Raiders weather storm of NFL record 23 penalties vs Bucs

Raiders weather storm of NFL record 23 penalties vs Bucs

TAMPA, Fla. – The Raiders set an NFL record on Sunday afternoon, one they’d certainly rather forget.

They were penalized 23 times for 200 yards in a victory over Tampa Bay.

That’s not a typo. 23 flags. 200 yards. And they still won.

That’s the most penalties in NFL history. The yardage ranks third all-time.

Even still, the Raiders found a way to get the job done in a 30-24 overtime victory at Raymond James Stadium.

“I don’t have an answer for you on why there were so many penalties,” Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio said. “…We played through a lot of that. I think the great thing is that we played through it and got the win.”

Del Rio can live with the occasional holding call or pass interference penalty. He doesn’t get mad when guys are aggressive. There are other penalties, however, that chaps his hide.

Pre-snap penalties fall in that category. So do illegal formation calls and having too many men – or, in one instance, far too few – on the field.

“Those kinds of mistakes can not happen,” Del Rio said. “The pre-snap things, mistakes like that, the inability to substitute properly – that is unacceptable. When you’re out there battling and you get called for a hold, it could happen. We want to compete and be aggressive so they will happen, but the other stuff has to be eliminated.”

Had the Raiders lost on Sunday afternoon, penalties would be a major storyline. They found a way to win, so the record becomes a footnote to another dramatic victory.

“I can’t believe how many we had,” receiver Amari Cooper said. “It just shows the resilience of this team. We have to work to clean it up. We can’t be a championship team playing like that."

NFL Pro Bowl: Raiders shut out as Jared Cook, Rodney Hudson snubbed


NFL Pro Bowl: Raiders shut out as Jared Cook, Rodney Hudson snubbed

Jared Cook has been excellent this season. The Raiders tight end has set career highs in all major statistical categories, and ranks near the NFL’s best in catches, yards and touchdowns at his position.

The Raiders have campaigned for Cook to make his first Pro Bowl roster, with coach Jon Gruden as his biggest champion.

“If he doesn’t make the Pro Bowl,” Gruden said, “there should be an investigation.”

It’s apparently time to assign a special prosecutor. Cook was left off the original Pro Bowl roster, which was announced on Tuesday evening. Center Rodney Hudson might’ve been even more deserving – he hasn’t allowed a sack all season -- but he didn't make it, either.

Cook and Hudson would qualify as snubs on a good team, but it’s hard to fault voting fans, coaches and players for failing to recognize players on a really bad team.

Cook, Hudson and left guard Kelechi Osemele were named alternates for the annual all-star game, which will be played on Jan. 27, 2019 in Orlando, Fla.

[RELATED: Raiders' possible Coliseum finale brings anything but Christmas cheer]

Both Hudson and Osemele were named to the original Pro Bowl roster the past two seasons. This wasn’t Osemele’s year, considering he has already missed five games due to injury.

Cook has never made it, and was honest about his desire to be named an all star.

Travis Kelce and Eric Ebron were named as AFC tight ends. Maurkice Pouncey and brother Mike Pouncey were named as the AFC’s centers.

It’s entirely possible that all three Raiders alternates will end up playing in the game. Players drop out of the game regularly once the season ends, and Super Bowl participants are not eligible to play since it is scheduled a week after the Pro Bowl.

Gabe Jackson heads to IR, Raiders offensive line facing injury crisis

Gabe Jackson heads to IR, Raiders offensive line facing injury crisis

The Raiders' offensive line is pretty banged up, and won’t get right before season’s end. That was guaranteed when Gabe Jackson was placed on injured reserve Tuesday afternoon with an elbow injury.

The standout right guard battled an ankle injury all year, but was felled by an elbow problem during a Week 14 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers. He got hurt during the game but refused to come out, finishing the game-winning drive in extreme pain.

Jackson would not play again. He was questionable before Sunday’s loss in Cincinnati, but couldn’t go against the Bengals.

“Gabe Jackson is suffering from a very legitimate elbow injury and it’s hard to block people when you can’t extend your arm,” coach Jon Gruden said Monday, a day before the transaction. "We’re concerned, obviously.”

The Raiders are also concerned about left guard Kelechi Osemele’s toe, which has kept him out the last two games.

Jon Feliciano is already on IR with a calf injury, leaving the Raiders in trouble on the inside.

Denzelle Good is now the starting right guard, and will play Monday against the Denver Broncos after allowing five quarterback hurries the week prior. Chaz Green will step in again if Osemele can’t go. He struggled mightily against the Bengals, giving up three sacks to Geno Atkins.

This Raiders offensive line has fallen on hard times after not long ago being considered among the NFL's best. They now have two rookies starting at tackle, and trouble on the interior that won’t go away until the end of the season.

[RELATED: Raiders' possible Coliseum finale brings anything but Christmas cheer]

Oakland also waived veteran linebacker Emmanuel Lamur. He began the year as starting strongside linebacker, but lost his job to Marquel Lee. He rarely played after that on defense or special teams.

Speedy defensive back Rico Gafford and defensive tackle Gabe Wright were promoted from the practice squad in corresponding moves.