Raiders

Paul G's Instant Replay: Broncos 26, Raiders 13

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Paul G's Instant Replay: Broncos 26, Raiders 13

BOX SCORE

OAKLAND -- For the first time since 2006, the Raiders have been swept by Denver with Thursday night's 26-13 loss to the Broncos in front of a national TV audience, falling to 3-10 on the season.

AFC West champion Denver (10-3) started quick, leading 13-0, and was threatening to go up by more when Phillip Adams picked off Peyton Manning in the end zone. The Raiders offense responded and had perhaps its most impressive drive of the season, going 80 yards in 14 plays and taking 6:33 off the clock. Carson Palmer pump-faked and hit Darren McFadden, who went in from six yards out for the score.

For the Raiders, who lost their sixth straight, Palmer threw for 273 yards, on 19 of 30 passing, with two touchdowns, a fumble on a strip-sack, and a costly interception when he threw behind an open Brandon Myers at the goal line and future Hall of Famer Champ Bailey picked it off.

"That's one guy you don't want to hang the ball on," two-time Super Bowl winning coach Tom Flores offered on the radio.

Meanwhile, Peyton Manning threw for 310 yards, with one TD and one INT. The Raiders did have three sacks, all in the first half.

Rookie WR Rod Streater had a career-high 100 yards receiving on four catches, on the first Thursday night game in Oakland since Oct. 25, 1979.

It was Raiders rookie coach Dennis Allen's first game since his father Grady passed away Monday night. The younger Allen was away from the team Sunday night through Tuesday night and will leave the team again for his father's services.

McFadden returns: Playing for the first time since suffering a high ankle sprain on Nov. 4, Darren McFadden was, as he mostly was before the injury, a non-factor. The first time McFadden touched the ball, on a pass across the middle from Carson Palmer, he dropped it. McFadden ran for 52 yards on 11 carries, with 36 yards coming on one breathtaking run down the right sideline, and did have a six-yard TD catch that got the Raiders within 13-7. But other than that…silence.

Greatness in the house: The Raiders honored their 19 Hall of Famers and 12 of them were on the field, plus three widows, including Carol Davis, for a classy halftime tribute. Those that were at the Coliseum: Jim Otto, George Blanda's widow Betty, Willie Brown, Gene Upshaw's widow Teresa, Fred Biletnikoff, Art Shell, Ted Hendricks, Mike Haynes, Howie Long, Ronnie Lott, Dave Casper, James Lofton, John Madden, Rod Woodson and Carol Davis. Also recognized were Bob Brown, Eric Dickerson, Jerry Rice and Marcus Allen.

Third-quarter woes return: After decent third quarters against Cincinnati and Cleveland, the Raiders went back to their falling-down ways against the Broncos, getting outscored 10-0. For the season, the Raiders have been outscored by a combined 139-51 in the third quarter, including 34-0 in two games against the Broncos.

The scourge of penalties: After having a combined seven penalties against New Orleans and Cincinnati, the Raiders had their second straight game of double-digit penalties. Oakland had 11 penalties for 94 yards against the Broncos, who did not have a flag thrown at them until the 3:37 mark of the third quarter. The Raiders had 10 penalties for 65 yards against Cleveland and a season-high 12 penalties for 110 yards at Atlanta. Right tackle Khalif Barnes had two holding penalties and a false start Thursday.

All suited up with nothing to do…again: Terrelle Pryor was activated for the second time this season, but the third-string quarterback spent the evening wearing a skull cap and jacket. He did start to play catch in the third quarter, but just as suddenly, put his jacket back on

Checking in with Tom Flores: The Raiders were bringing blitzes at Peyton Manning early and often, but Manning was beating them with ease by simply hitting his running back. Tom Flores, the two-time Super Bowl-winning coach-turned-broadcaster, said leaving the backs open in hot reads was "inexcusable." Later, under a crush of flags, play-by-play man Greg Papa said, "Another holding penalty?" "Oh yeah," Flores answered. "Why not?"

Up next: The Raiders (3-10) have a bit of a break as they do not play again for 10 days, when they play host to Kansas City (2-10) in Oakland's home finale. The Raiders beat the Chiefs, 26-16, on Oct. 28 at Arrowhead Stadium.

Snap count: Raiders' Melifonwu experiment at cornerback backfires

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USATSI

Snap count: Raiders' Melifonwu experiment at cornerback backfires

The Raiders are razor thin at cornerback, without many bodies or talent they can trust. They were down to three healthy career cornerbacks heading into Sunday’s game against New England, with TJ Carrie, Sean Smith and Dexter McDonald available.

Head coach Jack Del Rio added a new name to the mix. He started second-round safety Obi Melifonwu at cornerback against the high-flying Patriots, an experiment that didn’t work out well.

Melifonwu played 26 snaps at cornerback, where he had been working some in practice since becoming eligible to return off injured reserve. He spent the early season on IR after having arthroscopic knee surgery.

