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At the end of the first half on Monday night, Sebastian Janikowski lined up for what was called at the time, a 63 yard, record tying field goal. In the midst of a night full of random downpoors, Janikowski booted the ball just through the left up right, but with what looked like a couple of yards to spare.
This left many Raiders fans wishing that the Raiders had gotten just one less yard on their drive so that Janikowski’s field goal would have been from a record breaking distance as opposed to a record tying distance. Now, it appears as though the Raiders are doing more than just wishing.
The Raiders are planning to apeal the official distance of the field goal, claiming that it was spotted from 64 yards out, not just 63. If the NFL decides to change the official distance, it will mean that Sebastian Janikowski would be awarded the record for the longest field goal in NFL history, days after he had already made the field goal.
In an interview after the game, Janikowski said that the night before, he had a dream that he broke the record. While he was certainly happy to have tied it, it appears that his dream of breaking the record still may have come true.
Janikowski also said that he had three goals when he started playing in the NFL. The first was to be in the league for at least ten years, something he has already accomplished. The second was to tie or break the record for the longest field goal. Even if the appeal is unsuccessful, with the way Janikowski was kicking in the preseason and on Monday night, he could easily accomplish breaking and not just tying the record this season.
Janikowski’s final goal was to win a Super Bowl. While this goal is going to be more difficult for Janikowski to achieve this season, one thing is for sure, the Raiders have a Super Bowl caliber kicker playing for them.
The Raiders are feeling confident after a big win on Monday Night Football against the Denver Broncos. While the game has been broken down and analyzed multiple times by the good guys at SB Nation Bay Area, here are a few of the highlights from what head coach Hue Jackson had to say after the victory:
Q: Why do you think you guys had so many penalties?
Coach Jackson: I'm not going to make an excuse about it, obviously, we committed them so it's something we have to address. I keep saying that, I'm harping on it and we talked about it first and foremost after the win. It's something we have to do and we have to get corrected. There were some questionable, some people would say some were questionable, but I'm not going to subscribe to that. When we get really good, we are not going to talk about penalties in this room. Fifteen penalties will not be the issue but we need to play better and do things fundamentally correct so that we don't get called and that's the truth.
As for the penalties, it was one of only a few flaws from a pretty solid overall game from the Raiders. With a lot of newcomers and inexperience on both sides of the ball, the amount penalties should decrease in the coming weeks as players get more comfortable and the coaching staff is able to drill in the fundamentals.
Q: How many yards are you willing to let Sebastian Janikowski kick a field goal?
Coach Jackson: [Laughs] Well, who knows? I'm just kidding. I feel very comfortable with him and when those guys come to tell me where the mark is for him to attempt a kick, I think about it and I feel very comfortable that they are being honest and upfront. It is not one of those things where they come up and say, ‘Let me try one from 65.' They're being very sincere. Those guys are true pros, they know what they can do and can't do, and I just felt it was right. They said, ‘Coach, we can do this.' Let's do it and sure enough he did it.
For as close and intense of a game that the two teams played on Monday, one of the headlines was Janikowski tying an NFL record with a 63-yard field goal. With the wind blowing the the turf soaked with rain, it was pretty incredible to see the leg strength of Oakland's kicker. Without his multiple field goals the team does not win and even though he did not receive a game ball after the contest was over, he probably should have. Janikowski's pursuit to break the NFL kicking record may be worth the price of admission alone in the coming weeks.
Q: You're now being asked to go on the road again to start the NFL season with two road games in seven days. What is the most important factor in you being able to accomplish that?
Coach Jackson: Prepare, rest, and prepare. We have another mission and our mission is Buffalo. They're coming off of a huge win and it's going to be their home opener, no different then last night. They're going to take their best shot and we have to be ready to go.
As for the game itself, the Bills are coming off arguably their biggest win in five years. No one expected that team to come away with a blowout victory in Kansas City last week and yet another road win for Oakland would be huge. If the team is able to cut down on penalties and Darren McFadden can have another big game, a victory is possible.
For more Raiders coverage, check out Silver and Black Pride.
