Raiders

Jim Harbaugh undergoes a heart procedure

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Jim Harbaugh undergoes a heart procedure

From Comcast SportsNetSANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) -- San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh was sent to the hospital Thursday for a "minor procedure" after doctors discovered he had an irregular heartbeat.The team said it anticipates Harbaugh will be back at the 49ers facility Friday, though it's unclear in what capacity. No details about the procedure were given.The NFC West-leading 49ers (6-2-1) host the NFC-North leading Chicago Bears (7-2) on Monday night at Candlestick Park."It's one of those things that, like Coach Harbaugh always tells us, he's tougher than a 2 steak," 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis said. "We know he's going to be alright. We know we have a bunch of great coaches here that keep everything on track, and we're going to practice today as if he was here."Team spokesman Bob Lange said no incident had occurred at the facility. Instead, Harbaugh had visited with doctors Wednesday night after feeling ill, and they advised him to have the procedure done at Stanford Hospital.Players were informed of Harbaugh's hospitalization by assistant head coach and special teams coordinator Brad Seely during Thursday morning's walkthrough. Seely also oversaw team meetings and the afternoon practice.Players said the news caught them by surprise."He was pretty good. We were slapping hands and talking yesterday," 49ers safety Dashon Goldson said of Harbaugh. "I didn't see anything. He showed no emotions. He didn't show anything like that."Added Willis: "He seemed fine to me. He actually sat right behind me in meetings. He seemed fine. I didn't know anything was wrong. But like I said, we know he's going to be alright."Suddenly, quarterback Alex Smith's recovery from a concussion is San Francisco's second-biggest injury concern.The 48-year-old Harbaugh won NFL Coach of the Year in his first season with the 49ers after coming over from Stanford, where he had engineered a Cardinal resurgence. He won the Orange Bowl in his final year on The Farm and groomed Andrew Luck into the eventual No. 1 overall draft pick of the Indianapolis Colts.The always intense coach's impact was immediately felt up the road in San Francisco.Harbaugh led the 49ers to a 13-3 record in the regular season and back to the playoffs for the first time since the 2002-03 season. They lost 20-17 in overtime to the New York Giants in the NFC championship game on Jan. 22.Harbaugh, a 15-year NFL quarterback who starred at Michigan in college, has always tried to outwork the competition.Most recently, Harbaugh and his wife, Sarah, welcomed their first son Sept. 4 -- and Harbaugh didn't even have to miss a full practice, just an afternoon walkthrough. Jack Jr., named after Harbaugh's father, was the couple's third child, joining two big sisters, Addison and Katherine.San Francisco scout team safety Michael Thomas played at Stanford under Harbaugh and has known the coach since Thomas was a 17-year-old recruit from Houston. He said he has seen Harbaugh -- whom he calls a mentor and friend -- exhaust himself for years but never imagined his health could be in jeopardy.Thomas sent Harbaugh a text message to wish him well -- and not to hurry back until he's healthy."In his mind, he's serious, like I never get sick, I never take a day off, blah, blah, blah," Thomas said. "To actually see something like this happen to a man who's so passionate about his job and about this team, to see him be taken away, you wish him well but you know it's just killing him not being here."------NOTES:Smith practiced in a non-contact black jersey for the second straight day. He hopes to play against the Bears, but there are still further steps for him to be medically cleared after sustaining a concussion in the second quarter against the St. Louis Rams on Sunday. ... Rookie LaMichael James, the former Oregon running back, has a friendly wager this week with Thomas. Whoever's former school wins Saturday's game between top-ranked Oregon and No. 14 Stanford has to wear the other team's gear all next week.

Three things you need to know after the Raiders’ 33-8 loss to the Patriots

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USATSI

Three things you need to know after the Raiders’ 33-8 loss to the Patriots

MEXICO CITY – Three things you need to know after the Raiders’ 33-8 loss to the New England Patriots on Sunday at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City:

1. So you’re saying there’s a chance?

The Raiders aren’t stacking wins as they’d like. Nobody in the AFC West is, either. The Chiefs lost another one, meaning the AFC West crown remains within reach. They’re two games back in the division and one back in the wild card race.

That, above all else, will keep the Raiders motivated after a disastrous loss to New England.

“We're professionals and to me, so long as you have hope, you keep your hope, you keep hope alive,” Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio said. “So, we'll continue to scratch and claw and fight for everything we can.”

The Raiders can harken Lloyd Christmas from “Dumb and Dumber.” So you’re saying there’s a chance?

The Raiders will only stay in it if they start a prolonged winning streak. There’s a chance do that on an upcoming two-game home stand. They play Denver and the New York Giants, respectively, in Oakland over the next fortnight. Those teams have five wins between them.

