for the game.

But it wasn’t all great for Oakland offensively, as the team fumbled the ball four times (losing three), all coming from Richard and fellow running backs Doug Martin and DeAndre Washington.

The addition of running back C.J. Anderson, whom the team signed on Wednesday for depth, will be interesting to watch down the home stretch of the regular season.

Anderson, a six-year veteran who is just 27-years-old, was most recently with the Carolina Panthers this season appearing in just nine games with just 24 carries for 104 yards. Anderson signed with Carolina in the offseason after being released by the Denver Broncos.

In his first five seasons with the Denver Broncos from 2013-17, Anderson rushed for 3,051 yards and 20 touchdowns on 693 carries while earning a Super Bowl ring in 2015. During his final season in Denver, Anderson rushed for a career-high 1,007 yards and three touchdowns on 245 carries while starting all 16 games.

Pittsburgh enters Sunday’s contest losers of their last two games, the most recent to the visiting Los Angeles Chargers 33-30 at Heinz Field on Sunday Night Football. The Steelers (7-4-1) sit atop the AFC North heading into the final month of the regular season.

Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger leads an offense that ranks fourth in the NFL in scoring, averaging 28.8 points per game. Through 12 games this season, Roethlisberger leads the NFL in passing yards (3,945) to go along with 26 touchdowns, but his 13 interceptions are second-most behind Jets rookie quarterback Sam Darnold’s 14 for most in the league.

The bulk of the Steelers’ areal attack is highlighted by their explosive wide receivers in Antonio Brown and JuJu Smith-Schuster.

The duo has combined for 164 catches (Smith-Schuster leads the team with 83 to Brown’s 81), for 2,132 yards (Smith-Schuster leads the team with 1,104 to Brown’s 1,028), and 16 touchdowns (Brown has 12 to Smith-Schuster’s 4).

Second-year running back James Connor has filled the shoes of dynamic running back Le’Veon Bell nicely this season. While Bell has sat out the entire season in a contract dispute with the organization, Connor is seventh in the NFL in rushing with 909 yards and 12 touchdowns on 201 carries.

Connor is third on the team with 52 catches.

Connor will miss Sunday’s game after suffering an ankle injury in Week 13 to the Chargers.

Following Sunday’s game, the Raiders will travel to Cincinnati to clash with the Bengals in Week 15 to round out the AFC North portion of their schedule for 2018. Oakland will return home to face the Broncos on Christmas Eve in Week 16.

Pittsburgh will return home for a big AFC showdown with the New England Patriots in Week 15 before heading down to New Orleans to face off the Saints in Week 16.

Raiders travel to Arizona for a Week 11 matchup with the Cardinals

Photo credit: azcentral.com

By Joe Hawkes-Beamon
SRS Contributor

OAKLAND — The Raiders hit the road for Week 11 as they will travel to the desert to face the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium on Sunday, November 18. Kickoff is set for 1:05 p.m.  PT. Oakland and Arizona have rarely played each other during the regular season as this is just the 10th meeting between these two clubs, with the Raiders holding a 5-4 edge over the Cardinals all-time.

However, the Cardinals are riding a two-game winning streak over the Raiders, winning the last regular season meeting, 24-13 in 2014 at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum and by a closer margin, 24-23 in 2010, which is the last time the Raiders traveled to Arizona.

Last week, the Raiders fell to the Los Angeles Chargers 20-6 in Week 10 at home. The loss, was Oakland’s fifth in a row dropping the Silver and Black to 1-8 on the season, the third-worst start in franchise history. Only the team’s 0-13 start in 1962 and the 0-10 start in 2014 have been worse, per the Elias Sports Bureau.

Raiders quarterback Derek Carr threw for 243 yards on 24-of-37 attempts in the contest, surpassing 17,000 passing yards for his career. Carr became just the third quarterback in franchise history to throw for 17,000 yards, joining Rich Gannon and the Hall of Famer, the late Ken Stabler.

