Raiders battle Broncos on Christmas Eve in home finale at the Coliseum

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By Joe Hawkes-Beamon
SRS Contributor

OAKLAND — The Raiders return to the Oakland-Alameda Coliseum in what will be the team’s home finale to a rough 2019 season. The Silver and Black will host the Denver Broncos on Christmas Eve in a AFC West matchup on Monday Night Football with the kickoff set for 5:15 p.m. PT on ESPN.

Oakland holds a 62-52-2 all-time record against the Broncos, with the Raiders looking to make it three in a row over Denver at home.

Last week, the Raiders (3-11) traveled to Cincinnati to take on the Bengals, but lost 30-16 at Paul Brown Stadium in Week 15.

Raiders quarterback Derek Carr continued to move up the franchise record book. Carr passed Rich Gannon for the most consecutive pass attempts without throwing an interception against the Bengals. Now sitting at 299 attempts, bested Gannon’s mark of 277 set back in 2001.

In fact, Carr hasn’t thrown an interception in nine-straight games after throwing for 263 yards on 21-of-38 passes and one touchdown. Through 14 games, Carr has 19 touchdowns and eight interceptions. Entering Monday night’s game with 3,697 passing yards, Carr is 303 yards shy from his first 4,000-yard passing season.

Wide receiver Jordy Nelson led the Raiders with six catches for 88 yards.

Lee Smith, who is better known for his blocking, has been more of a scorer in recent weeks, hauling in a touchdown for the third-straight game.

Defensively, safety Karl Joseph led the team with eight tackles (six solo) and his first sack of the season. Fellow safety Erik Harris recorded his first-career interception.

The Broncos (6-8) enter Week 16 losing to the Cleveland Browns 17-16 at home last Saturday. The slim loss eliminated Denver from playoff contention in the AFC, and puts them one loss away from back-to-back losing seasons. Denver finished 5-11 in 2017.

Denver is looking to complete the season sweep over Oakland, after defeating the Raiders 20-19 at Denver Stadium at Mile High in Week 2. The Broncos rallied from a 12-point second-half deficit, capped off by kicker Brandon McManus’ 36-yard game-winning field goal just inside the right upright with 6 seconds to play.

Broncos rookie running back Phillip Lindsay, who was named to the AFC Pro Bowl team on Tuesday, rushed for 107 yards on 14 carries against the Raiders in Week 2.

On the season, Lindsay has rushed for 991 yards to go along with nine touchdowns on 182 carries in 14 games (seven starts) for the Broncos.

Linebacker Von Miller continues to be a terror on defense. The former Defensive Player of the Year leads the the team with 14.5 sacks and four forced fumbles, and was voted to his eighth Pro Bowl team. Fellow linebacker Bradley Chubb is second on the Broncos with 12.0 sacks and was named an alternate to the Pro Bowl.

Chubb, the Broncos’ top pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, is 2.5 sacks away from tying Jevon Kearse’s (14.5) NFL record for rookies, set in 1999 with the Tennessee Titans.

Sloppy Raiders lose to Bengals in Cincinnati, 30-16

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By Joe Hawkes-Beamon
SRS Contributor

The Raiders were looking to win back-to-back games for the first time this season but failed to do so, losing to the Bengals 30-16 on Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium.

Oakland (3-11) is now 1-6 on the road this season.

Quarterback Derek Carr completed 21-of-38 passes for 263 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions. It was the ninth straight game that Carr didn’t throw an interception in a game. But Carr almost did throw an interception in the first quarter on Oakland’s first possession of the game, but Bengals safety Shawn Williams dropped the ball.

In the game, Carr moved past Rich Gannon for the most consecutive passes without an interception (277) in team history on his 14th pass.

Gannon established the franchise record back in 2001.

But it took the Raiders six possessions to score their first touchdown of the game, a 1-yard pass from Carr to tight end Lee Smith in the second quarter with Oakland already down 17-0. Smith, who is known more for his blocking, has scored a touchdown in three-straight games.

Oakland’s first five possessions of the game went like this: punt, a fumble by Carr, punt, punt, a fumble by running back Jalen Richard inside of their own territory and punt. The Raiders lost both fumbles leading to 10 points for Cincinnati.

Behind a makeshift offensive line that was missing left guard Kelechi Osemele, Cincinnati applied pressure to Carr throughout the game, sacking him five times and hitting him seven times on throws. Star defensive tackle Geno Atkins had three sacks and defensive end Sam Hubbard recorded two sacks and a forced fumble.

