Raiders enter the bye week a game over .500

Photo credit: @Raiders

By Joe Hawkes-Beamon
SRS Contributor

After five weeks of NFL games, the Raiders find themselves on a bye week entering Week 6 of the 2019 schedule.

The Raiders (3-2) shook off a 1-2 start and are riding a two-game winning streak heading into break thanks in large part of a efficiency on offense, and aggressive defense.

Quarterback Derek Carr has gotten off to a good start, completing 118 of 161 passes for 1,117 yards with six touchdowns and three interceptions while sporting a 96.7 passer rating through five games.

In a season that was expected to feature superstar wide receiver Antonio Brown to be a key weapon for Carr after acquiring the mercurial Brown from the Pittsburgh Steelers in an offseason trade before Brown would force his way out of Oakland, the Raiders signal-caller has spread the ball around field most notably to tight end Darren Waller.

Waller, who is in his second season with Oakland, leads the team in receptions (37) and receiving yards (359) this season. Even though wide receiver Tyrell Williams leads the team with four touchdown catches, Carr looks for Waller on almost every passing play.

Oakland ranks 18th in total offense, averaging 20.6 points per game.

But the true weapon for Oakland’s offense is rookie running back Josh Jacobs, who is the engine that powers Oakland’s ninth-ranked rushing attack.

Through five games, Jacobs is easily the NFL’s Offensive Rookie of the Year with 88 carries for 430 yards and four touchdowns to lead all rookie rushers. His 430 yards on the ground are more than Hall of Fame running back Marcus Allen through Allen’s first five games in Silver and Black per the Elias Sports Bureau.

Throw in six catches for 77 yards as an added bonus, and Jacobs is a complete running back who fits in today’s NFL where running backs must be reliable in the passing game.

Defensively, linebacker Tahir Whitehead paces the team with 31 total tackles (25 solo, 6 assisted); while defensive end Benson Mayowa leads the Raiders with 4.5 sacks this season.

Oakland ranks 16th in the NFL in scoring defense, surrendering 24.6 points per game.

Safety Erik Harris has Oakland’s biggest play on defense this season, cementing Oakland’s 31-24 win in Indianapolis in Week 4 with a pick-6 interception in the fourth quarter.

Following Oakland’s Week 6 bye, the Raiders continue their five-game road trip (even though last week’s 24-21 victory over the Chicago Bears in London was considered a “home” game), with a trip to Lambeau Field to take on the Green Bay Packers in Week 7 before finishing up against the Houston Texans in Week 8.

Mahomes throws for four touchdowns in Chiefs’ 28-10 win

photo from sfgate.com:  Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) calls out the audibles during Sunday’s game at the Oakland Coliseum against the Oakland Raiders

By Jeremy Kahn

OAKLAND — Patrick Mahomes continues his magical run thru the NFL, and it was another impressive showing on Sunday afternoon.

Mahomes went 30-for-44 for 443 yards with four touchdowns, as the Kansas City Chiefs defeated the Oakland Raiders 28-10 before a crowd of 52,748 at the Coliseum.

The second-year quarterback put on a show in the second quarter, as he threw four touchdowns in the quarter and the Chiefs took a 28-10 lead into the locker room at the end of the first half.

Demarcus Robinson caught six passes for 172 yards and two touchdowns, including two in the second quarter that helped the Chiefs overcome a 10-0 deficit.

Robinson was the receiving end of a Mahomes 44-yard touchdown pass with just five seconds gone into the second quarter, and then a 39-yard touchdown pass seven seconds after the Raiders punted the ball.

In the second quarter alone, the Chiefs gained exactly 300 yards and scored four touchdowns to take a 28-10 lead into the halftime.

Derek Carr went 23-for-38 for 198 yards passing, one touchdown and two interceptions on the afternoon.

Rookie Josh Jacobs continues to impress, as he carried the ball 12 times, while gaining 99 yards on the game.

Tyrell Williams caught a four-yard pass from Carr that gave the Raiders a 10-0 early in the first quarter.

