Raiders

Raiders hold off Jets 34-24

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Raiders hold off Jets 34-24

BOX SCORE
OAKLAND (AP) -- Whether it was Darren McFadden sprinting around the corner, a couple of trick plays or pure will, the Oakland Raiders overpowered the Jets like no other team has since coach Rex Ryan brought his brash style to New York two years ago.McFadden ran for 171 yards and two touchdowns and the Raiders added two more touchdowns on the ground as part of the most productive rushing day against the Jets since Ryan took over as the Raiders won 34-24 Sunday."Coach Hue (Jackson) always tells us we're building a bully," McFadden said. "It doesn't matter who we're playing against. That's what we're trying to do, to bully them. That's what we did today."Denarius Moore scored on a 23-yard reverse and Michael Bush added a 1-yard TD run 42 seconds later as the Raiders (2-1) took control in a dizzying span beginning late in the third quarter to hand the Jets (2-1) their first loss.Mark Sanchez had a much rougher second trip to Oakland in his career, getting bloodied on one of Oakland's four second-half sacks and needing a visor to protect a cut on his face. He also said after the game that he would have an X-ray to check to see if his nose was broken.It was a far different end than his game here two years ago, when he memorably was eating a hot dog on the sideline in the closing minutes of a 38-0 victory that was the most lopsided home loss in Raiders history.Sanchez completed 27 of 43 passes for a career-high 369 yards, but threw a costly interception in the end zone in the first half. He later cut Oakland's lead to 31-24 with a 16-yard pass to Plaxico Burress with 5:33 remaining. He also ran for one touchdown and had a second overturned by replay in the final minute, ending New York's last gasp."I just feel like they're a revamped Raiders group," Sanchez said. "We had momentum on our side, we let them hang around at halftime then they came and knocked us around a little in the third quarter."A week after blowing a game defensively in the second half in Buffalo, the Raiders finished against New York. Campbell scrambled 10 yards and found Bush for a 28-yard gain after buying time with his feet to set up Sebastian Janikowski's 49-yard field goal with 2:32 left to ice it.Campbell was 18 for 27 for 156 yards, but the Raiders won this game on the ground, putting up the most yards rushing (234), most rushing touchdowns and the third-most points in a game against the Ryan-led Jets."It was humiliating for us to have something like that happen to us," Jets defensive lineman Sione Pouha said. "All we can do is make the corrections that we need to do and bounce back."After Chimdi Chekwa broke up a fourth-down pass to Burress, Oakland used some trickery to go 63 yards in four plays to take a 24-17 lead in the final minute of the third quarter. The first deception came on a halfback option to McFadden. He wanted to throw back to Campbell, but that was covered so he ran 27 yards instead, faking a pass about 8 yards down the field.On the next play, Moore took a reverse that the Jets appeared to have stopped. But Moore cut upfield to elude David Harris and Samson Satele flattened Jim Leonhard with a block, springing Moore for the touchdown that made it 24-17."Let your players make plays," Jackson said of his philosophy. "That's what I'm trying to create here. I'm going to create an environment where our great players can do something special."After Jackson urged on the rare sellout crowd on the ensuing kickoff, Antonio Cromartie mishandled the short kick and Taiwan Jones recovered the fumble at the 13. Bush scored from 1 yard out two plays later to make it 31-17 one play into the fourth quarter."They're a physical football team and I felt like that played right into our hands," Raiders defensive tackle Richard Seymour said. "Because we're pretty physical up front on the offensive and defensive lines. Anytime a team wants to come in and play that type of game with us, I like our chances all the time."The Raiders showed no hangover from last week's second-half collapse against Buffalo. They took just five plays to drive 76 yards for the opening score against the Jets, with tight end Kevin Boss making a 28-yard catch in his Oakland debut to set up McFadden's 2-yard run.The Jets responded with the next 17 points as Sanchez took advantage of a secondary missing injured starting cornerback Chris Johnson (groin) and safety Michael Huff (concussion) and Tomlinson once again bewildered the Raiders.Tomlinson broke a tackle from Rolando McClain and took a short pass 74 yards down to the 1 to set up Sanchez's 1-yard TD run. Tomlinson later caught an 18-yard TD pass for his 160th career touchdown, including 26 against the Raiders.McFadden got the Raiders back into it when he bolted around left end for a 70-yard run that was the longest against them since 1998."You've got to set edges on this guy," Ryan said. "We never did that. We know he's got great speed. That's why the ball has to be turned inside. It wasn't turned inside and he made the 70-yard run."Campbell completed six short passes in a 2-minute drill to set up a 54-yard field goal by Janikowski on the final play of the half to tie it at 17.Notes: Cromartie left with a rib injury and was undergoing X-rays. He committed four penalties to go with his fumble. ... The previous high for a game against Ryan's Jets was 153 yards by New Orleans in 2009. ... Raiders FB Marcel Reece left in the first quarter with an ankle injury.

Raiders notes: Did Mack, Irvin protest the firing of Norton Jr.?

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AP

Raiders notes: Did Mack, Irvin protest the firing of Norton Jr.?

ALAMEDA – Edge rushers Bruce Irvin and Khalil Mack were given a rest day on Wednesday, which raised a few eyebrows.

Mack hadn’t missed practice in months. Irvin hadn’t been sidelined since the start of training camp. Both guys stretched and then left the field during individual drills a day after defensive coordinator Ken Norton was fired. Mack and Irvin were extremely loyal to Norton. An easy parallel could be drawn between the firing and Mack and Irvin’s rare, non-injury related missed practice.

Head coach Jack Del Rio said Friday there was no connection.

