Headline Sports podcast with Barbara Mason: A look at this weekends playoff games; Cal tries to get back in win column host Wazuu this Thursday

sfgate.com file photo: Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) drops back to pass as he throws a pass that was fumbled and recovered by the New Orleans Saints in the first half of an NFL wild-card playoff football game, Sunday, Jan. 5, 2020, in New Orleans.

On the Headlines podcast with Barbara

#1 Taking a look at NFC Playoff game for Saturday, the Minnesota Vikings who surprised just about everybody with a huge victory over the New Orleans Saints at the Super Dome come to Levis Stadium on Saturday to face the 49ers. Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins threw a overtime four yard touchdown pass for the victory could the Vikings shock the 49ers too?

#2 The AFC Playoff game for Saturday the Tennessee Titans will face the Baltimore Ravens a team favored to make the Super Bowl the Ravens have been tough all year.

#3 On Sunday in the AFC the Houston Texans are in Kansas City to face the rugged Chiefs. The Chiefs with quarterback Patrick Mahomes have been doing it all season.

#4 Seattle got that big victory in Philadelphia on Sunday now head to Green Bay this should one for the ages as this one will be played on a very tough Lambeau Field

#5 Cal’s Men’s basketball has seen some tough times they took a tough loss to the Stanford Cardinal last Saturday and are hoping to turn things around this Thursday at Haas Pavilion against the visiting Washington State Cougars.

Join Barbara each Tuesday for all the latest in Headline Sports at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Headline Sports podcast with Tony Renteria: No scoring, just boring or too much Pats in low Super Bowl ratings; Raiders still out of a site to play; Domestic abuse accusation at Antonio Brown; plus more

Photo credit: @NFL

On the Headline Sports podcast with Tony Renteria:

#1 Lots of criticism towards last Sunday’s Super Bowl in Atlanta–which one weighed in as most critical of the game, boring no scoring or just seeing the Patriots in it almost every year?

#2 The Oakland Raiders find themselves in another conundrum they have to find a site to play at for 2019 and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell wants them to get it done soon because the NFL needs to start making their schedules for next season

#3 The Pittsburgh Steelers’ Antonio Brown in the latest of incidents allegedly in another domestic abuse case in January no arrests have been made in the case and Brown has said in the last month that he wanted out of Pittsburgh and wants to play in San Francisco.

#4 Former Tennessee Titans and Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Vince Young has been arrested for the second time in three years for drunken driving charges. In this recent arrest, Young was fined $300 and ordered to do 60 hours community service.

#5 The New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge said he would welcome Bryce Harper to the Yankees if Harper decided to play in New York. Judge said a Harper acquisition would be an added improvement.

Tony does the Headline Sports podcasts each Thursday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Headline Sports with Tony Renteria: Raiders GM Mayock wants to talk to coaches before making any moves; plus a look at the NFL Wild Card games

Photo credit: @theScoreNFL

On Headline Sports with Tony Renteria:

#1 Tony talks about the hiring of Raiders GM Mike Mayock, who said that job was to get the coaches and personnel on the same page.

#2 Mayock was a former analyst on the NFL Network. How do you see him transitioning from TV analyst to GM?

#3 Mayock said he’s not going to make any judgements on anyone until he gets a chance to meet with the coaches.

#4 On the NFL Wild Card schedule, Tony makes his predictions Saturday’s matchups: Indianapolis at Texas for the NFC Seattle at Dallas. On Sunday: In the AFC, LA Chargers at Baltimore, and in the NFC, Philadelphia at Chicago.

Tony does Headline Sports each Thursday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

A written prescription for tonight’s game from the Fantasy Football Doctors

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By doctors Charlie O. Mallonee, Vasu Vaddiparty and Jordan Chapin

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Atlanta Falcons
QB
If you drafted Matt Ryan, you drafted him as a number one QB. Of course, you are going to start him versus the Eagles tonight. Just don’t have too high of expectations for his production. Most of the predictions have him passing for 230 to 240 yards with up to two TD’s. Expect approximately 20 completions.