After seeing their best player leave in free agency, rather than go out and sign a veteran in order to make up for the loss, the Oakland Raiders made some significant changes to the style of defense they play. The Raiders are notorious for playing Al Davis football. On offense, that means speedy, athletic players with lots of deep routes. On defense, that means man to man coverage with very little blitzes.
Last season, we saw the Al Davis offense take a back seat to a run first offense as the Raiders boasted the second best rushing game in the NFL. Now, as the Raiders start off this season without Asomugha, new defensive coordinator, Chuck Bresnahan, has made some big changes to the way the Raiders play defense as well.
Without a true shut down corner, and a serious lack of depth at the cornerback position, the Raiders played more zone coverage than they have in years. Trying to take advantage of their strength and depth at the safety position, zone coverage was used often and back up safeties Jerome Boyd and Matt Giordano saw a significant amount of playing time.
If the watching the Raiders play so much zone coverage wasn’t strange enough, Bresnahan also brought the blitz more than often in one game than the Raiders did in a hand full of games last season in an attempt to relieve the secondary of pressure. The Raiders defensive line did not have problems putting pressure on the quarterback, but despite that, the Raiders brought big time blitzes rather frequently, often resulting in Orton rushing a pass that landed no where near his intended receiver.
Many fans were worried about how the Raiders would deal with the loss of a big time player like Nnamdi Asomugha, and became even more concerned when the Raiders failed to bring in a veteran to solidify the cornerback unit. Thankfully, those fans underestimated the coaching of Chuck Bresnahan who did a great job of minimalizing the departure of Asomugha with good game planning.
Coach Hue Jackson, who scripted the majority of his first half plays, did not waste time in trying to get the ball in Ford’’s hands. In the first two series of the game for the Raiders, Jackson called three plays which were written specifically to get Ford the ball with room to run.
Unfortunately for the Raiders, Ford was only able to pick up 22 yards on three catches before he was forced to leave the game in the third quarter with a hamstring injury.
As a rookie, Jacoby Ford showed his ability to be a game breaking player. However, in order to make game changing plays, you have to be in the game. With his second injury this year, Raiders fans might start to be reminded of another promising young wide receiver who was once touted to be the next number one receiver in Oakland. Now, Chaz Schilens is a role player who is just trying to stay healthy.
While a hamstring injury is normally not very serious in terms of its long term implications, it can be serious enough to keep a player off of the field for a number of games. For a Raiders offense that continues to struggle to find success in the passing game, this could be a huge blow if Ford misses much time.
Kickers Sebastian Janikowski and Matt Prater took turns booting the ball out of the back of the endzone all night long, as returners Jacoby Ford and Eddie Royal routinely lined up at the back of the endzone and watched the ball fly over their heads.
It was obvious from the start of the game that kick returns would be minimal when Janikowski landed the opening kick off deep in the stands. Both teams boast kickers with strong legs, add to that the thin Denver air and neither one had a problem preventing the other team’s kick off returner from having an impact.
Later in the game, Hue Jackson tried to get Prater to keep a ball in play by putting Nick Miller in as the return man in hopes that the Broncos were simply too afraid of Ford to risk keeping the ball in play. That trick, however, did not work as Miller spent just as much time as Ford with his neck cocked back, watching balls fly over his head.
Last season as a rookie, Jacoby Ford returned three kick offs for touchdowns. With that kind of threat, the Raiders can expect this kind of treatment whenever they face a team whose kicker is capable of getting the kick off out of play.
Not only does the new kick off rule make the game less exciting, but it also takes a big advantage away from any team who has a dangerous kick returner like Jacoby Ford.
It was an ugly game (really, it was an ugly game), but the Oakland Raiders managed to win their first season opener since 2002. Eight years in a row, the Silver and Black had fallen on opening day. This year though, they beat their rival Denver Broncos in Mile High Stadium 23-20 under the lights of Monday Night Football.
The win gave their new head coach Hue Jackson his first victory as Raiders head coach, but it's unlikely he'll be too pleased by what he saw in his team's first performance. The Raiders committed an atrocious 15 penalties for over 131 yards and handed the Broncos five first downs off those penalties. It was an error-filled football game that dragged on through the night.
