Oakland Raiders podcast with Tony Renteria: Rams spoiled Raiders’ home opener; Raiders made some roster moves

Photo credit: @Raiders

On the Raiders podcast with Tony:

1. A strong defensive first half wasn’t enough for the Raiders, who lost to the LA Rams 33-13 during ESPN’s Monday Night Football to wrap up Week 1.

2. Jared Cook’s 180 receiving yards in Raiders vs. Rams were the most by a tight end in franchise history.

3. The Raiders signed wide receiver Johnny Holton to their practice squad. In a corresponding move, they terminated the contract of defensive back Terrell Sinkfield.

4. Raiders coach Jon Gruden provided an update on the injury of long snapper Andrew DePaola. This isn’t the way the Raiders wanted to start the season, but tight end Lee Smith stepped in as the emergency long snapper.

5. The Raiders signed free agent wide receiver Martavis Bryant and long snapper Trent Sieg. In corresponding moves, they placed long snapper Andrew DePaola on the Reserve/Injured List and have waived wide receiver Keon Hatcher.

Tony does the Raiders podcasts each Thursday for SportsRadioService.com

Raider report: Lack of inexperience reason for Raiders big loss in KC

by David Zizmor

ALAMEDA–The Oakland Raiders who suffered a pretty humilating defeat at the hands of their division rivals the Kansas City Chiefs this last weekend. They lost big 56-31 that is the most points the Raiders have ever given up in a football game. It was done in dramatic fashion the Chiefs jumped out to a big lead they were up 21-0 just in the first quarter.

The big story in the game it was not only the 56 points but who scored them, five of those touchdowns were scored by the Chiefs Jamal Charles the tiny running back for the Chiefs and four of them on receptions. He became the first running back in NFL history to catch four touchdown passes in a game.

Scoring five touchdowns puts him in pretty rare company as well, five touchdowns is a huge accomplishment no matter what and at the NFL level it’s very, very rare and only three people have scored six touchdowns n a game and Charles might have had a shot at that becuase he had five touchdowns with 12 minutes left in the game he had a shot at it but he mostly sat on the bench from that point on.

Charles sat because the Chiefs were up by so much looking at it from the Raiders side this was a rough, rough loss, they were out of this one from the very beginning they really had no chance and what we’ve seen in the last few weeks is that the Raiders are falling apart on the defensive side of the football.

The Raiders have had a real tough time of it not only did they lose this game to the Chiefs last week they got hammered by a very bad New York Jets team they gave up 37 points to a Jets team that have had one of the worse offenses in the league. They lost to Dallas, Tennessee, you have to go all the way back to week 11 when they beat Houston and as we all know now is probably the team that’s going to get the number one pick in the draft that’s how bad they are.

The Raiders have had a really rough run it’s kind of disappointing their defense played really well in the first half of the season it was surprising and one of the reasons why everybody had low expectations for the Raiders was their defense. They’ve had a lot of new guys on the team and not necessarily all new but they had a lot of inexperienced guys some of them were rookies.

These were guys on the Raiders that have really never been starters at this top level and the Raiders had so little room under the cap they had to get what they could and for the most part that meant bargain basement shopping and early in the season they did a good job of motivating these guys in keeping offenses on their toes, the defense was surprising.

The Raiders face the San Diego Chargers on Sunday the 29th for their next game with a 1:25 PM kickoff at Qualcomm.

David Zizmor covers the NFL for Sportstalk Radio

Raiders report: Raiders face struggling Jets with interchangable quarterbacks

by David Zizmor

ALAMEDA–The Oakland Raiders are hitting up the New York Jets at the New Jersey Meadowlands at the opportune moment because the Jets were playing pretty well for the early part of the season they were kind of a surprise team. They won five games and everyone was saying “wow they’re not as bad as we thought, we thought the Jets would be one of the three or four worst teams in the league.”

They’re actually saying a lot of the things that the people were saying about the Raiders that they were surprised that they were winning games. The Jets have in the last several games kind of sunk back to that their in the five worst teams in the league mode. Jets quarterback Geno Smith he’s at least shown flashes of being a competent quarterback in the last four games.

Smith has really kind of regressed they haven’t had any of the offense it’s been all down to the point where last week he was benched for backup quarterback Matt Simms and Simms has never started for any NFL team. Smith might be back this Sunday against the Raiders in the starting line ups.

