Instant Replay: Raiders beat lowly Jaguars, stay perfect on road

Instant Replay: Raiders beat lowly Jaguars, stay perfect on road


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Raiders have been good coming from behind this season, but they haven’t shown a killer instinct.

They’ll create a lead, let it slip and then rally (or not) at the finish.

That didn’t happen this time. They jumped out to a two-score halftime lead, sat on it and never got up in a 33-16 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars.

This result was a mandatory against a poor Jaguars team with some talent and no cohesion.

A maligned Raiders defense needed this one, even if a solid showing came against a terrible Jaguars attack.

The Raiders kept Jacksonville out of the end zone for 56 minutes and largely corralled quarterback Blake Bortles and speedy receivers Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns with coverage and an improved pass rush.

The offense scored twice in the second quarter, but didn’t do much for most of the second half. Seabastian Janikowski inflated the score with four field goals that kept Jacksonville at arm’s length, and Latavius Murray finally swung the axe on a 9-yard touchdown run with three minutes left

Raiders quarterback Derek Carr wasn’t great but got the job done. He was 23-of-37 passing for 200 yards and a touchdown. Amari Cooper didn’t do much while shadowed by Jaguars corner Jalen Ramsey, but Michael Crabtree came through in the clutch with eight catches for 96 yards and a touchdown.

This win wasn’t pretty, but they all count the same.

The Raiders move to 5-2 this season, with another chance to win against Tampa Bay next week in this two-game Florida swing.

The offense chose to eliminate risk while up multiple scores in the second half, milk the clock, punt and allow the defense to grind out a victory. They did exactly that, though a Julius Thomas touchdown catch trimmed the lead some with four minutes remaining.

The Raiders struggled to find the end zone early on, but scored steadily and eventually hit pay dirt twice late in the second quarter. They scored 14 points in the final 5 minutes, 32 seconds, which changed the complexion of this game.

The Raiders put together a long, sustained drive, with 63 of its 75 yards gained on the ground. Latavius Murray concluded proceedings with a 2-yard touchdown run that put his team up 13-3.

Jacksonville responded with a field goal, but left too much time on the clock for Carr.

He took the Raiders 75 yards downfield, largely on one perfect over-the-shoulder strike to Michael Crabtree. Crabtree mopped up three plays later with a 2-yard touchdown catch on a well-timed slant.

A barely watchable third quarter produced a field goal for each side as the game grinded to a halt.

Murray’s return helps run game: The Raiders running game hit a lull the past few weeks after a hot start, but it got cranking again in Jacksonville. Latavius Murray’s return and a high carry volume got things going against a middle-of-the-road Jaguars run defense.

The Raiders had 144 yards on 34 rushes, averaging 4.2 yards per carry in this one. Murray led the way with 59 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries.

Lots of yellow: There were a ton of penalties and a few ejections in this game. Johnny Holton and Jalen Ramsey were thrown out for fighting. Malik Jackson was ejected for multiple personal fouls complaining about a roughing the passer penalty.

The Raiders made several mistakes, and were penalized 11 times for 117 yards. The Jaguars were flagged 13 times for 122 yards. The 239 combined penalty yards are a single-game high this season.

Sitting it out: Right tackle Menelik Watson needs a bit more time to recover from a groin injury suffered in Week 3 against Tennessee. He was limited all week but not considered ready to play. Austin Howard started, and Matt McCants was his backup after missing five games with a knee injury. Vadal Alexander also missed work with an ankle injury.

The Raiders were also without core special teams players Brynden Trawick and Taiwan Jones, both down with injury.

What’s next: The Raiders will stay in Florida between Sunday’s game and next week’s contest at Tampa Bay. They’ll practice at the IMG Academy in Bradenton and stay at a nice hotel in Sarasota in the interim to prepare for the Buccaneers.

Report: Raiders bring Reggie Nelson back


Report: Raiders bring Reggie Nelson back

Reggie Nelson has been on a reunion tour since signing with the Raiders. He first worked under Jack Del Rio, his head coach in Jacksonville and someone who choose to make him 2007’s No. 21 overall draft pick.

That link held for two years. Then Del Rio got run out in favor of Jon Gruden and Nelson hit the free-agent market. The 34-year old – he’ll be 35 in September – wasn’t expected back after a down year in 2017.

Another blast from the past created a road back to Oakland, where he reportedly signed a one-year deal with the Raiders. NFL Network reported news of Nelson’s pact.

Nelson thrived, with 23 interceptions and 62 passes defensed during six seasons in Cincinnati. New Raiders defensive coordinator Paul Guenther was linebackers coach and then Bengals DC (for two years) during Nelson’s time in the Queen City.

Nelson had five picks in 2016, his first year with Oakland, but seemed to slow down some last season. He had 60 tackles, two forced fumbles and an interception in 2017.

Nelson will help teach a system familiar to him but foreign to most Raiders, but will certainly angle for steady snaps despite increased competition at his spot. 

He’ll compete for snaps at safety despite last week’s signing of Marcus Gilchrist, expected to take his spot, though it might be an uphilll climb. Gilchrist and Joseph should still be expected to start next season. The Raiders also have Obi Melifonwu at that position, though the second-year pro must earn a role in this defense. The other three have starter’s experience and will compete for that opportunity. Gilchrist also has experience covering the slot, which could help the secondary if a career cornerback isn't found to fill that role. 

Aldon Smith back in custody after police say he violated restraining order


Aldon Smith back in custody after police say he violated restraining order

SAN FRANCISCO — Former Oakland Raiders player Aldon Smith surrendered to police Friday on charges he violated a domestic violence restraining order.

San Francisco police said the 28-year-old Smith turned himself and was booked on three misdemeanor charges of violating a court order to stay away from a domestic violence victim.

Earlier this month, Smith pleaded not guilty to domestic violence and other charges and a judge issued a protective order prohibiting him from contacting the victim.

Police said Smith violated the restraining order earlier this week.

Smith’s attorney, Joshua Bentley, did not return a voicemail message from The Associated Press seeking comment.

The Raiders released the linebacker days after his arrest on the domestic violence charges.

He had been on the suspended list since late 2015 for violating the NFL’s policy on substance abuse.