By Joe Hawkes-Beamon
OAKLAND — After a hard-fought 30-24 loss to the reigning Super Bowl Champion Seahawks in Seattle in Week 9 that dropped Oakland to a league-worst 0-8, the Silver & Black will have a tougher time trying to grab win No. 1 when their AFC West rival, the Denver Broncos, roll into Oakland for a Sunday tilt at O.co Coliseum.
Kickoff is at 1:05 p.m. PDT and can be seen locally on television in the Bay Area on CBS/KPIX Channel 5, and can be heard on KGMZ 95.7 the Game.
Offensively, Oakland has had it’s problems running the ball this year, averaging a league-worst 66.1 yards per game and have scored only two rushing touchdowns. Running back Darren McFadden has both touchdowns on the ground.
Quarterback Derek Carr completed 24-of-41 passes for 195 yards, throwing two touchdowns and two interceptions, one of those interceptions was returned 35 yards by linebacker Bruce Irvin for a touchdown that pushed Seattle’s lead to 14-3 in the first quarter. Carr’s second interception was made by Pro Bowl cornerback, Richard Sherman toward the end of the first half.
“This thing is starting to turn,” interim Oakland coach Tony Sparano said after the Silver & Black’s 14th straight loss dating back to last season. “We’re playing better and better here as we go on. We’ve just got to get all phases to play better, so that we can get the feeling of what it’s like to be in their locker room right now.”
Defensively, the Raiders surrendered 326 yards of total offense and held Oakland native Marshawn Lynch to just 67 yards rushing, but it was Lynch’s powerful three-yard touchdown run in the first quarter where he bulldozed his way into the end zone that still have fans talking.
Lynch added another touchdown in the second quarter that gave Seattle a 21-6 lead at halftime.
With a banged up secondary (cornerbacks Carlos Rogers, D.J. Hayden, Chimdi Chekwa and T.J. Carrie all didn’t practice Thursday), Oakland could definitely be in for a rough Sunday afternoon against future Hall of Fame quarterback, Peyton Manning and the fifth-ranked Denver Broncos offense.
Manning and the Broncos (6-2) are coming off an embarrassing 43-21 loss on the road against Tom Brady and the New England Patriots in Foxborough last Sunday, and Manning was critical of his play after the game.
“Well, I don’t usually stink, but I stunk today,” said Manning. “I don’t make any excuses.”
The Broncos signal caller completed 34-of-57 passes for 438 yards, with two touchdowns and two interceptions, but the Broncos were done in by Brady’s four touchdown passes and Julian Edelman’s 84-yard punt return for a touchdown.
If Manning thought his performance against the Patriots was terrible, then Oakland is expected to see an “ugly” Manning performance on Sunday.
In two victories over the Raiders last season, Manning completed 87 percent (57-of-65) passes for 640 yards (2nd only to the 726 yards passing against Kansas City in two games last year) and seven touchdowns (tied for most after Manning’s seven touchdown performance in Week 1 against the Baltimore Ravens) according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Players to Watch
Oakland, FS, Charles Woodson. Woodson is still playing at a high level, leading a Raiders’ secondary that has been decimated by injuries this year. Now in his 17th season, Woodson leads the team with two interceptions, and is tied for third with 50 tackles.
Don’t forget, Woodson beat out Manning for the Heisman Trophy in 1997, but Manning was drafted ahead of Woodson No. 1 overall to Indianapolis, while Woodson went to Oakland at No. 4 that year.
Denver, WR, Emmanuel Sanders. Everyone knows Demaryius Thomas (third in the NFL among wide receivers with 54 catches for 894 yards and six touchdowns). Get to know Sanders.
After spending his first four seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Sanders is off a great start to in his first year in the Mile High City. Sanders hauled in 10 catches on 16 targets for 151 yards against the Patriots, after torching the San Diego Chargers for nine catches on nine targets for 120 yards in Denver’s 35-21 victory.
San Antonio Raiders?
Per Raiders Insider CSNCalifornia.com’s Scott Bair, the San Antonio News reported Thursday that a group led by former San Antonio Mayor Henry Cisneros are heading to the Bay Area to gauge team owner Mark Davis about moving to the Alamo City.
The News Express reports that Raiders officials toured the Alamodome and deemed NFL-ready and usable while a new stadium is built.
“We’re going to present San Antonio’s strengths and assets in the most persuasive way possible,” Cisneros told the newspaper. “We have a very, very good opportunity to set it forth in a way the Raiders can digest.”