Smith certainly has the talent he could do some damage and the way the Jets are playing right now there’s no reason to think he’s going to come out and torch the Raiders. Smith is just not playing that well and the Raiders defense is solid enough that they should be able to pressure him and slow him down. To be honest the Jets have one the least impressive set of skill players in the NFL.

That’s not including the quarterback position you just look at the running backs, the wide receivers, the tight ends, the Jets really have nobody of note. Jets wide receiver Santonio Holmes is back he’s someone you can’t sleep on but nobody else. They don’t have any depth at wide receiver, their tight ends are no names, their running backs are in and out of the line ups with injuries.

The guys who are in there aren’t particularly good and while the Raiders defense isn’t fantastic they have proven they can stop lousy teams which you saw in Houston a couple of weeks ago and the Jets are on par with that Houston team if not worse. If the Raiders can go in on this one and expect to be in the game it’s never easy to win on the road in the NFL so I don’t expect this to come easy.

The Jets have show they can play good defense and Jets head coach Rex Ryan last week Ryan is particularly good at troubling young rookie quarterbacks we’ve seen it time and time again where rookies and inexperienced QBs go in against the Rex Ryan defense and he completely baffles them with different looks and presenting his players in odd ways that confuse the young quarterbacks.

David Zizmor covers the NFL for Sportstalk Radio

Raiders Report: Raiders good enough to hang but can’t finish

Cowboys Raiders Football

by David Zizmor

ALAMEDA–The Raiders had a good start and were actually leading at the half 21-14 but the Cowboys kicked into gear and the Raiders weren’t able to stop them on the other side of the ball and the Raiders offense couldn’t get anything going in the second half. It was a tale of two halves in this one the Raiders looked pretty solid in the first half in fact one of the drives in the second quarter.

One of the Raiders scoring drives they basically held the ball for 12 minutes out of 15 minutes the entire second quarter. They didn’t even let Dallas get the ball but Dallas marched down the field really quickly at the end of the half to score a touchdown with ten seconds left from that point on Dallas seemed to get their second wind and the Cowboys dominated the rest of the way.

The Raiders has some great plays on special teams to start this one out with the return as the Raiders recovered a fumble on the opening kick off and returned it for a touchdown and that set the tone early on it kind of stunned the Cowboys more than anything and for the next quarter and a half the Raiders were really playing really well. When the Cowboys scored at the end of the first half it just kind of rolled into the second half. The Raiders defense wasn’t able to stop them and the Raiders know that the Cowboys have a pretty solid offense.

Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo threw for 220 yards, the Cowboys rushed for 140 yards and it was one of those situations where the Raiders defense wasn’t able to stop anybody and while Raider quarterback Matt McGloin looked pretty solid in the first half completing some really solid passes and making some plays here and there he just couldn’t do anything in the second half and McGloin just didn’t seem to be able to do anything in the second half.

So you look at McGloin’s stats and he was 18-30 for 255 yards with one interception and no touchdowns and it’s really tough to gage how he played in this one he really looked good in the first half and made some tough throws and in the second half he just wasn’t hitting any of those and it wasn’t just the receivers who were dropping passes though that did happen on occasion and he wasn’t as accurate in that second half and part of that were the adjustments on the part of Dallas.

Dallas is still a better team and the Raiders defense is okay this year but teams are starting to catch up and injuries are up and down with this team on offense and defense and their starting to take their toll and it was great that the Raiders were able to hand in this one especially on a short week on Thanksgiving day on the road but that’s a tough game to play. You kind of feel for the Raiders because that’s just a tough situation to be in and it’s unfortunate that they had to be the team that had to be the sacrificial lamb on Thanksgiving.

The simple fact is that you got to win those games and Dallas isn’t such a good team that the Raiders weren’t able to beat them and the Raiders certainly can hang with them the bottom line is they come away with a loss that just puts them further behind heading into next week’s game against the New York Jets and we’ll see how the Raiders can do in that one.

