Paul G's Instant Replay: Bucs 42, Raiders 32


Paul G's Instant Replay: Bucs 42, Raiders 32


OAKLAND -- While the Raiders lost their own running back to injury in the second half, Oakland's defense could not find Tampa Bay's running back.Rookie Doug Martin, an Oakland native who grew up in Stockton, rushed for 251 yards, including TD runs of 45, 67 and 70 yards, the last of which put the Buccaneers up, 35-17.The Raiders made a game of it, though, closing to within 35-32, and having the ball at their own 38-yard line with 2:42 to play. But Carson Palmer, who passed for 414 yards and four TDs, was picked off by safety Ahmad Black when Rod Streater kept running instead of turning in. Palmer had the fourth-highest passing game in franchise history.On a positive note for the Raiders, tight end Brandon Myers caught the first two touchdown receptions of his career.Scoring late: When Carson Palmer hit Rod Streater on the right side for a 25-yard touchdown pass with 80 seconds remaining in the first half, it marked the eighth time this season the Raiders had scored in the final two minutes of the first half, meaning, in every game thus far. So what's the issue with the other 58 minutes?Rumblin', stumbling': As a child, Lamarr Houston attended the same church as William "The Refrigerator" Perry. And after blocking Connor Barth's 35-yard field-goal attempt in the first quarter, Houston channeled his inner "Fridge," picking up the ball and barreling 34 yards downfield. Was it ironic, then, that Whodini's "Freaks come out at night" blared over the Coliseum's loudspeakers after the play?Third-quarter woes: After getting outscored 21-0 in the third quarter, the Raiders have now been outscored by a cumulative 88-24 in the third this season. It is the worst such margin in the NFL. Not good. Not good at all.Penalties return: A week ago, the Raiders had two penalties for 20 yardstotalin their 26-16 victory in Kansas City. Oakland matched that total in consecutive first-quarter plays and eclipsed the yardage total in the process with 15 yards, when Tommy Kelly swatted Josh Freeman in the head and Tyvon Branch was called for a horse collar tackle on Martin. The Raiders finished with nine penalties for 80 yards.Special teams gone awry: Despite the Buccaneers staying in their base defense as the Raiders set up to punt, Oakland kept its fake play in effect, and Shane Lechler's four-yard pass to Taiwan Jones on the right sideline was completed. One thing, though, it was 4th and 13. Then, midway through the fourth quarter, the Raiders' onside kick was sniffed out and Tampa Bay recovered easily.Injuries piling up: Besides losing McFadden in the first half, the Raiders also lost safety Matt Giordano (hamstring) and backup running back Mike Goodson (ankle) in the second half.Up next: The Raiders (3-5) travel to play the Baltimore Ravens (6-2), who returned to their native Cleveland, so to speak, to upend the Browns, 25-15 on Sunday.

Norton looks at his Seahawks days to slow down Brady: 'I have a good feel'


Norton looks at his Seahawks days to slow down Brady: 'I have a good feel'

ALAMEDA – Raiders defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. has a good feel for Tom Brady. He faced New England’s legendary quarterback three times as Seattle’s linebackers coach, with some positive results. The Seahawks won two regular-season games and lost the Super Bowl at the last second.

He knows what worked then, and believes that should help prepare the Raiders defense for what’s coming Sunday in Mexico City.

“I played Brady a couple years ago in the Super Bowl with Seattle. We played very well against him,” Norton said Thursday afternoon. “I’ve had some success against him so I have a good feel for what can be done and what cannot be done. It’s just a matter of having the right emphasis and the ability to make the plays.

“Having a guy like (Brady) on the team who’s capable at any point of throwing a deep ball, capable at any point of getting it to the right players at the right time. He understands who is around him. He understands how to get the ball to the guys. He’s got a long resume of doing it well.”

Having success against Brady, however, is a relative term. He still produced against a loaded Seattle defense far better than this year’s Raiders unit. He will produce again Sunday, even if most goes right. Limitation, however, if key.

Norton believes certain things are essential when facing a Patriots team. Sure tackling. Impacting the quarterback.

The first is vital, something the Raiders have done well save a Week 9 win over Miami. The Raiders have to limit explosives and keep the ball in front of them, especially with the way Brady likes to play.

“The Patriots do a really good job of underneath coverage,” Norton said. “They have guys that catch and run really well. The backs, the tight ends, the matchups underneath, they catch and make people miss. They try to match up with your linebackers and safeties. They feel like their guys are pretty good. Tackling is something we’ve been really outstanding with all year but this last game against Miami we didn’t do so well and it kind of stands out, especially when it’s something we’ve taken a lot of pride in.

