Palmer had peaks, and valleys


Palmer had peaks, and valleys

OAKLAND -- Carson Palmer appeared to need some oil in his joints in the beginning.He found a groove in the middle.He looked out of sorts in the end.The new Raiders quarterback had many peaks -- Palmer threw three touchdown passes with a deft touch not seen in these parts in many years -- and just as many valleys -- he was also picked off three times, and could have been intercepted at least twice more.

So Palmer's self-evaluation after the Raiders were kicked in the teeth by the Denver Broncos, 38-24, on Sunday?"There's still some things I'm a little bit off on, Im a little bit rusty on," Palmer admitted. "Still some things I'm not just quite comfortable with. But that's what I expected. I mean, I didn't expect to come in this week and just go 100 percent, ready to rock n roll with everything."It's kind of par for the course with where I am in this offense and in this system. But at the end of the day you either win or you lose, and you play well enough to put your team in position to win or you don't, and I didn't."Palmer had a 79.7 passer rating after throwing for 332 yards in completing 19 of 35 passes.He became only the fourth quarterback in franchise history to throw at least three touchdowns in his first start with the Raiders, joining George Blanda, who threw four TDs in 1968 at Denver, Todd Marinovich, who had three in Los Angeles against Kansas City in 1991, and Jeff George, who did it in 1997 at Tennessee. Only Blanda won his game.Then, the valley. Palmer joined Daryle Lamonica (1967 and 1969), Ken Stabler (1975 and 1978), Dan Pastorini (1980), Marc Wilson (1981), Jay Schroeder (1988) and Kerry Collins (2004) as the only Raiders QBs with at least three interceptions in consecutive games."Carson knows how to throw the ball," said coach Hue Jackson. "But like I said, I'm going to be very hard on him because I know what's in there. I know what kind of player he is. What we have to do is make sure we don't give it to the other team."Palmer seemed oddly comfortable throwing the ball to Denarius Moore, targeting him 12 times but connecting only four times with the rookie.Jacoby Ford, meanwhile, pulled in five passes for 105 yards, including an acrobatic 18-yard touchdown catch midway through the third quarter that gave the Raiders a seemingly safe 24-14 lead."I think he did good," Ford said of Palmer. "He definitely takes chances and we love that in a quarterback. We'll get better from here. I know it."Perhaps Palmer's most impressive pass of the day, though, was the 40-yard rope he threw to fullback Marcel Reece down the middle of the field for a touchdown. Palmer threaded the needle and put the ball where only Reece, with D.J. Williams draped all over him, could get it."Carson saw my eyes, I saw his eyes and he put the ball up and I went and got it," Reece said."Carson threw a great ball and I went for it."But it was Palmer's second interception that turned momentum in favor of the Broncos.Leading 24-17 and facing a 3rd-and-11 at the Denver 43-yard line, Palmer spied Moore going across the middle, from right to left some 15 yards downfield. But Palmer's pass was high and Moore tipped it into the waiting arms of cornerback Chris Harris, who returned the interception to the Broncos' 40-yard line."I want (that pass) back," Palmer said. "That was a miscue. I was on the wrong page with the receiver. Just something that we need to keep repping, keep working, and get a feel for body language on that route, and timing of that route, because I was off on that."One play later, Willis McGahee burst up the middle for a game-tying 60-yard touchdown run.Two possessions later, and after a pair of three-and-outs by the Raiders, the rout was on when Eddie Royal went 85 yards for a score on a punt return.No one with a clear head will say the loss rests on Palmer's in-need-of-WD-40-shoulders. Not when he put up some solid personal numbers, interceptions aside. Just don't tell that to Palmer."I didn't play well enough to give our team a chance to win," Palmer said. "It doesn't matter, statistics don't matter. At the end of the day, nothing matters but whether we won or lost. It wasn't good enough."

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.

Snap count: Bowman worked overtime to be 'hunting dog' in Raiders' defense


Snap count: Bowman worked overtime to be 'hunting dog' in Raiders' defense

OAKLAND – NaVorro Bowman would’ve been forgiven for skipping Thursday’s game. The veteran inside linebacker signed with the Raiders, and had one practice and a pair of walk-throughs before facing Kansas City.