Wins can’t be assumed with the Raiders. With their inconsistency and mistake-prone play, they can lose to anyone.

Fight remains in this group. They’ll continue to push, especially with a 9-7 record being a legitimate playoff contender. They haven’t played worthy of such consideration, but remain hopeful a switch gets flipped.

“We are who we are, we're not going to turn on each other, we're not going to turn on anything about what we do,” quarterback Derek Carr said. “Obviously, we know that our culture and everything that we do works, because we have seen it work.”

2. Receiver corps becoming a weak spot

The Raiders have a talented group of receivers lacking consistency and production. That was the case on Sunday, when pass catchers hindered offensive flow and scoring opportunities.

Seth Roberts was the biggest offender. He had a drop, a false start and lost a fumble near the goal line with the Patriots up 14-0 late in the first half. Roberts had 12 yards in his pocket but held the ball one-handed, away from his body fighting for more. Marquis Flowers knocked it free and Patrick Chung recovered.

That was the turning point, a true 10-point swing. The Raiders lost a chance to reach the end zone, and allowed New England to get a field goal as the half expired.

“That was a major turn of events,” Del Rio said.

The slot receiver wasn’t the only receiver who stalled the Raiders offense. That group had five drops, according to Pro Football Focus, including two from Michael Crabtree. Johnny Holton wasn’t credited with a drop, but he had a perfectly thrown deep ball clang off his helmet and shoulder pads.

It’s a bad night in a bad year for the Raiders receivers, who haven’t been producing.

3. Lopsided score keeps Marshawn from going Beast Mode

Running back Marshawn Lynch was the only player who had a good Sunday. The bruising back ran roughshod over New England’s front seven, right from the start. He totaled 67 yards on 11 carries, and seemed primed for a big day and a higher-than-usual carry volume.

He and the Raiders run blocking was consistent, allowing him to reach the second level on several occasions.

The lopsided score, however, meant the Raiders had to abandon the ground game.

“I thought we ran the ball well early,” Del Rio said. “I would like to have ended up with 30-plus rush attempts in the ball game, but you got to stay within reasonable amount of the score in order to stick with the run.”

The Raiders were down two touchdowns in a flash, and were three scores behind at the half. That forced Derek Carr to chuck it towards an unreliable receiver corps. That method proved inefficient and never created the big moments.

Lynch has run well since returning from a one-game suspension. He has 25 carries for 124 yards and two touchdowns in his last two games. If there’s a positive to take from Sunday’s beat down, Lynch’s efficiency might be it.

Del Rio calls out NFL for Raiders losing home games to go abroad

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AP

Del Rio calls out NFL for Raiders losing home games to go abroad

MEXICO CITY – The Raiders have played in Mexico City the last two years, and have given up a home game to do it.

You already know head coach Jack Del Rio’s stance on the matter. He doesn’t like it. Not one bit.

The NFL announced Sunday morning that Mexico City will host games annually through 2021. The Raiders will be on the short list to return during that span.

“They’ve done a nice job for us over the last two years,” Del Rio said. “If it was a road game, I’d enjoy it. If they stop making (international contests) our home games, we’ll be fine.”

Hate to be the bearer of bad news Jack, but the Raiders will keep giving home games away. That’s expected each year until the Raiders formally move to Las Vegas.

The Raiders might not come back to Mexico for a third straight season, but could host a game in London next year. The NFL sent four games to the United Kingdom this year.

The Raiders have a massive fan base in England and Mexico, which makes them an attractive option to play abroad.

It might make financial sense for the team and the league to expand its base beyond borders, but the football people don’t find it fun.

The Raiders had more fans watching Sunday’s 33-8 loss to the New England Patriots at Estadio Azteca, but it’s no substitute for playing in Oakland.

“I think the crowd down here is pretty excited for the Raiders, so we appreciate that,” Del Rio said. “When you travel four-and-a-half hours, you’re not at home. We appreciate the hospitality and the good people who came out and supported us, but it’s hard to call it a home game.”

This one, especially. The Raiders had overwhelming support last year’s game against Houston, but Patriots fans were a large and vocal minority. They had plenty to cheer, as the Patriots waxed the Silver and Black over four quarters.

It’s hard to say the Raiders had a home crowd this time around, with plenty of noise when they were on offense.

“You know what, traveling down here, I think it was like four hours or something like that, and getting here, I think that hospitality was great, but it really wasn't, it wasn't the Coliseum,” quarterback Derek Carr said. “It didn’t have that feel. Now, we loved playing here, we loved coming down here and playing, but it felt more neutral.”