RB
Devonta Freeman was a Top 10 pick in most Fantasy Leagues, so he’s starting for you tonight. Again, do not get too excited because the projections for his production are not great. Many have Freeman rushing for under 50 yards. The experts say chances of Freeman scoring a touchdown are minimal.

WR
Yes, you are going to start Julio Jones. If you don’t start him, we are going to make you turn in your Fantasy Football membership card. Again, the projections are not great. The prediction is for 75 yards receiving with an outside chance of catching a touchdown.

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Philadelphia Eagles
QB
If you have Nick Foles as your starting QB tonight, it probably means you picked Carson Wentz hoping he would be ready to go tonight. Well, you are going to have to wait at least until game three for Wentz so Foles is your man until then. He is projected for 240 yards versus the Falcons with two touchdowns.

RB
Jay Ajayi will be the main man carrying the rock for the Eagles. Look for him to run for about 80 yards in the game.

TE
Zach Ertz was a fantasy football assassin in the second half of the season last yerar. If you have him on your roster, he is a must play.

Game Projections
FiveThirtyEight.com gives the Eagles a 65-percent chance of winning tonight’s game. They make Philadelphia the favorite -4.5 points.

The Fantasy Football Doctors Podcast will be available Friday afternoon on sportsradioservice.com

Eagles outlast Patriots 41-33 for first Super Bowl win

Photo credit: @Eagles

By Daniel Dullum
Sports Radio Service
Sunday, February 4, 2018

In his broadcasting days, John Madden often mentioned how “missed extra points have a way of coming back to haunt you.”

In this see-saw edition of the Super Bowl LIII (52), three missed extra point attempts nearly cost the underdog Philadelphia Eagles, but a timely defensive play helped preserve the Eagles’ first NFL title in 57 years.

For the first time since 1960, the Eagles are NFL champions. After two previous Super Bowl losses, the NFC champion Eagles held on and defeated the AFC champion New England Patriots 41-33 in a wild championship game at US Bank Stadium in downtown Minneapolis on Sunday night.

This was the ninth Super Bowl for New England, which was seeking its sixth NFL title. The Patriots, a slight favorite in what was easily the wildest offensive shootout in Super Bowl history, never punted in the game.

The victory put the icing on the postseason cake for Eagles backup quarterback Nick Foles, who was voted the game’s most valuable player.

Foles, a journeyman who contemplated retirement, took over after starter Carson Wentz suffered a season-ending knee injury. Foles completed 28 of 43 passes for 373 yards, three touchdowns and was picked off once. He also caught a key touchdown pass at the end of the first half.

Tom Brady, the Patriots’ 40-year-old quarterback, threw for an NFL postseason record 505 yards on 28 of 48 attempts. Brady also threw three touchdown passes, but his only sack played a key role in the outcome of the game.

With 2:21 left, the Eagles’ Zach Ertz hauled in a pass up the middle from Foles for what was ruled an 11-yard touchdown reception.

Ertz had catch at the goal line, and the play was initially ruled a touchdown, the video review concluded that Ertz had possession as he crossed the plane of the goal line. Philadelphia led 38-33.

On the two-point conversion attempt, Foles’ pass to Corey Clement was incomplete, which seemed to give the Patriots the window of opportunity they needed.

New England’s next possession was thwarted when Tom Brady was strip-sacked by Brandon Graham at 2:09. It was the first sack of the game for either team. Four plays later, Jake Elliott made a 46-yard field goal with 1:05 left, extending the Eagles’ lead to 41-33.

The Patriots were unable to reach the end zone in their final possession, with Brady throwing a Hail Mary incompletion as time expired.

Super Bowl LII was a back-and-forth battle all night. Philadelphia opened the scoring with Elliott’s 25-yard field goal midway through the first quarter. The Patriots responded nearly four minutes later with a Stephen Gostkowski 26-yard field goal.

With 2:34 left in the first quarter, the Eagles surged ahead on Nick Foles’ 34-yard pass to Alshon Jeffrey in the left side of the end zone. Elliott missed the PAT kick, and Philadelphia had a 9-3 lead after one quarter.

