Raiders

Due to recent events, Raiders owner Mark Davis changes stance on protests

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AP

Due to recent events, Raiders owner Mark Davis changes stance on protests

The Raiders are one of the few teams yet to put out an official statement in the wake of President Trump's remarks at a rally in Alabama on Friday.

But on Sunday morning, owner Mark Davis spoke with ESPN and had this to say about players protesting during the national anthem:

“About a year ago, before our Tennessee game, I met with Derek Carr and Khalil Mack to ask their permission to have Tommie Smith light the torch for my father before the game in Mexico City. I explained to them that I was asking their permission because I had previously told them that I would prefer that they not protest while in the Raiders uniform. And should they have something to say, once their uniform was off, I might go up there with them. Over the last year, though, the streets have gotten hot and there has been a lot of static in the air and recently, fuel has been added to the fire. I can no longer ask our team to not say something while they are in a Raider uniform. The only thing I can ask them to do is do it with class. Do it with pride. Not only do we have to tell people there is something wrong, we have to come up with answers. That’s the challenge in front of us as Americans and human beings.”

According to the NFL Network, the entire Raiders offensive line plans to sit or kneel during the national anthem on Sunday in Washington.

This season, first-year Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch has protested during the national anthem by sitting on a bench on the sideline. During the Raiders' preseason game against the Rams on August 20, linebacker Bruce Irving stood with his teammates but raised a fist in the air and quarterback Derek Carr placed his hand on the shoulder of edge rusher Khalil Mack.

Afterwards, Carr insisted it wasn't a form of protest.

“We’re not doing anything like that. We wanted to show the kids that look up to me, look up to him, white kids, black kids, brown kids, blue, green, it doesn’t matter -- all be loving to each other. We’re best friends and we’re loving to one another," Carr told reporters.

“The only reason we did that was to unify the people that look up to us because obviously you see what’s going on in the world. Obviously everyone pays attention to the national anthem nowadays. We just said that obviously this was the best time to do it while still honoring this country because I love this country. We’re free to live here and play this game but we’re also free to show that we love one another.”

The three things you need to know from Raiders' 25-16 loss to Chiefs

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AP

The three things you need to know from Raiders' 25-16 loss to Chiefs

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Here are three things you should know from Friday’s 26-15 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday:

Raiders down, virtually out: Try as they might to ruin a once-promising season, the AFC West kept giving the Raiders life. The Chargers started slow. The Chiefs went into a tailspin in the season’s second half. That gave the Raiders control they didn’t deserve, with a real chance to with the division by taking care of business.

Players felt blessed to have that opportunity. It was ultimately squandered Sunday with an awful performance against the Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium.

The days of, “so you’re saying there’s a chance” are basically numbered. It would take three straight wins and a whole lot of help to get back in this thing. The Raiders aren’t and shouldn’t to be in the hunt. Not after such a terrible showing in a game that could’ve established pole position.

“We don’t deserve to be No. 1 in our division,” tight end Lee Smith told the Las Vegas Review-Journal, “when we just went out there and pissed on our leg.”

Colorful, yet accurate.

The Raiders were flat in a huge moment. There’s no discounting that.

“This was a tough one,” Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio said. “We obviously came into this with high hopes. Everything that we wanted to accomplish in our season was in front of us. It was a big day and a big moment, and we did not play well.”

Another offens(ive) showing: The Raiders offense has underwhelmed all year, with poor execution leading to long scoreless spells. Sunday’s showing might’ve been the worst yet.

The Raiders had three or less plays on six of their first eight drives against the NFL’s No. 28-ranked defense. Quarterback Derek Carr had a 36.3 passer rating in that span, with a pair of late touchdown to put lipstick on the effort.

Players and coaches were scratching heads over exactly what went wrong. In this case, the “what” is more important than the “why.”

“That is a good question,” head coach Jack Del Rio said. “That’s something we have to take a look at. Bottom line: We did not (establish an offensive rhythm). The first five drives were four punts and a pick. That’s not the kind of productivity we needed today. Obviously.”

The Raiders have all these weapons, from Carr to Michael Crabtree to Jared Cook to Marshawn Lynch to the most expensive offensive line in NFL history, and they can’t produce consistently. Frustration among those power players is starting to mount, especially after struggling in a game the Raiders had to win.

“It was not good enough,” Cook said. “No first half points. Barely any second-half points. The offense didn’t pull our weight today.”

3. Raiders lost in big moment: The Raiders understood the magnitude of this moment. They knew this game was vital to winning their first AFC West title since 2002. They were not up to the task.

They played poor in each phase. Offensive struggles are well documented. The defense held strong and forced a lot of field goals, but didn’t make the game-changing plays required with the offense scuffling. Even Marquette King had a rough day, with several uncharacteristically poor punts.

Del Rio insists the preparation was good. The execution, however, was not. The Raiders weren’t up to this challenge, and struggled in the spotlight. It seems strange considering how good they were under pressure last year, but this year’s group has not been clutch.

That was a disappointment to many veterans in a subdued locker room. They had a great opportunity, and blew it.

“We have a young team,” edge rusher Bruce Irvin said. “I don’t think guys understand that when you get opportunities like this you have to take advantage of them. The NFL is about winning in December. If you don’t do that, you won’t be playing in January.”

Odds of the Raiders playing beyond the regular season are slim, virtually nil all because of what happened here at Arrowhead Stadium.

Instant Analysis: Raiders fall flat on their face, suffer ugly loss to Chiefs

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USATSI

Instant Analysis: Raiders fall flat on their face, suffer ugly loss to Chiefs

BOX SCORE

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – You’ll see several national stories about how the Kansas City Chiefs are back, fully recovered from a late-season slide.

Maybe they are. Maybe they aren’t. Tough to tell when the competition’s so poor.

The Raiders were awful in Sunday’s just-gotta-have-it game at Arrowhead Stadium, beaten handily in a 26-15 result justly deserved.

Now they’re down and virtually out of the AFC West, needing considerable help to get back in the race. That assumes, of course, that everything else goes right. That’s hard to fathom after the Raiders pulled a no-show against a division rival.

The offense in particular was terrible through three-plus quarters. A late-game surge padded some stats, but quarterback Derek Carr wasn’t good. He had a 36.3 passer rating after three periods, and couldn’t establish an offensive rhythm while Kansas City built an insurmountable lead.

The Raiders ran three plays or less on six of their first eight drives, while the Chiefs built a four-score cushion. They had 268 total yards, and barely had possession.

The defense valiantly fought an uphill battle, but eventually lost contain Raiders kryptonite Travis Kelce and Alex Smith.

All that in a game they simply had to win. They controlled their own fate heading into Sunday. Wins over Kansas City and the Los Angeles Chargers, when paired with a Dallas-Philly split, would’ve won the AFC West.

A brutal midseason slump pushed them outside playoff contention, but a prolonged Chiefs losing streak provided new life. Players felt blessed to have it, and seemed ready to close the season strong.

That didn’t happen. The Raiders fell flat on their face, a look unbecoming of a playoff contender. The Silver and Black aren’t anymore. Not after this one.

It somehow felt worse than the 52-0 thrashing three years ago in St. Louis, maybe because these Raiders had so much at stake.

Jack Del Rio said after firing Ken Norton three weeks ago that nobody should feel comfortable. That’s especially true following a result that should send tremors through all levels of this organization.

A late-game surge shouldn’t change that. The Raiders ended the shutout with roughly nine minutes left. They cut the lead to nine, but never moved with the urgency required to erase that deficit.

They return to Oakland disappointed, with a tough stretch ahead and wake opportunities in their wake.