Carr, who has eight fumbles on the year, lost a fumble for the sixth time this season, establishing a new career-high.

The Raiders finished with eight penalties for 90 yards.

With the Bengals keying in on Carr’s top target in tight end Jared Cook, Jordy Nelson was Oakland’s leading pass catcher Sunday finishing with six catches for 88 yards. Cook, who is in his 10th season in the league (his second in Oakland), had just two catches for 23 yards after catching seven passes for 116 yards.

Cook came into Sunday’s contest with back-to-back 100-yard receiving games is enjoying his finest season this year, with career-highs in catches (63), yards (848) and touchdowns (six) and could be headed to his first Pro Bowl.

Second-year Running back Joe Mixon had a big day for the Bengals (6-8), scoring two touchdowns in the game and rushing for over 100 yards for the second-straight week. Mixon rushed for 129 yards on 27 carries against the Raiders after rushing for 111 yards on 26 carries in Week 14 against the Los Angeles Chargers.

Before suffering a knee injury in the first half that would sideline him for the rest of the day, third-year wide receiver Tyler Boyd would eclipse 1,000 yards for the first time in his career.

Boyd finished with just four catches for 38 yards and a touchdown, but he became just the first wide receiver not named A.J. Green to record a 1,000-yard season — and not since Chad Johnson in 2009 — to do so, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Green is currently on injured reserve with a foot injury.

Third-year quarterback Jeff Driskel struggled in his third start since taking over for starter Andy Dalton (hand), who is also on injured reserve. Driskel did find Boyd on a 7-yard score for the game’s first score, but finished 14-of-33 for 130 yards and an interception.

Next week, the Raiders return home to take on their AFC West rival, the Denver Broncos on Christmas Eve in what could be the final game ever for the Raiders in Oakland. 

The Raiders don’t have a signed lease to play at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum for 2019.

Denver (6-8) fell to the visiting Cleveland Browns 17-16 at Broncos Stadium at Mile High on Saturday.

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

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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

Raiders welcome the Steelers to the Black Hole Sunday

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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.

The Raider preview: Raiders head to London for Week 6 matchup against the Seahawks at Wembley Stadium

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By Joe Hawkes-Beamon
SRS Contributor

OAKLAND — The Raiders are off to London to play in their third-straight international game, this time against the Seattle Seahawks. Sunday’s game from Wembley Stadium will mark the 53rd meeting between the two franchises, with Oakland leading the series 28-24 all-time. This will be Oakland’s fourth game in five weeks on the road.

This is the second time that two teams face each other in 2018, as the Raiders defeated the Seahawks 30-19 in Seattle to close out the preseason schedule.

Kickoff is set for 10:00 a.m. PT. So breakfast with football is always nice.

Last week, the Raiders (1-4) fell to AFC West division-rival, the Los Angeles Chargers, 26-10 at StubHub Center in Carson in what sounded like the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum with many members of Raider Nation making up the  attendance.

Starting quarterback Derek Carr completed 24-of-33 passes for 263 yards with one touchdown and one interception as the Chargers’ defense held Oakland to just 289 yards of total offense. Through five games this season, Carr has thrown a league-leading eight interceptions, three coming inside the red zone and two into the end zone.

Coming into the Week 5 meeting with Los Angeles, the Raiders were averaging 411.8 yards of total offense per game ranking second in the NFL.

Wide receiver Jordy Nelson caught his team-leading third receiving touchdown of the year, a 1-yard score from Carr in the fourth quarter with the Raiders trailing 26-3. Since 2016, Nelson leads the NFL with 19 receiving touchdowns inside the red zone according to ESPN Stats and Information research.

After rushing for 130 yards on 20 carries against the Cleveland Browns in Week 4, Marshawn Lynch was quiet against the Chargers carrying the ball just nine times for 31 yards. Lynch will look to get back on track in London against his former team in Seattle, whose defense ranks 29th against the run surrendering 129 yards on the ground per game.

Defensively, Bruce Irvin recorded his team-leading third sack of the season, while linebacker Tahir Whitehead paced the Raiders with nine tackles for the second-straight game. It was the fourth time this season that Whitehead has led the team in tackles in a game.

Whitehead leads the Raiders with 37 combined tackles (26 solo and 11 assisted) this season.

The Seahawks (2-3) lost a close game to NFC West division-rival the Los Angeles Rams, 33-31 last week at CenturyLink Field in Seattle.

Seahawks starting quarterback Russell Wilson threw for 198 yards and three touchdowns on 13-of-21 passing. In five games this season, the former Super Bowl MVP has thrown for 1,086 yards, with 10 touchdowns to just three interceptions.