The Eagles made it 15-3 when LeGarrette Blount ran 21 yards for a touchdown. Trying to get the missed extra point back, Philadelphia tried a 2-point conversion, but Foles’ pass to Jeffrey was incomplete.

New England cut their deficit to 15-6 at 7:24 of the second quarter when Gostkowski booted a 45-yard field goal. Five minutes later, the Patriots pulled to within 15-12 on a 26-yard touchdown run by James White, but Gostkowski missed the PAT kick.

New England tried a gadget play that had Brady as the intended receiver, but the pass from Danny Amendola was incomplete. With 34 seconds remaining in the first half, the Eagles reached into their bag of tricks on 4th-and-goal from the Patriot 1 yard-line. Lined up in the shotgun, Foles was an eligible receiver and caught Trey Burton’s pass in the end zone.

At halftime, the Eagles led 22-12 – the first time in NFL history a game went into halftime with that score, as reported by NBC.

New England wasted little time finding the end zone in the third quarter. On the Patriots’ opening possession, Brady found Rob Gronkowski for a 5-yard TD, cutting Philadelphia’s lead to 22-19.

On the Eagles’ ensuing possession, Foles completed a 3rd-and-6 pass to Corey Clement at the back of the end zone. After a video review, the play was ruled a touchdown, and Philadelphia led by 10 again at 29-19.

Again, the Patriots marched right back and cut their deficit to 29-26 on Brady’s 26-yard TD pass to Chris Hogan.

Jake Elliott’s 42-yard field goal to open the fourth quarter put Philly up 32-26, but New England took its first lead of the game at 9:22 when Brady and Gronkowski connected for a touchdown for the second time in the game – this time from four yards out. Gostkowski’s extra point put the Pats up 33-32 for their only lead in the contest.

Blount was Philadelphia’s leading ground-gainer, picking up 90 rushing yards on 14 carries. While Clement caught four passes for 100 yards, Nelson Agholor snared nine passes for 84 yards, and Ertz caught seven passes for 67 yards.

Three New England receivers gained over 100 yards through the air. Amendola caught eight passes for 152 yards, Hogan gained 128 receiving yards on six catches, and Gronkowski caught nine passes for 116 yards and two TDs.

Attendance was 67,612. The winners share was $112,000, and the losers share was $56,000.

Sports Monday: The NFL Playoffs never lacks excitement

Photo credit: @NFL

By Joe Hawkes-Beamon
SRS Contributor

Like most football fans, I was glued to my couch for most of the weekend watching the NFL’s best weekend of the year: the divisional round of the playoffs.

The divisional round usually features the best competitive games of the year as the eight remaining teams fight for their right to play in the conference championship games the very next week; with the winners heading to the Super Bowl.

With the Falcons losing to the Eagles, 15-10, in Philadelphia to kickoff the divisional round Saturday, their will be a new NFC Champion heading to Minneapolis on Feb. 4 for Super Bowl 52.

Sixth-seeded Atlanta (11-7) was trying to make a return trip to the NFC Championship Game and eventually back to the Super Bowl after last year’s painful loss in the Big Game to the New England Patriots after dropping a 28-3 lead, but Matt Ryan and Co. couldn’t get pass an Eagles team that were heavy underdogs coming into the game even as the NFC’s top seed with a 13-3 regular season and home field advantage.

And oh yeah, Philadelphia was playing without MVP front-runner and franchise quarterback Carson Wentz, who was lost for the season with a torn anterior crucial ligament in his left knee he suffered against the Rams in Los Angeles in Week 14.

Backup quarterback Nick Foles made every Eagles fan hold their collective breaths whenever he took a snap, played efficient football throwing for 246 yards on 23-of-30 passing with no touchdowns, but more importantly, zero interceptions. Foles kept Atlanta’s defense off guard for most of the afternoon as Philadelphia controlled the football for 32 minutes, compared to 28 minutes for the Falcons. Philadelphia converted 6-of-13 on third downs, while the Falcons were just 4-of-13 on third down conversions.

