Khalil Mack: Raiders' lack of defensive signings 'shocker for everybody'


Khalil Mack: Raiders' lack of defensive signings 'shocker for everybody'

Raiders star OLB/DE Khalil Mack had about as good as season as one can on defense in 2016. Mack was named the 2016 NFL AP Defensive Player of the Year and became the first player to be named an All-Pro at two positions in one season.

Despite Mack's huge year, the Raiders struggled mightily on defense. Oakland ranked 26th in the NFL as their defense allowed an average of 375.1 yards per game. They also ranked 20th in the league as teams scored an average of 24.1 points per game on them. 

Still, the Raiders only signed one player on defense during the offseason. That player, Jelani Jenkins, has been placed on injured reserve with a groin injury. 

Was Mack surprised by the lack of moves to address the team's defense? 

"That was a shocker for everybody," Mack told The Athletic. "Well … I know Bruce (Irvin) and I talked about it a lot. Yeah, that was unexpected. But those guys upstairs know what they’re doing. We trust in them. And not only that, but we’re all we’ve got and we’re all we need.

"That’s kind of how I look at it. We’re rolling with whoever is out there, and those 11 guys on the field are going to do whatever we can to be great."

Mack was also asked about the lack of pressure up the middle and the Raiders' defensive tackles being a weakness. 

"Everybody could see it. A lot of times people on the couch think they can tell what’s going on and they’re often wrong. But that one, everybody could tell," Mack said. "But now, we’ve added some pieces and the guys are stepping up inside.

"We’ve gotten a lot better. And that’s what I was saying earlier about seeing the improvement in guys. Not only from a physical aspect but mental as well. We’re growing as a group, and it’s good to see and a really good feeling."

The Raiders allowed 117.6 rush yards per game last season, the 10th worst in the NFL in 2016. 

On Sunday, the Raiders open their regular season against the Titans who boasted the third-best running game in the NFL in 2016 with 136.7 yards per game on the ground.

Reports: Peters to speak on Marshawn’s behalf during appeal hearing


Reports: Peters to speak on Marshawn’s behalf during appeal hearing

First it was Marshawn Lynch coming to the defense of Marcus Peters. Now, it appears the Oakland native is returning the favor. 

The Chiefs cornerback will be speaking on behalf of Lynch during the Raiders' running back's appeal of his one-game suspension, according to multiple national reports. The appeal will take place on Monday.

Lynch was ejected in the second quarter of the Raiders' 31-30 victory over the Chiefs on Thursday night. After the Chiefs and Raiders saw themselves in a heated exchange from a controversial late hit by Peters on Derek Carr, Lynch ran off the sidelines and came to the defense of his close friend Peters with multiple Raiders going after the young defensive back. 

But in doing so, Lynch put his hands on an official and was immediately ejected from the game. He was then handed his one-game suspension on Friday.

“They can say what they want to say, but one thing’s for certain: Family do come first," Peters said to Logan Murdock of The Mercury News on Thursday.

FOX Sports was first to report the news.

Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch suspended one game


Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch suspended one game

Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch watched most of Thursday night’s game versus Kansas City from the stands after getting ejected for making contact with an official.

He’ll also be a spectator next week.

The NFL suspended him one game for unsportsmanlike conduct stemming from an incident where left the sidelines to join an on-field scuffle and ended up pushing an official.

The league announced the suspension Friday afternoon. Lynch has already appealed the suspension, per multiple reports.

He was penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct and automatically ejected by rule.

Punishment after the fact has gotten expensive.

By rule, Lynch will be fined $30,387 for making contact with an official. He could get hit with other penalties, including entering a fight unnecessarily.

Lynch is also suspended without pay, meaning he’ll forfeit a $79,411 game check and a $31,250 per-game roster bonus.

The Cal alum won’t play a Week 8 contest in Buffalo, against a Bills team that drafted him No. 12 overall in 2007.

Lynch was on the sidelines during a third down draw play where quarterback Derek Carr incurred what officials called a late hit from Kansas City cornerback Marcus Peters.

The Raiders offensive line took offense, and came after Peters in a scrum. Lynch and Peters, both Oakland natives, are extremely close. Lynch ran on the field to get between his teammates and his friend, but ended up inadvertently pushing an official. The league has zero tolerance for that, and sent him off the field.

Lynch watched a dramatic 31-30 victory over Kansas City from the stands and screens near the field, and congratulated his teammates after a big win.

Lynch did not explain why he entered the fray, though he seemed to be trying to get Peters out of harm’s way.

“They can say what they want but one thing’s for certain: Family do come first,” Peters told Bay Area News Group’s Logan Murdock.

His Raiders teammates and coaches must carry on without the 31-year old power back. They’ll roll with Jalen Richard, DeAndre Washington and fullback Jamize Olawale against the Bills, as they did against the Chiefs.

Lynch had two carries for nine yards before getting tossed. He has just 266 yards and two touchdowns on 72 carries through seven games.

If the suspension is upheld, Lynch will be eligible to return in Week 9 against Miami.