Fantasy Football Doctors Podcast for NFL Week 2: Let’s win your matchup!

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Fantasy Football Doctors Vasu Vaddiparty & Charlie O have the advice you need to win your Week 2 fantasy matchup.

  • Ben Roethlisberger may be a QB1 this Sunday vs. the Chiefs

  • Veteran Alex Smith is finding new life in D.C.

  • Sleeper? Patrick Mahomes

  • What about Matt Ryan this week?

  • You may want to keep Jared Goff on the bench!

  • The doctors review the roster of tight ends who might impact your lineup

  • Did Marshawn Lynch just go from the penthouse to the outhouse?

  • The Dolphins WR Kenny Stills could be a strong starter for you this week

Push Play and get ready to win!

5 Takeaways From Raiders vs. Lions Preseason Game

Photo credit: @nflnetwork

By Joe Hawkes-Beamon
SRS Contributor

OAKLAND, Calif. — Football was back at the Coliseum Friday night as the Oakland Raiders began the second stint of the Jon Gruden era against the visiting Detroit Lions in the 2018 preseason opener for both teams.

Check out five things that stood out to me from Oakland’s 16-10 win over Detroit.

Welcome back Gruden!
Is it 1998 because I sworn that was Jon Gruden on a Raider sideline?

Gruden, sporting his traditional Raiders visor, returned to the Raiders after spending the last nine years in the booth as a color analyst on Monday Night Football, reintegrated himself to Raider Nation by visiting the “Black Hole” prior to kickoff.

“It was awesome. I saw recognizable faces…saw some old friends,” said Gruden after the game.

Like I said all along, this is a great responsibility and the nostalgia has worn off and we got to do something with the opportunity, but great to see to the Raider fans and they stayed with us to the end I appreciate it.”

Clearly, the game didn’t look like it passed Gruden by on Friday night as the Raiders racked up 345 yards offensively against the Lions, but penalties were an issue for the Silver and Black who accumulated nine for 75 yards on the night.

“Beast Mode” is ready for the season.
As expected, Oakland’s first-team offense played one series but Raider Nation got a glimpse of running back Marshawn Lynch who looked in midseason form. On his first carry of the game, Lynch took the hand-off from quarterback Derek Carr and ran down the Raiders’ sideline for a 60-yard touchdown before it was called back by a holding call by rookie left tackle Kolton Miller.

Connor Cook should be Derek Carr’s primary backup.
Cook took over for Carr after Oakland’s first-team offense was forced to punt on their opening drive of the game and led the Raiders to a 13-7 lead at halftime. The third-year quarterback out of Michigan State finished the game completing 11-of-19 passes for 141 yards and a touchdown.

Cook’s touchdown went to backup wide receiver Ryan Switzer for seven yards that pushed Oakland’s lead to 10-0 in the first quarter.

“He did some good things,” said Gruden of Cook. “There’s still a couple of things decision-wise I think he needs to correct, but he moved the football, he put points on the board, and I like the two-minute drill at the end of the half.”

Veteran quarterback EJ Manuel played in the second half but didn’t look good, driving the Raiders to the Lions’ six-yard line before fumbling the snap allowing Detroit to recover the football at their own seven-yard line.

Detroit drove down the field and added a 24-yard field goal by kicker Ryan Santoso to pull closer to Oakland, 13-10 early in the fourth quarter.

Manuel finished the game 4-of-6 for 46 yards, is listed third on the team’s depth chart behind Cook in training camp and heading into next Saturday’s game against the Rams in Los Angeles, that shouldn’t change.

P.J. Hall was impressive, Kolton Miller was not.
OK, it was just one preseason game, but rookie nose tackle P.J. Hall had an impressive showing Friday night, recording one sack and a batted pass on his first two NFL Series. The Sam Houston State product had 14 blocked kicks in his career for the Bearkats.

Unlike Hall, Miller didn’t fair well in his first NFL start.

Miller started at left tackle in place of Donald Penn, who is currently on the physically unable to perform list (PUP),  appeared to be shell-shocked at the speed of the game in the NFL. His holding penalty on the team’s opening drive negated a 60-yard touchdown run by Marshawn Lynch.

Oakland’s first-round  draft choice this past April from UCLA was replaced by second-year tackle Jylan Ware on Oakland’s third offensive possession.

Raiders stay healthy, sort of.
Cornerbacks Antonio Hamilton (ankle) and Dexter McDonald (hand) were the only players appeared injured in the game.

Hamilton limped off the field twice in the second half, while McDonald was seen shaking his left hand in the second quarter while attempting to make a tackle.

Marshawn Lynch restructures contract with Raiders

Photo credit: raiderswire.usatoday.com

By Joe Hawkes-Beamon
SRS Contributor

OAKLAND — Marshawn Lynch will be back in uniform for the Oakland Raiders in 2018, agreeing to a restructured contract with the team as reported by NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero Wednesday.