That isn’t much time to absorb a new scheme. No matter. As he said Monday, Bowman wanted to show you something.

The former 49er certainly did, even more than Bowman expected. He played 60 of 62 defensive snaps in a crucial 31-30 victory over the Chiefs.

He didn’t just play. He performed. Bowman led the Raiders with 11 tackles, including one for a loss and a crucial hit on Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith on a crucial third-down stop in the fourth quarter.

He wore the green dot – play calls were relayed to his helmet speaker -- and helped get the defense lined up.

“I just absolutely love the football player in him. He’s a hunting dog,” head coach Jack Del Rio said. “He loves to play. He brought experience during the week. He was a settling influence, kind of a determined influence on the sideline. I thought he did a remarkable job.”

That’s the result. The process of getting there was remarkable. He put in 40 hours of work in three days, memorizing terminology and defensive concepts specific to the game plan. He bunkered down and ignored the world during his acclimation process, and came out a functional member of the Raiders defense.

“Everyone knows I’ve only been here for three days and must be wondering how I did it,” Bowman said. “It was my commitment to the game, and my family understanding how much I love the work and giving me that peace and quiet time in hours away from them to really get everything down. This is why you want to come out so well and execute. So many people are sacrificing so you can play the game.”

Bowman helped keep the Raiders close down the stretch, and had key stops in a pair of defensive stops that allowed quarterback Derek Carr to orchestrate a successful two-minute drill.

"I was on the sidelines with my back turned, saying ‘I can’t watch, I can’t watch,’” Bowman said. “They all looked at me funny like, ‘This is what we do.’ They went out and won, and acted all normal. I guess that’s how we roll. It was a great game, and I enjoyed it.”

That was clear after the game. There was a good reason for it. Bowman hadn’t won a game since September 2016. Bowman lost most of last season recovering from an Achilles’ tendon injury, meaning he last tasted victory in Week 2 last season.

“I’ve worked my way back from the Achilles injury, and to have a shot to better and get better and possibly win a division is huge,” Bowman said. “We just beat a really good team. I think this will propel us and get us going.”

Quarterback –
Derek Carr 82
Running back – Jalen Richard 26, DeAndre Washington 25, Jamize Olawale 11, Marshawn Lynch 10
Wide receiver – Amari Cooper 78, Seth Roberts 72, Michael Crabtree 72, Cordarelle Patterson 18, Johnny Holton 6
Tight end – Jared Cook 67, Lee Smith 17, Clive Walford 8
Offensive line – Kelechi Osemele 82, Rodney Hudson 82, Donald Penn 82, Vadal Alexander 82, Gabe Jackson 82

Defensive line –
Khalil Mack 62, Denico Autry 46, Justin Ellis 44, Treyvon Hester 32, Mario Edwards 28, Eddie Vanderdoes 19, James Cowser 3
Linebacker – NaVorro Bowman 60, Bruce Irvin 59, Nicholas Morrow 38,
Cornerback – TJ Carrie 62, Dexter McDonald 50, David Amerson 28, Sean Smith 19
Safety – Reggie Nelson 62, Karl Joseph 62, Keith McGill 7, Shalom Luani 1

Keith McGill 25, James Cowser 25, Shalom Luani 21, Xavier Woodson-Luster 19, Erik Harris 19, Jamize Olawale 19, Shlique Calhoun 16, Jon Feliciano 14, Lee Smith 14, Giorgio Tavecchio 12, Johnny Holton 12, Marquette King 11, Jon Condo 11, Cordarrelle Patterson 11, Jalen Richard 10, Nicholas Morrow 10, Darius McCray 8, Kelechi Osemele 7, Gabe Jackson 7, Vadal Alexander 7, Clive Walford 7, Justin Ellis 7, David Sharpe 7, Khalil Mack 6, TJ Carrie 6, Denico Autry 6, Treyvon Hester 6, Eddie Vanderdoes 6, Mario Edwards Jr. 5, Karl Joseph 5, DeAndre Washington 4,

QB EJ Manuel

CB Gareon Conley, QB Connor Cook, OT Jylan Ware, LB Marquel Lee, LB Cory James, DL Jihad Ward, RT Marshall Newhouse