But the Falcons still had a chance to win a game, but Ryan and superstar wide receiver Julio Jones couldn’t connect on fourth-and-two from the Eagles’ own two-yard line with 1:05 left in the game. Jones, who finished with nine catches for 101 yards, slipped in the end zone and saw the pass slip right through his hands. Even if Jones makes the catch, his feet would’ve been out of bounds when you look at the replay.

Jones felt that he should’ve came up with the catch and made no excuses after the game.

“It was a sprintout, a rollout to me,” said Jones after the game per ESPN’s Vaughn McClure following the game. “Trying to take advantage of one-on-one [coverage] down there.

“I don’t know, but at the end of the day, I can make those plays. I ended up on the ground when I came out of my route. And that’s a tough call [for the official] to make during that situation in the game. That was it.”

Ryan finished the game throwing for 210 yards on 22-of-36 passing. Atlanta’s franchise quarterback did throw a six-yard touchdown to running back Devonta Freeman to give the Falcons a 10-6 lead in the second half, but Atlanta’s red zone woes that haunted them in the regular season (23rd in the NFL in red zone efficiency at 49.1-percent per ESPN Stats and Info), reared its ugly head.

“Just keep on disrespecting and we’re going to keep proving people wrong,” said Eagles wide receiver Alshon Jeffrey after the game to David Murphy of the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Philadelphia (14-3) will host the Minnesota Vikings next Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field for the NFC Championship at 6:40 p.m. ET, which should be a great matchup given what the Vikings had to do to setup a date with the Eagles with a chance to play the Super Bowl in their own building, which would be the first time a team would play in the stadium where the Super Bowl is being held in NFL history.

Minnesota (14-3) had to rely on a 61-yard touchdown thrown from quarterback Case Keenum to wide receiver Stefon Diggs with 10 seconds remaining down the sideline to pull out an improbable 29-24 victory over the New Orleans Saints in the other NFC divisional playoff game Sunday. The play was reminiscent of a walk-off home run in baseball for the home team.

Diggs’ heart-pounding score sent a raucous sold out crowd at U.S. Bank Stadium into a frenzy as the stadium reached 118 decibels per reports. Diggs finished with six catches for 137 yards and the game-winning touchdown that cemented the Vikings’ first trip to the conference championship game in eight years.

“It’s a storybook ending — and it never ends that way,” Diggs said after the game to Ben Goessling of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. “Usually, it’s reality. It’s real life. Things go, you walk home and worry about tomorrow. But today had other plans. I give it all to God, because things like this just don’t happen.”

After falling behind 17-0 to the Vikings at halftime, the fourth-seeded Saints stormed back with 14 unanswered points behind two touchdown passes from quarterback Drew Brees to wide receiver Michael Thomas that trimmed Minnesota’s lead to 17-14. Thomas’ two touchdowns came within a span of 3:09 that spanned into the fourth quarter.

Following a 49-yard field goal from kicker Kai Forbath that gave Minnesota a 20-14 lead early in the fourth quarter and an interception thrown by Keenum to rookie safety Marcus Williams that set up the Saints at the Vikings’ 40-yard line, Brees threw his third touchdown in the second half when he connected with rookie running back Alvin Kamara from 14-yards out that gave the Saints a brief 21-20 lead.

Brees finished the game throwing for 294 yards on 25-of-40 passing with three touchdowns and two interceptions, both coming in the first half.

“We’re still a bit shell-shocked after what happened there at the end,” said Brees after the game per the Associated Press.

But it was the big play by Diggs, who avoided a would-be hit by Williams and never looked back as he raced for the end zone for arguably the biggest touchdown in Minnesota’s history, a perfect delivered pass from the NCAA’s all-time passing leader in Keenum, who threw for 318 yards and matched Brees’ 25-of-40 passing.

On the AFC side, the top-seeded Patriots (14-3) made short work of the visiting Tennessee Titans (10-8), winning 35-14 on Saturday night advancing to their seventh straight AFC Championship Game next Sunday in Foxborough with a dominating performance over the sixth-seeded Titans in the chilly New England weather where game time temperature were in the 20s.