David Zizmor covers the NFL for Sportstalk Radio

Raiders don’t have a lot of margin for error

Photo Courtesy Raiders.com

by David Zizmor

ALAMEDA–The Raiders have not won in the eastern time zone in something like seven or eight games they’ve had a rough go of it. That cross country trip for the west coast teams is always a difficult one and with the Raiders not being very good that makes it even more difficult. This is a game that the Raiders probably should have won.

They had their chances there certainly was no lack of opportunity in this one they could have won on a lack of occasions but you just can’t turn the ball over in these kinds of games. If your going to win on the road you have to protect the football and the Raiders didn’t. Quarterback Terrelle Pryor fumbled the ball he had an interception and Pryor wasn’t able to make a whole lot of plays in the passing game.

If your going to return an interception for a touchdown and make a couple plays on defense your offense has to support you and Pryor in the last couple of games has not done that. Against the Giants he was 11-26 for only 122 yards with no touchdown passes and really on the ground he wasn’t anymore effective he was only five rushes for 19 yards.

So when Pryor had been effective when he’s been running the ball and that’s opened up things for the pass and that’s made the Raiders successful as a whole. The last two games none of that has happened it might be the team that’s catching up to them. They’ve seen enough tape they know some of their tendencies, they know they’re going to protect against the run.

The Giants forced Pryor to run, they feel like if he’s going to pass the ball he’s not going to win he’s just not accurate anymore. It also didn’t help at the Meadowlands which is a tough place to throw the football because the winds are pretty crazy out there. I don’t think that was any help out there, with the Raiders they have to be successful.

On the ground with Pryor and through the air with Pryor they weren’t either of those and Raiders running back Rashad Jennings had a decent enough game with 20 rushes for 88 yards. That’s not a dynamic offense for the Raiders. They’re looking for playmakers they don’t have a lot of them in fact their biggest playmaker is Pryor if he doesn’t make any plays the offense is really in a tough spot.

The turnovers and the lack of play on offense really hurt them and if the Raiders are going to win these games they don’t have a lot of margin for error and they had a lot of errors so they lost this one to the  Giants.

David Zizmor covers the NFL for Sportstalk Radio

Will the Raiders ground game help the offense against Giants?

Raiders Report

by David Zizmor

ALAMEDA– I don’t think you could look at the Raiders and say they’re going to win any particular game I know that the Giants have had a tough season so far they’re only 2-6.The Raiders are just 2-5 this is a long road trip, it’s a cross country game at the Meadowlands for this Sunday it’ll be a tough one.

While New York is not having a good season the Raiders are not in a position to take anyone for granted the Giants might not be the best team in the league but they still have quarterback Eli Manning whose a two time Super Bowl winner. They still have some very good skilled position players most notably Victor Cruz. This is not a team the Raiders can take lightly no matter what their record is.

The Raiders are going to especially feel a little embarrassed by what happened last week by the Eagles at the Oakland Coliseum losing 49-20 you have to feel bad about it. You got to forget about it, you can’t let that carry over to the following week. The Raiders have to take this one as it comes and take their opponents that is in front of them and play those guys.

The Raiders go into this game and try to regroup, they’re perfectly capable of hanging with this Giants team and New York doesn’t have a great offensive line right now. The Raiders on defense have been pretty solid last week not withstanding. So the Raiders can take advantage of the Giants offensive line they could make some headway in this game this coming Sunday.

What got the Giants into trouble all year is Manning was forced into throwing bad passes and giving up interceptions. Last time I looked Manning had ten touchdown passes on the year but 15 interceptions which is just awful especially for a guy of his pedigree. So the Raiders can go into the Meadowlands and make some noise but a win is not guaranteed by any stretch.

The other problem the Raiders have is their offense is sputtering a bit Raider quarterback Terrelle Pryor had that great 93 yard run against the Steelers on October 27th at the Coliseum but the offense is struggling right now they have injuries up and down the offensive line. Running back Darren McFadden is injured, the receiving core has really not come together.

So it’s really Pryor, Running back Rod Streater and occasionally Denarius Moore shows up, that’s about it there’s really been no kind of offense and Rashad Jennings had a decent game last week but that was mostly garbage time. So a running game without McFadden is a question mark as to if Pryor continues to go to the playbook.

