Jackson speaks to NFL, does not expect to be fined


Jackson speaks to NFL, does not expect to be fined

ALAMEDA -- Raiders coach Hue Jackson was coolly measured and calculated on Sunday when he offered his take on the officiating in Oakland's 27-21 defeat of Minnesota, saying things were, well, unfair.Monday, in his weekly media conference, he was asked if he thought he might be getting fined by the NFL for his postgame comments?"Me? Me, expecting to get a fine? Are you kidding me?" an incredulous Jackson said. "For what?"

Well, if, New York Jets coach Rex Ryan was just fined 75,000 for cursing at a fan, you might think Jackson would be in line to open up his personal checkbook for going after the NFL's holy cows in the refs, right?"I just said what I felt," Jackson said. "I didn't criticize an individual call or anything like that. I just said what I felt. I would do that for my football team. Like I said, I'm going to protect my team. I don't expect any (fine) is going to become of it. I think what needed to be said was said, and we move forward."An email to the league seeking comment had not been immediately replied to Monday afternoon.But Jackson insisted he had already had his seeming day in court with the league earlier this morning, even if he would not say with whom he spoke."I've had some dialogue," Jackson said, "and I feel very comfortable at it, and where it is now. And we'll move forward from it. I wanted to have an opportunity to say what I felt, and I didjust as the league always does, they'll do what they need to do, and we'll move on from there."Just know that I have talked to the powers that be. We had a great conversation and we'll move on."The Raiders lead the NFL with 103 penalties for 892 yards. They are on pace to set new records with 165 penalties for 1,427 yards. The current single-season mark is 158 penalties and 1,304 yards, both set by the 1998 Kansas City Chiefs.Meanwhile, Oakland's single-season mark for penalties is the 156 it committed in both 1994, while in Los Angeles, and 1996, while the 1,276 penalty yards the Raiders had last season set the franchise mark.Jackson was asked if the Raiders have to be that much better to overcome the waves of yellow flags thrown their way."I'm not going to say that," Jackson said. "As I told you guys before when this all started, I'm not going to complain about the penalties. And obviously after yesterday I've probably reached my boiling point. I think the league does a great job."Nobody's perfect, and I respect that and understand that. All I ask is that when people deal with our football team, with the Raiders, that it's done fairly. Now across the league everyone says everything is fair, and I'm not saying that its not. But yesterday it was one game that I felt very uncomfortable with what had happened."I'm going to move on from that because that does me no good, our football team no good. What we got to do is, still, we have a problem that we need to correct, also. At the end of the day, we still need to get better at doing what we do, but on top of that I just want to make sure that just because we do need to get better in some areas, people aren't saying, 'O.K., let's have a great day throwing this flag today because there's the Raiders out here.' I think it's been addressed and we'll go forward."

Inactives: Raiders without two inside linebackers, Bowman suiting up


Inactives: Raiders without two inside linebackers, Bowman suiting up

The Raiders are aiming to snap a four-game losing streak as they take on the first-place Chiefs Thursday night under the lights in Oakland. And they will be thin in the middle of their defense. 

Cory James and Marquel Lee are both inactive, but a well-known new face is ready to go.

Oakland will turn to veteran NaVorro Bowman, along with two undrafted rookies, Woodson Luster and Nicholas Morrow, to man the middle. 

The following players have been ruled out tonight vs. the Chiefs: 

Cornerback Gareon Conley

Quarterback Connor Cook

Linebacker Cory James

Linebacker Marquel Lee

Tackle Marshall Newhouse

Defensive End Jihad Ward

Tackle Jylan Ware

Role reversal? Alex Smith currently more of a gunslinger than Derek Carr


Role reversal? Alex Smith currently more of a gunslinger than Derek Carr

OAKLAND -- Derek Carr is going through a rough patch. The beloved Raiders quarterback is being criticized for his part in this prolonged losing skid, a rarity since his rookie year.

Carr is supposedly playing it safe, getting rid of the ball quick, throwing short and avoiding potentially risky deep shots downfield.

That doesn’t sound like someone who wears No. 4 as homage to Brett Favre. Alex Smith comes to mind instead.

The Kansas City signal caller is notoriously known as a game manager, a cautious leader who rarely lets it rip.

Not this year. The former 49ers No. 1 overall pick is killing it in K.C., with career highs in completion percentage, yards per attempt and passer rating. The early MVP candidate has 12 touchdowns and no picks despite the fact he’s throwing deep more than ever.

Now that sounds like the Derek Carr we knew last year.

These quarterbacks seem to have reversed roles heading into Thursday’s clash between AFC West rivals. The Raiders are 2-4 and in desperate need of win against the AFC West-leading Chiefs.

Smith and Carr can be truly dynamic downfield. Only one guy’s found that rhythm lately.

That’s crystal clear when examining their deep throws.

Nobody’s better going yard this year than Smith, per analytics site Pro Football Focus – wrap your head around that – who is 13-of-23 for 526 yards, 4 touchdowns and no interceptions on throws beyond 20 yards in the air. Carr is 17th, completing 3-of-10 deep shots – no starter has fewer attempts -- for 109 yards, three touchdowns and a pick.

Last year, Carr ranked fifth in passes over 20 yards in the air, again, using PFF stats, with a 46-percent completion rate, 858 yards and a 117.6 passer rating. Smith was 20th in that category, completing less than a third of his attempt with a 72.8 passer rating.

The Raiders certainly want to push the ball downfield more. Carr has but four explosive plays in nearly three games of the Raiders’ four game losing streak – he missed the Baltimore loss with a fractured in his back – and hasn’t worked short passes consistently enough to score often.

“We definitely want to be able to (create explosive plays),” Carr said. “Now does that mean we’re going to do anything differently or trying to force things? Absolutely not. That’s where you get in trouble. That’s something that I’ve learned in my career. You can’t force it. You just have to work hard and let it happen.”

Some think Smith is letting it fly with a stoked competitive fire because the Chiefs traded up to draft Patrick Mahomes. Kansas City head coach Andy Reid believes a strong supporting cast led by Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce and rookie running back Kareem Hunt allows him to do big things Carr typically does.

There is, however, one constant heading into Thursday’s matchup. Smith has owned the Raiders. The Chiefs have had Carr’s number.

Smith is 9-1 against Oakland. Carr’s 1-5 against K.C.

Smith has 8.3 yards per attempt, 19 touchdowns and just four picks against the Raiders. Carr averages 4.92 yards per attempt, six touchdowns and five interceptions versus the Chiefs.

“These are big games in the division,” Smith said. “You know they’re going to be four quarters. You know they’re going to come down to the end. You just try to go out there every single play and execute. They’re all hard fought and have been close.”

Carr knows Kansas City stands in the way of his ultimate goals. This year, he has to get past them to get the Raiders back on track. That won’t be easy.

“They do a good job of rushing the passer. They do a good job of stopping the run. They do a good job on the coverage end,” Carr said. “They’re sound. They’re really well-coached. (Chiefs defensive coordinator Bob Sutton) is a great coach. All the respect for him. So much respect that he even texted me when I got hurt last year. He’s just a good dude. But this week I don’t like him too much. He does a really good job of making sure everyone is locked in. They’re really smart. They’re really smart players. They don’t do a lot so they can see route concepts. They can visualize things and get used to seeing those kind of things.”