Instant Replay: Raiders blow lead, strike late to stun Ravens


Instant Replay: Raiders blow lead, strike late to stun Ravens


OAKLAND – The Raiders showed up for work on Sunday. That’s a positive development over last week, when Cincinnati flat embarrassed them at home.

The Silver and Black didn’t just punch the clock and compete. They showed strength against a perennial playoff contender.

The offense found early rhythm and maintained it. Quarterback Derek Carr was on point. Charles Woodson found a way to play through injury.

Each effort represented progress over a week ago. None of it mattered without victory’s validation.

The Raiders got one, in dramatic fashion. They gave up a 10-point fourth quarter lead but got it back late with an excellent two-minute drill.

Carr got them into trouble with an interception in the fourth quarter of a tie game, which helped Baltimore establish its first lead. A few minutes later, he totally redeemed himself.

He completed an 80-yard comeback drive with a 12-yard touchdown to Seth Roberts. Roberts was invisible all day, but sneaked open on a slant and Carr hit him with a bullet at the goal line.

The 37-33 victory over the Ravens was formally cemented with an interception from Neiko Thorpe who was picked on a times but made some big plays in this game.

This win was a character builder, proof that the Raiders can hang with solid teams and find a way to win in difficult circumstances. The same could not be said of last year’s team, which routinely wilted under pressure.

Not on this day. The offense took it 80 yards on eight plays to win the game. The Silver and Black are 1-1 heading into a two-game road trip starting next week.

While most will remember the late-game heroics, the Raiders put themselves in position with a strong offensive showing.

The offense generally moved the ball well, sparked by receivers Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree winning battles in coverage. Both men exceeded 100 yards receiving. Latavius Murray was efficient as a rusher.

Carr spread the ball around well, connecting with 10 receivers on a day where he completed 30-of-46 passes for 351 yards, three touchdowns and one interception.

That interception hurt, but it didn’t kill the Raiders.

The Ravens turned that pick into a Justin Tucker field goal with 2 minutes, 10 seconds remaining that put the Raiders behind for the first time all afternoon.

The Raiders pass defense continued to struggle without much rush or coverage. The Ravens were content to pick on No. 3 corner Neiko Thorpe. Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco had time to do so. Khalil Mack, Justin Tuck and Aldon Smith rarely got to the quarterback in passing situations. That, and interior runs in the gap injured defensive tackle Justin Ellis normally controls, kept the Ravens in it.

It wasn’t enough, as the Raiders won a shootout with some explosive offensive plays when it mattered most.

Cooper shakes, bakes on big play: Rookie receiver Amari Cooper started Sunday’s game with consecutive drops. He caught the next one on a big, big play. Cooper ran 10 yards and broke inside. Cornerback Jimmy Smith bit inside while Cooper broke for the sideline when Carr’s pass was in the air.

Cooper caught it, turned of the afterburners and completed a 68-yard touchdown reception.

Cooper had a good day, with seven receptions for 109 yards and one touchdown.

Woodson toughs it out: Veteran safety Charles Woodson was questionable for Sunday’s game with a dislocated right shoulder, but worked his way into the starting lineup against the Ravens.

He played free safety over Larry Asante, with Taylor Mays at strong safety. Woodson was clearly hindered by his shoulder, with limited tackling ability. He struggled to wrap people up, but his presence allowed the Raiders to play with a single-high safety. That was Nate Allen’s role before he torn the MCL in his right knee last week against Cincinnati.

Woodson wore a harness to help keep the joint in place. The ailment is something he might have to play with all season.

Injury update: Raiders cornerback DJ Hayden got hurt in the third quarter and was taken straight to the locker room, apparently with cramps.

Hayden was able to return to the field later in the third quarter. Khalil Mack also had to get stretched out in the second half and missed some important snaps.

Head coach Jack Del Rio will update injuries after the game an again during his Monday press conference.

Sitting it out: Rod Streater was the team’s leading receiver in 2013. On Sunday he was the odd man out and clearly the No. 5 receiver on the depth chart. The Raiders had just four receivers up with injury problems at safety.

In addition to Streater, offensive linemen Jon Feliciano and Matt McCants, fullback Jamize Olawale, defensive tackle Justin Ellis, cornerback Dexter McDonald and end Benson Mayowa were inactive against the Ravens.

What's next: The Raiders started this season with two straight home games, and embark on a road trip of equal length next week. They’ll travel to the Cleveland Browns, who picked up a win behind quarterback Johnny Manziel. The Raiders haven’t won in the Eastern time zone in years, but need to show well in a winnable game.

Mel Kiper NFL mock draft 2020: Raiders pick two Oklahoma prospects


Mel Kiper NFL mock draft 2020: Raiders pick two Oklahoma prospects

For the second consecutive season, the Oakland Las Vegas Raiders will have multiple first-round selections in the upcoming 2020 NFL Draft. It'll happen right in the team’s new backyard along the famous Strip.

After a strong start, the Raiders faded in the second half of the 2019 season, finishing with a dismal 7-9 record. Where will general manager Mike Mayock allocate his precious draft picks come April?

ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. released his first mock draft Friday and has the Raiders addressing both sides of the ball in the first round.