Daniel Carlson got the Raiders on the board on their first series of the game, as he kicked a 28-yard field goal to give the Raiders an early 3-0 lead.

Mecole Hardman also caught a touchdown pass that gave the Chiefs the lead for good, as Mahomes found Hardman for a 42-yard touchdown that ended a 14 play 95-yard drive that took 6:32 off the clock.

Hardman caught three passes off the clock, as the Chiefs improved to 2-0 on the season, while the Raiders fall to 1-1 after the first two weeks of the season.

LeSean McCoy, who was picked up on waivers by the Chiefs after he was released by the Buffalo Bills led the team in rushing, as he carried the 11 times for 23 yards.

Bashaud Breeland led the Chiefs with eight tackles, while Daryl Worley and Tahir Whitehead led the Raiders with seven tackles.

Gareon Conley picked up three tackles just one week after he sustained a neck injury in Mondays 24-16 victory over the Denver Broncos.

NOTES: Mahomes threw for 278 yards in the decisive second quarter were the most by a quarterback since Drew Brees threw for 294 yards in the fourth quarter against the Atlanta Falcons on December 9, 2008.

Carr passed Ken Stabler as the all-time leading passer in Raiders history, as he connected for a 16-yard pass to Darren Waller in the second quarter. In just his sixth season in the NFL, Carr has thrown for 19,196 yards.

UP NEXT: This is the last Raiders home game with the baseball configuration ever, as the team is scheduled to open Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas in 2020.

The Raiders’ next game in the Coliseum will be on November 3 against the Detroit Lions; however, the Raiders will be the home for their Sunday evening game against the Chicago Bears on October 6 in London.

Raiders are off to Cincinnati for matchup against Bengals on Sunday

Photo credit: wsj.com

By Joe Hawkes-Beamon
SRS Contributor

OAKLAND, Calif. — The Raiders are seeking back-to-back wins for the first time this season, as they prepare to head East where they will face the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 15 action. The contest will conclude the Raiders’ regular season schedule against the AFC North, as they are 2-1 against the division in 2018.

Sunday will mark just the first meeting between the two teams since 2015, and Oakland’s first visit to Paul Brown Stadium since 2012. In 28 meetings, the Raiders are 18-10 against the Bengals all-time, with Cincinnati winning the last two encounters.

Kickoff is at 10:00 a.m. PT.

Last week, the Raiders improved to 3-10 on the season, knocking off the Pittsburgh Steelers from the AFC North, 24-21 in come-from-behind fashion in front of a frenzy crowd at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum.

The Raiders wouldn’t be denied the victory as quarterback Derek Carr engineered an 8-play, 75-yard drive that was punctuated by touchdown pass to tight end Derek Carrier for the eventual game-winner after the Steelers missed a potential game-tying field goal from 39 yards away as time expired.

Carr finished the game with a blistering 122.4 passer rating after completing 25-of-34 passes for 322 yards and two touchdowns. It was Carr’s 16th comeback victory in his career. No other player has more comebacks since 2014, Carr’s rookie season.

After a rocky start to the season in which he threw 10 touchdowns and a eight interceptions through Weeks 1-8, Carr has rebounded tremendously since throwing eight touchdowns and no interceptions since. Carr hasn’t thrown an interception in his last 261 attempts, the second most by a quarterback this season.

Tight end Jared Cook has been the Raiders most trusted playmaker this season.

Against the Steelers, Cook recorded his second-straight 100-yard receiving day, tallying 116 yards on seven catches. It was Cook’s fourth 100-yard receiving game of the season, which is second-most by a tight end this season.

In his second season with Oakland, the nine-year veteran is having his most productive season, with career-highs in catches (61), yards (825), and touchdowns (six). With three games left in the season, Cook has a chance to challenge Todd Christensen’s club record of 1,153 receiving yards by a tight end set in 1986.

Defensively, linebacker Tahir Whitehead recorded his first interception of the season for the Raiders and finished with 10 tackles (six solo). Whitehead now has 103 tackles for the season, giving him his third-straight season of at least 100 tackles.