Running back Chris Carson tallied his second 100-yard rushing game in the last three weeks, carrying the ball 19 times for 116 yards against a talented Rams defensive front highlighted by reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year in defensive tackle Aaron Donald and Ndamukong Suh.

With veteran wide receiver Doug Baldwin slowed by a knee injury this season, Tyler Lockett has become Wilson’s top target in Seattle’s areal attack. Lockett had just three catches against the Rams, but finished with a team-high 98 yards receiving and one touchdown, a 39-yard strike from Wilson in the second quarter.

On the season, the fourth-year wideout from Kansas State leads the Seahawks in catches (20), targets (28), receiving yards (347), and touchdowns (4). His 17.4 yards per catch is second on the team behind rookie tight end Will Dissly, who is on injured reserve with a knee injury.

Oakland’s much maligned secondary must account for Lockett, who can blow by defenses in the open field with his speed.

With longtime safety Earl Thomas on injured reserve after breaking his leg two weeks ago in a Seahawks’ win at Arizona, the vaunted Seahawks defense that we’ve all come to know over the last few seasons is unrecognizable. Before the injury, Thomas was playing at a high-level, leading the Seahawks with three interceptions.

In the offseason, the team parted ways with lockdown cornerback Richard Sherman and terrorizing defensive end Michael Bennett. They saw the enforcer of the defense, strong safety Kam Chancellor and defensive end Cliff Avril retire due to neck injuries just to name a few.

Seattle still has middle linebacker Bobby Wagner, who is smart football player that can cover field, sideline-to-sideline, but strong safety Bradley McDougald has quickly become Seattle’s top defender.

Now in his sixth season in the NFL and second season in the Emerald City after spending the previous four seasons between Kansas City and Tampa Bay, the 6’1″, 215-pound McDougald isn’t the menacing presence that the 6’3, 225-pound Chancellor is, but he packs quite a punch. McDougald leads the Seahawks with 32 combined tackles (29 solo and 3 assisted) to go with two interceptions.

After Sunday’s game, both teams will be head on their bye weeks for Week 7. When the teams return in Week 8, the Raiders will host the Indianapolis Colts at 1:05 pm PT, while Seattle heads out on the road to take on the Detroit Lions at 10:00 am PT.

Oakland Raiders podcast with Tony Renteria: Will Carr need to adjust anything on offense in preparation for Sunday’s game?

Photo credit: @Raiders

On the Raiders podcast with Tony:

#1 The Raiders must like the first half of football games because they always take the lead and lose them in the second half.

#2 Things were so bad for the Raiders in their 28-20 loss in Miami that Dolphins wide receiver Albert Wilson threw a 52-yard touchdown and also caught a 74-yard touchdown to come back from being down 17-7.

#3 The Miami Dolphins’ Xavien Howard played some good defense stopping quarterback Derek Carr’s throws. Howard also stuck the Raiders from scoring a goal line touchdown in the second quarter.

#4 Carr had a 27-39 day for 345 yards and got picked off twice. What does Carr needs to improve for this Sunday after the Raiders have now gone to 0-3?

#5 The Raiders’ Jordy Nelson was the Raiders’ top receiver with six passes for 173 yards and a touchdown.

Tony does the Raiders podcast each Thursday at

Raiders to host the Packers in final home preseason game Friday at the Coliseum

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By Joe Hawkes-Beamon
SRS Contributor

OAKLAND — The Raiders and Packers link up for the third time in the preseason since 2014 when Green Bay visits the Oakland-Alameda Coliseum Friday night at 7:30 p.m. PT. The last time the two teams met each other in the preseason was in 2016 at Lambeau Field.

Last week, the Raiders traveled to Los Angeles to take on the Rams. It was the first time that that the Silver and Black played at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum since 1994, the final season for the Raiders in Southern California before the team moved back to Oakland at the conclusion of that season.

The Rams held off the Raiders for a 19-15 victory last Saturday, with neither team playing their starters on either side of the football, which wasn’t a huge surprise. It was odd seeing the two teams playing a preseason game against each other, given that the two teams will meet each other in Week 1 of the regular season in Game 2 of ESPN’s Monday Night Football doubleheader on Sept. 10 in Oakland.

Rookies were the story of the game on both sides of the football for Oakland, even in the loss.

Running back Chris Warren III saw plenty of action rushing for 110 yards on 18 carries and a touchdown. With veteran Marshawn Lynch slated as Oakland’s starting running back, the undrafted Warren III’s play has earned him strong consideration to make the team and contribute significantly.

