Raiders

Marshawn Lynch excellent fit for Raiders scheme, ailing Oakland fan base

Marshawn Lynch excellent fit for Raiders scheme, ailing Oakland fan base

Marshawn Lynch is a Raider. He announced that fact on Twitter in his own unique way Wednesday, completing a month-long process from initial interest to final signature.

The Raiders gave him a new contract and traded Seattle for his rights, allowing the Oakland Tech High grad and Cal alum to come out of retirement and play for his hometown team.

That’s good news for Raiders fans on several fronts. He fills an immediate need at running back created when Latavius Murray left for Minnesota.

It temporarily tempers, though certainly doesn’t extinguish, rage about the Raiders relocating to Las Vegas.

[RATTO: Here's to hoping Marshawn Lynch upstages the NFL Draft]

Owner Mark Davis hopes to move his team when a new stadium is complete in 2020. 

Lynch won't be there. Lynch won’t represent Vegas. He’s an Oakland Raider, playing for the city he champions at every turn. Lynch regularly gives back to this community and might be its most popular native son right now.

Lynch missed playing football, but he wanted to represent his hometown. That was clear in his tweet. He explained it this way: “I’m really from Oakland doe like really really really from Oakland doe…town bizness breath on me.”

He’ll celebrate joining the Raiders on Thursday with a block party and autograph signing in Oakland.

Lynch will give East Bay fans something to cheer for that won’t be shipping off to Vegas in a few years.

Nothing can cure the pain of an NFL team leaving Oakland a second time. Wins are ibuprofen, giving short-term relief to an ailing fan local base. He can certainly help the Raiders provide that.

The Silver and Black needed a big, physical primary rusher to pair with elusive, yet smaller backs Jalen Richard and DeAndre Washington.

Lynch is that guy. There’s no question he’s a football fit.

Lynch is a strong interior rusher from several different formations. He could run well behind fullback Jamize Olawale, as a lone shotgun runner or in jumbo packages with quarterback Derek Carr under center and behind a hulking Raiders offensive line.

While new offensive coordinator Todd Downing will add some wrinkles to an existing scheme, the Raiders employ a versatile system that could suit Lynch’s many strengths.

Lynch ranks among the toughest, most aggressive backs of his generation and one of the best resisting tackles.

He averaged 4.3 yards per carry and 2.8 yards after contact per rushing attempt in his career, according to analytics site Pro Football Focus.

Lynch led the NFL with 245 broken tackles between 2013 and 2016 – 56 more than the next guy -- and he didn’t even play last season, per PFF.

He led the league with an unreal 3.1 yards after per contact in 2014, his last year fully healthy. He played just eight times in 2015 due to an abdominal injury that required surgery.

Lynch is completely healthy after his year travelling the world, doing charity work and expanding his clothing line, but effectiveness is always questioned of running backs over 30. Lynch turned 31 last week. He heads into his 10th season without having been hit in a while, and many believe he can produce like few others his age have in the NFL.

He’ll take the lion’s share of carries in a three-man rotation with Richard and Washington. He reportedly gets an extra $2 million if he's just the second Raider since 2010 to reach 1,000 yards. There’s motivation to push for that and other incentives in the deal. If Lynch is in vintage Beast Mode and fans are happy, the Raiders will gladly pay the extra freight.

Raiders snap count: McDonald steps in, plays a ton vs. Broncos

mcdonaldlcintonstretch.jpg
AP

Raiders snap count: McDonald steps in, plays a ton vs. Broncos

ALAMEDA – Clinton McDonald signed with the Raiders on Wednesday, but didn’t practice until the following afternoon. A few days later, he played 52 snaps. 

Nobody on the defensive line played more, an effort required after the defensive tackle spot endured an injury plague. Justin Ellis is now on IR. P.J. Hall missed Sunday’s 20-19 loss to Denver, and is expected to miss another week at least. 

McDonald graded out well, per Pro Football Focus, and had two tackles and two quarterback pressures against the Broncos. He did get cleared out to open a rushing lane for Phillip Lindsay’s 53-yard scamper.

The Raiders had to work a new player in on the inside, including three players who had been with the team less than two weeks. McDonald, Brian Price and Johnathan Hankins helped Maurice Hurst work on the defensive interior. 

McDonald played a major role, despite precious little prep. 

“We were in a tough spot yesterday, certainly with [Brian] Price playing for the first time," Jon Gruden said. "Hankins and Clinton basically just showing up before the game. He did a heck of a job. He not only played a lot of snaps, he played some good snaps against the run and he gave us a little bit of pass rush in there. That’s been his history. He can play the nose or the three-technique and that’s what he did yesterday.”

