Raiders return home for Week 15 tilt with Chiefs

By. Joe Hawkes-Beamon

OAKLAND — Home is where the heart is and the Oakland Raiders are in dire need of some good fortune.

After a two game road trip, Oakland return to the familiar surroundings of Coliseum when they’ll host their bitter rival the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 15 Sunday. Kansas City nipped Oakland, 24-7 at Arrowhead in Week 6 behind a ferocious defense that forced three second-half interceptions and sacked then starting quarterback Terrelle Pryor 10 times.

Oakland (4-9) was dropped by the New York Jets, 37-27, in New York last week.

With running backs Rashad Jennings (concussion) and Darren McFadden (ankle),  fullback Marcel Reece supplied the ground game for Oakland rushing for a career-high 123 yards on 19 carries, including a career-long 63-yard touchdown run on the second play of the third quarter.

Quarterback Matt McGloin finished the game 18 of 31 for 245 yards passing, two touchdowns and an interception, while wide receiver Rod Streater had a career-high 130 yards receiving and a touchdown.

Kansas City (10-3) throttled hapless Washington, 45-10, last week in the Nation’s Capital.

The Chiefs jumped on Washington from the start, building a 31-0 lead in the second quarter behind two special teams touchdowns and their running game. Running back Jamaal Charles racked up 151 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries.

Charles leads the AFC in rushing with 1,161 yards and 10 touchdowns, and is third overall in the NFL in rushing yards behind Minnesota running back Adrian Peterson (1,221), and Philadelphia running back LeSean McCoy (1,3o5).

Murray scores three touchdowns in win


By Jeremy Kahn

After scoring on a fumble return on the opening kickoff, everything looked to be going the Oakland Raiders way.

Unfortunately, the game is four quarters and not first team to score points in the game and the game continued from that point.

DeMarco Murray ran for three touchdowns, and his backup running back Lance Dunbar ran for a career-high 82 yards, as the Dallas Cowboys overcame a 14-point deficit to defeat the a Raiders 31-24 at AT&T Stadium.

Tony Romo overcame a virus to throw for 225 yards on a 23-for-32 day and a touchdown, as the Cowboys moved into first place in the NFC East.

The Raiders scored on the opening kickoff after rookie kickoff returner Terrance Williams, who replaced an injured Dwayne Harris fumbled the ball and rookie Greg Jennings picked up the ball and scored just 12 into the game.

Rashad Jennings carried the ball 17 times for just 35 yards, and Darren McFadden returned after missing the last three games with a hamstring injury and carried the ball five times for 13 yards.

Rookie Matt McGloin started for the third consecutive week, and went 18-for-30 for 255 yards and finished off five consecutive third down drives on two scoring drives for the Raiders.

Former Cowboys receiver Andre Holmes hauled in seven catches for a career-high 136 yards, breaking his previous high of 33 yards.

Murray tied up the game in the final minute of the first quarter, as he scored from two yards out.

Jennings then scored two touchdowns in the second quarter, the second coming in the final two minutes of the half.

Murray got the Cowboys within seven points with just 10 seconds remaining before the end of the half, as he scored on a four-yard run.

Romo connected with Dez Bryant for a four-yard touchdown pass to tie up the game in the third quarter.

Murray scored his third and final touchdown of the day on a seven-yard run just 40 seconds into the final quarter to give the Cowboys the lead for good.

Dan Bailey closed out the scoring for the Cowboys, as he hit a 19-yard field goal with just 1:56 remaining in the game.

Sebastian Janikowski got the Raiders within seven points, as he hit a 45-yarder with 35 seconds remaining.

Janikowski’s onside kick was recovered by the Cowboys and Romo kneeled for the final play, as the Cowboys comeback was complete.

McGloin to start Sunday’s home tilt against Tennessee


By Joe Hawkes-Beamon

OAKLAND — Matt McGloin will have a chance to add a second win to his career total when he (not Terrelle Pryor), leads the Raiders into battle against the Tennessee Titans Sunday at Coliseum, head coach Dennis Allen said after practice Wednesday.

“This is a production business,” Allen said. “One of the things we’ve tried to create here is an atmosphere of competition. If you go out and you perform and you make plays, you get opportunities to continue to go out and perform and make plays. Matt did that last week. He’s going to get another opportunity this week. We’ll see how it goes.”

There is no question that McGloin earned a second start over Pryor for the Raiders (4-6)with his performance in the Raiders 28-23 victory on the road against the Houston Texans last Sunday, not because Pryor is nursing a Grade 2 sprain of his right MCL. Pryor took snaps with the second team and could serve as McGloin’s backup on Sunday.

McGloin completed 18 of 32 passes for 197 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. The undrafted rookie quarterback out of Penn State appeared poised, confident and collected in his first career start and looked to be on the same page with his receivers all day. He also finished with a quarterback rating of 105.9, sending Houston (2-8), to its eighth straight loss of the season.