Pelissero reported that Lynch restructured his contract on Saturday before his $1 million roster bonus was due. The move lowered his base value in 2018 to $5.5 million, which is $500k less than before. Instead of having zero guaranteed dollars, Lynch is essentially guaranteed $4.5 million, per Pelissero.

In total, Lynch can earn up to $9.25 million total with incentives in 2018.

After the Raiders signed former Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Doug Martin during free agency, rumors swirled that Lynch’s days as the featured back in Oakland were numbered.

Not so fast.

Expect “Beast Mode” to remain Oakland’s top ball-carrier this upcoming season, and rightfully so as he enters his 11th season in the NFL.

Lynch was Oakland’s best running back in 2017, rushing for 891 yards on 207 carries (4.3 yards per carry) and seven touchdowns.

Oakland finished 6-10 in Lynch’s first season after coming out of retirement following the 2015 season after six seasons with the Seattle Seahawks.

Raiders close out regular season against Chargers at StubHub Center

Oakland Raiders’ Amari Cooper (89) catches a pass against Philadelphia Eagles’ Corey Graham (24) during the first half of an NFL football game, Monday, Dec. 25, 2017, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)

By Joe Hawkes-Beamon
SRS Contributor

OAKLAND — The Raiders will wrap up the 2017 regular season on the road against the Chargers at the StubHub Center. Sunday’s game will also conclude the regular season series between these longtime rivals, who first met back in 1960. Los Angeles defeated the Raiders back in Week 6, 17-16, in Oakland. Raiders lead the all-time series 62-51-2.

Oakland (6-9) dropped their third straight game, losing to the now 13-2 Philadelphia Eagles 19-10 before a national televised audience on ESPN’s Monday Night Football. The Raiders’ defense played strong, holding the Eagles to just 216 yards of total offense (138 passing and 78 rushing).

The Silver and Black held the Eagles to just 1-of-14 on third downs. Middle linebacker NaVorro Bowman led the Raiders with seven tackles, while defensive linemen Denico Autry and Jihad Ward each recording a sack; it was Ward’s first career sack.

Safety Reggie Nelson was around the football the entire night, forcing two turnovers against Philadelphia in the second half. Nelson forced a fumble that was recovered by cornerback TJ Carrie, and then registered an interception off Eagles starting quarterback Nick Foles in the fourth quarter. For the game, Nelson finished with six tackles and three pass defensed.

Offensively, Oakland’s running game came alive behind starting running back Marshawn Lynch, who rushed for 95 yards on 25 carries. Starting quarterback Derek Carr threw for 140 yards on 15-of-29 passing with one touchdown and one interception.

After missing the previous two games with an ankle injury, wide receiver Amari Cooper returned to the lineup and finished with three catches for 66 yards and one touchdown. Cooper got great separation from Eagles starting cornerback Jalen Mills running a slant-and-go for a 63-yard score in the first half.

Los Angeles (8-7) enters Week 17 with a shot at making the AFC playoffs. After a slow start to the season, the Chargers have now won five of their last six games after dispatching the New York Jets, 14-7, last Sunday at MetLife Stadium. The Chargers can clinch a playoff berth with a win against the Raiders, coupled with losses by both the Tennessee Titans (8-7) and Buffalo Bills (8-7).

Starting quarterback Philip Rivers threw for 290 yards on 22-of-40 passing with one touchdown against the Jets last week. The 14-year veteran enters the final weekend of the season ranking third in the NFL in passing yards with 4,128 and ninth in touchdown passes with 25 and only 10 interceptions.

Wide receiver Keenan Allen appears to be all the way back from the torn ACL he suffered last season, ranking fourth among wide receivers in the NFL with 1,260 receiving yards to go along with 93 catches–all career-highs for the fifth-year pro. Allen has caught five touchdowns this season.

Running back Melvin Gordon is Los Angeles’s most versatile offensive weapon. Gordon is tied for third in the NFL with 12 touchdowns (eight rushing and four receiving). The third-year pro rushed for 81 yards on 19 carries and one touchdown against the Jets, helping him eclipse 1,000 yards for the first time in his career.

Gordon enters Sunday’s matchup against Oakland rushing for 1,012 yards on 257 carries, to go along with 52 catches for 445 yards this season.

The Chargers have one of the better defenses in the league, ranking fifth in the NFL with 41 sacks. Second-year defensive end Joey Bosa leads the team with 11.5 sacks, while fellow defensive end Melvin Ingram is close behind with 10 sacks. After finishing tied for the NFL lead in interceptions in 2016, Los Angeles is currently tied for third with 17 interceptions this season.

Safety Tre Boston and cornerback Casey Hayward are tied for the team lead with four picks apiece.