This rotation will hold for some time, though Hankins’ workload should increase as time wears on. Hall will be welcomed back with open arms when healthy, especially as an interior pass rusher. 

There’s some shuffling going on at safety, where Erik Harris took some defensive snaps from Marcus Gilchrist and Reggie Nelson. It’s clear 2016 first-round pick Karl Joseph is down on the depth chart at this stage, another blow for recent Raiders draft classes. 

Martavis Bryant was active in his first game back with the Raiders, totaling four catches for 40 yards on 26 snaps. His presence helped the passing game as a whole, with receptions and clearing space for others like Amari Cooper. 

“His presence out there makes a difference,” Gruden said. 

Offense
Total offensive snaps: 65
Quarterback – Derek Carr 65
Running back – Marshawn Lynch 42, Doug Martin 16, Jalen Richard 8, Keith Smith 8
Wide receiver – Jordy Nelson 54, Amari Cooper 54, Martavis Bryant 26, Seth Roberts 22, Brandon LaFell 7
Tight end – Jared Cook 52, Lee Smith 22, Derek Carrier 11
Offensive line – Donald Penn 65, Gabe Jackson 65, Kolton Miller 65, Rodney Hudson 65, Kelechi Osemele 65, Jon Feliciano 3
 
Defense
Total defensive snaps: 65
Defensive line – Clinton McDonald 52, Bruce Irvin 49, Arden Key 42, Maurice Hurst 37, Frostee Rucker 28, Tank Carradine 24, Johnathan Hankins 18, Brian Price 17 
Linebacker – Tahir Whitehead 63, Derrick Johnson 43, Marquel Lee 25, Emmanuel Lamur 14
Defensive back – Rashaan Melvin 64, Gareon Conley 64, Leon Hall 55, Marcus Gilchrist 53, Reggie Nelson 48, Erik Harris 26, Karl Joseph 3
 
Special teams
Total special teams plays: 22
Erik Harris 22, Marquel Lee 22, Kyle Wilber 22, Carrier 22, Nick Morrow 18, K. Smith 18, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie 15, L. Smith 10, Richard 10, Gilchrist 9, Mike Nugent 9, Johnny Townsend 8, Trent Sieg 8, Melvin 7, Martin 5, Rucker 5, Brandon Parker 4, Penn 4, Miller 4, Feliciano 4, Whitehead 4, Osemele 4, Nelson 4, McDonald 4, Irvin 4, Nelson 4. Hall 3, Murst 3, Carradine 3, Key 1 

NFL Power Rankings: 49ers up, Raiders down after Week 2

NFL Power Rankings: 49ers up, Raiders down after Week 2

1. Tampa Bay (2-0)
Previous rank: 21
 
“We’ve just got to make sure we stay humble.” -- Ryan Fitzpatrick


2. L.A. Rams (2-0)
Previous rank: 2

L.A. loves a winner. That bandwagon’s gonna fill up pretty fast. 

3. Jacksonville (2-0)
Previous rank: 7
 
Blake Bortles threw for 377 yards and four touchdowns. You might assume that was for the entire 2017 season. Or his career. Nope, just one thrashing of the Patriots. Jags are the new AFC team to beat. 
 
4. Kansas City (2-0)
Previous rank: 5
 
That Mahomes kid has 10 touchdown passes in two weeks. He’s gonna be a superstar. 
 
5. Minnesota (1-0-1)
Previous rank: 3
 
Best part of any Monday press conference? Mike Zimmer, on being asked why he cut his kicker: “Did you see the game?”
 
6. New England (1-1)
Previous rank: 3
 
Patriots counting lucky stars Jacksonville didn’t play like that in last year’s AFC title game. Jaguars had ‘em shook. 
 
7. Green Bay (1-0-1)
Previous rank: 6
 
That Clay Matthews penalty was absurd. Pretty hard to play defense these days. 
 
8. Philadelphia (1-1)
Previous rank: 1
 
Nick Foles wrote a book this offseason. Hope he sold a lot of copies. He’s headed back to the backup spot the second Carson Wentz gets cleared. 
 
9. L.A. Chargers (1-1)
Previous rank: 11
 
Philip Rivers has the offensive flowing like a category 5 rapid. 
 
10. Cincinnati (2-0)
Previous rank: 18
 
Bengals believe they’ll be just fine without Joe Mixon. Say that too many times and you’ll get committed. 
 