After taking a 7-0 lead in the first quarter, Tennessee saw New England roll off 35 unanswered points that led to the Patriots’ dismantling of the Titans. Patriots quarterback Tom Brady threw for 337 yards on 35-of-53 passing and three touchdowns, his 10th career postseason game in which he’s thrown three touchdowns moving past Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Montana for most in the NFL per the Elias Sports Bureau.

“To be in the playoffs, to play well and to advance, that’s just really great for this team,” Brady said to Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald. “We’ve got to do it again next week.”

Wide receiver Danny Amendola, one of Brady’s most dependable pass catchers, finished with a team-high 11 catches for 112 yards. Tight end Rob Gronkowski hauled in six catches for 81 yards and a touchdown over Titans safety Kevin Byard, who predicted that Tennessee would make the future NFL Hall of Famer look like Blake Bortles.

More on Bortles and the Jacksonville Jaguars, who stand in the way of Brady from making his eighth Super Bowl appearance in his 18-year career that includes five wins in seven appearances, in a bit.

After the game, Brady was business as usual after leading New England pass by an overmatched Titans team that were doomed from the start. Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota played through a strained quadriceps muscle that he suffered on run in the first quarter that limited the Mariota’s mobility and Tennessee’s playcalling for the remainder of the game.

Mariota completed 22-of-37 passes for 254 yards and two touchdowns, but was under siege from Patriots’ pass rush that sacked Mariota eight times on Saturday night, a franchise record for one postseason game.

“Embarrassed,” said Mariota, standing at the podium after the game per the Associated Press.

“You play to win the whole thing. Yeah, it’s nice to be in the playoffs, but again, you don’t play to get in, especially coming into the divisional playoff losing the way we did.”

Raise your hands if you had the Jacksonville Jaguars heading to their first AFC Championship Game since 1999 at the start of the 2017.

Anybody?

Don’t feel bad if you didn’t because you aren’t alone, especially with the aforementioned Bortles leading the way. For most of his four seasons in Jacksonville, Bortles was the favorite punching bag for Jaguars fans (and the media) to hit for the team’s lackluster play even with a vastly improving defense with to lean on.

But the perception of Bortles is rapidly changing, especially after help leading the third-seeded Jaguars (12-6) to 45-42 victory over the second-seeded Steelers (13-4) at Heinz Field to close out the divisional round weekend. Bortles didn’t have earth-shattering numbers, completing just 14-of-26 passes for 214 yards and a touchdown, but didn’t throw an interception nor was he sacked in Jacksonville’s second win in Pittsburgh this year. Pittsburgh set a franchise record with 55 sacks this season, leading the NFL this season.

Jacksonville dispatched Pittsburgh 30-9 in Week 5 behind a punishing defense that forced five interceptions, returning two of those interceptions for touchdowns.

In that regular season game, Bortles was a non factor as he threw for just 95 yards on 8-of-14 passing and an interception, but the offense was carried by ground game as rookie running back Leonard Fournette rushed for a career-high 181 yards on 28 carries and two touchdowns, one of which went for 90 yards, the longest scoring run by a rookie against the Steelers per the Elias Sports Bureau.

This time around, Bortles appeared more confident and comfortable against Pittsburgh.

Jacksonville’s 45 points are the most points scored by an opponent against the Steelers in franchise history. Fournette scored two first half touchdowns, while backup running back T.J. Yeldon added another score that gave Jacksonville a 21-0 lead early in the second quarter before the Steelers answered with a touchdown of their own from quarterback Ben Roethlisberger to wide receiver Antonio Brown that cut Jacksonville’s lead to 21-7.

Fournette, who left the game briefly with an ankle injury, rushed for a 109 yards on 25 carries and scored three touchdowns.

Shortly before the two minute warning and with Pittsburgh on the Jacksonville 47-yard line, defensive end Yannick Ngakoue sacked Roethislisberger forcing a fumble which was returned by middle linebacker Telvin Smith that gave Jacksonville a 28-7 lead. It was Smith’s second defensive touchdown against the Steelers this season, also finished with a team-high 14 tackles.