Kickoff is set for 1:25 p.m. PT.

Raiders return to national stage, play Eagles in Philadelphia Christmas night

Photo credit: @SuperBowl2018US

By Joe Hawkes-Beamon
SRS Contributor

OAKLAND — Similar with the Dallas Cowboys, the Oakland Raiders gear up for another unfamiliar opponent when they travel east this week to take on the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on ESPN’s Monday Night Football on Christmas night at 5:30 p.m. PT. This is Oakland’s first appearance on MNF this year, while it’s Philadelphia’s second appearance this season.

This is Oakland’s first game in Philadelphia since 2005 and their final trip east this season. The Raiders hold a 6-5 edge over the Eagles in 11 games played all-time.

Last Sunday night, the Raiders (6-7) lost a close game, 20-17, over the visiting Dallas Cowboys in prime-time on NBC’s Sunday Night Football. Oakland’s defense held Dallas (8-6) to just 330 yards of total offense.

Reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year Khalil Mack penetrated Dallas’s top-ranked offensive line for two sacks on the night. With 10.5 sacks on the season, Mack is in the top-10 in the NFL in sacks and has posted a sack in five-straight games since Week 11.

Cornerback Sean Smith recorded two interceptions off Cowboys starting quarterback Dak Prescott, matching Oakland’s season total coming into the game. Oakland has just four interceptions this season. Middle linebacker NaVorro Bowman led the defense once again with 11 solo tackles against Dallas.

Offensively, the Raiders continued to struggle scoring points Sunday. Oakland was shut out in the first half for the fourth time this season as the Cowboys took a 10-0 lead into halftime.

Starting quarterback Derek Carr threw for just 171 yards on 21-of-38 passing and two touchdowns, both to starting wide receiver Michael Crabtree. Crabtree finished with seven catches for 39 yards to go along with his two scores. WR Seth Roberts (starting for wide receiver Amari Cooper who missed his second-straight game with a left ankle injury), led Oakland with 52 receiving yards on three catches.

On the ground, Oakland rushed for 122 yards, including 76 yards from starting running back Marshawn Lynch and 47 yards from Carr.

With their playoff chances on life support, the Raiders are facing a must-win game against the team with league’s best record in the Eagles.

Philadelphia (12-2) clinched their first playoff berth since 2013 behind second-year head coach Doug Pederson. Pederson finished 7-9 in his first season at the helm of the Eagles. In last week’s 34-29 victory over the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium, Philadelphia also secured a first-round bye in the NFC playoffs and have the inside track on the No. 1 seed.

The Eagles lead the NFL in scoring per game (31.3), second in rushing yards per game (140.5), and third in total yards per game (386.9). Before suffering a season-ending ACL injury during Philadelphia’s 43-35 victory in Los Angeles over the Rams, second-year quarterback Carson Wentz was having an MVP-type of season throwing for a franchise-record and league-leading 33 touchdowns to just seven interceptions.

In 13 games this season, Wentz threw for 3,296 yards to go along with a 101.9 quarterback rating. In his rookie season, Wentz threw for 3,782 yards with 16 touchdowns and 14 interceptions with a 79.3 quarterback rating.

With Wentz out for the remainder of the year, the Eagles turned to sixth-year pro in backup quarterback Nick Foles. In his start last week against the Giants, Foles threw for 237 yards on 24-of-38 passing and four touchdowns. The last time Foles saw the Raiders, it was in 2013 and he destroyed the Silver and Black.

Foles tied an NFL record with seven touchdown passes in Philadelphia’s 49-20 victory at Oakland on Nov. 3, 2013. Foles threw for 406 yards on 22-of-28 passing for a perfect quarterback rating of 158.3 in the contest.

Oakland’s 23rd ranked passing defense must be on high alert for an Eagles squad that have three receivers who’ve registered 700-plus receiving yards: wide receiver Alshon Jeffery (781), wide receiver Nelson Agholor (722) and tight end Zach Ertz (719). The trio have combined for 25 touchdown catches this season, with Jeffery scoring a team-best nine while Ertz and Agholor each are one behind with eight scores.

Ertz leads the team with 63 receptions.

Eighth-year running back LeGarrette Blount leads the Eagles with 717 rushing yards on 159 carries (4.5 avg) and two touchdowns in is first year with Philadelphia.

Philadelphia has the sixth-ranked defense in the NFL this season. First-year Eagles’ defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz has this unit playing top-notch football this season, forcing turnovers almost automatically. Schwartz’ defense has recorded 17 interceptions this season, good for third in the NFL.  Starting cornerbacks Jalen Mills, Patrick Robinson and starting safety Rodney McLeod are tied for the team lead with three interceptions apiece.