Running back Jalen Richard had a team-high five catches for 52 yards. it was the fifth-straight game that Richard has led the Raiders in catches. For the season, Richard has 48 receptions.

Defensively, safety Marcus Gilchrist tallied his first interception in Silver and Black, while rookie defensive tackle Maurice Hurst notched his third sack of the year. Hurst’s three sacks are tied for fifth-most among rookie defenders this season.

In Week 10, the Arizona Cardinals (2-7) lost on the road to the Kansas City Chiefs 26-14 at Arrowhead Stadium. Cardinals rookie quarterback Josh Rosen completed 22-of-39 for 208 passing yards, with one touchdown and two interceptions. Running back David Johnson rushed for 98 yards on 21 carries, and scored two touchdowns on the ground and in the air. Johnson also led the Cardinals with seven receptions for 85 yards.

Wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, who will be walking into the Hall of Fame once his career is over, finished with six catches for 50 yards and passed newly-minted Hall of Fame wide receiver Terrell Owens for No. 2 on the NFL’s career receiving yardage list in the closing minutes, per the Elias Sports Bureau.

Now in his 15th season, Fitzgerald has amassed 15,952 receiving yards in his career, trailing only Hall of Famer Jerry Rice. Rice racked up 22,895 receiving yards during his stellar 20-year career.

Following Sunday’s game, the Raiders will head East during the Thanksgiving Weekend when they take on the Baltimore Ravens. The Week 12 matchup will mark the fourth-straight season that the two clubs will meet in the regular season.

The Cardinals will travel to Carson, Calif. to take on the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 12.

Raiders’ Marshawn Lynch to miss action with a groin injury

Photo credit: sportingnews.com

By Joe Hawkes-Beamon
SRS Contributor

OAKLAND — Raiders’ starting running back Marshawn Lynch will miss some playing time due to a groin injury, per ESPN citing a source with knowledge of Lynch’s injury.

Lynch is expected to miss a month with the injury, but the team has been discussing placing the running back on injured reserve, per the source.

News of Lynch’s injury and expected time missed was first reported by NFL Network.

Lynch has rushed for a team-high 376 yards on 90 carries (4.2 yards per carry) and three touchdowns this season. He also has amassed 15 receptions for 84 yards

The Raiders have veteran running back Doug Martin and holdover Jalen Richard who will be counted on to pickup the slack in the ground game for Oakland in Lynch’s absence.

Martin is second on the Raiders with 99 yards on 27 carries (3.7 yards per carry), and Richard has rushed for just 32 yards on 11 carries (2.9 yards per carry) through the team’s first six games this season.

Richard is better suited to help in the passing game, where he’s second behind tight end Jared Cook (32 catches) for the team lead with 31 catches for 253 yards this season.

The Raiders (1-5) are on a bye week before hosting the visiting Indianapolis Colts (1-5) in Week 8 at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on Oct. 28 at 1:05 p.m. PT.

Oakland Raiders host Los Angeles Chargers Sunday in first of two meetings for this season

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco (5) greets injured Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr after an NFL football game in Oakland, Calif., Sunday, Oct. 8, 2017. The Ravens won 30-17. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

By Joe Hawkes-Beamon
Sports Radio Service Writer

OAKLAND — Looking to get back into the win column and avoid their first four-game losing streak since losing 16-straight regular season games from Nov. 24, 2013 to Nov. 16, 2014, the Raiders welcome one of their AFC West rivals in the Los Angeles Chargers for an important matchup in Week 5.

Oakland (2-3) is currently in the middle of a three-game home stand at the Oakland-Alameda Coliseum, having lost in Week 5 to the Baltimore Ravens 30-17 and host their most bitter rival, the Kansas City Chiefs, on Oct. 19 in prime-time on Thursday Night Football.

Kickoff for Sunday’s game is at 1:25 p.m. PT.

