Woodson, Raiders prep for Chargers in home finale

By Joe Hawkes-Beamon

photo credit: KCRA TV Oakland Raiders safety Charles Woodson

OAKLAND — When Raiders safety Charles Woodson announced his retirement on Monday from the game of football after an illustrious 18-year career, it came as a shock since Woodson has been playing at high level for the Raiders this season.

On Tuesday, Woodson, along with linebacker Khalil Mack, and fullback Marcel Reece were selected to the Pro Bowl, as announced on the NFL Network during the network’s annual selection show.

Quarterback Derek Carr, rookie wide receiver Amari Cooper, and running back Latavius Murray are heading to Honolulu as well on Jan. 31, 2016 after being selected as Pro Bowl alternates for the first time in their young careers.

It marks the ninth time that Woodson has been voted to the Pro Bowl, while Reece is making his fourth-straight team, and Mack being voted to his first.

Woodson is a viable lock for a spot in Canton once the five-year waiting period is over.

When the Raiders host the Chargers (4-10) on Thursday in Oakland’s last home game (possibly in Oakland, but don’t lose hope), Raider Nation will have one more opportunity to see one of the greatest defensive players (at any position) in the NFL.

The former fourth overall pick in the 1998 NFL Draft will no doubt receive the loudest ovation from the expected sellout crowd on Christmas Eve.

Oakland (6-8) dropped their last home game to the visiting Green Bay Packers 30-20 on Sunday eliminating the Silver and Black from playoff contention for the 13th straight season.

The Chargers (4-10), defeated the Miami Dolphins 30-14 in what many believe was the final game in San Diego for quarterback Philip Rivers and Co.

Rivers passed for three touchdowns (one interception), all to running back Danny Woodhead.

Woodhead added a rushing touchdown, giving him four total for the game.

Oakland and San Diego have been rumored, along with the St. Louis Rams as teams that are planning to relocate to Los Angeles next season.

 

Raiders head to Mile High for regular season finale

By Joe Hawkes-Beamon

Follow Joe on twitter @JLHB510

OAKLAND — After dispatching the visiting Buffalo Bills 26-24 at O.co Coliseum in Week 16 behind two touchdown passes from rookie quarterback Derek Carr and four field goals from Sebastian Janikowski and extending the Bills playoff drought to 15 years, the Raiders travel to Denver Sunday to take on the AFC West champion Broncos in both team’s regular season finale.

Oakland (3-12) dominated the time of possession over the Bills (8-7), 33:47 to 26:13, and rushing yards, 140 to 13.

After starting the season 0-10, the Raiders are 3-2 in their last five games with victories over Kansas City, San Francisco, and now, Buffalo.

“I can’t say enough good things about this team,” interim coach Tony Sparano said. “I love the guys in that locker room. They’re fighters. Anytime somebody counts them out, they bounce back. It’s a great sign of character.”

Defensively, Oakland got key contributions from middle linebacker Miles Burris, who recorded a team-high nine tackles (4 solo) and cornerback D.J. Hayden, who had six tackles.

With Oakland trailing Buffalo, 7-0 in the second quarter behind Bills rookie wide receiver Sammy Watkins’ 42-yard touchdown catch in the first quarter and Buffalo driving into Oakland’s territory, veteran safety Charles Woodson out-muscled Bills tight end Scott Chandler for the ball to record his 60th career interception. Woodson’s interception, proved to be the play that provided Oakland with the momentum to carry them through the rest of the game.

“This team has never really gotten down to the point where we were ready to give up,” safety Woodson said. “It’s always been an upbeat attitude with the guys on the team, and it shows out there each week.”

There is no doubt that Woodson has played at high level this year at age 38, leading the team in tackles (106) and interceptions (4), to go along with eight pass defensed and a sack.

Woodson, along with rookie linebacker Khalil Mack (tied for the team lead with four sacks), were named as alternates in the upcoming Pro Bowl. According to Pro Football Focus, Mack rates as the the best 4-3 outside linebacker in the NFL.

Fullback Marcel Reece was named a starter for the Pro Bowl, his third overall.

Denver is coming off gut-punching 37-28 loss in Cincinnati before a national televised audience where quarterback Peyton Manning threw a season-high four interceptions.

“I shouldn’t have thrown it,” said Manning, who was 28 of 44 for 311 yards with two touchdowns. “Four interceptions, you’re not going to beat many good football teams.”

With the loss, Denver (11-4) are locked in as the No. 2 seed as New England wrapped up home-field advantage throughout the AFC Playoffs. Denver also failed to clinch a first-round bye.

 Players to Watch

Oakland, QB, Derek Carr

There is no doubt that Carr is the Raiders’ quarterback of the future, and his play has definitely gotten better as the season gone on. Carr leads all rookie quarterbacks in passing yards (3,112) and touchdown passes (20). If it weren’t for Cincinnati rookie running back Jeremy Hill (199 carries, 1,024 rushing yards, 9 TDs) and New York Giants’ rookie wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (79 catches, 1,120 receiving yards, 11 TDs) Carr would be walking away with the NFL Rookie of the Year award.

Denver, QB, Peyton Manning

Manning appeared mortal against Cincinnati with his season-high four interceptions, prompting many pundits to question whether Manning was injured. The Bengals was up in the future Hall of Famer’s grill, confusing Manning with an array of pressuring blitzes and knocking him down throughout the game. Rarely does Manning play poorly in back-to-back weeks and with the playoffs just one week away, one will expect Manning to have a bounce back performance. In Denver’s 41-17 demolishing over Oakland in Week 10, Manning threw for 340 and five touchdowns.

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 O.co 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).