The Raiders won on offense mainly by utilizing Darren McFadden to bruise up the Broncos on the ground. McFadden's two biggest rushes of 20 yards in the second quarter and 47 yards on an excellent cutback run in the fourth set up the Raiders two only touchdowns, as Jason Campbell found Marcel Reece for a three yard score and then snuck it in on the second TD. McFadden finished with 150 yards on 22 carries. Then Michael Bush finished off the game for the Raiders run attack with a couple of late first down rushes to run out the clock on the Broncos.
Perhaps the most crucial element that produced a Raiders road victory were the turnovers. Oakland actually stumbled first when Raiders wide reciever Jacoby Ford fumbled a completion, but Oakland's defense held and the Broncos were forced to settle for a field goal.
After that though, it was Denver making the crucial errors. Denver tailback Knowshon Moreno fumbled a ball at Denver's 23 that was recovered by Raiders safety Tyvon Branch, which led to a Sebastian Janikowski field goal and a 10-3 Raiders lead. Later in the first half, Broncos quarterback Kyle Orton had a miscommunication with wide receiver Brandon Lloyd (who never looked back for the ball); Raiders safety Matt Giordano leapt toward the ball and picked it off. Janikowski then booted an NFL-tying record 63 yard field goal before halftime to give Oakland a 16-3 halftime lead.
The worst turnover came early in the fourth; with the Raiders nursing a 16-13 lead and Denver bordering the Oakland red zone, Orton simply lost the ball--he dropped back to pass and the ball slipped out of his grasp. Lamarr Houston recovered for the Raiders, McFadden ran down the field a few players later, and Oakland took a decisive advantage. The Broncos committed three turnovers and nearly lost the ball twice more on additional fumbles, plus they committed ten penalties of their own.
Oakland and Denver both look like they have a lot of improving to do if they expect to surpass the Chargers in the AFC West. The Raiders did show a great deal of defensive fortitude, but it was offset by all the penalties and some luck via the turnover game. Campbell had a decent game in terms of finding his receivers by completing 59% of his passes, but he barely could stretch the defense, passing for only 105 yards and a pretty pedestrian 4.8 passing yards per attempt.
Thankfully for the Raiders, McFadden was up for making the big plays when they needed them on Monday night.
The Denver Broncos dominated the scoring in the third quarter to bring the Oakland Raiders back into it. After a booming Shane Lechler punt that had to be fielded at the Denver ten, punt returner Eric Decker scorched (well, scorched is probably too generous) past Raiders coverage and took it 90 yards to the house to cut the score down to 16-10.
Unfortunately, their offense was not as equal to the task. After driving the Broncos 80-plus yards deep into the red zone and having first and goal at the Oakland six, Kyle Orton threw an incomplete pass too low for his receiver and was then sacked by Richard Seymour on third and goal. The Broncos had to settle for a Matt Prater field goal to cut the lead to 16-13.
But then the Broncos could not hold onto the ball. Orton had a pass slip from his grasp as he was gearing back to throw, and the ball was recovered by Lamarr Houston. A huge gain by Darren McFadden set up the Raiders with first and goal at the one-yard line, and Jason Campbell snuck it in to give the Raiders a ten point lead early in the fourth quarter. Denver has struggled to hold onto the ball, whether it be dropping passes or fumbling the ball.
Can the Broncos rally in time or will the Raiders hold on?
The Oakland Raiders had a good second quarter and lead the Denver Broncos 16-3 on Monday Night Football while the penalty flags continue to fly. The two teams have committed a combined 16 penalties through only 30 minutes of football. The Raiders, who were held scoreless in the first quarter, scored all 16 points in the second quarter and held the Broncos to zero points.
Quarterback Jason Campbell connected with Marcel Reese on a three-yard pass less than two minutes into the period to put the Raiders up 7-3. Oakland got the ball back soon after when Knowshon Moreno fumbled on the very first play of Denver's following drive. The Raiders got the ball at Denver's 23-yard line but were unable to advance much further, settling for a field goal to extend their lead to 10-3.
The Broncos had a chance to score on a 56-yard field goal attempt by Matt Prater with under five minutes to go in the half, but Prater missed wide right and gave the ball back to Oakland.