Mills has the team’s lone defensive touchdown scored this season. Defensive end Brandon Graham has a career-best 9.5 sacks this season, tied for eighth in the NFC.

Next Sunday, the Raiders will travel to Los Angeles to take on the Chargers on a short week to close out the 2017 regular season. This will mark Oakland’s first trip to the StubHub Center.

It’s now or never for Raiders as Cowboys come to Oaktown for primetime battle in Week 15

Photo credit: @RAIDERS

By Joe Hawkes-Beamon
SRS Contributor

OAKLAND — The Oakland Raiders will host the Dallas Cowboys in a primetime game at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Sunday night. This will mark the end of Oakland’s home schedule for 2017. Kickoff is set for 5:30 p.m. PST.

The game will be Oakland’s third appearance on NBC’s Sunday Night Football. They’ve played the Washington Redskins in Week 3 and the Miami Dolphins in Week 9.

For those who are interested, the Raiders are 1-1 on Sunday Night Football so far this season.

A loss to the Cowboys would officially eliminate the Raiders (6-7) from any postseason consideration, which was not what Oakland was hoping for coming into this season after making the playoffs for the first time since 2002 last season with a 12-4 record.

In Week 14, the Raiders fell flat on their faces losing to the Kansas City Chiefs, 26-15, at Arrowhead Stadium.

Starting quarterback Derek Carr was mediocre at best, throwing for 211 yards on 24-of-41 passing with one touchdown and two interceptions for a 60.1 quarterback rating. The Raiders offense was stuck in the mud for most of the game as Kansas City’s 30th ranked defense held Oakland scoreless through three quarters, while limiting the Silver and Black to just 268 yards of total offense.

On Oakland’s first five possessions of the game, the Silver and Black punted the football four times and Carr threw one interception. Starting running back Marshawn Lynch led the team in rushing, registering seven carries for 61 yards and one touchdown. Lynch rumbled for a 22-yard touchdown with 8:51 left in the game to break the scoring seal for Oakland, who were already trailing 26-0 at this point.

Shockingly, the Raiders ran the football just 11 times against Kansas City, who are terrible in stopping the run. Teams are averaging 124.8 rushing yards against the Chiefs this season.

Tight end Jared Cook was Oakland’s top receiver, leading the team with 75 yards on five receptions and one touchdown. Wide receiver Michael Crabtree had a team-leading seven receptions for 60 yards.

The Raiders’ defensive unit recorded three sacks for the second straight week, two registered by outside linebacker Bruce Irvin. In Oakland’s past two games, Irvin has recorded an NFL-high five sacks during that span and is second on the team behind defensive end Khalil Mack (8.5) with 7.5 sacks. Mack and middle linebacker NaVorro Bowman each recorded a sack.

Bowman also led the team in total tackles (11) and had one pass defensed, while safety Karl Joseph recorded his first interception of the season–just Oakland’s second interception of the season; Bowman has the other one–off Chiefs’ starting quarterback Alex Smith.

Dallas (7-6) defeated the New York Giants, 30-10, at MetLife Stadium in Week 14. Starting quarterback Dak Prescott threw for a career-high 332 yards on 20-of-30 passing with three touchdowns and no interceptions for a 137.1 quarterback rating.

Entering Sunday night’s game at Oakland, Dallas will have their first regular season visit since 2005. Prescott has thrown for 2,752 yards with 21 touchdowns and just nine interceptions for a 91.6 quarterback rating.

The second-year quarterback is on pace for his second-straight 3,000-plus yard passing season.

Wide receiver Dez Bryant is Prescott’s top receiver and could feast on Oakland’s weak secondary this week. Bryant leads Dallas in receptions (61), receiving yards (712) and receiving touchdowns (six). 10-time Pro Bowl tight end Jason Witten remains a red zone threat, ranking second on the team with five receiving touchdowns for 457 yards on 52 receptions.

With stud running back Ezekiel Elliott serving a six-game suspension, the Cowboys are powered by backup running back Alfred Morris. The sixth-year pro has racked up 485 yards on 97 carries and one touchdown.

Defensive end Demarcus Lawrence is the big star of the defense, leads the Cowboys with 13.5 sacks this season. Lawrence has the ability to quickly get to the quarterback and with Oakland’s once stout offensive line giving up more sacks this season with 17 (after surrendering just 16 sacks all of last season), Carr must be on high alert for No. 90 on Sunday.

Defensive tackle David Irving is second on the team with 7.0 sacks this season, while safety Jeff Heath leads the Cowboys with 52 tackles. Eighth-year middle linebacker Sean Lee is second behind Heath with 51 tackles. Heath also leads the team with three interceptions.

Following Sunday’s game, Oakland will travel east for a Christmas Eve against the Eagles in Philadelphia next Sunday. Philadelphia (11-2) has clinched the NFC East Division and are looking to lock down the NFC’s top seed, but will have to do it without franchise quarterback Carson Wentz.