Another loss for Silver and Black

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 8: Terrelle Pryor #2 hands off to Marcel Reece #45 of the Oakland Raiders during their game against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium on December 8, 2013 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – DECEMBER 8: Terrelle Pryor #2 hands off to Marcel Reece #45 of the Oakland Raiders during their game against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium on December 8, 2013 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

By Jeremy Kahn

Charles Woodson compared this latest loss for the Oakland Raiders to the baseball team in the 1976 classic movie Bad News Bears.

Lately that is exactly how the Raiders have been playing, and their latest loss against the New York Jets shows just that.

Geno Smith broke Mark Sanchez’s rookie record in a season, as he threw for 219 yards and the Jets defeated the Raiders 37-27 at MetLife Stadium.

On the season, the rookie out of the University of Missouri has thrown for 2,475 yards, breaking Sanchez’s record of 2,444.

Chris Ivory scored on a touchdown run, Nick Folk kicked three field goals and Antonio Allen blocked a punt and returned it for a touchdown, as the Jets put a stop to their three-game losing streak.

Matt McGloin threw three touchdown passes, and Marcel Reece scored on a 63-yard touchdown run.

McGloin went 18-for-31 for 245 yards passing.

Reese was forced to start at running back for the Raiders, as they were down three running backs.

This was the third consecutive loss for the Raiders, who fall to 4-9 on the season and this was the 13th consecutive loss in the Eastern Zone.

Sebastian Janikowski continues to have kicking problems, as the veteran missed a 52-yard field goal after the Raiders were able to get a huge interception by Kevin Burnett with the Raiders trailing 3-0 in the first quarter.

With the Raiders trailing by 17 entering the third quarter, Reece gave them a little light, as he took a handoff from McGloin and ran 63 yards for a touchdown.

On the afternoon, Reece finished with 19 carries for 123 yards and that long touchdown run through the Jets defense.

Rod Streater continues to get better each week, as the free agent out of Temple pulled down seven catches for 130 yards and a touchdown.

McGloin, Raiders head to Big D for Thanksgiving Day Showdown

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By Joe Hawkes-Beamon
OAKLAND — Following a heart-breaking 23-19 loss to the Tennessee Titans Sunday at O.co Coliseum, the 4-7 Raiders travels to Dallas on a short week for a Thanksgiving Day game against the 6-5 Cowboys Thursday. Oakland watched the Titans come from behind twice and score the go-ahead touchdown with 10 seconds left to go in the game.
After starting the game a little shaky (one interception and four batted balls), quarterback Matt McGloin finished the game 19 of 32 for 260 yards passing and one touchdown.
McGloin was on fire in the second half, completing 11 of 15 passes for 155 yards, and went 4 of 4 for 74 yards culminating into a 27-yard touchdown pass to Pro Bowl fullback Marcel Reece that gave Oakland the lead 19-16 late in the fourth quarter.
Running back Rashad Jennings has been a big boost to the Raiders ground attack since taking over for the oft-injured Darren McFadden.
Jennings surpassed his career high for total yards in a season in the second quarter, finishing with 16 carries for 73 yards and four catches for 49 yards for the game to give him 790 total yards for the season.
Another bright spot from the crushing loss to the Titans was the play of linebacker Nick Roach.
Roach finished the game with 10 tackles and 1.5 sacks. Roach, a free agent signee from the Chicago Bears in the off season, surpassed the 100 tackle mark for the first time in his career, and set a career high with 102 tackles this season.
Oakland may have their hands with a Cowboys team that are coming off a big 24-21 NFC East divisional win in New York against the Giants Sunday.
Dallas (6-5), are lead by quarterback Tony Romo.
Romo engineered a 14-play game-winning drive by converting two critical third down passes in the fourth quarter.  The Cowboys’ quarterback leads the NFL’s fifth ranked offense, placing fourth in touchdown passes (23) and eighth in passing yards (2,915) and will pose a challenge for the Raiders’ 25th ranked passing defense.
For the season, Oakland’s defense has only surrendered four touchdowns in the first quarter.
Wide receiver Dez Bryant is unquestionably Dallas’ biggest deep threat and trusted big-playmaker. Bryant has 61 catches for 835 yards (13.7 yards per catch), and eight touchdowns. Expect Raiders’ cornerback Tracy Porter to follow Bryant for most of the afternoon.
Dallas sports the NFL’s worst defense, ranked 32nd overall, giving up 432 total yards per game this season.

Manning makes history in win

By Jeremy Kahn

Peyton Manning is like a fine wine, he just gets better with age and he is proving it week after week.

Manning went 32-for-37 for 374 yards passing with three touchdowns, as the Denver Broncos defeated the Oakland Raiders 37-21 at Sports Authority Field at Mile High.

With the victory, the Broncos have won 14 consecutive regular games, tying the 1998 team for consecutive wins in team history and the Broncos won the Super Bowl that season over the Atlanta Falcons by the final score of 34-19 in Miami.

With three more touchdown passes on the evening, Manning passes Tom Brady for the most touchdown passes thru three games, as the 16-year veteran has thrown 12 touchdowns.

Brady set the record in 2011, and Manning has yet to be intercepted on the season, tying Michael Vick’s 2010 record when he threw 12 touchdowns before his frat interception.

Terrelle Pryor was forced to leave the game with a concussion, but before leaving, Pryor went 19-for-28 for 281 yards.

Pryor threw a 73-yard touchdown pass to Denarius Moore that cut the Broncos down to 17-7 midway thru the second quarter.

Darren McFadden was held to just nine yards on the ground, but did throw a 16-yard touchdown pass to Marcel Reece with 17 seconds remaining in the third quarter.

Jeremy Kahn hosts Sportstalk Radio right here on http://www.sportsradioservice.com/BRONCOS_RAIDERS_ES