The Raiders punched in a 21-yard field goal by Sebastian Janikowski with less than two minutes left in the half to extend their lead to 13-3. A Broncos drive in the closing minutes of the half ended with a pick by Matt Giordano. The interception led to a 63-yard field goal by Janikowski, which ties the NFL record for longest field goal.
Oakland has relied heavily on its ground game so far. Campbell has only 33 passing yards and one touchdown passing while Darren McFadden has 70 yards on 13 carries. No Raiders wide receiver has more than ten yards.
The Raiders will receive the kickoff to start the third quarter. Let's hope for a relatively penalty-free half.
The Oakland Raiders and Denver Broncos game is underway on Monday Night Football, and the Raiders trail 3-0 after one quarter of action. Oakland has struggled on offense but is in position to score at the start of the second quarter.
The Broncos received the opening kickoff but then went three-and-out, giving the ball to Oakland after a punt. The Raiders' first possession went to Jacoby Ford, who caught a pass from Kyle Orton but then proceeded to fumble it. The Broncos recovered deep in Raider territory and settled for a 28-yard field goal by Matt Prater several plays later.
The Raiders and Broncos went back and forth after the early score, putting together drives but ultimately having to punt. The Raiders blocked a Broncos punt with under five minutes left in the quarter however and got the ball back with good field position.
Penalties hampered the Raiders on the following drive but Darren McFadden carried the ball deep into Broncos territory.
Quarterback Jason Campbell has 13 passing yards on three-of-four passing. McFadden, meanwhile, has 40 yards on five carries.
The Raiders will start the second quarter deep in Broncos territory and in a position to score.
The Raiders will be missing seven players tonight, namely David Ausberry, Kevin Boss, Bruce Campbell, Bruce Davis, Derek Hagan, Mike Mitchell and Louis Murphy. That's bad news for the Raiders' pass attack. Wide receivers Murphy and Hagan as well as tight end Kevin Boss will surely be missed, but other receivers such as Darrius Heyward-Bey, Jacoby Ford and Denarius Moore will get the opportunity to shine against the Broncos defense.
The Broncos will also be missing seven players: Derrick Harvey, Tony Hills, Manny Ramirez, Demaryius Thomas, Marcus Thomas, Ty Warren and DJ Williams. Only Williams (linebacker) was a regular starter for the Broncos last year while most of these players were acquired via free agency during the offseason.
The Broncos and Raiders are schedule to kickoff at 7:15 Pacific time on ESPN's Monday Night Football.
The Oakland Raiders open their 2011 NFL season on Monday Night Football against the Denver Broncos in a game that features two of the fiercest rivals in the league. Although both teams enter 2011 with a number of question marks, rivalry games still can produce quality matchups no matter the talent level or talent questions. Both teams bring some quality players to the field, which should make for a fun matchup.
As it is Monday Night Football, the game will be broadcast on ESPN. However, it is the second game of the evening starting at 7:15pm pacific. Due to the multiple MNF games, Raiders-Broncos gets the number two Monday Night crew of Brad Nessler and Trent Dilfer. Mike Tirico, Ron Jaworski and John Gruden will handle the Patriots-Dolphins game.
For fans that do not have cable, the game will be simulcast on CBS in the Bay Area. In San Francisco, that is channel 5 (standard definition) and channel 705 (high definition).
However, despite such a huge stage, if things go right, Jackson may not have to do a whole lot from the offensive standpoint.
In his first year as the Raiders offensive coordinator last season, Jackson was known for scripting a significant part of his offensive playcalling before the game started. In preparation for his debut as the head coach, Jackson did not part from this strategy.
In fact, Jackson noted that he could very well script enough plays to get him through the entire first half of the season opener in Denver.
Now, as the game progresses, Jackson will be prepared to alter his game plan if necessary. However, despite how the game goes and whether or not he sticks to his plan, there are two things that can almost certainly be expected from the first year head coach and second year play caller.
First, the Broncos can expect a heavy does of running back Darren McFadden. Last season, Denver ranked second to last in run defense and the Raiders, who ranked second best in rushing offense, will look to attack that weakness.