Wentz tore his ACL in Philadelphia’s 43-35 victory against the Rams in Los Angeles in Week 14 while diving into the end zone on a hit from Rams’ linebacker Mark Barron.

Raiders’ offense a no show in Kansas City

Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr (4) has works with referee Carl Cheffers (51) and umpire Bill Schuster (129) during the second half of an NFL football game against the Kansas City Chiefs in Kansas City, Mo., Sunday, Dec. 10, 2017. The Kansas City Chiefs won 26-15. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

By Joe Hawkes-Beamon
SRS Contributor

With the chance to move into sole possession of first-place in the AFC West, the Raiders (6-7) didn’t put up much of a fight against their bitter rival the Kansas City Chiefs (7-6), losing at Arrowhead Stadium 26-15 Sunday afternoon.

The two teams came into the game tied atop of the division with identical 6-6 records, along with the Los Angeles Chargers. The Chargers, who host Washington Sunday, face the Chiefs in Kansas City next Saturday night.

The Raiders’ defense pressured Chiefs’ starting quarterback Alex Smith all day, sacking him four times, two by linebacker Bruce Irvin. Oakland also recorded just their second interception of the season by safety Karl Joseph, but the unit wore down as the Chiefs controlled the clock for 36:30 of the game. Kansas City racked up 408 yards of total offense, 268 of those yards thrown by Smith, who completed 20-of-34 passes on the day.

Chiefs’ starting running back Kareem Hunt rushed for 116 yards on 25 carries and a touchdown.

Oakland’s offensive unit mustered just 268 yards of total offense Sunday.

Kansas City jumped out to a 26-0 lead before Marshawn Lynch’s 22-yard touchdown run put the Raiders on the board with 8:51 to go in the game. Lynch finished the game with 61 yards on seven carries as the Raiders ran the ball just 11 times in the game.

Starting quarterback Derek Carr completed 24-of-41 passes for 211 yards one touchdown and two interceptions with a 60.1 passer rating for the game. Kansas City sacked Carr three times. In Carr’s last game against Kansas City on Oct. 19, he destroyed the Chiefs passing for 417 yards on 29-of-52 passes with three touchdowns and no interceptions and a 101.2 passer rating.

“It sucked,” Carr said via the Raiders’ official website. “It wasn’t good enough. And you put it all on me–don’t you blame one coach, one player.”

Oakland’s loss falls squarely on the offense, not just on Carr.

In the first half, Oakland had five possessions: four punts and one interception and were shutout through three quarters. The Raiders made just four first downs and were out-gained offensively by Kansas City, 362-110 yards through three quarters. The offense looked unfocused and lacked creativity against the NFL’s 30th-ranked defense in the Chiefs.

Tight end Jared Cook led Oakland with 75 yards on five receptions and a 29-yard touchdown catch down the middle of the field from Carr to trim Kansas City’s lead to 26-13 before Carr found wide receiver Michael Crabtree on a quick-slant route for a two-point conversion late in the game.

Crabtree finished with a team-leading seven receptions for 60 yards. To illustrate the Raiders’ struggles on offense Sunday, can be traced to a play in the third quarter.

On second down from his own 5-yard line, Carr launched a pass deep to Crabtree that fell short of the wide receiver. After diving for the football, Crabtree rolled over and remained seated with his shoulders slumped. It was a play that Carr and Crabtree connected on quite a few times last season.

“We had some opportunities we just didn’t connect on,” Carr said. “And that just can’t happen. There’s no easy way to go through this one. This one sucked.”

Wide receiver Amari Cooper, who missed Oakland’s 24-17 win over the New York Giants last Sunday with a left ankle injury, tried to give it a go Sunday, but didn’t look nowhere near healthy. Cooper re-aggravated the injury after being rolled up from behind on a downfield block for running back DeAndre Washington on a running play in the second quarter.

Cooper finished with zero receptions against Kansas City after posting career-highs in receptions in a game (11) and receiving yards (210) and two touchdowns against the Chiefs on Oct. 19.

This loss greatly hurts Oakland’s chances at making the AFC playoffs in back-to-back seasons. The Raiders finished 12-4 in 2016.

“We obviously came in with high hopes,” Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio said after the game via the San Francisco Chronicle. “Everything we wanted to accomplish in our season was in front of us. It was a big day and a big moment. And we did not play well.”

Next Sunday, the Raiders host the visiting Dallas Cowboys at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on NBC’s Sunday Night Football in the team’s final home game of 2017. The Cowboys (7-6) kept their playoff chances in the NFC alive with a dominating win over the New York Giants, 30-10, at MetLife Stadium.

