Category Archives: Oakland Raiders

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Marshawn Lynch

Marshawn Lynch

OAKLAND, Calif. — Riding the legs of Marshawn Lynch, while holding on for dear life all day against a battered New York Giants team, the Oakland Raiders pulled out a 24-17 victory Sunday at the Oakland Coliseum. The win sets up a showdown for first place in the AFC West next week at Kansas City.

What it means: After a 2-4 start, the Raiders are at .500 for the first time since Week 4, when they were 2-2 and in the midst of a four-game losing streak from which they have been playing catchup ever since. There is now also a three-way tie for first place in the AFC West between the Raiders, Los Angeles Chargers and Kansas City Chiefs at 6-6. The three teams are 1-1 against each other thus far this season.

What I liked: The Raiders defense got off to an extremely fast start. They forced three straight three-and-outs to start the game and were in line for a fourth straight, save for Denico Autry jumping offside. At halftime, the Raiders had allowed only 100 yards of total offense to the Giants, on 30 plays, and limited them to just 2-of-7 on third-down conversions. Oakland also had two sacks of Geno Smith in the first half.

What I didn’t like: How cute the Raiders got offensively after Lynch ran wild through the Giants on the first series. True, it did look as though Lynch tweaked something on his 51-yard touchdown run, but he was not in the game for the next two offensive series. Instead, receiver Cordarrelle Patterson was running the ball on third-and-short. By the time Lynch returned, the Raiders’ offense was backfiring all over the field. Yeah, missing your top two receivers will have that effect.

Fantasy fallout: With Michael Crabtree serving a one-game suspension and Amari Cooper out with a concussion and left ankle injury, the Raiders’ WR corps was depleted. Then TE Jared Cook got nicked up on a tackle. Leave it to Lynch, then, who with 101 yards on the ground went over 100 yards for the first time since Oct. 22, 2015, when he had 122 yards for the Seattle Seahawks against the San Francisco 49ers. Lynch also caught two passes for 20 yards to go with his 51-yard TD run.

Mack attack: Khalil Mack put on a clinic with a pretty strip-sack of Smith in which he recovered his own forced fumble on a play that began at the Raiders’ 4-yard line late in the first half. It was sack No. 7.5 for Mack, who leads Oakland, as Mack simply swallowed up Smith and took the ball from him as the two fell to the grass.

What’s next: The Raiders, who have already defeated the Chiefs this season, play at Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday against Kansas City, which has lost six of its past seven games to fall to 6-6. The Raiders have not swept the Chiefs since 2012.

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Isaiah J. Downing

Isaiah J. Downing

The Denver Broncos (2-1) and Oakland Raiders (2-1) opened even money in Vegas odds for their Week 4 matchup in Denver, but after the Raiders lost badly to the Washington Redskins on Sunday the line has moved towards Denver and now stands at 2.5 points.

Given that the home team typically gets a field goal spotted in their direction, the line still slightly favors the Raiders there.

Trevor Siemian struggled badly against a Top 5 pass defense in the Buffalo Bills, but he has shredded the weaker pass defenses of the San Diego Chargers and Dallas Cowboys. This might be a good spot for him to rebound.

Historically, Derek Carr has not played well against elite pass defenses and has never had much success against the Broncos defense. If the Broncos front seven can continue to do what it has done against the run, this game should fall in the Broncos favor.

Rival games are tough, though, so I wouldn’t personally recommend putting any money on it.

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Penn

Penn

ALAMEDA, Calif. — Pro Bowl left tackle Donald Penn ended his 26-day holdout and reported to the Oakland Raiders on Wednesday. And while it was immediately unclear whether Penn had received a new contract, he took the practice field to cheers and handshakes from his teammates.

Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but he did say at the start of training camp that Penn already had a contract and he would not negotiate with a player who was not with the team.

To make room for Penn on the active roster, the Raiders waived defensive end Jimmy Bean.

Penn, 34, was reportedly upset that his salary — he was scheduled to make $5.8 million in base in 2017 — did not rank in the top 10 of left tackles. Rather, according to ESPN Stats & Information research, Penn ranked 11th among pure left tackles, behind the Washington Redskins’s Trent Williams ($11.25 million), the Houston Texans’ Duane Brown ($9.65 million), the Buffalo Bills’ Cordy Glenn ($9 million), the Jacksonville Jaguars’ Branden Albert ($8.875 million), the Cleveland Browns’ Joe Thomas ($8.8 million), the San Francisco 49ers’ Joe Staley ($8.25 million), the Los Angeles Rams’ Andrew Whitworth ($7.50 million), the Kansas City Chiefs’ Eric Fisher ($6.85 million), the New England Patriots’ Nate Solder ($6.5 million) and the Minnesota Vikings’ Riley Reiff ($6.2 million).

Penn, who re-signed with Oakland on a two-year, $11.9 million deal in March 2016, was not scheduled to speak to the media Wednesday, according to a team spokesman.

Donald Penn splits to double team of pads in practice Wednesday. The Pro Bowl left tackle ended his 26-day holdout and reported to the team’s facility for practice.

Raiders quarterback Derek Carr was asked Tuesday how much Penn’s return would mean to the team.

“It would obviously mean a lot, if that’s what he decides to do,” Carr said. “He’s our teammate. We want all of our teammates here. We want to work hard together, we want to be together, we want to joke together. It’s more than just football. We want to be there in his life with him, those kind of things. It would mean a lot, and obviously I would love it.”

Since Penn was on the Reserve/Did Not Report List, the Raiders will have to make a corresponding roster move to make room for him on their 90-man roster.

With Penn out, newcomer Marshall Newhouse, who was signed to compete for the starting right tackle position, was at left tackle, while second-year player Vadal Alexander was at right tackle. Rookie David Sharpe was also getting first-team reps at left tackle.

Penn has not missed a regular-season game since entering the NFL as an undrafted free agent out of Utah State with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2007. He did, however, sit out Oakland’s playoff loss at Houston in January with a left knee injury.

Pro Football Focus had Penn with an overall grade of 86.3 last season, which ranked 12th among tackles, with a run block grade of 88.7 (fifth) and a pass blocking efficiency grade of 96.9 (sixth).

Penn was charged with allowing only one sack in 621 pass snaps last season, but it was a big one — the hit that broke Carr’s right fibula.

“That play sticks with me,” Penn said in May during OTAs. “I’m going to try to do what I can do better and make sure it never happens again. I’ve never gotten a quarterback hurt in my life since I’ve been playing. That was a first. That’s something I take pride in. I’m going to try my hardest to make sure that doesn’t happen again.”