Second, expect Jackson to take a couple of deep shots early in the game. Despite being without one of the Raiders speedy wide receivers in Louis Murphy, the Raiders still have plenty of speed available in the passing game. I fully expect a deep pass targeting either Jacoby Ford, Marcel Reece, Denarius Moore or Darrius Heyward Bey (in that order of likeliness) in the Raiders first offensive series.
If they are able to connect on their first deep pass, look for the Raiders to keep going back to the well until the Broncos show they can stop the deep ball.
It will be interesting to see how well Jackson’s scripted plays go. If the Raiders struggle to find success on their first couple of drives, Jackson might need to ditch his scripting plan rather quickly.
On the other hand, if they find success on their firs few drives, it could lead to another blowout, in which case, Jackson may find that he has not scripted nearly enough plays to get the Raiders through the first half.
After a preseason riddled with injuries, the Raiders will start off their season in Denver on Monday Night Football with a fairly healthy team.
Only three players are listed as out for the game against the Broncos, tight end Kevin Boss, wide receiver Louis Murphy and safety Mike Mitchell. While all three of these guys are important parts of the Raiders team, it is no surprise that they will not be in the lineup tonight.
Mike Mitchell has missed most of the preseason and it is unknown when he will be available again. Murphy was injured mid way through the preseason and is not expected back until week three or four at the earliest. Neither of these injuries, however, are huge blows to the Raiders.
Kevin Boss, on the other hand, will be missed. Boss was not only the Raiders best receiving option at tight end, he is also one of the Raiders better run blockers. It was originally thought that Boss would be ready for the opener after injuring his knee on August 20th, but his recovery has not gone as quickly as expected.
Others listed on the injury report, but not listed as being out of tonight’s game include:
Linebacker Darrell Blackstock (concussion), wide receiver Derek Hagan (calf), wide receiver Chaz Schilens (knee), cornerback Chris Johnson (goin), cornerback Demarcus Van Dyke (ribs) and runningback Taiwan Jones (foot).
These players are all expected to play against the Broncos, even if only for part of the game. While there are some notable names on that list, the biggest concern has to be with the two cornerbacks, Chris Johnson and Demarcus Van Dyke. According to most reports, both appear ready to play the entire game, but should one of them re-injure themselves, the Raiders could be in serious trouble.
The Raiders currently have only five cornerbacks on their roster, and two of them, Demarcus Van Dyke and Chimdi Chekwa, are rookies. A third, Joe Porter, is only in his third year and has amassed no regular season stats in that time.
All in all, the Raiders cannot be too concerned with the injury report, especially since two of their biggest threats no longer appear on the report after a preseason spent exclusively on the list. both Darren McFadden and Jacoby Ford were able to steer completely clear of the injury report, which is a huge plus for the Raiders.
For the past few years, the Raiders have had one of the better secondaries in the league. In 2010, the Raiders gave up the second fewest yards in the NFL through the air. While the rest of the team was mired in mediocrity, at least the Raiders had a secondary that boasted the best cornerback in the league.
With Nnamdi Asomugha departing in the offseason, the Raiders defense will have to prove that they are capable of being dominant despite losing the best player on the team. Unfortunately, the defense has not lived up to that billing through the preseason.
The Raiders are incredibly thin at cornerback which means that opposing teams will be testing starters Stanford Routt and Chris Johnson all year long, starting in Denver on Monday night.
Meanwhile, the Raiders have had issues stopping the run for a number of years. Despite upgrades along the defensive line and in the linebacking corps, the Raiders are still prone to give up the big running play. With Hue Jackson and defensive coordinator Chuck Bresnahan, the Raiders are going to make run stopping a priority this season, but only time will tell if that priority will be successful.
The Broncos come into Monday night’s game after a season in which almost nothing worked out well. They struggled in the run game as Knowshon Moreno has not been able to live up to the billing of a number one back and have been surrounded by controversy in the passing game as rumors swirled all summer about the potential trade of Kyle Orton and the fall from grace of wonder kid Tim Tebow.