With season-ending injuries to franchise quarterback Andy Dalton (hand) and superstar wide receiver A.J. Green (foot),  the Bengals (5-8), are a shell of themselves and currently are riding a five-game losing streak.

Cincinnati fell to the Los Angeles Chargers 26-21 at StubHub Center in Carson, Calif. in Week 14. Second-year running back Joe Mixon has been one of the lone bright spots for the Bengals this season and his game against the Chargers proved that.

Against the Chargers, Mixon carried the ball 26 times for 111 yards and a touchdown, giving him 866 rushing yards and six touchdowns this season. Barring major injury the rest of the season, Mixon should record his first 1,000-yard rushing season.

Following Sunday’s game, the Raiders will return home to take on their AFC West rival, the Denver Broncos on Christmas Eve in what could be the final home game in Oakland for the Raiders.

The City of Oakland filed a lawsuit against the franchise this week for their move to Las Vegas in 2020. The Raiders don’t have a lease signed to play at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum for 2019.

Sunday’s game against the Raiders will the Bengals’ home-finale, as they will finish up on the road in Week’s 16 and 17 against the Cleveland Browns and Steelers, respectively.

The Sunday Spotlight: Rookies and the defense aid Ravens in 34-17 win over Raiders

Photo credit: @Ravens

By Joe Hawkes-Beamon
SRS Contributor

Rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson threw for a score and ran for another, and linebacker Terrell Suggs returned a fumble 43 yards for a touchdown helping the Ravens dispatch the visiting Oakland Raiders, 34-17 on Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium.

Rookie running back Gus Edwards rushed for 118 yards on 23 carries, his second-straight game that he’s rushed for over 100 yards. Edwards, who went undrafted in this year’s NFL draft out of Rutgers, rushed for 115 yards on 17 carries last week in Baltimore’s 24-21 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals.

Ravens backup cornerback Cyrus Jones took a punt 70 yards to for a touchdown that helped the Ravens (6-5) win for back-to-back games for the first time since September.

The Ravens would carry a 13-10 halftime lead into the locker room.

On the Ravens’ first drive in the third quarter, Jackson would lead the Ravens on a 13-play, 75-yard drive in 6:50 that ended in a 5-yard scoring run by the Louisville product that pushed Baltimore’s lead to 20-10.

Following a Derek Carr 16-yard touchdown pass to tight end Jared Cook (who made an unbelievable one-handed catch as he’s falling to the ground) that cut Baltimore’s lead to 20-17, Jackson would engineer a 17-play, 71-yard drive that chewed up 8:51 off the clock that was capped off by an 8-yard slant-route touchdown catch by former Raiders wide receiver Michael Crabtree that extended the Ravens’ lead to 27-17.

Crabtree, who was cut in the offseason by Oakland, finished with three catches for 21 yards on six targets.

Baltimore relied heavily on the running game that kept the Raiders off balance for most of the day, as Jackson led Baltimore on two touchdown drives that consumed 16 minutes of game time stretching from the third into the fourth quarter.

Oakland’s 31st-ranked running defense couldn’t stop the Ravens on Sunday, allowing 242 rushing yards on 43 attempts.

Jackson, who started at quarterback for the second-straight week in place of regular starter Joe Flacco whose been dealing with a injured right hip, did throw two interceptions on passes that were tipped but otherwise, played efficiently for Baltimore.

After not recording a sack through three quarters, the Ravens finally started to get pressure on Carr, sacking the Raiders starting quarterback on three-straight plays in the fourth quarter. Ravens linebacker Matthew Judon, who entered Week 12 with just three sacks on the season, recorded all three sacks on Carr.

Judon’s first sack resulted in a Carr fumble that was quickly scooped up by linebacker Terrell Suggs who then raced 43 yards for a touchdown that made the score 34-17, ending any hope for the Raiders.

Carr threw for 194 yards and one touchdown on 16-of-34 passes for Oakland (2-9), who scored a touchdown on their first possession for the second-straight week. Carr led Oakland on a 12-play, 81-yard drive in 6:15 that included a 30-yard completion to backup tight end Lee Smith on fourth-and-1 that was capped off by running back Doug Martin’s 1-yard touchdown run.

