Instant Analysis: Marshawn scores twice, Raiders earn huge win vs Dolphins


Instant Analysis: Marshawn scores twice, Raiders earn huge win vs Dolphins


MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. – The AFC was kind to the Raiders Sunday afternoon.

Denver and Kansas City lost. So did several others above them in the wild card race. A 27-24 victory over Miami vaulted them right back in the playoff picture. A great second-half run is required, but they need more luck to turn things around.

Sunday’s events put the Raiders in a tie for eighth in the conference. They started the day in 14th.

The Raiders are, somehow, right back in it.

They’re two games back in the AFC West, and 1.5 behind the second wild card spot.

A victory made that happen. It wasn’t always pretty, but the Raiders got the job done. They head home from a two-game road trip with a split that sets their record at 4-5.

They head into a bye before playing New England in Mexico City.

That game means something because the Raiders found a way to beat the Dolphins.

Marshawn Lynch played his best game as a Raider, with 57 yards and two touchdowns on 14 carries. That included a 22-yard scoring jaunt and a 14-yard rumble on a key second-half drive.

He got in again in the fourth quarter to put the Raiders up two scores with 4 minutes, 37 seconds left.

Quarterback Derek Carr found Johnny Holton deep for a 44-yard touchdown that was the team’s only first-half touchdown.

The Miami native beat his man deep and Carr gave him room to run under the pass.

Holton’s reception was one of a few not directed to Jared Cook. The veteran tight end had eight receptions for 126 yards, including six for 113 yards in the first half.

Cook has exceeded 100 receiving yards for the second time in his last three games.

Cook and Carr have found a nice rhythm in recent weeks, especially working through the middle of the field. It took some time to get going, but Cook has become a real asset in the offense.

Getting Cook and Lynch active should supplement an offense that has been inconsistent all season.

Jon Gruden gets Raiders fans ready for training camp with party


Jon Gruden gets Raiders fans ready for training camp with party

To celebrate his return to the sideline, Oakland Raiders head coach Jon Gruden threw a party for fans on Friday at Ricky's Sports Theatre and Grill in San Leandro.  

Raider Nation showed up in droves. 

In all, over 500 fans showed up, according to a Ricky's spokesperson.

"We are honored to be a part of the love story between Jon Gruden and this fan base," the spokesperson said. "It's incredibly special. And the significance of this event, at this time, is not lost on us."

The Raiders, Gruden, and Ricky's all collaborated on the event, which came together because of Gruden's relationship with Ricky's owners, Ricky and Tina Ricardo. Gruden paid for the catering and entertainment himself, according to the spokesperson. 

Plenty of Raiders alumni attended, including Cliff Branch and Lester Hayes, according to ESPN's Paul Gutierrez. Branch even took the mic and made a guarantee. 

Gruden broke in as an NFL head coach with the Raiders in 1998, and coached Oakland for four seasons. It was in Oakland where Gruden was first given the nickname "Chucky," after the murderous puppet in the Child's Play film franchise. Gruden paid tribute to those roots at Ricky's with a... creative autograph signing. 

Raiders training camp begins on July 27. Whether or not the team will be joined by its best defensive player remains to be seen. 

Star defensive end Khalil Mack skipped the team's mandatory minicamp in June in pursuit of a new contract. Gruden told fans on Friday that the team will "find a way" to bring Mack back. 

Raiders confirm Greg Papa out as team's radio voice after two decades


Raiders confirm Greg Papa out as team's radio voice after two decades

The Raiders made it official Thursday. Legendary broadcaster Greg Papa, who also serves as an analyst for NBC Sports Bay Area, no longer will be the radio voice of the team.

[RAY RATTO: Raiders' exit feels much more imminent after reported broadcaster swap]

Raiders owner Mark Davis made the following statement Thursday: 

The Raiders organization would like to thank Greg Papa for his two decades of service to the Silver and Black.. He wasn’t just given the job.. He earned it.. With intense preparation Greg was always ready for the call.. Just as my generation remembers Bill King and “Holy Toledo”.. The Raider Nation will remember Greg Papa and “Touchdown Raiders”.. We wish Greg and his family the best in whatever the future brings..
-Mark Davis-

Brent Musburger reportedly will replace Papa in the booth. That hasn't been made official, however.