It didn’t hurt that running back Rashad Jennings had a career-day against the Texans, too.

Jennings finished the game with a career-high 150 yards rushing on 22 carries. His 80-yard touchdown run came out of the Wildcat formation, which is his career-long. Jennings has proven to be the healthy workhorse running back that Oakland has needed this year, with Darren McFadden in and out of the line up this season.

Oakland’s defense continued its strong play against Houston, forcing three fumbles (two by free safety Charles Woodson), two sacks and one interception. Cornerback Mike Jenkins led the team with 10 tackles.

The Tennessee Titans (4-6), are a coming off a 30-27 home loss to their AFC South foe, the Indianapolis Colts.

Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick will make his fourth start of the season for the Titans in place of franchise quarterback, Jake Locker, who is done for the season with a Lisfranc injury.

In three starts this season, the Harvard graduate has thrown for 1,012 yards, five touchdowns and four interceptions. Fitzpatrick is a pure pocket passer and can get the ball out quick.

McGloin could have his work cut out for him when he faces Tennessee’s 10th ranked defense, led by cornerback Alterraun Verner.

Verner may not be a household name like Seattle’s Richard Sherman or Tampa’s Darrelle Revis, but is quickly making a name for himself. Verner is tied for the league lead with five interceptions (one returned for a touchdown).

Overall, the Titans’ defense is giving up 22.6 points, 213.1 passing yards, and 117 rushing yards per game.

Even though both teams are entering Sunday’s game with identical 4-6 records, this could be one a very competitive game.

Raiders report: McGloin can prove himself versus Tennessee on Sunday


by David Zizmor

ALAMEDA–The Houston Texans are not a very good team they’ve lost eight in a row and they hosted the Oakland Raiders last Sunday. The Texans are going through a lot of problems with injuries and poor performance and a whole lot of other things the fact of the matter you got play whose in front of you. The Raiders are banged up as well their not the picture of perfect health, they put in quarterback Matt McGloin as the starter last Sunday for injured quarterback Terrelle Pryor.

McGloin is a undrafted rookie back there behind center and you know what he looked pretty good and he doesn’t have the arm strength of a lot of quarterbacks but he’s pretty accurate and that makes up for a lot of the problems the arm strength. As long he knows what throws he can and can not make he should be able to at least step in and be a decent back up.

We saw him come into this game last Sunday in Houston and go 18-32 for 197 yards, with three touchdowns passes. That’s as much as you could hope for from a guy like McGloin and he really is a work in progress by all accounts. He’s a guy who came on late in college to even get into the position to join the team and boom he’s in there filling in for Pryor and already your hearing on our talk shows and in the Bay Area “hey maybe McGloin should be the starter instead of Pryor.

Well it’s a little too soon to say that and going forward this year you have to put Pryor back there as long as he’s healthy because that’s the real purpose of the Raiders this season is to figure out whether Pryor is the future quarterback of this football team. You got a guy like McGloin there and he does well it makes you feel a little bit better you have something to build on. If Pryor doesn’t pan out then McGloin can step in and do some business and take care of things for the Raiders for at least a short time.

Now is McGloin a long term solution for the Raiders at a bare minimum they probably have a solid back up behind Pryor whether McGloin is a full time starting option is anybody’s guess. One game against a really bad Texans team doesn’t prove too much in that respect. McGloin has proven for a game or two at least he can step in and be of service to any team in league let alone the Oakland Raiders.

The other big development is the emergence of Rashad Jennings who had just a fantastic game he had 22 rushes for 150 yards 80 of those yards came on one long bruising touchdown run that was just fantastic. Jennings ran through the line and lowered his shoulder and knocked the Texans safety backwards before rumbling the rest of the way it was an eye opening run that kind of served notice to running back Darren McFadden that Jennings is not going to give up that position anytime soon.

McFadden certainly helps by never being on the field but McFadden is a free agent after this season and if Jennings keeps this up it already is a 50-50 proposition whether McFadden returns to the Raiders and the better Jennings. The less likely that McFadden remains a Raider going into 2014. Jennings is proving that he can be a starter in this league, that he should be the Raider guy the rest of the way and he’s the guy to key on.

David Zizmor covers the NFL for Sportrstalk Radio

McGloin leads Raiders to victory

By Jeremy Kahn

With Terrelle Pryor out with a knee injury, Oakland Raiders head coach Dennis Allen was forced to go with undrafted free agent Matt McGloin.

In his first NFL start, McGloin threw three touchdowns, as the Raiders defeated the Houston Texans 28-23 at Reliant Stadium.

McGloin went 18-for-32 for 197 yards, as the Raiders scored their most points in a game this season.

Things did get dicey in the waning moments of the game, as the Texans were able drive all the way down the field to the Raiders’ eight-yard line; however Matt Schaub was unable to get the Texans into the end zone on fourth-and-goal, giving the Raiders the win.

