Raiders

Raiders finish 8-8, 6-0 in division with win in K.C.

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Raiders finish 8-8, 6-0 in division with win in K.C.

Jan. 2, 2011RAIDERS PAGE RAIDERS VIDEO
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KANSASCITY, Mo. (AP) If this turns out to be Tom Cable's last year asOakland's head coach, at least he'll know he made history.After beating Kansas City 31-10Sunday in their regular-season finale, the 2010 Raiders became the onlyteam since the 1970 merger to go unbeaten in their division and stillnot make the playoffs. The short-handed Raiders (8-8) wrapped up adivision record of 6-0, while the Chiefs (10-6) went 2-4 in thedivision and will host a playoff game next weekend as AFC Westchampions.
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"We are disappointed because we arenot going to the playoffs, but at the same time we stuck to the goaland stuck to the plan as we have done very week, and we got our eighthwin," said Cable, whose job status with the Raiders has been thesubject of speculation. "I'm very happy about that."Michael Bush rushed for 137 yards andJason Campbell threw a TD pass for the Raiders, who beat the Chiefs inArrowhead Stadium for the fourth year in a row and ruined their perfecthome record.Running back Darren McFadden and ProBowl defensive tackle Richard Seymour were inactive because ofinjuries, but the Raiders dominated from start to finish, interceptingtwo of Matt Cassel's passes and getting seven sacks. The interceptionsboth led directly to Oakland's last two scores. Jacoby Ford scored on a10-yard reverse after Michael Huff's interception, and Stanford Routtreturned a pick 22 yards for the Raiders' final TD when Cassel washurried while throwing from his end zone. GUTIERREZ: McFadden, Seymour inactive for Raiders' finale
The Chiefs' worst home game of theseason came on the heels of news that offensive coordinator CharlieWeis is returning to college coaching to become Florida's offensivecoordinator. Weis, in one year with the Chiefs, has been given muchcredit for developing Cassel into a topflight quarterback and turningJamaal Charles into a Pro Bowl running back."Charlie Weis is moving on. He'sgoing to go to the University of Florida as a coordinator," said Chiefscoach Todd Haley. "This is a bittersweet thing for me as the headcoach. Charlie was obviously someone I was excited about having inhere. That being said, Charlie is a family guy and he's got a familysituation, where he can go to Florida and be with his son, who is goingto get into coaching. This is a great situation for Charlie and Irespect it 100 percent."Weis was not made available to the media.The Raiders posted their best recordsince 2002 amid talk that Cable may be out; the team went to 17-27since he became head coach four games into the 2008 season. It was thefirst time since '02, when Oakland went to the Super Bowl, that itdidn't lose at least 11 games.The Raiders had 344 total yards to Kansas City's 201 and held the top-rated rushing offense to 115 yards on the ground.Asked if he thinks he's coming back, Cable did answer directly."We're not losers anymore. We're 8and 8," he said. "That's not what we wanted. We wanted to be a playoffteam. We came here to get the sixth win, which means we went 6-0 in thedivision and most importantly, we are done with that losing. We are notlosers anymore."Charles, who trailed Houston's ArianFoster by 56 yards for the NFL rushing lead, had 87 yards on 14carries, including a 47-yard burst that was KC's offensive highlight.He finished the regular season with 1,467 yards and came within awhisker of catching Jim Brown's NFL record of 6.40 yards per carry. Hefinished at 6.38."I wasn't even paying attention thatI wasn't in the record books. I wasn't even worried about it," saidCharles. "I was just going out there and just running the ball like Ido every week. My goal is to go out and win. I'm disappointed we lost,but we've got to bounce back. We've got another week going. The Raidersdon't."The Chiefs' pass protection, goodmost of the season, began breaking down in the second quarter. Casselwas flagged for intentional grounding and then sacked for an 11-yardloss on the next play by Jarvis Moss.Campbell got the Raiders going witha 9-yard completion to Zach Miller. On third-and-10 from the Oakland46, Campbell dumped off to Bush and he turned it into a 16-yard gain.With 7 seconds left in the half, Sebastian Janikowski kicked a 39-yardfield goal for a 10-3 lead.Campbell, after sitting out a serieswhen he apparently hurt his right knee, scrambled 21 yards during a14-play, 91-yard drive. He hit Ford for a 35-yard gain to the 6and Chaz Schilens was wide open in the end zone for the touchdown passthat gave the Raiders a 7-3 lead.The Chiefs managed a meager 72 yardsin the first half to Oakland's 192, but Charles broke free for a47-yard run to the 8. From the 5, Charles went in almost untouched fora 10-10 tie the Raiders erased on their next possession.Aided by a 15-yard face mask penaltyagainst Jovan Belcher, the Raiders moved 75 yards in nine plays. Bushwent over the right side of the defense virtually untouched for a27-yard touchdown, the first TD rushing the Chiefs allowed at home allseason.NOTES: Kamerion Wimbley had three ofOakland's seven sacks. ... KC's Tamba Hali had 2 12 sacks, the ninthmultisack game of his career. ... Former coach Marty Schottenheimer wasinducted into the Chiefs' Hall of Fame at halftime. ... Huff has fourcareer interceptions against Kansas City.

Snap count: Raiders' Melifonwu experiment at cornerback backfires

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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.