With starting quarterback Derek Carr sidelined for the game with a traverse process fracture in his back, backup quarterback EJ Manuel filled in admirably for Carr completing 13-of-26 passes for 159 yards and a touchdown in his first start for the Silver and Black. Manuel found a comfort level with wide receiver Michael Crabtree in the game, connecting with Crabtree for a 41-yard touchdown strike in the second quarter.

Crabtree finished as the Raiders’ top receiver for the day, collecting six catches for 82 yards to go along with the aforementioned touchdown after missing Oakland’s 16-10 loss Week 3 loss in Denver.

Oakland’s other starting wide receiver Amari Cooper was again a no-show, recording just one catch for eight yards on two targets. The ground game was paced by running back Marshawn Lynch, who rushed for 43 yards on 12 carries and his second touchdown of the year (all at home). Backup running back Jalen Richard contributed to the offense as well, rushing for 37 yards on nine carries.

The Raiders do expect Carr to start Sunday and hope to rejuvenate an offense that ranks in the middle of the league in points per game (21.6), which is good for 16th, but rank 23rd in rushing yards per game (90.6), 26th in passing yards (188.6), and 30th in total yards per game (279.2) through the first five games of the season.

Carr has thrown for 753 yards with seven touchdowns and two interceptions this year.

Last year through five games, Oakland ranked sixth in total offense scoring just a shade under 28 points per game.

Oakland’s offensive line, which was a pillar of strength for the team last year after only giving up 18 sacks in 16 games, have already surrendered 12 sacks this season through five games.

With the Chargers ranking third in the NFL with 17 sacks this season, the offensive line will have their work cut out for them. Defensive end Melvin Ingram leads the Chargers and the AFC in sacks with 7.5, while fellow defensive end Joey Bosa is not far off with 4.5 sacks.

Bosa made an immediate impact in his first pro game last year against the Raiders, sacking Carr twice en route to 10.5 sacks and being named the NFL’s Defensive Rookie of the Year after missing the first four games of the season in a contract dispute.

Second-year outside linebacker Jatavis Brown has become one of the league’s surest tacklers, leading the Chargers with 46 tackles (32 solo) this season. Last year when the Chargers called San Diego home, they finished tied for the league lead with 18 interceptions.

This season, the Chargers have recorded just two picks and have been bludgeoned by opposing teams on the ground. Los Angeles ranks dead-last in stopping the run, allowing 161.2 yards rushing per game.

In Week 2, the Chargers allowed 122 yards to Jay Ajayi, 172 yards to Kareem Hunt in Week 3, and 136 yards to LeGarrette Blount in Week 4.

That should bode well for Oakland, who still has yet to have a running back crack 100 yards rushing in a game this season. Lynch leads the Raiders with 57 carries for 194 yards and two touchdowns, while Richard is second on the team in rushing with 24 carries for 128 yards and a touchdown.

But the second-year Richard leads Oakland with 5.3 yards per carry this season, not the 10-year veteran in Lynch, who is second with 3.4 yards per carry.

Los Angeles (1-4) picked up their first win of the 2017 season, winning 27-22 against the winless New York Giants (0-5) at MetLife Stadium last Sunday. Starting quarterback Philip Rivers completed 21-of-44 passes for 254 yards, three touchdowns and one interception.

Now in his 14th season, Rivers ranks in the top-10 among all starting quarterbacks this year, pacing fifth in passing yards (1,365) and seventh in touchdown passes (9). His 266.8 passing yards per game ranks sixth among passers. Rivers has only thrown five interceptions this season and has been sacked just six times, a testament to the Chargers much improved offensive line.

The Chargers average 19.8 points per game, ranking 19th in the league, but can put up yards offensively, ranking 11th averaging 345.6 yards per game.

Running back Melvin Gordon was unstoppable running the ball and catching the ball against the Giants. Gordon carried the ball 20 times for 105 yards and led the Chargers with a game-high six catches for 58 yards and two touchdowns.

Gordon is tied for fourth in the NFL with five total touchdowns (two rushing, three receiving) this season.

