How Raiders' Kolton Miller, Trent Brown slowed down Khalil Mack, Bears

How Raiders' Kolton Miller, Trent Brown slowed down Khalil Mack, Bears

LONDON – Opposing teams work hard to stop Bears pass-rusher Khalil Mack. They’re rarely effective despite significant attention always being paid to Chicago’s All-Pro edge rusher.

The Raiders know full well that Mack’s a game-wrecker. He won a bunch of games for the Silver and Black before being traded to Chicago in Sept. 2018 for a compensation package that included two first-round picks.

They surely didn’t want Mack going off against his old team. Mack sacking Derek Carr over and over again would be a bad look, and the Raiders seemed set on shutting Mack down.

Jon Gruden varied his tactics trying to slow Mack down, from cut blocks to double teams to chipping tight ends and running backs. The head coach’s blocking scheme worked wonders.

Mack had three tackles, a fumble recovery he didn’t force, and just one quarterback hit in the Raiders’ 24-21 victory over Chicago here at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. The most important stat: Zero sacks. No takeaways. No game-changing plays.

The offensive line was highly motivated to shut Mack down, especially after he said he wanted to make his old team pay in this game.

“Of course we take that personally,” left guard Richie Incognito said. “He’s over there talking about how he’s looking forward to playing us and all this stuff. There’s a history, and we came out and we were physical with them, and they didn’t like it.”

Jon Gruden gave game balls to left tackle Kolton Miller and right tackle Trent Brown, players chiefly responsible for blocking Mack.

Those guys were solid throughout protecting both flanks, giving quarterback Derek Carr plenty of time to work the ball downfield.

“I thought we had a good plan for him and we executed it well,” Miller said. “It was important to slow him down as much as possible. The key there is just being consistent with your technique and fundamentals. I think we were able to do that in the run game and the pass game.”

Mack got around Brown once and was bearing down on Carr, but the quarterback got rid of it in time.

Mack declined to speak after the game despite requests for him to do so.

The Mack vs. Gruden storyline dominated the entire practice week, creating significant hype around this international NFL game.

[RELATED: What we learned about Raiders in wild 24-21 win over Bears]

The matchup itself came down to execution, and Miller and Brown led a quality effort to slow him down.

“The entire offensive line took this game as a challenge,” Miller said. “It was a big test for us, and we were able to run the ball and protect the pocket.”

Raiders' Keelan Doss enjoying 'unorthodox' NFL journey amid inactive streak

Raiders' Keelan Doss enjoying 'unorthodox' NFL journey amid inactive streak

ALAMEDA -- The start to Keelan Doss' NFL career has been unique, to say the least. 

After going undrafted out of the University of California-Davis, Doss was signed by the Raiders and impressed early on in OTAs and training camp. The Alameda native became a fan favorite during the Raiders' run on HBO's "Hard Knocks," but eventually he was cut and signed on the Jaguars' practice squad. 

Doss' time away from the Raiders didn't last long, as he was given a $300K signing bonus along with the $495K salary to take Antonio Brown's spot on the roster after the star receiver demanded his release before Week 1. 

The rookie wideout was active from Weeks 2-7, totaling six catches for 79 yards as the receiver-starved Raiders tried to reshape their offense on the fly. Doss showed some promise in games against the Indianapolis Colts, Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers, but he has been inactive for the past four games, with newcomer Zay Jones and Marcell Ateman getting the nod to suit up. 

No player likes to sit on the sideline as his team battles for a playoff spot, but the rookie is taking everything in stride, focusing on getting better to earn his way onto the field. 

"I've just been in practice really just focusing on my game," Doss told NBC Sports Bay Area."The tools I know I can use when I do get in a position to play. Obviously it's tough just watching the team and everything, but at the end of the day I have to get better every day and that's what I continue to try to do."

"Just consistency, just every day," Doss continued. "I know my ability and what I can do. When I get an opportunity to go in I just have to continue to make plays like I have been and was when I was in the game."

[RELATED: Gruden enjoying Jacobs' success after Mack trade criticism

Not being able to contribute on Sundays has been tough, and his NFL journey has had more early twists and turns than most undrafted rookies. 

Still, Doss is happy to be a Raider and is taking each new curve with a positive attitude. 

"I couldn't make it up, you know what I mean?" Doss said about his first NFL season. "It's obviously unorthodox, but at the same time, I feel like God puts me in a position and I can handle it. I've enjoyed it. You've got to live in the moment, so that's what I try to do."

After three straight wins, the 6-4 Raiders will travel to New York on Sunday to face the Jets as they look to cement their foothold in the AFC playoff race. 

Doss will continue to hone his craft and be ready to make plays for the Silver and Black should they need him down the stretch. 

Raiders injury report: Lamarcus Joyner's status vs. Jets uncertain

Raiders injury report: Lamarcus Joyner's status vs. Jets uncertain

ALAMEDA – Raiders slot cornerback Lamarcus Joyner stretched with his team to start Wednesday’s practice, a light session conducted without helmets.

The veteran cover man did some work during the portion open to the press, but he apparently didn’t do much after that.

He was formally considered a non-participant on the team’s practice report, which is an estimation considering the workout was only a walk-through.

The Raiders have moved lighter sessions to Wednesday, with intensity ratcheting up on Thursday and then down a bit Friday.

Coach Jon Gruden didn’t say much about Joyner’s health status after he missed a Week 11 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals due to a hamstring injury from the previous game.

“He got in some work,” Gruden said. “… We weren’t doing much today, as you could see, in terms of full-speed work. We got a lot of reps today. I’m hopeful that he’ll be ready to play, but we’ll see how it goes when we lather them up [Thursday].”

Nevin Lawson assumed Joyner’s role against Cincinnati and was solid in the high-priced veteran’s place.

The Raiders obviously need one of their defensive captains healthy as soon as possible, as they push to make a playoff run. It’s uncertain, though unlikely, that Joyner can come back to play the Jets.

Oakland would like him back the following week against the Kansas City Chiefs, which could be a showdown for AFC West supremacy.

David Sharpe wasn’t available with a calf strain, though starting right tackle Trent Brown continues to play through knee issues.

The Raiders conducted a walk-through practice Wednesday. Therefore, the following participation report is an estimation.

[RELATED: Gruden enjoying Jacobs' success after Mack trade criticism]

Raiders practice report

Did not practice
CB Lamarcus Joyner (hamstring)
OT David Sharpe (calf)

Limited practice
RB Josh Jacobs (shoulder)
C Rodney Hudson (ankle)
OT Trent Brown (knee)