Notes: Without Murray, Raiders run game stuck in mud vs Chiefs

Notes: Without Murray, Raiders run game stuck in mud vs Chiefs

OAKLAND – The Raiders played consecutive games without running back Latavius Murray. The primary option in a three-man rotation has been out with turf toe, and hasn’t practiced since playing Baltimore in Week 4.

They certainly could’ve used him on a rain-soaked Sunday against Kansas City, where the run game never got going in a 26-10 loss to the Chiefs.

They gained 65 yards on 17 carries, three of which were quarterback scrambles. The Raiders averaged 3.8 yards per carry, and haven’t cracked four yards per rush with Murray out.

That’s a particular issue in inclement weather, where passing is harder. A steady run game can be a quarterback’s best friend in bad weather.

“That always helps,” quarterback Derek Carr said. “The run game will open everything up. I don’t know if was the field, us as players or what it was. But anytime you can have that in the rain, sleet or snow, it’s always going to help.”

Kansas City certainly benefitted from ground game that churned out 183 yards on 40 carries (4.6 ypc).

It wasn’t there for the Silver and Black and proved harder to sustain with the Raiders playing catch-up in the second half.

Murray can be a physical runner, and his size and style might’ve helped the Raiders in this one. They’re received solid contributions from rookie Jalen Richard and DeAndre Washington – bruiser Jamize Olawale didn’t have a carry in this one – but a Pro Bowl back may have been an asset on a sloppy field.

“I think (Richard and Washington) are doing a fantastic job,” Carr said. “If you lose a starter, it’s always going to be hard on you. It’s going to be hard because ‘Tay is such a good player, Pro-Bowl running back. He’s had over 1,000 yards over this last year, been in some tough games, ran the ball really hard for us. You can never just replace people and just think ’yes we’ve got it.’

“Then again, that has nothing to do with the (rookie) running backs. I think they do a great job. I thought they ran really hard all day. I thought they did a great job.”

Alex Smith, Raider killer: Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith has owned the Raiders during his career, and earned another pelt on Sunday improved his record to 8-1 against the Silver and Black.

He was efficient and mistake-free in this one, completing 19-of-22 passes for 224 yards and a 109.1 passer rating. He benefitted from a stout run game and pushed his team on to a key AFC West victory.

“I talked about Alex leading up to the game; he’s a good football player, a little underrated,” Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio said. “If he’s got to rely on throwing the ball, it’s really not his strong suit, but if you allow them to run the ball, do some of their gimmicky things, then he comes to life. That’s what they were able to do today.”

Oakland’s own hopes Raiders stay: Proud Oakland native and current Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Marcus Peters had another banner day against the Raiders, with two tackles, his fifth interception this season and a pass defensed.

Afterward he touched on the Raiders stadium issue, saying he said he hopes they don’t leave for Las Vegas and stay in his hometown.

“They better not go anywhere,” Peters said. “They better not go anywhere. But we’ll see.”

Carr’s ill-advised INT: Raiders quarterback Derek Carr didn’t have his best day in the Chiefs loss, completing 22-of-34 passes for 225 yards, a touchdown and one costly interception.

Receiver Michael Crabtree beat Peters on a double move, and Carr heaved a wet football towards him. He threw off his back foot and didn’t get enough on it, leaving an easy interception for Peters that ultimately resulted in a Chiefs touchdown.

It was wet, first of all, and Crabtree beat me on a double move, but I knew that (Carr) wouldn’t be able to throw the ball that far,” Peters said. “I knew the ball was going to hang. So as soon as he got passed me, I just looked up. I trusted my instincts. And I knew that I had somebody over the top.”

Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio thought the throw was ill-advised.

“It was probably a bad decision,” he said. “Based on the circumstances of the rain and the sloppiness there, to try to get that much out of his arm, I think he probably overestimated his ability to just flip it down there with it being wet and sloppy there early in the game.”