The scoring play for Martin was his first of the season for the Silver and Black. Martin scored his last touchdown last October as a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Martin recorded 72 yards total (51 rushing and 21 receiving) on 14 touches (11 rushes and 3 catches) for the game. Second-year wide receiver Marcell Ateman was the only other Raider with three catches, finishing with just 21 yards. Ateman led the team with 10 targets.

Wide receiver Seth Roberts led Oakland with 54 yards receiving on two catches. Roberts’ 44-yard catch from Carr in the third quarter would setup tight end Jared Cook’s 16-yard touchdown catch that made the score 20-10 following a 5-yard touchdown run by Jackson to begin the third quarter.

For the second straight week, the Raiders’ defense recorded two interceptions with safeties Reggie Nelson and Marcus Gilchrist each notching a takeaway.

Linebacker Tahir Whitehead recorded 14 tackles and linebacker Nicholas Morrow recorded just the 10th sack by Oakland this season in the first quarter.

On Sunday, Dec. 2, the Raiders return home to face the Kansas City Chiefs for the first time this season. Kansas City (9-2) who is currently on a bye week, leads the AFC West and are coming off a wild 54-51 loss to the Los Angeles Rams on Nov. 18 in a game that was originally set to take place at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City.

The Ravens will travel to Atlanta to take on the Falcons in Week 13.

Raiders to face Chargers Sunday at the Coliseum

Photo credit: @ChargersRHenne

By Joe Hawkes-Beamon
SRS Contributor

OAKLAND — The Raiders will return home to the Oakland-Alameda Coliseum this Sunday as they welcome the visiting Los Angeles Chargers to town in a Week 10 battle between these AFC West rivals. The 118th matchup between these two teams will kickoff at 1:05 p.m. PT, with the Silver and Black holding a 62-53-2 edge over the Chargers all-time, but the Chargers have won the last three meetings.

The Chargers defeated the Raiders 26-10 at StubHub Center in Week 5 and are going for the sweep in the two-game season series.

Oakland is coming off a humbling 34-3 loss on the road against the San Francisco 49ers in Week 9. In the game, the Raiders (1-7) scored on their first possession behind a 37-yard field goal by rookie kicker Daniel Carlson, but saw the 49ers (2-7) score 34 unanswered points. Starting quarterback Derek Carr completed 16-of-21 passes for 171 yards while posting a 99.5 passer rating.  On the season, Carr has completion rating of 72.3, which ranks second in the NFL.

Oakland’s offense registered just 242 yards against the 49ers, who sacked Carr seven times in the game.

Linebacker Tahir Whitehead had a team-high six tackles (five solo and one assisted) for Oakland. Four of Whitehead’s tackles were for losses. On the season, Whitehead leads the team with 57 total tackles (42 solo and 15 assisted).

The Chargers (6-2), are off to their best start since 2006 and have won five straight games.

Last Sunday, the Chargers went into noisy CenturyLink Field and defeated the Seattle Seahawks 25-17. Chargers starting quarterback Philip Rivers completed 13-of-26 passes for 228 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions against Seattle. In his 15th season, Rivers continues to put up big numbers, throwing for 2,236 yards with 19 touchdowns to just three interceptions.

Against the Seahawks, starting running back Melvin Gordon had plenty of running lanes to run through rushing for 113 yards on 16 carries and one touchdowns. Through the Chargers’ eight games this season, Gordon ranks sixth among all running backs in the NFL with 579 yards and seven touchdowns.

Wide receiver Keenan Allen had a big day in Seattle, hauling in six passes for 124 yards, his first 100-yard receiving day since Week 1. Despite just having just one touchdown this season (which also occurred in Week 1), Allen leads the team with 47 receptions for 630 yards.

Fellow wide receivers Tyrell Williams and Mike Williams (no relation), are tied for the team-high with five touchdowns apiece.

Following Sunday’s game, the Raiders will head to Arizona to face the Cardinals. The Chargers will return home to take on the Denver Broncos, their second-straight game within the division.