Raiders

Paul G's Instant Replay: Raiders 26, Chiefs 16

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Paul G's Instant Replay: Raiders 26, Chiefs 16

BOX SCORE

KANSAS CITY -- For the first time in the history of this rivalry, the Raiders have won six straight games in Kansas City, with Oakland beating the Chiefs, 26-16, before an announced and silenced crowd of 74,730.The Raiders won the turnover battle, its offense was just opportunistic enough and the defense continued its ascent. The crowd was never a factor. At least, not after the first play of the game, when Carson Palmer tried to hit Darrius Heyward-Bey deep down the left sideline against former seven-year Raiders cornerback Stanford Routt and underthrew the ball for an interception.Also, Denarius Moore had a touchdown reception for the third straight game, the first Raiders pass catcher with such a streak since Zach Miller in 2010.Then there's this: if Denver loses to New Orleans Sunday night, the Raiders will be in a three-way tie for first place in the AFC West at 3-4.Taking advantagekinda: The Raiders recovered two Chiefs fumbles -- a muffed punt and a blown snap on the first play of the second half -- and intercepted a Brady Quinn pass and a Matt Cassel toss to win the turnover battle by a plus-three margin. The only Oakland turnover was Carson Palmer getting picked off by Stanford Routt on the first play of the game. The four turnovers resulted in two field goals and a touchdown for the Raiders, who would have preferred three TDs, of course, given the advantage in field position.A first for McClain: Rolando McClain has responded positively to his role being reduced of late. The middle linebacker had his first sack of the season in the first quarter, dropping Brady Quinn. McClain also got the first forced fumble of his career on the play as Quinn dropped the ball, though Kansas City recovered.A second home?: Sebastian Janikowski has said this is his favorite stadium in which to kick, and the numbers show it. After going four-for-four Sunday, Janikowski has converted 32 of his 36 field-goal attempts here. He did miss from 37 yards out midway through the fourth quarter, but Kansas City was offsides so Janikowski moved up and converted from 32 yards.Sacks galore: Oakland entered the game with seven sacks on the year. They had three against the Chiefs with McClain, Richard Seymour and Philip Wheeler doing the honors.Dirty play?: Chiefs linebacker Tamba Hali called the Raiders a "dirty" team this week. He had a nearly "clean" sheet of his own, getting credited with two tackles and no sacks. And the Raiders were called for two penalties for 20 yards after having 21 penalties for 168 yards the previous two games combined.
Remember me?: Much was made of the Raiders targeting Chiefs cornerback Stanford Routt and his big contracts with the Raiders and Kansas City. Darrius Heyward-Bey made him pay dearly when he used him on an out-route on a 32-yard catch and run touchdown in the third quarter.Up next: The Raiders (3-4) are home to play host to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-4), who are coming off a big win at Minnesota.

Brand new Raiders LB NaVorro Bowman expected to play Chiefs

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Brand new Raiders LB NaVorro Bowman expected to play Chiefs

ALAMEDA – NaVorro Bowman was a sponge this week, absorbing the Raiders defense as quickly as possible.

The veteran inside linebacker signed with the Raiders Monday afternoon and did enough to play Thursday night’s pivotal home game against Kansas City.

That’s a huge plus for a Raiders team looking to snap a four-game losing streak. Bowman should be able to help right away despite being new to the scheme.

“He’s a veteran. He understands ball,” Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio said Wednesday. “We haven’t tried to install the entire playbook, but specific game plans and things. He’s had a good week. Even though it’s a short week, we feel good and he’ll play.”

He’ll probably start at inside linebacker and play the base defense as least. While many have criticized his speed and coverage skills diminished from major injuries, Bowman remains a sure tackler who can provide solid on-field leadership.

Veteran savvy and natural ability should carry him while he masters a new scheme, allowing him to make the immediate impact required with the Raiders reeling at 2-4.

“He is very instinctive,” He’s a veteran guy that’s been there before. He understands what it looks like to lineup against a good football team and help us win.”

Bowman’s fresh and healthy, a step above his others at his position. Inside linebackers Cory James (knee), Marquel Lee (ankle) and Nicholas Morrow (ankle) are all questionable heading into Thursday’s game.

He has also been a willing teacher to a group of inside linebackers featuring a second-year pro and three rookies.