No. 12: CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma

As arguably the top receiver in this year’s draft class, this would be an absolute steal. Antonio Brown and Tyrell Williams were expected to form a dynamic receiving duo for the Raiders in 2019, but Brown’s brief and bizarre tenure combined with Williams’ injury struggles left the team with few consistent targets on the outside.

Kiper wrote: 

Lamb is a big-time playmaker with great hands who will step in, catch a bunch of passes and score touchdowns.

Whether the Raiders have Derek Carr or another veteran quarterback under center next season, Lamb would provide an immediate No. 1 option to bring some much-needed balance to coach Jon Gruden’s offense.

After a dominant, three-touchdown performance against Texas this season, Lamb even shouted out a Raiders legend with his postgame 'fit.

[RELATED: Raiders should pay attention to these 10 Senior Bowl stars]

No. 19: Kenneth Murray, LB, Oklahoma

With one of the picks from the bounty acquired in the Khalil Mack trade with the Chicago Bears, Kiper has Las Vegas shoring up its linebacking corps with another Sooner.

Murray is a chiseled, gifted talent with great athleticism for his size (6-foot-2, 240). He needs to improve in coverage, but he has the speed to match tight ends in space and is so fun to watch on tape as a tackler and penetrator.

With five linebackers set to hit free agency, this is a major position of need for the Raiders. Murray had 102 tackles and four sacks for Oklahoma in his final collegiate season.

2020 Senior Bowl: Ten risers who Raiders should target in NFL draft

2020 Senior Bowl: Ten risers who Raiders should target in NFL draft

Like 27 other teams, some members of the Raiders have spent the week in Mobile trying to get a feel for a talented crop of NFL draft prospects at the Reese's Senior Bowl.

The Senior Bowl was vital to the Raiders' draft success last year, and there are a number of participants this year who can help the Raiders fill their litany of holes.

With three days of practice in the books, a handful of prospects stood out from the rest and it's a group the Raiders should have high on their draft board come April.

Here are 10 risers from the week of practice.

Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon

I've written extensively about Herbert and why I believe he should be the Raiders quarterback of the future if Jon Gruden wishes to move on from Derek Carr.

Herbert has all the physical tools. He's mobile and has a rocket arm, but was inconsistent at Oregon, but showed scouts exactly what they wanted to see in Mobile.

He was accurate and on time in 1-on-1s, 7-on-7s and 11-on-11s, being named the Practice Player of the Week. NFL scouts have questions about his leadership which he can help put to rest Saturday by commanding the huddle in the game. 

Van Jefferson, WR, Florida

In a talented group of wide receivers, Jefferson stood at the top of the class.

The 6-foot-2, 196-pound receiver is a polished route-runner with good hands and burst off the line. 

He made a number of impressive catches and showed good footwork throughout the week.

Jason Strowbridge, DL, North Carolina

He entered the week as a Day 3 guy, but Strowbridge might have moved up to Day 2 with his showing in Mobile. 

The North Carolina product showed great quickness and hand usage during drills. He can play inside and outside and could be a nice addition to the Raiders' pass rush rotation. 

K.J. Hill, WR, Ohio State

I mentioned Hill earlier in the week as a guy the Raiders should target, and he didn't disappoint.

The Ohio State product had a down senior season but he's a good route-runner who creates separation well and has great hands. He'd fit nicely as Gruden looks to "let it fly" more.

Troy Pride Jr., CB, Notre Dame

Pride came into the week needing to impress after a subpar final season in South Bend.

The 5-foot-11 cornerback locked down everyone that went against him this week. He has incredible speed and should be a Day 2 pick.

Denzel Mims, WR, Baylor

Have I mentioned this wide receiver class is deep? It's silly.

The Baylor product caught just about everything in his zip code this week. He high-pointed the ball well, was quick out of his breaks and showed impressive catch radius.

For a team that needs at least three receivers, the Raiders have to be loving this draft.

Malik Harrison, LB, Ohio State

Harrison is more of a run-stopping linebacker, but he showed he can cover as well this week.

He was constantly around the ball and made plays like this:

If the Raiders don't go LB with one of their first-round picks, Harrison is a guy they should grab on Day 2.

Adam Trautman, TE, Dayton

Yes, I know the Raiders already have Darren Waller, who is a budding star and Foster Moreau was a touchdown magnet during his rookie season.

But in the offensive age of football where the more weapons you have the better, Trautman is an intriguing piece.

He's 6-foot-5 and fit right in with Division I talent despite being from an FCS program, showing great skill as both a receiver and a blocker.

Davon Hamilton, DL, Ohio State

A fringe Day 2 prospect entering the week, Hamilton showed great power and quickness against his peers. He showed some secondary moves and was able to re-establish the line of scrimmage.

Certainly, a guy who could help the Raiders upfront.

[RELATED: Raiders should follow NFL draft blueprint, raid LSU-Clemson]

Kyle Dugger, S, Lenoir-Rhyne

I've done so much talking about the versatility of Clemson star Isaiah Simmons that it would be negligent for me not to bring up Dugger to close this risers piece.

He was one of the most dominant players on the practice field in Mobile, showing good body control, footwork and play-making ability.

Dugger could have a hybrid LB/S role in the NFL much like Simmons, and would be a big help to a Raiders defense that is lacking play makers.