Cowboys’ starting quarterback Dak Prescott overwhelmed the Giants, passing for a career-high 332 yards and three touchdowns and no interceptions on 20-of-30 passing.

Kickoff for the prime-time game is at 5:25 p.m. PT.

Raiders get set for crucial AFC divisional game with Chiefs in Kansas City

Photo credit: @RAIDERS

By Joe Hawkes-Beamon
SRS Contributor

OAKLAND — After back-to-back wins at home over the Broncos and the Giants, the Raiders head on the road to take on the Chiefs in Kansas City Sunday in a critical AFC West matchup. The Raiders are looking to complete the season sweep over the Chiefs after dispatching Kansas City, 31-30, in Week 7 at Oakland that halted Kansas City’s 11-game divisional win streak.

Kickoff is at 10:00 a.m. PT from Arrowhead Stadium. With both teams–along with the Los Angeles Chargers–sporting identical 6-6 records, the winner of this game would be in the driver seat of the division with three games to go in the regular season.

For the second straight week, Oakland’s defense held the opposing team to under 300 yards of total offense in limiting the Giants to 265 yards in Week 13. Defensive lineman Denico Autry recorded one of Oakland’s three sacks, his third in the last two games. Defensive end Khalil Mack and linebacker Bruce Irvin each posted a sack off of Giants starting quarterback Geno Smith.

Middle linebacker NaVorro Bowman led the team with eight solo tackles (one assisted).

Running back Marshawn Lynch carried the offensive load for Oakland, running for a 100 yards in a game since October 2015 as a member of the Seattle Seahawks. Lynch rushed for 101 yards on 17 carries, including a 51-yard touchdown run on Oakland’s first drive of the game. It was Lynch’s second-straight 100-yard game for Oakland this season.

Lynch owes the Raiders a big performance against the Chiefs, after getting ejected from the previous game for making contact with an official after coming off the bench to aid in defusing an altercation between Kansas City cornerback Marcus Peters, and the Raiders offensive line.

Lynch and Peters are “cousins” with the two having close ties from growing up in West Oakland.

With Oakland’s wide receiver corps depleted with Michael Crabtree serving a one-game suspension for fighting with Broncos cornerback Aqib Talib, and Amari Cooper out with a concussion/left ankle injury, wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson step up for the Silver and Black leading the team with 79 yards receiving on four receptions. Patterson’s 59-yard catch-and-run in the fourth quarter, helped seal Oakland’s victory over the Giants.

Crabtree is expected to be ready to go against the Chiefs, but Cooper is a different story. Cooper did clear the league’s concussion protocol, the team announced Wednesday, but has yet to practice on the sprained left ankle. If you’re part of Raider Nation, you better take a wait-and-see approach with Cooper.

Raiders starting quarterback Derek Carr completed 22-of-36 passing for 287 yards and a touchdown, a nine-yard toss to wide receiver Johnny Holton in the fourth quarter.

Carr’s biggest performance of 2017 came against the Chiefs in front of a national audience on NBC’s Thursday Night Football, throwing for a ridiculous 417 yards on 29-of-52 passing with three touchdowns and no interceptions. Carr and Cooper were in perfect harmony that night, with Cooper having a career night with 11 receptions (on 15 targets) for 210 yards and two touchdowns. Cooper scored on touchdowns of 38- and 45-yards respectively.

In seven career games against Kansas City, Carr is just 2-5 against the Chiefs, his worst record against one team. Carr is just 3-4 against the Broncos in seven career games, his second-worst record against one team.

But Sunday’s game is essentially a playoff game for Oakland’s signal-caller, who sports a 0-3 record at Arrowhead Stadium. Carr knows that he must play well in order for the Raiders to leave Kansas City with a win.

Speaking before Wednesday’s practice, Carr acknowledge that the Silver and Black have their work cut out for them facing the Chiefs.

“Definitely number one right now, especially this week,” Carr said via the team’s official website. “It’s definitely up there. It’s something that we have not been able to do since I’ve been here. We have to get on that.

“We have a tough task ahead of us because, although their record is the same as ours, we’re both pretty good football teams. We have to go out there and play hard.”

After starting the season 5-0, including an impressive 42-27 win at New England in Week 1, Kansas City’s season has fallen into a tailspin. The Chiefs are just 1-6 in their last seven games and are currently riding a four-game losing streak after falling to the New York Jets, 38-31, at MetLife Stadium in an offensive shootout last Sunday.

Kansas City’s offense racked up 474 yards of total offense against the Jets, with starting quarterback Alex Smith having a huge day throwing and running the football. Smith threw for 366 yards on 19-of-33 passing, with four touchdowns and no interceptions. The former Utah quarterback also had a 70-yard run in the game.

Wide receiver Tyreek Hill erupted for six receptions for 165 yards and two touchdowns, while tight end Travis Kelce finished with four receptions for 94 yards and two touchdowns.