Roethlisberger would throw a 36-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Martavis Bryant before the end of the first half, then a 19-yard touchdown pass to running back Le’Veon Bell pulling the Steelers closer, 28-21, in the third quarter.

But Bortles made the biggest play of the game in my book, throwing a 45-yard bomb down the middle of the field in double coverage with 11:55 left in the fourth quarter that was hauled in by rookie wide receiver Keelan Cole that set up the Jaguars at the Pittsburgh 3-yard line before Fournette plowed into the end zone for his third rushing touchdown that re-opened a two-touchdown lead for Jacksonville making the score, 35-21.

“These guys played with confidence all day,” Bortles said after the game per the Florida Times-Union.

Jacksonville would add 10 more points in the fourth quarter, while the Steelers played catch up (pun intended) for the majority of the day despite big performances by Pittsburgh’s “Killer Bs” of Roethlisberger, Bell and Le’Veon Brown.

Roethlisberger threw for 469 yards on 37-of-58 passes, with five touchdowns and one interception. Brown, who appeared healthy following a torn left calf muscle he suffered in Week 15 against the Patriots that caused him to miss the Steelers’ final two games of the year, finished with seven catches for 132 yards and a pair of spectacular touchdowns.

Bell finished with 155 total yards from scrimmage (67 rushing and 88 receiving) and two touchdowns (one rushing and one receiving).

“Its disheartening” said Brown per the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “I thought we had the right group of guys.”

The conference championship games between Minnesota-Philadelphia in the NFC and Jacksonville-New England in the AFC weren’t what people imagined when the 2017 season started, even though most fully believed that the reigning Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots had the strongest chance at making another Super Bowl run.

Minnesota and Philadelphia did enter the season with postseason expectations, and should be a fierce matchup led by unwanted quarterbacks in Keenum and Foles along with strong defenses, and fan bases thirsty for a major championship.

Jacksonville wasn’t suppose to crash the postseason party, but here are the Jaguars who now must travel to New England and try to dethrone Brady and the Patriots to earn the franchise’s first trip to the Super Bowl.

“I’m sure there will still be tons of people that are going to disapprove and talk negative or hate or do whatever they want,” Bortles said before the Jaguars left Pittsburgh. “But we get to keep playing and we get an opportunity to play in Foxborough next week  for another week. Just honored to be able to do this especially with this group of guys.”

“Its been an awesome year. Just want to keep it going.”

NFL Playoffs Podcast with David Zizmor: A look at eight teams that’s battling it out for the Super Bowl

Photo credit: @NFL

NFL Playoff Podcast with David Zizmor:

Sunday’s game AFC: Jacksonville 10 Buffalo 3

AFC Divisional Round

Saturday: Tennessee Titans @ New England Patriots

Sunday: Jacksonville Jaguars @ Pittsburgh Steelers

Sunday’s game NFC: New Orleans 31 vs. Carolina 26

NFC: Divisional Round

Saturday: Atlanta Falcons @ Philadelphia Eagles

Sunday: New Orleans Saints @ Minnesota Vikings

David goes through the NFL Playoff schedule for this weekend at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

 

 

Christmas haunts Raiders as they drop 19-10 decision to Eagles

Philadelphia Eagles’ Jake Elliott (4) and Donnie Jones (8) celebrate past Oakland Raiders’ T.J. Carrie (38) after Elliott’s field goal during the second half of an NFL football game, Monday, Dec. 25, 2017, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)

By Jeremy Kahn

With a possibility to be spoilers to the Philadelphia Eagles’ playoff plans, the Oakland Raiders were unable to take advantage of that.

Jake Elliott kicked a 48-yard field goal with 22 seconds remaining in the game, as the Eagles defeated the Raiders 19-10 at Lincoln Financial Field on Monday night.

With the victory, the Eagles improved to 13-2 on the season and clinched home field advantage throughout the NFC Playoffs. The last time the Eagles were home throughout the entire NFC Playoffs was during the 2004 Playoffs. The Eagles ended up in the Super Bowl against the New England Patriots, where they lost to the Patriots 24-21.

The game-winning field goal by Elliott was set up by a Ronald Darby interception that was returned 52 yards for a touchdown. However, Darby was ruled down by contact by Amari Cooper.

