Raiders

Notes: Osweiler impacted by green laser aimed at his eyes

Notes: Osweiler impacted by green laser aimed at his eyes

MEXICO CITY – There was a large, pro-Raiders crowd at Estadio Azteca for Monday night’s clash between the Silver and Black and the Houston Texans.

The crowd tried to knock Houston off its game, and used more than just cheers to do so.

A fan shined a green laser into Brock Osweiler’s eyes starting in the second quarter, something that was certainly a distraction in the Raiders’ 27-20 victory over the Texans.

“I never want to say one thing is a difference maker,” Osweiler said, “but certainly having a laser zoomed in on your eye definitely affects how you play a game.”

NFL security went into the crowd to find the fan at halftime, but the laser showed up again in the third quarter.

Osweiler didn’t want to put too much weight on the adverse situation, but admitted it was an issue.

“As far as the laser goes, it was certainly very distracting,” Osweiler said. “I’ve never experienced a laser being shined into my eyeball in a football game, let alone a professional football game in the National Football League so I think that was certainly disappointing, but at the end of the day that is not why we lost the game. That was just one small factor, but it certainly affected how I was playing and able to see down field.”

The Raiders saw it on defense, and weren’t sure what to make of the situation.

“I saw it and I thought I was in the twilight zone a few times,” Raiders edge rusher Khalil Mack said, “but I didn't really know what it was.”

Malcolm make play of the day: Many consider Jamize Olawale’s 75-yard touchdown as the game-changing play that helped the Raiders surge to victory, but Raiders quarterback Derek Carr picked out a different play.

He highlighted inside linebacker Malcolm Smith’s tough tackle of Akeem Hunt for no gain twice to forced a turnover on downs. The spot was poor, but the Texans lost a challenge trying to overturn it.

Carr brought up Smith’s great effort on third down, shedding a tough block in time to bring Hunt down early. Smith actually did that twice to give his offense the ball back.

“Watch him on that play, he almost gets thrown because he's trying to get off the block and he almost, he could have easily quit, could have easily been blocked, but he kept fighting,” Carr said. “Malcolm made the play of the day right there. I think that's the play of the game that goes unseen and unheard, but that was the play.”

In addition to clutch tackling, Smith also had an interception earlier in the game.

Cooper’s great cut: Raiders receiver Amari Cooper scored the game-winning touchdown on Monday night, turning a short reception into a 35-yard into a massive gain.

Seth Roberts made a great block in front of him, but he broke free with an excellent cut that left Texans defenders grabbing air. Cooper surged through heavy traffic and found the end zone to give the Raiders a 27-20 lead later in the fourth quarter.

“The last game I had the same play and I kind of got it and got like a yard on it,” Cooper said. “So I just told myself to catch it and just get vertical and run and that's what I tried to do, so the cut was just instinctive.”

Davis, Goodell have pre-game chat: NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell was in Mexico City for the Raiders game, and was in a long conversation with Mark Davis on the sidelines before kickoff. Del Rio also stopped by to exchange pleasantries.

General manager Reggie McKenzie joined him for a spell. They'd all have things to discuss with Goodell, including  still exiled edge rusher Aldon Smith. Davis is also pushing to relocate to Las Vegas, with an application coming as early as this winter.

This ‘n that: The Raiders recorded their first four-game winning streak since 2002, which also marks their last winning season. …The Raiders have allowed just 19 points in the first quarter of games, which marks a league low. … Bruce Irvin recorded his third sack of the year against Houston, and matched Karl Joseph and Malcolm Smith with a team-high 10 tackles. …QB Derek Carr was 21-of-31 passing for 295 yards and three touchdowns, giving him a 117 pass rating. It’s the 11th time Carr has had a triple digit passer rating.

Raiders' Maxx Crosby vigorously trying to prove himself as complete player

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Raiders' Maxx Crosby vigorously trying to prove himself as complete player

Maxx Crosby broke his hand in the Raiders’ first preseason game, a moment well documented on “Hard Knocks.” He was trying to punch the ball free and ended up hurting himself in the process. He tried in vain to play through it even after saying his hand felt like a noodle and ended up on the shelf for roughly three weeks of the preseason recovering from surgery.

That’s a significant setback for a player who needed every single rep possible to be ready for the regular season. Raiders brass didn’t want to let Crosby’s season slip and echoed a common refrain.