The third-year running back from Wisconsin caught the game-winning touchdown from Rivers with less than a minute to play in the fourth quarter to cement the Chargers’ victory.

Rivers is 14-8 in 22 career games against the Silver and Black, throwing for 37 touchdowns and 18 interceptions. His 37 touchdowns against the Raiders are the most that Rivers has thrown against any team in the NFL in his career.

Former California wide receiver Keenan Allen is the Chargers’ best wide receiver, leading the team with 28 catches for 401 yards and a touchdown.

Oakland has won the last four-straight meetings against the Chargers after sweeping both games in 2015 and 2016.

Los Angeles will host Oakland in Week 17 at the StubHub Center in Carson.

 

 

Raiders close to deal with Marshawn Lynch; Seahawks still holds RB’s rights

Marshawn Lynch, right, a former NFL football running back with the Seattle Seahawks greets Sheri Schultz, left, the wife of Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, Thursday, May 5, 2016, before he spoke at a job fair in Seattle sponsored by the 100,000 Opportunities Initiative, an organization backed by Starbucks and other companies that seeks to increase employment and education opportunities for youth aged 16-24. The Seahawks announced Thursday that Lynch has been placed on the reserve/retired list. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

By Joe Hawkes-Beamon
Sports Radio Service Writer

OAKLAND — “Beast Mode” back on the football field?

Almost a done deal.

NFL Network’s Michael Silver and Mike Garafolo reported Friday that Marshawn Lynch is nearing a new contract agreement with the 30-year-old running back.

But before Lynch can officially play for his hometown Raiders, Seattle must trade Lynch as they still hold his rights as he retired after the Seahawks’ Super Bowl 50 loss to the New England Patriots at the end of the 2014 season.

Sources close to the situation told Garafolo that Oakland and Seattle are optimistic that a deal can be struck, the two sides have yet to engage in trade talks for one of the NFL’s most punishing running backs when healthy.

Lynch sat out all of 2016 after an injury-filled 2015 (where he dealt with hamstrings/hernia injuries) but has been durable for the majority of his nine-year career. Three years removed from a Super Bowl championship (a season that Lynch rushed for 1,204 yards and 12 touchdowns), it’s fair to ask how much football does the former Oakland Tecbnical High School product have left?

The rumors have been swirling for weeks that Lynch was itching to resurrect his career and Oakland was his preferred choice, not Seattle. Lynch took to Twitter to clear the air of those rumors:

“If u kno me you kno my business is my business,” Lynch tweeted, “and if u don’t kno me that’s a fun fact for ya… when (expletive) get REAL I’ll let you kno!!!!”

Oakland, who have second-year running backs Jalen Richard and DeAndre Washington slated to share the load in the backfield after letting starter Latavius Murray (and his 12 rushing touchdowns) depart for Minnesota via free agency, may believe Lynch is an upgrade and will add more bite to a deep running back corps.

NFL Network’s Steve Wyche noted that he was in Alameda this week and sources told him that one possible sticking point in a deal coming together between Oakland and Lynch, would be the compensation that Oakland would need to give Lynch. Wyche got indication that Oakland really wants to get a deal done and see Lynch as a key piece to a potential Super Bowl participant this season, but want some assurances from Lynch before the NFL Draft on Apr. 27.

According to Spotrac.com, Oakland is sixth in the NFL with roughly $33 million in salary cap space and have key core players who are up for hefty extensions, most notably quarterback Derek Carr and defensive end Khalil Mack.

Wyche was adamant that the Raiders didn’t want to dip to heavy into that cash to overpay for Lynch. Sources told Wyche that Oakland wants to, “take care of the horses.”

Carr and Mack are two of the Raiders’ biggest “horses” who’ve earned new contracts.

Should Lynch and the Raiders come to an agreement, it would give the Silver & Black some much needed great news, in wake of the organization’s announcement to relocate to the glitz and glamour of Las Vegas in the next two years.

 

 

 

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

By Joe Hawkes-Beamon
Sports Radio Service Writer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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