Defensively, Kansas City was shredded by the Jets allowing 488 yards of total offense to Gang Green. Journeyman quarterback Josh McCown threw for 331 yards on 26-of-36 passing and a touchdown. Kansas City’s secondary allowed wide receivers Jermaine Kearse (9 receptions for 157 yards) and Robby Anderson (8 receptions for 107 yards) to run uncovered for most of the game.

The Jets converted 13-of-20 third downs and hogged the time of possession, controlling the clock for 42:49 and didn’t allow the Chiefs to get near McCown. Justin Houston, Kansas City’s most feared pass-rusher, was held to just one tackle for the game.

That won’t cut it for a team who has a rich history of getting to the quarterback with guys named Derrick Thomas, Neil Smith and Tamba Hali just to name a few.

In Kansas City’s biggest game of the season, the team will play without the aforementioned Peters, who was suspended by the team Wednesday for leaving the field while the game was still being played against the Jets. Peters also threw a penalty flag in the stands after a Jet touchdown.

With Peters out against the Raiders, the Chiefs already leaky secondary has gotten weaker and that could be a place where Oakland could attack. Teams are averaging 252.8 passing yards a game against the Chiefs this season. Kansas City ranks 28th in the league against the pass.

Oakland averages 241.2 passing yards per game this season, good for 15th in the league. Overall, the Silver and Black rank 21st in the league averaging 20.8 points per game.

Following Sunday’s game, the Raiders will host the visiting Dallas Cowboys at the Oakland-Alameda Coliseum in Oakland’s final home game of the regular season, while Kansas City hosts the Chargers in another pivotal AFC West matchup in Week 15.

Marshawn Lynch records first 100-yard rushing game since October 2015 in Raiders’ 24-17 win over NY Giants

Oakland Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch (24) scores a touchdown in front of New York Giants cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie during the first half of an NFL football game in Oakland, Calif., Sunday, Dec. 3, 2017. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

By Joe Hawkes-Beamon
SRS Contributor

OAKLAND — Don’t look now, but Raiders’ running back Marshawn Lynch has gotten his running legs under him in 2017.

With Oakland playing without starting wide receivers Michael Crabtree (serving a one-game suspension) and Amari Cooper (out with a concussion and ankle injury), Lynch was the focal point for the Raiders Sunday rushing for 101 yards on 17 carries in a 24-17 win over the visiting New York Giants. Lynch’s 51-yard touchdown run up the middle of the Giants’ defense in the first quarter on Oakland’s first drive of the game was a classic “Beast Mode” run that the Silver and Black were expecting when Lynch came out of retirement in the offseason to play for his hometown Raiders.

It was Lynch’s first 100-yard rushing game since October 2015 when he was member of the Seattle Seahawks. The former Seahawk demolished the 49ers, rushing for 122 yards on 27 carries and a touchdown in a 20-3 Seattle victory at San Francisco in Week 5 that season.

In Oakland’s 21-14 victory over the visiting Denver Broncos in Week 12, Lynch had 100 yards total from scrimmage, rushing for 67 yards on 26 carries and a touchdown, while also helping out in the passing game with three receptions for 43 yards.

By virtue of their win over Big Blue, culminating with Kansas City’s 38-31 loss to the Jets at MetLife Stadium in New York and the Chargers’ 19-10 home win over the helpless Browns Sunday, the Raiders find themselves in a three-way tie with the Chiefs and Chargers for first-place in the AFC West at 6-6 with four games to go.

Kansas City remains in first-place by holding a better division record as they are 2-1 inside of the division, while Oakland and Los Angeles are 2-2. Each team plays each other in the final month.

Oakland heads to Arrowhead Stadium next Sunday to face Kansas City with first place on the line in Week 14 and if you’re Raider Nation, you want to see Lynch run the ball more.  For the season, Lynch has 140 carries for 558 yards and six touchdowns in 11 games started this season.

The last time Lynch saw the Chiefs, he was being ejected from the game after racing off the Raiders’ sideline and making contact with an official while trying to defuse an altercation involving Lynch’s cousin, Chiefs cornerback Marcus Peters, and the Raiders’ offensive line. Oakland held on for a 31-30 victory over Kansas City in Week 7 at the Oakland-Alameda Coliseum. Lynch finished the game with two carries for nine yards.

Kansas City has lost their last four straight games, and are just 1-4 in their last five games after starting the season 5-2 and holding down the top perch in the AFC West for most of the season.

