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.

NFL free agency: Raiders sign QB Mike Glennon to back up Derek Carr


NFL free agency: Raiders sign QB Mike Glennon to back up Derek Carr

The Raiders wanted an experienced backup quarterback behind Derek Carr, and got one Friday by signing Mike Glennon.

Now they hope he never plays. It’s still a vital role in meeting rooms and on-the-field, should an emergency arise on game day. Young bucks can get caught in the headlights. Veterans won’t be as good as the starter, but can generally function better being inserted into a game without many practice reps.

He has hopped into action during five seasons and has 22 starts, meaning he can handle short-relief or a stretch as the starter.

That calms some fan's nerves after the Raiders released AJ McCarron, who has already signed with the Houston Texans, leaving Nathan Peterman as the only non-Carr quarterback on the roster.

Glennon steps into the No. 2 slot having completed 60.9 percent of his passes for 5,107 yards and 35 touchdowns with 20 interceptions over five seasons.

Peterman is still with the Raiders on a futures contract, and is the No. 3 guy at the moment.

Many will look at the signing and wonder if it impacts the possibility of drafting a quarterback next month. It’s hard to rule anything out, but the disciplined choice would be to address the pass rush early and often in the 2019 NFL Draft, though a quarterback could get taken later in the selection process.

But…having Glennon on the roster won’t prohibit the Raiders from taking Kyler Murray or Dwayne Haskins. Would the Raiders eliminate the prospect of taking Quinnen Williams because interior pass rushers P.J. Hall and Maurice Hurst were drafted last year? Absolutely not.

A edge rusher is the team’s most pressing need and must be addressed with quality and quantity before the season starts.

The Raiders don’t have to take a quarterback now in the draft, and adding Glennon takes the pressure off the demand to get another one down the line. Glennon should be viewed as a reliable backup who can step into service if Carr isn’t available.

Curtis Riley signs with Raiders to boost short-handed secondary

Curtis Riley signs with Raiders to boost short-handed secondary

The Raiders continued fleshing out their secondary on Friday agreeing on terms of a contract with safety Curtis Riley, the team announced Friday. The former New York Giant visited the team’s Alameda facility on Thursday and left without a deal, but he ended up taking the Raiders offer despite interest from other teams.

Riley hinted at a pact on Twitter on Friday, saying he was coming to the Bay Area. He’ll exchange coasts after starting all 16 games at free safety with last year’s Giants. He had 75 tackles, four interceptions and five pass breakups for that squad.

He’ll have an opportunity to play significant snaps in the Raiders secondary. High-priced free-agent signing Lamarcus Joyner is also a free safety, but is expected to play slot cornerback regularly in 2019, likely shuttling back and forth between positions.

Riley could step in as the free safety in sub packages that defenses spend significant time in nowadays. Erik Harris will compete for that role opposite strong safety Karl Joseph.

The Raiders have options in the secondary now, with the aforementioned safeties and depth at cornerback. Gareon Conley’s a virtual lock to start at one outside cornerback spot. Daryl Worley’s expected to return on a second-round free-agent tender, through Thursday’s signing Nevin Lawson will compete for time there as well. Last year’s fourth-round pick Nick Nelson will have to fight for time with this new defensive back depth chart.

The Raiders could well draft another defensive back as well, especially if a good one slips and becomes a great value pick.

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News of Riley’s agreement should excite quarterback Derek Carr. Riley’s a fellow Fresno State alum. and was teammates with Carr in 2013.

The Raiders also had interest in George Iloka, who played with defensive coordinator Paul Guenther in Cincinnati. Iloka visited the Raiders complex Thursday, but left without a deal and scheduled other visits.