Raiders off to KC looking for seconds

By Joe Hawkes-Beamon

OAKLAND — After a dominating performance on both sides of the ball in a 24-13 victory over their cross-bay rivals the San Francisco 49ers at Coliseum last Sunday, the Raiders look to take that momentum into Kansas City Sunday against their arch rival the Chiefs.

Oakland (2-11) earned their first win of the season with a 24-20 victory over Kansas City in Week 12 at the Black Hole and would like nothing more to take the season series from the Chiefs.

Raiders’ signal caller Derek Carr played more like a 10-year veteran than a rookie, completing 22-of-28 passes for 254 yards and three touchdowns against the 49ers No. 2 ranked defense that gave up two touchdown drives of 80 yards and rarely pressured Carr.

Carr completely outplayed 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who didn’t fair too well against a Raiders defense that sacked Kapernick five times, two apiece by rookie linebacker Khalil Mack and defensive tackle Antonio Smith.

“This week it was preached to us just how important this game was,” Smith said after the game. “This week more and more of us became true Raiders, knowing what the heritage is about, knowing what this game was about, how important it was to this city.”

Safety Charles Woodson sealed the victory (and possibly San Francisco’s playoff chances) in style with a fourth quarter interception.

Kansas City (7-6), are coming off close 17-14 loss to the Cardinals in Arizona last Sunday, their third straight loss dating back to their first encounter with Oakland on Nov. 20.

Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith completed 26-of-39 passes for 293 yards one touchdown and an interception. Running back  Jamaal Charles finished with 10 carries for 91 yards, including a 63-yard touchdown run. Charles’ second touchdown (an 18-yard toss from Smith), gave Kansas City a 14-6 halftime lead only to see the lead slip away.

Oakland could have some trouble against a Chiefs team that is No. 5 overall in defense, and No. 2 against the pass and who are desperate to end their three-game losing streak and stay afloat in a tight AFC playoff race.

Players to Watch

Kansas City, OLB, Justin Houston.

Houston has been nothing less then stellar for Kansas City this season. With 16 sacks (a career-high), Houston is tied with Baltimore outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil for the most in the NFL. The fourth-year pro from Georgia recorded a sack the last time Oakland saw Kansas City.

Oakland, QB, Derek Carr.

There is no question that Carr is Oakland’s quarterback for the next five-to-10 years. That should be music to the ears of Raider Nation, who’ve had 18 different starting quarterbacks since Rich Gannon in 2003. Carr leads all rookies in touchdown passes (17) and passing yards (2,676).

0-10 Raiders host Chiefs Thursday in primetime

By Joe Hawkes-Beamon

OAKLAND — With Derek Carr limited in practice with a quad injury, along with several players dealing with injuries, the Raiders will have to get healthy in a hurry with the Kansas City Chiefs coming to town for Thursday Night Football to kickoff Week 12. This will be the first time that the two AFC West rivals have seen each other this season when the ball kicks off at 5:25 p.m. PDT at Coliseum.

The Raiders are coming off a tough 13-6 loss to another AFC West rival, the San Diego Chargers in Week 11 where the defense harassed Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers all day, even injuring the Chargers signal caller at one point.

Rookie linebacker Khalil Mack recorded his first career sack, one of two on the day (the other by defensive tackle Antonio Smith, his first as a member of the Silver & Black).

Safety Charles Woodson led the team in tackles with 11 (three assisted), and Oakland’s 32nd ranked defense kept the Chargers’ 17th ranked offense at bay yielding only 300 yards of total offense, and one touchdown (a Rivers 22-yard toss to wide receiver Malcolm Floyd on the Chargers third play from scrimmage following a Carr fumble).

But, the offense couldn’t muster any type of chemistry.

Carr played a mediocre game, completing just 16-of-34 passes for 172 yards and couldn’t get the Raiders into the end zone. Oakland managed just three first downs and had four 3-and-outs in the first half. Matter of fact, Oakland didn’t get into the red zone until 5:05 left in the fourth quarter, but came up empty what essentially would be the final drive of the game.

The running game? Well, the running game was still a no show with the exception of running back Latavius Murray.

Murray showed flashes of what he could do when given an opportunity, racking up 43 yards on four carries, one for a 23-yard gain. All career highs.

The tandem of Maurice Jones-Drew and Darren McFadden managed just 27 yards on 12 carries combine. According to Raiders interim head coach Tony Sparano, Murray will get more time running the ball.

“He played a little bit more yesterday and he’s going to continue to do that,” Sparano said. “I like what I’ve seen out of him so far. So in a roundabout way, I’m saying yeah, you’re going to see more of him.”

But running the ball could be tough for Oakland, especially against a Kansas City team who hasn’t given up a rushing touchdown all season, and that can be credited to their intimidating nose tackle, Dontari Poe all 6’3″, 346 pounds of him.

“He’s a real handful,” Sparano said. “He really is.”

The Chiefs are coming off a 24-20, come-from-behind victory against the reigning Super Bowl Champions Seattle Seahawks Sunday at Arrowhead.

Quarterback Alex Smith was his usual efficient self, completing 11-of-16 passes for just 108 yards through the air but it was the play off their Pro Bowl running back Jamaal Charles on offense that set the tone for Kansas City.

Charles ran through the vaunted Seahawks defense, rushing for 159 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries. The seventh-year running back out of Texas appeared to find running lanes against a Seahawks team that was missing it’s star defensive tackle Brandon Mebane, gone for the season with a hamstring injury.