“I really feel like our emphasis and what we do well matches up well with that they try to do.”

There are some problem spots. One is limiting deep shots, something Brady has unleashed with startling efficiency. He’s 19-for47 for 410 yards and four touchdowns on passes of 20-plus yards, with speedsters Brandin Cooks and Phillip Dorsett able to haul them in. The Raiders have proven vulnerable to track-star receivers. 

Impacting Brady is mandatory, but also difficult given his excellent pocket presence. He’s especially good at feeling pressure off the edge, where reigning defensive player of the year Khalil Mack typically lines up opposite Bruce Irvin.

Brady has proven vulnerable to interior pressure, which is why Mario Edwards Jr. will be an X-factor on passing downs. He has four sacks this season and needs to break free in the backfield to force difficult decisions or, at the very lest, disrupt New England’s timing.

Brady gets rid of the ball fast at times. Raiders rushers can’t get frustrated by that, especially Mack.

“If the quarterback is going to throw the ball in less than two seconds, it’s going to be tough to get there,” head coach Jack Del Rio said. “So when the quarterback is throwing the ball quick like that, we’ve got to tackle and have their punt team come out. They’ll get tired of punting or turning the ball over and they’ll sit and hold the ball a little bit and Khalil can get there. If they’re throwing the ball in two seconds or less, it’s going to be hard to get sacks.”

The Raiders only have 13 sacks this season, second worst in the NFL. Getting a few could swing a tight game. Norton’s Raiders believe they have a solid plan to mitigate somewhat the Patriots ferocious attack, that features versatile tight ends allowing them to do different things from one personnel package.

Don’t expect a shutout, or anything close. The Raiders understand that, but believe they can mitigate some damage.

“If you go back to the New England Patriots five, six, eight years ago they’re doing similar things,” Norton said. “They do what they do really well. They’re a fine-tuned machine. Everybody knows exactly what their role is. Guys know exactly what’s expected of them. Obviously the quarterback is the heart and soul and the one that makes that train run. Really, really good players that really understand what their role is and play well against leverage, run after catch, tough and they make plays.”

Khalil Mack wants to be Raider for life: 'That’s a no-brainer for me'


Khalil Mack wants to be Raider for life: 'That’s a no-brainer for me'

The Raiders gave quarterback Derek Carr a massive contract extension last June. Right guard Gabe Jackson got paid later that month.

Khalil Mack’s big deal is coming, likely this offseason. Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie anticipates a deal getting done, and hopes Mack’s agent feels the same way.

Mack’s rep and Raiders contract folks will work out details of a massive contract extension. The reigning Defensive Player of the Year doesn’t have interest in all that. He has one preference above all.

Mack doesn’t want to go anywhere. He wants to stay with the Raiders long term.

“Of course. That’s not even a question,” Mack said in an exclusive interview with NBC Sports Bay Area’s Fallon Smith, which airs in this week's episode of "Raiders Central." “That’s a no-brainer for me, especially when you think about coming into this organization and try to build something special, that’s something you want to be a part of for a lifetime”

Mack has plenty of money, top-5 overall draft picks often do. The No. 5 selection in 2014 considered that first deal life-changing money, enough to help his family.

“That has been a treat for me so far,” Mack said.

He doesn’t daydream about signing a nine-figure contract. He doesn’t long to be the NFL’s highest-paid defensive player (although that might be in the cards, anyway).

“I’m not really even thinking about that,” Mack said. “I’m thinking about the Patriots, that’s just my focus that’s just my mindset – anybody who talked to me about that matter, whether it be my best friend, my mom, my dad, I tell them the same thing. I’m thinking about the Patriots and sacking Tom Brady.”

That, unlike signing a record contract, was a career a goal. Mack said in a post-draft press conference he wanted to sack legends. Peyton Manning and Brady topped the list.

Manning retired before Mack could check his box. Mack will have a second chance at Brady Sunday when the Raiders play New England in Mexico City. He had eight tackles and two quarterback hits against Brady’s Patriots in 2014, but didn’t bring the quarterback down.

Mack considered his third regular season game a welcome-to-the-NFL moment.

The University of Buffalo alum has accomplished a ton since then, with 34.5 sacks and last year’s top defensive honor to his credit. He’ll need a Herculean performance against the Patriots to help the Raiders win a pivotal game. A sack would certainly help, but Mack isn’t calling his shot.

“Yeah, I’m not one to talk,” Mack said. “I’ll express that when I get on the field, but I can’t wait, I can’t wait to play against him.”