Oakland Raiders take on the New York Giants with QB Geno Smith (not Eli Manning) at quarterback

New York Giants quarterback Geno Smith speaks with reporters at the NFL football team’s training facility, Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. The Giants announced on Tuesday that Smith will start in place of Eli Manning when they face the Raiders in Oakland on Sunday. (AP Photo/Tom Canavan)

By Joe Hawkes-Beamon
SRS Contributor

OAKLAND — Sunday’s matchup between the Raiders and Giants at 1:25 p.m. PT will begin a stretch where the Silver and Black will play three of their next four games against NFC East opponents, with the Raiders hosting the Dallas Cowboys on December 17 and then travel to Philadelphia to take on the Eagles on Dec ember 25. Oakland lost to Washington in Week 3 to start the NFC East portion of their schedule.

This will be the first time the Giants have played at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum since 2005.

Oakland (5-6) defeated the visiting Denver Broncos in Week 12 by a score of 21-14 in a game that the Raiders desperately needed to keep their playoff chances alive in the AFC. Oakland’s much maligned defense was the fuel that drove the Raiders to victory, holding the Broncos to just 219 yards of total offense and registering five sacks, two apiece by defensive lineman Denico Autry and linebacker Bruce Irvin.

Defensive end Khalil Mack recorded his 10th career sack against Denver, the most for Mack against any team in the league. Linebacker NaVorro Bowman collected Oakland’s first interception of the season, picking off Broncos starting quarterback Paxton Lynch in the end zone, stalling Denver’s scoring opportunity.

As a unit, the defense held Denver scoreless through three quarters before the Broncos scored 14 unanswered points in the fourth quarter. Oakland held Denver to 5-of-14 on third-down and made starting drives difficult for the Broncos as punter Marquette King pinned Denver inside their own 10-yard line four times.

Raiders starting quarterback Derek Carr had one of his better games of the season, throwing for 253 yards and two touchdowns on 18-of-24 passes while posting a 136.3 quarterback rating. Carr completed passes to nine different Raider receivers on the day. Wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson led all pass catchers with three receptions for 72 yards, including a 54-yard reception late in the fourth quarter to ice the game for Oakland.

Running back Marshawn Lynch had his best game by far for Oakland, racking up 111 yards of total offense (67 rushing and 44 receiving) with one touchdown.

The New York Giants (2-9) have had a tumultuous season to say the least.  A team that many prognosticators predicted would be a Super Bowl favorite in the NFC, has been a dumpster fire this season. Both of Big Blue’s wins came against teams from the AFC West, defeating Denver in Week 6, 23-10, and the Kansas City Chiefs in overtime, 12-9 in Week 11.

New York is coming off a 20-10 loss in Washington on Thanksgiving night to begin Week 12.

Injuries are part of the game, and the Giants have had the injury bug hit them the hardest with 16 players on injured reserve this season.

Wide receivers Odell Beckham Jr. and Brandon Marshall were lost for the season with leg injuries, the offensive line has been shuffled more times than a deck of playing cards, and the defense which was the team’s strength last season finishing in the top-10 in total defense, has slipped to 22nd this season.

And now the unthinkable has happened: The Giants are benching franchise quarterback Eli Manning, a move that has come under heavy scrutiny by many in sports media and professional sports since the Giants announced the move Tuesday.

Manning will be on the sideline when backup Geno Smith takes the field for the Giants, snapping a string of 210 consecutive starts for the two-time Super Bowl MVP. On the season, Manning has thrown for 2,411 yards with 14 touchdowns and seven interceptions with a 84.1 passer rating in 11 games.

But clearly with Manning’s benching, the Giants are aggressively turning the page on the Manning era and the Raiders could be the beneficiaries Sunday with the Giants starting Smith. Smith was an average quarterback in five seasons with the Jets before signing with the Giants in the offseason.

But Smith has had some success against the Raiders and shouldn’t be taken lightly.

In three games against the Silver and Black, Smith has a passer rating of 91.8, his second-highest against any team in his career, according to Josh Dubow of the Associated Press. Smith is 2-1 against Oakland all-time, throwing for 705 yards with four touchdowns and three interceptions in those contests.

Rookie tight end Evan Engram is key for New York’s passing offense. Engram leads the Giants with 44 receptions for 470 yards (10.7 avg.) and five touchdowns, tied for the most among rookies this season. Running back Orleans Darkwa powers the Giants’ ground game, rushing for 519 yards (4.6 avg.) on 112 carries and two touchdowns, all career highs.

Defensively for the Giants, eighth-year defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul has 6.5 of the teams 20 sacks, while safety Landon Collins leads the team with 86 tackles (64 solo). Cornerback Janoris Jenkins leads the team with three interceptions, returning two of them for touchdowns to lead the NFL. Jenkins was placed on season-ending injured reserve this week with an ankle injury.

After Sunday’s game, the Raiders will travel to Kansas City to face the Chiefs in a critical divisional game. The Silver and Black already hold a victory over the Chiefs after defeating Kansas City 31-30 back in Week 7 in Oakland.