At 7-3, Kansas City is tied with the Denver Broncos for first place (with Denver currently holding the tiebreaker over the Chiefs following a 24-17 home victory in Week 2) in the AFC West and with a Week 13 home date against the Broncos, Kansas City better not overlook the Raiders.

Oakland would like nothing more than to spoil Kansas City’s chances at taking sole possession of first place in the AFC West, even if it means helping out the Broncos in the process.

Face it. Oakland is just thirsting to end its 16-game losing streak dating back to last season. It will take more from Carr and the offense to support a defense that has played pretty well in recent weeks.

You can’t win football games in the National Football League by just kicking field goals.

Players To Watch

Oakland, RB, Latavius Murray: It’s no secret that the Raiders running game has been, pedestrian, to say the least this season. Ranking dead last with just 630 yards on the ground as a team, Oakland needs the fresh legs of Murray to provide a jolt, something that Maurice Jones-Drew and Darren McFadden can’t do.

Kansas City, TE, Travis Kelce: Even though wide receiver Dwayne Bowe leads the Chiefs with 41 catches for 508 yards, it’s the second-year tight end out of Cincinnati that seems to be the guy that quarterback Alex Smith trusts the most. Kelce is second on the team with 37 catches for 475 yards receiving, but leads the team with four touchdown grabs. Bowe has yet to find the end zone. Heck, none of Kansas City’s wide receivers have yet to find the end zone this season.




Raider report: Lack of inexperience reason for Raiders big loss in KC

by David Zizmor

ALAMEDA–The Oakland Raiders who suffered a pretty humilating defeat at the hands of their division rivals the Kansas City Chiefs this last weekend. They lost big 56-31 that is the most points the Raiders have ever given up in a football game. It was done in dramatic fashion the Chiefs jumped out to a big lead they were up 21-0 just in the first quarter.

The big story in the game it was not only the 56 points but who scored them, five of those touchdowns were scored by the Chiefs Jamal Charles the tiny running back for the Chiefs and four of them on receptions. He became the first running back in NFL history to catch four touchdown passes in a game.

Scoring five touchdowns puts him in pretty rare company as well, five touchdowns is a huge accomplishment no matter what and at the NFL level it’s very, very rare and only three people have scored six touchdowns n a game and Charles might have had a shot at that becuase he had five touchdowns with 12 minutes left in the game he had a shot at it but he mostly sat on the bench from that point on.

Charles sat because the Chiefs were up by so much looking at it from the Raiders side this was a rough, rough loss, they were out of this one from the very beginning they really had no chance and what we’ve seen in the last few weeks is that the Raiders are falling apart on the defensive side of the football.

The Raiders have had a real tough time of it not only did they lose this game to the Chiefs last week they got hammered by a very bad New York Jets team they gave up 37 points to a Jets team that have had one of the worse offenses in the league. They lost to Dallas, Tennessee, you have to go all the way back to week 11 when they beat Houston and as we all know now is probably the team that’s going to get the number one pick in the draft that’s how bad they are.

The Raiders have had a really rough run it’s kind of disappointing their defense played really well in the first half of the season it was surprising and one of the reasons why everybody had low expectations for the Raiders was their defense. They’ve had a lot of new guys on the team and not necessarily all new but they had a lot of inexperienced guys some of them were rookies.

These were guys on the Raiders that have really never been starters at this top level and the Raiders had so little room under the cap they had to get what they could and for the most part that meant bargain basement shopping and early in the season they did a good job of motivating these guys in keeping offenses on their toes, the defense was surprising.

The Raiders face the San Diego Chargers on Sunday the 29th for their next game with a 1:25 PM kickoff at Qualcomm.

David Zizmor covers the NFL for Sportstalk Radio

Raiders return home for Week 15 tilt with Chiefs

By. Joe Hawkes-Beamon

OAKLAND — Home is where the heart is and the Oakland Raiders are in dire need of some good fortune.

After a two game road trip, Oakland return to the familiar surroundings of Coliseum when they’ll host their bitter rival the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 15 Sunday. Kansas City nipped Oakland, 24-7 at Arrowhead in Week 6 behind a ferocious defense that forced three second-half interceptions and sacked then starting quarterback Terrelle Pryor 10 times.

Oakland (4-9) was dropped by the New York Jets, 37-27, in New York last week.

With running backs Rashad Jennings (concussion) and Darren McFadden (ankle),  fullback Marcel Reece supplied the ground game for Oakland rushing for a career-high 123 yards on 19 carries, including a career-long 63-yard touchdown run on the second play of the third quarter.

Quarterback Matt McGloin finished the game 18 of 31 for 245 yards passing, two touchdowns and an interception, while wide receiver Rod Streater had a career-high 130 yards receiving and a touchdown.

Kansas City (10-3) throttled hapless Washington, 45-10, last week in the Nation’s Capital.

The Chiefs jumped on Washington from the start, building a 31-0 lead in the second quarter behind two special teams touchdowns and their running game. Running back Jamaal Charles racked up 151 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries.

Charles leads the AFC in rushing with 1,161 yards and 10 touchdowns, and is third overall in the NFL in rushing yards behind Minnesota running back Adrian Peterson (1,221), and Philadelphia running back LeSean McCoy (1,3o5).