Schaub came on to replace Case Keenum in the third quarter, but was unable to put an end to the Texans five-game losing streak.

Rashad Jennings, who is getting playing time due to the injury of Darren McFadden made the most of his additional playing time as the number one running back.

Jennings took a direct snap out of the Wildcat and scampered 80 yards to give the Raiders a 28-17 lead in the third quarter.

Mychal Rivera was on the receiving end of what turned out to be the game-winning touchdown, as he caught a 26-yard touchdown pass from McGloin with just over eight minutes remaining in the third quarter.

McGloin got the Raiders on the board in the first quarter, as he found Denarius Moore for a five-yard touchdown pass to give the Raiders a 7-0 lead.

Just less than six minutes later, McGloin threw his second touchdown of the quarter, as he found Rod Streeter for a 16-yard touchdown to give the visitors a two-touchdown lead.

Unfortunately, that lead would eventually disappear, as Keenum led the Texans back into the game.

Keenum found Garrett Graham for a 42-yard touchdown pass to cut the Raiders lead in half in the second quarter.

Keshawn Martin took a Marquette King punt on the 13-yard line and took 87 yards to the end zone to tie up the game with 2:54 remaining in the third quarter.

Randy Bullock then gave the Texans their first lead of the game, as he nailed a 52-yard field goal with under a minute to go in the third quarter.

Raiders don’t have a lot of margin for error

Photo Courtesy

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

New York State of Mind: Raiders invade MetLife Sunday

By. Joe Hawkes-Beamon

OAKLAND — Looking to put behind that 49-20 beat down at the hands of quarterback Nick Foles, and the Philadelphia Eagles at Coliseum last Sunday, the Raiders will visit MetLife Stadium for the first time when they take on the New York Giants Sunday. It’s the second straight week that the Silver and Black will face an NFC East team.

There is no question that Oakland’s (3-5) defense was embarrassed by Foles, who tied an NFL record with seven touchdown passes, but they have to put that performance behind them. Rookie cornerback D.J. Hayden is still trying to chase down Eagles wide receiver Riley Cooper.

Even with Giants quarterback Eli Manning struggling this year throwing the ball(2,167 YDs, 10 TDs, and a league-leading 15 INTs), Oakland needs to be real careful because the younger Manning brother has a propensity to have a big when his team needs one.

With running back Darren McFadden hurt once again (boy, has that been the norm for his career in Oakland), expect backup running back Rashad Jennings to get the start Sunday.

Jennings picked up his first 100-yard rushing game since 2010 against the Eagles, racking up 102 yards on 15 carries and a touchdown. The bruising running back also showed his versatility in the passing game, with 74 yards on seven catches.

New York (2-6), are coming off their bye week.

After starting the season 0-6, the Giants have won two straight games and are playing better, especially against the run.

In their last game (coincidently against Philadelphia), the Giants held the Eagles to 48 rushing yards. New York will look to stop Oakland’s ground game, particularly quarterback Terrelle Pryor by having middle linebacker Jon Beason spy on Pryor throughout the game.

The Giants know that Pryor is the key to Oakland’s offense and are going to throw everything (including the kitchen sink) at him. New York is currently ranked 28th in the league defensively, ninth against the run.

After sacking Ben Roethlisberger five times and collecting two interceptions in a 21-18 nail-biter in Oakland two weeks ago, the Raiders sacked Foles only twice, but allowed him to pick apart the defense. Outside of his seven touchdowns, Foles finished 22-of-28 for 406 yards passing and a perfect quarterback rating (158.3).

Oakland must get back to what they do best: get after the quarterback. The Raiders have sacked the opposing quarterback 23 times this year. Manning has been sacked 19 times this year.

Something has to give right? Giants are a 7.5-point favorite Sunday.

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 struggles in Raiders loss

By Jeremy Kahn

August 29, 2013

What a decision the brain trust of Mark Davis, Reggie McKenzie and Dennis Allen is dealing with, as the regular season is a week away.

That decision is who to start at quarterback for the Oakland Raiders against the Indianapolis Colts on September 8 at Lucas Oil Field.

In his final tuneup of the preseason, Terrelle Pryor struggled, as the Seattle Seahawks defeated the Raiders 22-6 at CenturyLink Field.

Pryor went 3-for-8 for just 31 yards passing, as the Raiders ended the preseason with a record of 1-3.

Matt Flynn, who is in competition for the starting job at quarterback did not even play in the preseason finale.

Rashad Jennings led the Raiders in rushing on the night, as he carried the ball six times for 53 yards.

Despite completing just three passes on the evening, Pryor did find Rod Streater for two separate 14 yard completions.

Justin Medlock accounted for all the scoring for the Raiders, as he kicked two field goals on the evening.

Tarvaris Jackson is making a great case to be the backup behind Russell Wilson for the Seahawks, as he went 12-for-17 for 119 yards