This ‘n that: The Raiders had two turnovers, the first time this season they’ve given possession away multiple times in the same game. … Carr threw a touchdown pass to Andre Holmes early on, marking the 12th straight game he’s thrown a TD. That’s the third longest active streak in the NFL. …Khalil Mack notched his second sack this season, and had seven total tackles. …Chiefs 346-pound defensive tackle Dontari Poe caught a lateral from Alex Smith and took it a yard into the end zone. Del Rio said the Raiders were ready for that play, just “maybe not that much beef.”

Why Drew Rosenhaus hopes Antonio Brown-Raiders trade sets precedent

Why Drew Rosenhaus hopes Antonio Brown-Raiders trade sets precedent

Antonio Brown's agent hopes his client is a trendsetter. 

Despite Brown having three years left on his contract deal and the trade necessitating a massive amount of dead money on their books, the Pittsburgh Steelers traded Brown to the Raiders for just a third- and fifth-round pick. Drew Rosenhaus thinks the deal could set a precedent for players under contract who are unhappy in their current situation. 

“What I hope it does is maybe bring some more balance," Rosenhaus told NBC Sports' Peter King in his Football Morning in America column. "There aren’t many players like Antonio Brown but perhaps—and I’m not suggesting that everybody go out and try to renegotiate their deal or ask for a trade—but I hope it gives players more leverage throughout the league.

"I hope it gives agents more confidence that they can affect something in a way that can make a positive change for their clients. Maybe this is a deal that’s bigger than just one particular contract.”

As Rosenhaus himself notes, Brown is a unique case. He is one of the very best players at his position, catching at least 100 passes for at least 1,200 yards and at least eight touchdowns in each of the past six seasons. Brown made the Pro Bowl in each of those years, and was first-team All-Pro every season from 2014 to 2017. 

Furthermore, his relationship with the Steelers was especially strained. Beginning with his Facebook Live stream from inside the Pittsburgh locker room in 2017 and culminating with his benching in Week 17 last season, it became clear that Brown's relationship with the Steelers was no longer tenable. A player without Brown's pedigree likely wouldn't have had the same leash before the Steelers ultimately decided to part ways. 

[RELATED: Brown takes jab at Bills for false rumors]

Still, Brown's trade definitely represents a departure from business as usual in the NFL. This is an owner-driven and owner-dominated league, where player contracts are not guaranteed and the average career lasts about three years. The Brown saga, frankly, was far more NBA-like. 

If football players begin to have more power like their basketball peers, Brown's trade to the Raiders would mark a clear turning point. 

Rashaan Melvin says he cheated Raiders fans during season with the team


Rashaan Melvin says he cheated Raiders fans during season with the team

Rashaan Melvin said his goodbyes to the Raiders after the Lions announced a deal that would bring the cornerback to the team.

But Melvin's farewell to the Silver and Black was a bit of a sad one. Melvin said he felt as though he cheated the fans:

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Im thankful for every opportunity God has placed in my life. We all must go through some things to get to what is actually meant for us. I greatly appreciate the Oakland organization for giving me the opportunity to further my career this past season. I respect the raiders organization, I respect the tradition, and I respect the die hard fans that has and will forever believe in raider nation. I feel like I cheated the fans, and organization, and a long list of players that came before me that made the organization what it is. It was always a life time dream of mine to wear the silver and black. It really hurt me that I wasn’t able to be myself, and play the style of play that I know I was capable of playing. To all my guys in that locker room I appreciate you guys for making the year special through everything. I cherish the relationships that were created on and off the field. I respect you guys, and I wish you boy’s the best!! Y’all ball out for the City of Oakland 1 more time or for however long y’all there! Respect!! #22 #raidernation ✊🏾✊🏾

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This, of course, appeared to be more of him not feeling as though he played to his potential. Playing for the Raiders had been a dream of his.

Melvin only started in seven games last season which could be partly why he's feeling the way he's feeling. 

"To all my guys in the locker room, I appreciate you guys for making the year special through everything."