David Zizmor covers the NFL for Sportstalk Radio

Pryor further proving himself with 93 yard keeper

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by David Zizmor

ALAMEDA–Every win is kind of kind of unexpected the way the Raiders started this season nobody thought the Raiders were going to be any good in fact a lot of us including myself thought the Raiders were going to be among the worst teams in the league and while their not amongst the best teams in the league they are not among the worst either.

We were wrong on that this is actually a pretty feisty squad it’s actually the Pittsburgh Steelers who are among the worst teams in the NFL their not the worst that honor goes to the Jacksonville Jaguars. This game between the Raiders and the Steelers was not a battle of titans, it certainly has a lot of history locked up in it the Raiders and the Steelers were among the two best teams in the 1970s and battled each other on a regular basis in the some of the most famous games in NFL history.

This game last Sunday was not necessarily one those all time memorable games although it did have a historic play involved the Steelers are just in a down cycle it’s pretty rare for Pittsburgh to be in such a rare situation but they have had a couple of lousy drafts and suffered through some bad injuries and had some misfires and now their sitting with a lousy team record at 2-5.

The Steelers have had some misfires and it all means their all bottoming out right now, the Raiders already bottomed out that was already that kind of last season with the Carson Palmer deal and just everything going on in the off season when they cleaned house and they got rid of everybody the Raiders while their not a great team they have a lot of young feisty players and their in that rebuild process.

So what ends up happening is you get all these young players who are really fighting and clawing and scratching and trying to get themselves into the league and try to get themselves on the roster and get a job and it makes for desperate play and sometimes these guys are playing some desperate football end up playing decent football and that’s what the Raiders have done they have found a decent mix of players who really want to be there who are really receptive to coaching and learning.

Then the Raiders have found a quarterback who knew that former owner Al Davis’ last draft pick quarterback Terrelle Pryor would end up being such a solid player. He has a deficiency and you don’t look on this guy the same way you look at 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick when he broke on the scene last year and Pryor can play.

That 93 yard touchdown run by Pryor last Sunday shows why you want this guy on the field that threat of a guy who can make that kind of a play is something defenses have to respect and it makes you play the game differently if your a defensive coordinator you just have to prepare differently. You see it now with the 49ers now that Colin Kaepernick is 100 percent healthy.

It’s the same thing when you have a quarterback who can run in such a way that he can break a long run just as easily as any running back you have to devote extra resources to cover that guy. You have to have a spy on him and simply having that one guy on him and follow the quarterback around can open things up elsewhere.

David Zizmor covers the NFL for Sportstalk Radio

Raiders coming off bye could give tired Steelers a fight

by David Zizmor

ALAMEDA–The Raiders have a chance against the Pittsburgh Steelers in their next game on Sunday there is really no games where the Raiders can sit back and claim it to be a sure thing to win it’s not like the 49ers playing Jacksonville where it’s a 99 percent chance the Niners will beat Jacksonville in London. The Raiders won’t have that this year their just not a good enough team.

On the other hand they are playing Pittsburgh and the Steelers have been struggling as well they are coming off a victory from the defending champions the Baltimore Ravens. So the Steelers definitely have a feather in their cap right now and their feeling good about themselves. The Steel curtain is having a lot of similar problems to the Raiders.

The Raiders are a team that’s going through a big rebuilding process, Pittsburgh kind of are on the other side of that they are a team that’s probably about to go through a big rebuilding process. They’re just aging at a number of positions and probably need to revamp this squad. On the other hand the Steelers have quarterback Ben Roethlisberger whose one of the better quarterbacks.

Roethlisberger has won a couple of Super Bowls you can trust him but their biggest problem is the Steelers offensive line has just been terrible. They don’t have much of a running game this season and it means their passing game is suffering because Roethlisberger simply didn’t have time to throw the ball. There’s just a lot of age on the Steelers defense.

If the Steelers have a lot of different problems the Raiders can’t take advantage of that the fact their coming off a bye week and had two weeks to prepare for this game should definitely helped them out as well for the fact the Steelers have to travel cross country for this one after playing a very physical game against Baltimore. Those Steelers-Ravens games are always tough and physical and they take a lot of energy out of you and you throw in a cross country trip for Pittsburgh their going to be in a tough spot.

It’s going to be tough for them to recover in that game against Baltimore, You wonder if their going to have the energy to really fight the rested Raiders team. Of course the Raiders have their own issues their still a very inexperienced team and as you watch them in that game against Kansas City you notice they have a lot of injuries especially along with their own offensive line.

