Kansas City Chiefs

2019 Pro Bowl: Raiders tight end Jared Cook replaces Chiefs' Travis Kelce


2019 Pro Bowl: Raiders tight end Jared Cook replaces Chiefs' Travis Kelce

MOBILE, Ala. -- Raiders tight end Jared Cook had a career year in 2018. It didn’t come with many wins, but he was excellent as Derek Carr’s primary target in the passing game.

Cook either led or tied for the team lead in catches, receiving yards and touchdowns. He was solid as an in-line tight end or in receiving spots outside and in the slot.

The 31-year-old was certainly worthy of a spot in the Pro Bowl, and wanted that honor for the first time in his career. He didn’t get in on the first ballot, but is now part of the team.

Cook will replace Kansas City’s Travis Kelce on the AFC squad, the NFL announced on Monday. He will practice and participate in festivities leading up to Sunday’s Pro Bowl at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Fla.

Cook won’t receive the Pro Bowl bonus earmarked for him if he had made the first ballot, but the veteran tight end will be recognized among the NFL’s best at his position. That’s just after he had 69 receptions for 896 yards and six touchdowns.

The Raiders now have their first member of the Pro Bowl after a disappointing 4-12 season.

Patrick Mahomes' dad, Pat, was MLB pitcher Bay Area fans might remember


Patrick Mahomes' dad, Pat, was MLB pitcher Bay Area fans might remember

Not many NFL teams could slow down Patrick Mahomes in 2018. The second-year Chiefs quarterback had one of the most successful seasons in league history, and he's likely on his way to winning MVP honors. 

If you want to know how to get the best of Mahomes, just ask Oakland and San Francisco. No, not the Raiders and the 49ers, but the A's and the Giants.

In three games this season -- two against the Raiders and one against the 49ers -- Mahomes totaled 890 passing yards, nine touchdowns, one interception and three wins. But take out the "rick," and you have Pat Mahomes, aka the gunslinger's father, who pitched 11 years in Major League Baseball and didn't enjoy such success against Bay Area teams.

The elder Mahomes was a sixth-round draft pick by Minnesota in 1988, and wound up pitching for six different teams -- the Twins, Red Sox, Mets, Rangers, Cubs and Pirates. Two of his least favorite teams to face were the A's and the Giants.

Over 18 games, the A's had Pat Mahomes' number, to say the least. He posted a 7.00 ERA against Oakland, the third-highest mark of all teams he faced at least 10 times. In 54 innings pitched, he allowed 19 home runs, the most any team hit against him.

The Giants faced Mahomes much less than the A's did, but he had just as much success. In Mahomes' five appearances out of the bullpen, San Francisco scored five earned runs in 6.1 innings pitched, good for a 7.11 ERA. 

Mahomes only struck out one Giant in his career.

So, if the Patriots want to slow down Patrick Mahomes and the explosive Chiefs offense in the AFC Championship Game, they shouldn't play it safe. They should swing for the fences.

Charles Woodson has perfect reaction to Adam Vinatieri field-goal miss


Charles Woodson has perfect reaction to Adam Vinatieri field-goal miss

Adam Vinatieri showed signs of mortality about two decades too late for Charles Woodson.

A week shy of 17 years after the ex-New England Patriots kicker broke the Raiders' hearts with a game-winning kick in the snow, the 46-year-old missed one on Saturday in the AFC Divisional Round. With his Indinapolis Colts down 24-7, Vinatieri missed from 23 yards out as time expired in the first half.

That's the same distance he converted from to give the Patriots a win over Woodson and the Raiders in the AFC Divisional Round on Jan. 19, 2002. The irony was not lost on the legendary cornerback.

[RELATED: Raiders have long way to go to catch Chiefs in AFC West]

Of course, Vinatieri's precision wasn't the only thing that didn't go the Raiders' way on that day in 2002. That game featured the infamous "Tuck Rule" call, which current Raiders coach Jon Gruden said ran him out of Oakland the first time around. 

That game has prompted plenty of "what-ifs" in the Bay Area and beyond. Had the Raiders won, would the Patriots dynasty have ever really started? Would the Raiders have gone on to start a dynasty of their own? There are numerous questions, and each would have made a fundamentally different NFL today. 

With Vinatieri's Colts trailing on Saturday from their first defensive possession onward in a 31-13 loss, Vinatieri's miss probably won't prompt the same amount of speculation.