The Broncos should give the Raiders defense a good opportunity to start off the season on the right foot. The Broncos offense is one that should not scare a lot of teams, so if the Raiders struggle on the defensive side of the ball, it could mean a long year for the unit that was once the Raiders strongest .
My predictions against the spread for Week 1 of the NFL season. Your best bet might be to bet the opposite. Check out SB Nation NFL for full week one coverage.
There are many aspects of the NFL returning that should please fans everywhere. From the games themselves, to fantasy football, to tailgating, and to betting on the game, there is something for everyone on Sundays and Mondays.
Moneylines and Spread:
Oakland: +147, even
Denver: -163, even
Oakland: +140, +3
Denver: -160, -3
Oakland: +135, +3
Denver: -155, -3
It appears the oddsmakers have a similar outlook on the game just about most fans do: it should be close, and it could go either way. Not too much is known about the Broncos or Raiders heading into this season with all of the youth and inexperience on both rosters and it will be interesting to see how the game plays out.
For more Raiders coverage, be sure to check out Silver and Black Pride.
For years now, the Raiders have struggled to find consistency on the offensive side of the ball. At times, things got so bad that the offense in Oakland, or lack there of, was laughable. Now, as the Raiders come off their best season since the Gruden bowl, it appears as though their offense could be poised to be the better half of the team.
Not only did the Raiders boast a much improved record last season, they put together one of the better offenses in the league. The Raiders finished second in rushing behind Kansas City, were sixth in the league in scoring and tenth in the league in offensive yards. Their only major hole on offense was passing, where the Raiders ranked 23rd in the league.
Now, with Jason Campbell in his second year with the team and with Hue Jackson’s offense, the Raiders will look to continue their success on the ground, while improving their aerial attack.
Their first test of the season will come on Monday night as the Raiders travel to Denver to take on the Broncos. The Raiders should not have a problem running the ball against the Broncos. Last season, the Broncos finished second to last in rush defense and have not done much to upgrade this off season. It should also be a good opportunity for Campbell and the Raiders receiving corps to get their feet wet, as the Broncos were the eighth worst team in pass defense last season.
Perhaps more importantly, Denver had almost no pass rush to speak of as they finished dead last in sacks last season. This will allow the new offensive line to get settled in before having to face some of the better pass rushers on the schedule. If the line can have a strong game and provide Campbell with time to throw the ball, the Raiders could wrack up a lot of yards through the air against Denver.
The last time the Raiders traveled to Denver, they left having put on one of the best offensive performances in Raiders history in a 59-14 beat down of the Broncos. The Raiders have to hope that they can put together a similar showing on Monday night and get this year’s offensive campaign started off on a high note.
The Oakland Raiders open their 2011 NFL season against the Denver Broncos on the road on Monday Night Football. The team will look to build on its improvement last year, though the Raiders will have to do so with lots of turnover from last season.
Last season, the Raiders finished with a .500 record or better (they were 8-8) for the first time since 2002, when the team went 11-5 and made it all the way to the Super Bowl. Last season, the Raiders brushed aside the AFC West by sweeping all six games. Unfortunately, it wasn't enough. The Kansas City Chiefs broke through and made the playoffs.
Could it be the Raiders' turn this year? The team returns quarterback Jason Campbell and lead running back Darren McFadden, who had a breakout campaign in 2010. The team also has a bright stable of young receivers, including Darrius Heyward-Bay, Jacoby Ford, Denarius Moore and (perhaps not as young) Derek Hagan.
The Raiders were mediocre on defense last year (11th in overall defensive efficiency, second overall against the pass and 29th overall against the rush). The high pass defense ranking will surely drop this season without cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha, who departed for the Philadelphia Eagles. You can only suspect that the defense will slip a bit.
But who knows? Teams surprise all the time, and the Raiders defense could come up big. The Raiders did some great things in 2010, and they have the pieces to make the same kind of magic happen again. Whether they outperform their 2010 season or not remains to be seen, but right now they only have one goal in mind: beat the Broncos on opening night.
The Oakland Raiders are kicking off their season against the Denver Broncos, coming off a year in which they went 6-0 against the AFC West. Replicating that success within the division is the key to making another step towards the playoffs. For more on the game and the team in general, go to Silver and Black Pride.
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