Not all those problems have been rectified the players on the offensive line have not fully recovered from their injuries so it’s anybody’s guess as to how healthy they will be this coming Sunday and if that’s the case all bets are off.

David Zizmor covers the NFL for Sportstalk Radio

Pryor needs to avoid the blitz and a collapsing pocket

by David Zizmor

ALAMEDA–The Raiders have had some problems with the offensive line with injuries and that really came to bear in this game against the Chiefs and let’s not give credit to Kansas City their one of the top defenses in the league this season they’ve done a great job pressuring the quarterback. The Raiders probably should have been a little bit more diligent in their blocking.

For Kansas City to do this and have the game they did against the Raiders is not a big surprise. They’ve been one of the best teams in the league at pressuring the quarterback all season long. So the Raiders knew it was going to be a tough day going into Arrowhead. It’s a bit of a surprise because Raiders quarterback Terrelle Pryor is mobile.

He’s typically at least to this point in the season been able to escape serious pressure by his legs and his running ability to get outside the pocket. However Kansas City made a very specific point of collapsing the pocket around Pryor and he didn’t have anywhere to escape. That’s a lesson that he’s going to have to learn because teams are going to have to take that to heart in the coming weeks and follow the Chiefs example.

Pryor is going to have to face a lot more defensive fronts and face the exact same thing, the good thing is most teams don’t have a good front seven they can do what KC did and they’re going to have a lot more trouble doing it than the Chiefs. Nevertheless their going to have to worry about that. One of the things with any quarterback is growing developing and adjusting to the different things that defenses throw at you.

This is a league where if your successful people are going to keep book on you and they figure out what your weaknesses are. If they look at Pryor’s stats his weakness once he’s trapped in the pocket he can’t make a throw their going to do their best to trap him in the pocket each and every play. So he’s got to adjust and the Raiders know that and part of the problem is the blocking.

If the Raiders blocked a little bit better than giving up sacks it wouldn’t be an issue. The Raiders need to get a little bit healthy fortunately for the Raiders they have a bye week so they have a chance to rest up to heal, to get those injuries off the books and to get the players back on the field. If the Raiders do their job and watch tape and find out what went wrong and if they get their players healthy the can recover.

The Raiders can be competitive again but obviously when you get sacked ten times your not going to win, they’re playing well and they were in this game until fairly late when the Chiefs pulled away but their not going to be playing the Chiefs every week their only going to be playing them one more time. The Raiders have shown some improvement, so as long as they can keep Pryor from getting sacked that many times each week they’ll have a better chance at winning some of these games.

David Zizmor covers the NFL for Sportstalk radio

Raiders unplug the Chargers in late-night contest, win 27-17

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by Kahlil Najar

OAKLAND –

In the latest West Coast game in NFL history the Oakland Raiders (2-3) beat the San Diego Chargers (2-3) 27-17 in what was one of the most dominating performances of the defense in years. The Raiders defense forced the Chargers into five turnovers including three interceptions, a fumble recovery for a touchdown and a loose ball recovery on a muffed punt. On offense, Terrelle Pryor threw for 221 yards on 18 for 23 passing including two touchdowns – a 44 yard bomb to Rod Streater to start the game and a two yard pass to Denarius Moore.

On his deep pass on the first play from scrimmage, Terrelle Pryor said, “We practiced that play a lot in practice this week. In week one against the Colts I was picked off but me and Coach Olson talked about it last night and he said if I saw him (Streater) get open I should try and get him the ball.”

Pryor’s confidence was obvious to other teammates before but now it was on display for everyone to see. “You can just see his swag back there, he’s playing with a lot of confidence” said Rod Streater who ended the night with three catches for 56 yards including the 44-yard pass to start the game. Pryor completed ten straight passes and said that it “builds (my) confidence and my tempo is right. I’m excited when we start fast.” In face, that touchdown was the first time the Raiders have scored in the first two minutes of a game since week 3 of 2011 against the Jets.

“It’s exciting to see Pryor out there,” said Raiders Head Coach Dennis Allen, “He can create those plays and it gives the team confidence.”