“Not even in the slightest really,” Del Rio said. “…We’re in good shape. The guys understand. It wasn’t anything personal.”

Del Rio insisted the rest was designed and scheduled.

“It’s something we do. It’s kind of a ‘Woodson Wednesday,’” Del Rio said. “We did it a lot with Charles toward the end of his career. We’ve had good success with guys that have taken a heavy load, being smart with them on that Wednesday. So, it’s just a rest day.”

Irvin and Mack have declined to comment on Norton’s firing and the missed Wednesday practice.

Johnny Holton concussion watch: Raiders receiver Johnny Holton is in the NFL’s concussion protocol, though he should be cleared out of it before Sunday’s clash against the Denver Broncos.

He ended up there in a roundabout way. The Raiders announced he was being evaluated for a concussion early in a 33-8 loss to New England, but returned later in the first half.

Then he missed Wednesday’s practice with concussion-like symptoms. That raised a red flag. Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio explained the sequence of events in greater detail on Friday.

“I’m at the mercy of those that are the experts in that field. He got a scratch on his eye. That was what occurred there (against New England),” Del Rio said. “(He) came in this week and had some symptoms, so we put him into the protocol and he went through the protocol. I believe he’s in the final steps now of clearing. We’ll get that final clearance he’ll play. If we don’t, he’ll be down.

“That’s a question mark going in that hasn’t yet been fully resolved, but since he came in and had the symptoms he had, those have gone away and everything else is checking out. We anticipate having him.”

Horton is formally considered questionable on the team’s official injury report. As a note, all head injuries are evaluated and diagnosed by independent medical personnel not directly affiliated with the team.

Amerson out again: Cornerback David Amerson will miss a fourth straight game with a foot injury that has kept him from practicing the last few weeks.

It just can’t get right, leaving the Raiders with the same beleaguered cornerback corps from recent weeks, with Sean Smith and TJ Carrie expected to play significant snaps. Dexter McDonald remains in a mix joined by career safety Obi Melifonwu, who played cornerback Sunday against New England.

"There can be injuries, there can be anything,” new defensive play caller John Pagano said. “He’s got to take advantage of next time when he’s called upon in those certain roles to be able to go out there and do the things that we need to do. there’s always going to be growing pains with young players. He’s got to grow up real quick and understand that we cannot let the ball go over our heads on those deep balls.”

Remember me? Raiders face Broncos with offensive architect on other sideline

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AP

Remember me? Raiders face Broncos with offensive architect on other sideline

ALAMEDA – Raiders offensive coordinator Todd Downing is running a system Bill Musgrave installed in 2015.

Downing has put his stamp on it since being promoted from quarterbacks coach last winter and certainly has a different play calling style, but he didn’t burn it to the ground and start fresh.

“Honestly tweak-wise, there’s not a lot of tweaks,” Raiders quarterback Derek Carr said. “Game plan wise and things, we do things a little different. We call things differently now obviously because he’s in the division. But route concept-wise and things like that, we do a lot of the same similar stuff. Any time there’s a change, a coach is always going to have their tweaks.”

Even so, Musgrave might feel like he’s looking into a mirror Sunday afternoon when the Raiders play Denver at Oakland Coliseum. He’ll watch his offense work from the other sideline, calling plays from Mike McCoy’s selections.

This odd arrangement stems from Jack Del Rio’s decision to let Musgrave’s contract expire after two years as Raiders offensive coordinator. He promoted the in-demand Downing to that post, which left Musgrave to gain employment as Denver’s quarterbacks coach. He was promoted to OC on Monday, when McCoy got fired after Denver lost its sixth straight.

Fans didn't love Musgrave when he was in Oakland. They long for him now. The Raiders ranked sixth in total offense and seventh in scoring last year. Now they're 21st and 20th, respectively, in those categories. 

Having Musgrave calling plays for the enemy adds some intrigue to the matchup, though this isn’t a mentor-protégé matchup. Count Scott Linehan and Mike Tice as Downing’s primary professors. Those influences stand out most in Downing’s style, but Musgrave’s influence as a play caller exists in a small dose.

“I think there are elements of it. I won’t say personality traits, but maybe nuances of the game that you naturally talk to through as a coordinator and quarterback coach,” Downing said. “So, those experiences are kind of lived through the other coordinator. We were together for two years. I have some other influences that probably shape my play calling more than that.”

There’s a high level of respect between the two men, and Downing certainly appreciates his time working under Musgrave.

“He’s a very detailed guy. He likes to simplify and let the guys go execute. That was certainly something that I respected about the way he went through a game plan process. If there was something that wasn’t working itself out through the course of the practice week, we’d eliminate it or not run it on Sunday. Definitely picked that up.

“He has a broad scope understanding of offense. Being a quarterback as he is, or a former quarterback as he is, he’s not just a pass game guy. He has a good understanding of the run game and a good respect for the guys upfront being able to move the line of scrimmage. Definitely something that I admire and wanted to emulate.”

Downing and Musgrave won’t face each other directly. That’ll be new Raiders play caller John Pagano.

He took over Tuesday after Ken Norton’s firing, but doesn’t mean he’s new to the matchup. Pagano was the Chargers' defensive coordinator from 2012-16, and faced Musgrave twice a year the past two seasons. Musgrave won every matchup.

Pagano might look at Denver’s scheme and Musgrave’s tendencies when trying to silence the Broncos on Sunday.

“You always have to understand what he’s about and what little things pop into my head from seeing him, but you still have to go based off of what you’re seeing right now, the film that you’re seeing, the plays you’re going off of,” Pagano said. “You have to be prepared for everything. He does a great job and he always has those guys ready to play and there is always going to be something new.”