11. Denver (2-0)
Previous rank: 17
 
Something lost in the buzz around Marquette King’s ridiculous Jon Gruden troll video: He had to go on Amazon or to a mall and buy a Chucky doll. Probably weeks ago. This troll job was calculated. Pre-meditated. And pretty darn petty.  
 
12. Atlanta (1-1)
Previous rank: 12
 
Falcons still miss Kyle Shanahan. Maybe a little less than normal after Tevin Coleman went off. 
 
13. New Orleans (1-1)
Previous rank: 8
 
Saints nearly marched into a loss. To Cleveland, of all teams. New Orleans is lucky the Browns kicker stinks. Or stunk. Dude got cut. 
 
14. Baltimore (1-1)
Previous rank: 9
 
Ravens lost a tight one to the Bengals. Just a thought: Maybe they should cover A.J. Green. 
 
15. Carolina (1-1)
Previous rank: 12
 
So, let me get this straight. A defender gets ejected for a vicious hit on Cam Newton, then the rough-and-tumble QB goes right back in? Cam lucky to escape with only a shiner. Panthers, too. 
 
16. Pittsburgh (0-1-1)
Previous rank: 13
 
Steelers have so much talent, and so much turmoil brewing just beneath the surface. There’s a powder keg in western PA. A few more disappointing results and it will explode. 
 
17. Miami 
Previous rank: 22
 
Once again, the Dolphins are our lowest rated team without a loss. Somebody tell me how they’re winning games? They can easily snag a third against the Raiders in the Florida heat. . 
 
18. Chicago (1-1)
Previous rank: 19
 
Khalil Mack has played on national television his first two weeks in Chicago. Bet he sold a lot of jerseys as the country begins to realize he’s the best defensive player on Planet Earth. 
 
19. 49ers (1-1)
Previous rank: 20
 
The 49ers won a game that Richard Sherman says felt like a loss. He’s right. The Santa Clarans deserve to be 0-2. Squeaked one out against the Lions, though Jimmy G looks a little less handsome than he did this summer. 
 
20. Tennessee (1-1)
Previous rank: 24
 
The Titans won a game with Blaine Gabbert at the helm. Give Mike Vrabel a medal. 
 
21. Indianapolis (1-1)
Previous rank: 29 
 
Andrew Luck always gives his team a chance. 
 
22. Washington (1-1)
Previous rank: 10
 
The Washington football is schizophrenic. Good one week, unwatchable the next. And yeah, I know I have teams bobbing up and down these power rankings. I’m a mystery that way. 
 
23. N.Y. Jets (1-1)
Previous rank: 16
 
A rookie quarterback played well one week and terrible the next? Get right out of town. Sam Darnold’s gonna have to experience some growing pains. 
 
24. Houston (0-2)
Previous rank: 14
 
Losing to Blaine Gabbert gets you dropped like its hot. Come on, Houston. Be better. 
 
25. Dallas (1-1)
Previous rank: 26
 
Beating the Giants doesn’t make you good. Cowboys have plenty left to prove. 
 
26. Seattle (0-2)
 
Poor Russell Wilson. Seahawks are going to waste some prime years tearing this team down. 
 
27. Raiders (0-2)
Previous rank: 23
 
Derek Carr can’t win games all by himself. It seems like he could use an excellent defensive player creating havoc, a bonafide closer off the edge. Gosh. How could the Raiders find someone like that…
 
28. Detroit (0-2)
Previous rank: 28
 
49ers tried to hand Detroit a win. The Lions slapped it away with a crummy defensive holding call. 
 
29. N.Y. Giants (0-2)
 
Previous rank: 27
 
Big Blue has all these flashy toys, yet can’t give Eli one second to get them the gosh darn ball. Giants can’t protect a statue signal caller. Hard to imagine him staying healthy all year. 
 
30. Cleveland (0-1-1)
 
Previous rank: 31
 
The Browns find new and entertaining ways to choke each week. Here’s to hoping they never get good. Every league needs a punching bag. 
 
31. Cardinals (0-2)
Previous rank: 30
 
So apparently Mike McCoy might lose his job over David Johnson’s usage. Here’s a hint. Snap the ball. Hand it to him. Watch magic happen. 
 
32. Buffalo (0-2)
Previous rank: 32
 
The Bills are so bad Vontae Davis retired at halftime. Couldn’t take it anymore. 
 
Calling my shot right now: Bills will never, ever, get out of the 32nd slot.