The Raiders defense got the game started for the Raiders when on the third play of the game for San Diego, Philip Rivers threw a high floating pass that looked like a punt and landed in the hands of Usama Young for his first interception of the year. On the Raiders very first play from scrimmage, Offensive Coordinator Greg Olson dialed up the 44-yard deep pass to Rod Streater that got the Raiders on the board 7-0. The Raiders next drive saw them go 88 yards in 8 minutes on a nifty play from Pryor who rolled out to the right after his initial check downs were covered and found Denarious Moore in back of the end zone after he stopped on a dime and Chargers Corner Richard Marshall fell out of bounds to give the Raiders a 14-0 lead with a little over a minute left in the first quarter.

The Chargers started the second quarter with the ball on their side of the field and matriculated the ball all the way down to the Raiders ten yard line. After a a run and a passing play, the Chargers decided to go for it on a fourth and one on the goal line and linebacker Kevin Burnett stuffed Danny Woodhead to turn the ball over to the Raiders in their own zone. After a couple first downs the Raiders were forced to punt to the usually reliable Eddie Royal but he muffed the punt and the Raiders special team recovered the ball and gave the Raiders a first down on the Chargers 37-yard line where Sebastian Janikowski was able to convert on a 47-yard field goal attempt to give the Raiders a 17-0 lead into the half.

The third quarter saw Charles Woodson join the ranks of the elite safeties in the NFL.

After a lengthy drive by the Chargers and a field goal by Nick Novak to put them on the board and a quick three-and-out by the Raiders, the Chargers handed history to Woodson in a bag. On second-and-five from the San Diego 35 yard line, Kevin Burnett caused Danny Woodhead to fumble to ball and it landed in Charles Woodson’s hands. With the ball in hand and only Rivers to beat, Woodson leaped into the end zone to give the Raiders a 24-3 lead but also gave him a career total of 13 defensive touchdowns to tie him for the most defensive touchdowns in a career in the history of the NFL with the great Darren Sharper and former Oakland Raider Rod Woodson.

When learning of him tying Rod’s record, Woodson said, “Cousin Rod, I’m coming for you! Nah, it just means that I’m on e of the greatest to ever play the game but the win was what’s most important.”

Philip Rivers, who ended the night with 411 yards passing and two touchdowns, got hot late in the game with touchdown passes to Woodhead and Cal alum Keenan Allen was then stifled again when D.J. Hayden had his first pick of his career in the end zone which looked to seal the deal for the Raiders. However after another quick three-and-out from the Raiders, the Chargers got the ball back with 1:16 left in the game losing by only 10.  After a deep pass to Allen for 30 yards, Rivers threw deep again this time in the middle of the field looking for Eddie Royal but Charles Woodson was able to get in front of the ball and get his first interception of the game to lock it up and put the Raiders into Victory formation.

“It was a great team win. All three phases contributed,” said Allen. “It was outstanding the way we started, and we kept competing all the way to the end. The goal line stand was a critical point in the game.”

The love for Pyror could be heard in the stands as well in the locker room. On his roll out capabilities and extending broken plays, Allen said, “That’s what that kid brings to us. When things aren’t right, he has the ability to make plays.” Charles Woodson echoed the Coaches sentiments saying that, “He’s showing his progress and he can lead this team.”

Terrelle Pryor and Raiders head to Kansas City next week to take on the undefeated Chiefs at Arrowhead stadium. It’ll be a tough game for the Raiders however if they are able to bring this momentum from the game into Arrowhead, the Raiders can prove that they shouldn’t be a forgotten team in the AFC West.

Game Notes:

  • The Chargers, who ranked No. 2 in the NFL in third down efficiency (50%), were 4-for-11 tonight. San Diego also came into the game averaging 27.0 points per game, seventh in the league, and was held to 17.
  • The Raiders continue to not have allowed a first half rushing touchdown, stopping the Chargers on fourth-and-1 in the second quarter. With 27 rushing yards in the first half, the defense is equally stringent, allowing (204) rushing yards in the first half this season, an average of 40.8 (No. 11 in the NFL prior to tonight)
  • It was the second-straight week that the Raiders have not allowed a first-half touchdown.
  • QB Terrelle Pryor is still No. 2 in rushing among quarterbacks behind Michael Vick following 31 yards tonight. He now has 228 on the season.