“They told me to stay in it mentally, and really harped on that,” Crosby said Friday in an interview with NBC Sports Bay Area. “That’s what I tried to do. That helped me out a lot, and they really fast-tracked the process of getting me back on the field and working again with a club on. That wasn’t ideal, but I could learn and apply and stay in football shape.”

Crosby didn’t enjoy working with the club, but taking that tool away forced him to hone his footwork, leverage and balance. Getting steady work was most important.

The Raiders, after all, desperately needed him to make an instant impact as a situational pass rusher. They’re finding he’s much more than that.

“I think he’s gotten a lot better in both the run and the pass rush,” Raiders defensive coordinator Paul Guenther said. “I think he’s a high-energy guy, he’s getting better every week and he can do a lot of different things for us, so he’s an exciting guy to have.

“[He has made progress] mainly in the running game and the little detailed things, the footwork and hand placement on early downs. Obviously, we knew he could rush bringing him in here, but he’s becoming a complete defensive end each and every week.”

Hold on. That doesn’t match his pre-draft profile, which labeled him as a too-skinny kid from a small school who couldn’t stop the run. Crosby heard all about his perceived shortcomings. He read about them, absorbed the negativity and never let it go.

It became fuel to show he was no one-trick pony. That has happened in small steps since Crosby began his career in the Silver and Black, though he’s rounding into quality form heading into Sunday’s game against the Green Bay Packers.

“My confidence has definitely increased over time,” Crosby said. “I would say the mental part of the game is way more than 50 percent. That’s everything, and I believe I can beat and compete with anybody. I try to bring it every day and come in with a chip on my shoulder. I came from Eastern Michigan. I only had one [scholarship] offer. Blah, blah, blah. I can’t stop the run and all that stuff. I keep all that in my mind at all times. Every time I step out there, I feel like I have something to prove.”

Crosby always believed that he belongs, and has produced tangible evidence of it over the last two games. Crosby was given a full workload and made the most of it. He wowed in a Week 4 win over Indianapolis, with three tackles, two batted passes, a forced fumble and a quarterback hit among four total pressures.

He followed that up with his first NFL sack against Chicago and three total pressures playing a career-high 55 defensive snaps in his first career start.

Those two efforts showed great progress, considering he had but one pressure in the previous three.

Hearing Guenther compliment his run defense –- he got plenty of opportunities starting while Clelin Ferrell was in concussion protocol versus Chicago -- is a badge of honor and a sign he’s eliminating perceived strikes against him and the unwelcome “situational pass rusher” label.

“That was the biggest knock on me coming into the league,” Crosby said. “I was too skinny and not strong enough. I was a lot smaller last year so I get it, but it was a point of emphasis for me. I always feel like I have been able to make plays against the run, but I think the extra weight and power really helped. There’s a natural instinct to it and an attitude to stopping the run.”

Crosby attributed that to discipline and increased size and strength built during the pre-draft process and after becoming a Raider.

[RELATED: Why Worley's versatility is key for Raiders vs. Packers]

Crosby says he’s over 265 pounds now – he played in the 240s his last year at Eastern Michigan – and believes he can be a productive every-down player. He loves getting sacks but won’t let them determine his worth, finding himself proud of diverse stat lines of the last two weeks.

“That’s the thing about defensive end,” Crosby said. “Everybody focuses on sacks, but I just want to affect the game on every single play. If it’s not a sack, it’s batting a pass or making a technically sound tackle or punching the ball out or even just staying disciplined in my gap. There are several ways I can help my team.”

Raiders vs. Packers live stream: How to watch NFL Week 7 game online

Raiders vs. Packers live stream: How to watch NFL Week 7 game online

After a nice long bye week, the Raiders will be back in action Sunday as they visit Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers.

Jon Gruden and Co. are coming off an impressive win across the pond, as they took down the Chicago Bears in a 24-21 win, in part through a 97-yard touchdown drive late in the fourth quarter that rookie tailback Josh Jacobs punctuated with a leaping finish over the Bears’ punishing front seven.

The Packers are on a short week, having just won a controversial Monday Night Football game over the Detroit Lions in Week 6.

Both teams will be without No. 1 receivers, as Tyrell Williams and Davante Adams will miss Sunday’s game due to injury.

[RELATED: Why Worley's versatility is key for Raiders vs. Packers]

Here’s how you can watch Raiders-Packers:

Start time: Sunday, Oct. 20, at 10:00 a.m. PT
TV channel: CBS (KPIX) 
Raiders live stream: fuboTV -- Get a free trial