Raiders

Raiders dominated by Henne, Dolphins 33-17

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Raiders dominated by Henne, Dolphins 33-17

Nov. 28, 2010BOX SCORE RAIDERS VIDEO
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OAKLAND (AP) Chad Henne had quite the roller-coaster month, going from Miami starting quarterback to getting benched then injured and then back as starter.He finished the up-and-down month on quite a high.Henne made a triumphant return to the lineup to throw for 307 yards and two scores and Dan Carpenter kicked four field goals to help the Miami Dolphins beat the Oakland Raiders 33-17 Sunday."I knew my day would come again," Henne said. "The biggest thing is just staying confident in myself. I know I can get it done out there, I know I can get some wins out there. So, for me, it's just staying confident, fixing mistakes and just keep on improving as a quarterback."Davone Bess had 111 yards receiving in his first game as a pro in his hometown, and Ricky Williams ran for 95 yards and a score for the Dolphins (6-5), who won for the fifth time in six road games to keep their playoff hopes alive.The Raiders (5-6) returned home following a 35-3 beating in Pittsburgh and put together another dud. Fan favorite Bruce Gradkowski got the nod ahead of Jason Campbell at quarterback, but threw two interceptions and led Oakland to just one offensive touchdown.Rookie Jacoby Ford was the entire Raiders offense, returning the opening kickoff 101 yards for a score and catching a 44-yard TD pass from Gradkowski in the second quarter. But the Dolphins held Oakland to 16 yards rushing, including 2 on eight carries for Darren McFadden."We've played some great quarters, and we've played some great halves, but we haven't put a game together on defense," linebacker Channing Crowder said. "We played a complete game."Miami also had an offensive turnaround, gaining 471 yards and holding the ball for 41:38 a week after being held to 187. But with Henne at the helm, it was a different story.Henne lost his job to Chad Pennington earlier this month, then was sidelined by an injured left knee after Pennington's return to the lineup was cut short by a shoulder injury. But after Tyler Thigpen struggled in a 16-0 loss to Chicago last week, the Dolphins went back to Henne against the Raiders.The improvement was evident from the start. Henne led Miami to scores on the first two possessions as the Dolphins' offense clicked all day."I want somebody to go out there and make me wrong," coach Tony Sparano said. "That's good. I have no problem with that. But Chad was really positive, and he knew all along here, that as we got on in this thing, that we we're going to be counting on him."Henne had success going against Pro Bowl cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha, who still looks hampered by a sprained right ankle, and rookie Walter McFadden, who got his most extensive action with Chris Johnson out with a groin injury.McFadden looked especially bad on the first drive of the second half when he went for an interception on an out route to Marlon Moore. Moore caught it and cruised for a 57-yard score that game Miami a 20-14 lead. Henne kept targeting McFadden after that for big plays."That's something we definitely scouted and wanted to exploit early and fast," Bess said. "They gave up some big plays to us and we took advantage of it."Carpenter added a 44-yard field goal, but Miami missed a chance to break the game open after a 47-yard punt return by Bess when Carpenter missed a 47-yard field goal.Gradkowski threw an interception to Chris Clemons in the end zone on an underthrown pass to Ford. Ford then beat his former Clemson teammate Clemons for a 52-yard catch that set up a 30-yard field goal by Sebastian Janikowski. That cut Miami's lead to 23-17 early in the fourth quarter.Carpenter added a 25-yard field goal and Williams iced it with a 45-yard TD run with 3:12 remaining.The Raiders did nothing between Ford's two first-half touchdowns. Gradkowski threw an interception to Yeremiah Bell and Marcel Reece lost a fumble.Gradkowski completed 17 of 32 passes for 252 yards and reinjured his shoulder on his final throw of the game so Oakland will likely go back to Campbell next week at San Diego."There was some good stuff and some inconsistency," Cable said of Gradkowski's play. "Again when you only have the ball a handful of times you don't get a real chance to go out and get some rhythm."Henne, who threw a 29-yard touchdown pass to Patrick Cobbs in the first quarter, drove the Dolphins downfield late in the half to lead to Carpenter's second field goal, a 23-yarder with 4 seconds left that made it 14-13.Notes: Henne has six career 300-yard passing games, second to Dan Marino's 63 in Miami history. ... The Dolphins have scored on their opening drive a league-best eight times this season. ... Ford's kickoff return was the third longest in Raiders history.

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.