Defensive tackle Maurice Hurst recorded two tackles and one sack against the Rams. The fifth-round pick in this year’s NFL Draft has had great practices during training camp and could see some action with the first-team defense against the Packers.

Typically, the third preseason game is where the starters play the first-half of the game so expect to see quarterback Derek Carr along with new Raiders wide receiver Jordy Nelson on the field Friday night.

Nelson signed a two-year $14.2 million ($13 million guaranteed) contract with Oakland in the offseason after spending his first 10 seasons in the NFL in Green Bay. Seeing Nelson in the Silver and Black of the Raiders instead of the Green and Yellow of the Packers will take some time to get used to.

Green Bay defeated the visiting Pittsburgh Steelers, 51-34 last week at Lambeau Field.

Following Friday night’s game, both teams will have a short turnaround to end the preseason on the road. Oakland travels to Seattle to face the Seahawks on Thursday Aug. 30, and Green Bay will meet the Chiefs in Kansas City the same day. With the conclusion of the preseason, all NFL teams will make their final roster cuts on Sept. 1, reducing their roster to the mandated 53-man limit.

This will mark the 13th straight season that Oakland has finished the preseason schedule against the Seahawks, with nine of the 13 games coming in Seattle, but this will be the first time since 2015 that the Raiders will finish in Seattle.

49ers vs Packers, week 1 preview

By Gabe Schapiro

As the now famous song goes, are you ready for some football? The games that count are finally upon us. Football fans everywhere officially have plans for at least the next 17 Sundays, Mondays, and the occasional Thursday. For the San Francisco 49ers (0-0), the hopeful journey back to another Super Bowl run begins this Sunday at 1:25 PM at Candlestick Park, where they will be taking on the Green Bay Packers (0-0). The matchup is a rematch of last year’s divisional playoff round, where, in a game featuring almost nothing but offense, the 49ers eliminated the Packers on the back of a record-breaking 181 rushing yard performance from QB Colin Kaepernick.

Green Bay, the reigning NFC North Champions, went 11-5 last season, but lost some veteran leadership this offseason. Most notably, WR Greg Jennings and S Charles Woodson were lost to free agency, and WR Donald Driver retired. They still feature a high-powered offense, however, led by the newly anointed highest paid player in the NFL, QB Aaron Rodgers. His receiving corps of Jordy Nelson, James Jones, and Randall Cobb remains strong, TE Jermichael Finley is a coverage headache, and new second round draft pick Eddie Lacy from Alabama should give the team a better running threat then they’ve had in years. On the defensive side of the ball they aren’t elite but they have talent, headlined by OLB Clay Matthews, DE B.J. Raji, and their first round pick from this years draft, DE Datone Jones out of UCLA.

They present a very tough opening week for San Francisco, but it’s one that they matched up well against last season. The 49ers have their stout defense returning, one that allowed just two touchdowns in four preseason games. The Packers weak link on offense is their offensive line, one that the likes of Aldon Smith, Ahmad Brooks, Justin Smith and company hope to take advantage of to give Rodgers some trouble. The San Francisco offensive attack, especially with Kaepernick leading the read-option, was one that Green Bay simply had no answers for. They’ve had an offseason to learn and adjust, but whether they will be able to slow down the dual-threat that Kaepernick brings to the table remains to be seen.

Beyond Kaepernick, the 49ers final 53-man roster consists of several weapons that the Green Bay defense will have to account for. At receiver, hoping to pick up the slack for the injured Michael Crabtree and Mario Manningham, they have the new additions of Anquan Boldin through free agency and their fourth round pick Quinton Patton. Boldin is a battle-tested veteran who already appears to have an established chemistry with Kaepernick. Patton, who due to a finger injury only played in two preseason games, has already shown flashes of his explosiveness and potential. Of course, the immensely talented Vernon Davis is back at tight end, as well as the workhorse Frank Gore in the backfield. Davis had a down year last season, but flourished in the playoffs, and Gore has been the definition of consistency through his career.

These two historic franchises both appear to have the pieces in place to be strong contenders again this season. One way or another, it should prove to be an awfully entertaining game as this rivalry intensifies.

Game Notes: This week the Packers added two recently cut 49er quarterbacks, Scott Tolzien and Seneca Wallace…The 49ers traded LB Cam Johnson to the Colts for a future seventh round draft choice, and signed WR Chris Harper, a fourth round pick this year, from the Seahawks practice squad.