Nick Foles went 4-for-4 on the ensuing drive for a 21-yard drive that culminated with the Elliott field goal.

The Eagles got on the board in the first quarter, as Foles found Jay Ajayi for a 17-yard touchdown pass.

Derek Carr tied up the game with a 63-yard touchdown pass to Cooper, as cornerback Jalen Mills attempted to jump the route.

Giorgio Tavecchio gave the Raiders their only lead of the game, as he kicked a 25-yard field goal on the Raiders’ opening series of the third quarter.

The two teams traded turnovers on three consecutive possessions, beginning when Patrick Robinson intercepted a Carr pass.

Ajayi fumbled the back to the Raiders, and then Marshawn Lynch gave the ball back to the Eagles on the next play, as he fumbled.

Elliott then tied up the game at 10, as he nailed a 35-yard field goal.

With a chance to give the Raiders the lead, Tavecchio missed a 48-yard field goal with just under eight minutes remaining in the game.

Foles was unable to get the Eagles going, as he threw an interception that bounced off the hands of Zach Ertz and into the hand of Reggie Nelson.

Malcolm Jenkins then got the ball back for the Eagles, as he stripped Jalen Richard of the ball and he recovered it on their own 16.

Following three consecutive three-and-outs, Darby intercepted Carr’s pass that eventually turned into Elliott’s game-winning field goal.

The final points of the evening came on the final play of the game, as Derek Barnett scored on a 23-yard fumble return, when Jalen Richard’s pitch back to Carr fell to the Lincoln Financial Field ground and Barnett scooped it up and went into the end zone.

NOTES: With the postseason no longer in their sights, the Raiders will close out their 2017 season against the Los Angeles Chargers at the Stubhub Center on Sunday afternoon at 1:25 pm 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.

Niners Make Franchise History; Start Season 0-8 After 33-10 Loss to Eagles in Philly

San Francisco 49ers’ C.J. Beathard (3) is sacked by Philadelphia Eagles’ Brandon Graham (55) and Mychal Kendricks (95) during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 29, 2017, in Philadelphia,. (AP Photo/Michael Perez)

By: Joe Lami

For the first time in franchise history, the San Francisco 49ers are 0-8. Sunday’s loss that pushed them over the threshold was the worst loss to date, as they were thrashed by the Philadelphia Eagles 33-10.

Add injury to the insult, as five key 49ers went down in the contest. The mediocre offensive line lost its rock, Joe Staley in the second quarter and things just went downhill from there. Jimmy Ward and Soloman Thomas also were injured and didn’t return. Ward will most likely be out for an extended amount of time with a fractured forearm. Thomas, Garry Gilliam, and D.J Jones all went down with knee injuries.

The offensive line did a horrible job of protecting C.J. Beathard, who had his worst performance to date. Beathard finished the day throwing for 167 yards, a touchdown, and two interceptions, good enough for a 46.9 passer rating. He also led the 49ers in rushing yards with 40.

The NFL-leading Eagles had their way and toyed with the Niners all afternoon. Starting upfront, The Eagles got to Beathard early and often, hitting him 12 times and finishing with four sacks. The Philadelphia secondary also did a fabulous job against the passing attack, batting away 10 balls, intercepting two and bringing one back for a touchdown.

The 49ers defense wasn’t awful, but not getting any help from the offense paid its toll. Carson Wentz threw for 211 yards and two touchdowns. LeGarrette Blount also found the end zone on 16 carries and 48 yards.

The 49ers did a decent job of forcing the Eagles off the field, holding them to 29% third-down conversion.

The 49ers failed on all three sides of the ball, as special teams had a 27-yard field goal blocked in the early part of the fourth quarter.

The only bright note came from Matt Brieda, who scored his first career NFL touchdown off a short shovel pass. Brieda made cut his way through the Eagles defense for the 21-yard score.

San Francisco was beaten by the best team in the NFL on Sunday and didn’t look good doing it. They have a long week before their next matchup at home against the Cardinals and have many injuries to heal before their search for the first win of the season.