Melifonwu was put in a tough spot, and struggled as a result. He allowed two receptions for 69 yards on four targets, including a 64-yard touchdown to Brandin Cooks where he had his eyes in the backfield when the Patriots speedster blew right by.

This position switch came in Melifonwu’s second NFL game, with just seven defensive snaps under his belt. 

Head coach Jack Del Rio admitted it was a move made out of desperation.

“Yeah, a little bit,” Del Rio said after Sunday’s 33-8 loss to New England at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City. “We need more production (at cornerback). We're willing to try just about anything and we talked about being lean there and needing more production from that spot.

“(Melifonwu’s) a talented kid and it was probably asking a little too much, but we are going to roll those guys, we rolled our guys in the secondary tonight, and we're going to do that. We have got to do that until somebody starts playing well enough to stay in there full-time.”

The Raiders are in a bind at cornerback with Gareon Conley on injured reserve and David Amerson out three straight games with a foot injury. Demetrius McCray and Antonio Hamilton are also on season-ending injured reserve.

Carrie was a mainstay on Sunday, playing all 60 defensive snaps. Smith took over early, when the Melifonwu experiment wasn’t working out. He played 43 snaps, allowing three catches for 34 yards on five targets. McDonald played just eight snaps.

The Raiders are hoping someone can improve and settle into a full-time spot. The secondary has been thin for some time, but the personnel department has declined to sign anyone new off the street for depth.

That means Del Rio’s staff is still searching for answers at that position from a small pool.

“We're not playing really well on the back end and we have to find a way,” Del Rio said. “And we're going to make it competitive and let guys challenge for it and challenge for time and the guys that play the best are going to play the most.”

OFFENSE
Quarterback – Derek Carr 74
Running back – DeAndre Washington 24, Marshawn Lynch 21, Jamize Olawale 14, Jalen Richard 11,
Wide receiver – Amari Cooper 67, Seth Roberts 59, Michael Crabtree 58, Cordarelle Patterson 25, Johnny Holton 13
Tight end – Jared Cook 54, Clive Walford 14, Lee Smith 10
Offensive line – Kelechi Osemele 74, Rodney Hudson 74, Donald Penn 74, Gabe Jackson 74, Vadal Alexander 74

DEFENSE
Defensive line –
Khalil Mack 53, Mario Edwards 44, Justin Ellis 38, Eddie Vanderdoes 34, Denico Autry 31, Treyvon Hester 24, James Cowser 14
Linebacker – NaVorro Bowman 51, Bruce Irvin 46, Cory James 44, Nicholas Morrow 15, Marquel Lee 9
Cornerback – TJ Carrie 60, Sean Smith 43, Obi Melifonwu 26, Dexter McDonald 8
Safety – Reggie Nelson 60, Karl Joseph 51, Shalom Luani 9

SPECIAL TEAMS
Nicholas Morrow 18, James Cowser 18, Marquel Lee 15, Erik Harris 15, Xavier Woodson-Luster 15, Keith McGill 15, Jamize Olawale 15, Cordarrelle Patterson 13, Dexter McDonald 12, DeAndre Washington 11, Jalen Richard 9, Shalom Luani 9, Lee Smith 7, Khalil Mack 7, Mario Edwards 7, Eddie Vanderdoes 7, Denico Autry 7, Treyvon Hester 7, Jon Feliciano 7, Johnny Holton 6, TJ Carrie 6, Jon Condo 4, Marquette King 4, Karl Joseph 2, Cory James 2, Obi Melifonwu 2, Giorgio Tavecchio 2

DID NOT PLAY
QB EJ Manuel, OT David Sharpe

INACTIVE
QB Connor Cook, OT Jylan Ware, DL Jihad Ward, CB David Amerson, LB Shilique Calhoun, RT Marshall Newhouse, DT Darius Latham

Raiders first-round pick Gareon Conley having surgery

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USATSI

Raiders first-round pick Gareon Conley having surgery

Raiders cornerback Gareon Conley will have surgery to repair his injured shin on Monday, a week after he was placed on season-ending injured reserve.

This year’s No. 24 overall pick announced that news in an Instagram post, accompanied by a picture of his young son.

Surgery was always a likely outcome after heading to IR, though the team never formally stated that would occur.

The Raiders believe Conley will return completely healthy for the 2018 campaign, and have high hopes for him as a lock down cover man.

They could certainly use him this season. He was expected to contribute heavily as a rookie, but a shin injury suffered in a June minicamp prevented that from happening. He missed training camp and the entire preseason slate, but eventually made his NFL debut in Week 2. He suffered a setback in a Week 3 game at Washington, and was shut down indefinitely on Oct. 6.

Conley was re-evaluated early last week, and the Raiders didn’t see enough progress to keep him on the 2017 roster.

The Raiders are lacking at cornerback with Conley down and David Amerson dealing with a foot injury.

Head coach Jack Del Rio will speak to the media Monday afternoon, and provide an update on Conley’s procedure.