“They’re just soaking it up,” Del Rio said. “They’ll ask, ‘When do you lift? How often do you lift? When do you meet? When do you cover this?’ It’s good stuff to have for a really young group.”

In other injury news, right tackle Marshall Newhouse is out, leaving Vadal Alexander to start in his spot. David Sharpe should be the swing tackle in reserve.

 

Downing: Raiders offense off track, answers exist ‘in our scheme’

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AP

Downing: Raiders offense off track, answers exist ‘in our scheme’

ALAMEDA – Todd Downing has friends with fantasy football teams. Those faux general managers, like many across the roto world, took Raiders with high draft picks.

They would like to know why Derek Carr isn’t throwing touchdowns in bulk, Amari Cooper’s in a slump and Marshawn Lynch isn’t getting more carries.

“I have friends that have him on their fantasy team that are mad at me for that,” Downing said after Wednesday’s practice. “That’s part of the business.”

Ah, the life of an NFL coordinator. Players get credit when things go right. Play callers sit over a Bunsen burner the rest of the time.

Downing understands that part of this gig.

“I welcome the responsibility that this job has afforded me,” he said. “I understand that I’m going to have to deal with negative comments and consequences when things aren’t going well. I’m looking forward to standing up here in a more positive fashion some time soon.”

Positives were expected right away. He was given the keys to a Lamborghini with a franchise quarterback under center, 1,000-yard receivers on each flank, an older back considered among the best of his generation, and the NFL’s biggest and most expensive offensive line.

The Raiders ranked No. 6 in total offense before adding Lynch, tight end Jared Cook and receiver Cordarrelle Patterson in free agency. Now they’re 30th heading into Thursday night’s game against Kansas City.

The mob is lighting torches, armed with pitchforks. After six weeks.

Everyone has an opinion on what’s wrong and how to fix this offense. More interior runs, less outside zone. More play action, please. Go deep, a lot. Have Derek hold on to the ball longer. Have Derek get rid of it quick. Do all that at once. Do it now.

Downing’s going to stick with his system. The Raiders will stick with their process, thank you very much, with faith that things will turn.

“When you look at the tape, you can see that we’re so close on so many things,” Downing said. “I know that sounds cliché and I know that sounds like someone sitting up here and trying to give you the rose-colored glasses, but it’s the truth. We know that we’re just this close to making a couple more plays each game and being able to come out on top and feeling like we put together a good product.

“…We’re looking for answers right now, but we know those answers exist in our room and in our scheme. Once we hit our stride, we’re excited to see what it looks like.”

There’s reason to believe that can happen. Take the season’s first two games, for example. The Raiders scored 71 points in that span. There’s talent everywhere in the starting lineup and behind it.

That’s why concern reigns during a four-game losing streak where the offense is averaging 13.1 points. They can’t sustain drives, come through on third down or block consistently in the run game. Their play count is dismally low. According to the Associated Press, the Raiders aver averaging 54 plays per game. Every other team has at least 60. The 2005 49ers were the last team that averaged such a sum. The Raiders haven’t had a 300-yard passer, a 100-yard rusher or a 100-yard receiver.

Offense is blamed for a dismal 2-4 start. Even the universally beloved Carr has taken some heat for lackluster performances.

“I don’t think there’s a single guy that can look back over the last few weeks and say, ‘You know what, I’m really pleased with how I’ve played over the last three weeks,’ or, ‘Called the last three weeks’ or, ‘Coached my position the last three weeks.’ We all own this together,” Downing said. “There’s no one guy that is going to save it or break it or anything in between. We need to do this as a team and everybody needs to make the plays they’re afforded the opportunity to make and I need to call the right plays when afforded the opportunity to call them.”

The Raiders can and must do better before falling further. Righting the ship too late to reach the season’s goals might hurt as much as a completely dismal campaign.

Pressing, however, isn’t the answer.

“You do have to stay patient,” Downing said. “I tell the offense this every week, but it’s never been more true than where we’re at now as an offense. We have a belief in what we’ve done this far, and the system we’ve put in place, and the playmakers we have in that room, and the coaches that are up in the room with me, and you will never see me waiver in my belief of any single one of those guys, including myself. If I did, and I started acting different or started calling games differently, then that would mean I didn’t really believe in the first place.”