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A short review of how each AFC West team performed in Week 9. For more on the Raiders, please visit Silver and Black Pride.
The Oakland Raiders' loss to the Denver Broncos was nothing short of humiliating. The Broncos had looked terrible with Tim Tebow under center, and no one could fathom the idea of Tebow leading the Broncos out of a paper bag, let alone to a win on the road against a division rival that is clearly better than they are. And then the Raiders laid one of the biggest eggs in the NFL this season. However, as terrible as the loss to the Broncos was, there were some positives to take away from the game.
The most obvious positive was the run game as Michael Bush impressed once again in place of the injured Darren McFadden. One of the other big bright spots was not necessarily what happened in the game, but rather, the potential that was shown in the game. One of the reasons Hue Jackson and others were so excited about the trade for Carson Palmer was because he could help the Raiders young and dynamic receiving corps reach their potential.
On Sunday, you could already see that potential beginning to come true. Palmer targetted Jacoby Ford and Denarius Moore a significant number of times and made sure that both of these guys were involved in the game. Moore received the most attention with 12 targets, while Ford received the second most with 6 targets. Moore was able to convert his targets into 4 catches for 61 yards, while Ford had an impressive day turning his 6 targets into 5 catches for 105 yards and a touchdown.
Both of these guys are serious threats with the ball in their hands. Unfortunately for the Raiders up to this point, they have not had the ball in their hands nearly enough this season. Palmer looks as though he is ready to change that. The more the Raiders can get the ball into the hands of these two young recievers, the quicker they will deveop and become the game changers the Raiders know they can. Hopefully Palmer will continue to give both of these guys a healthy dose of the football in future weeks so the Raiders passing game can reach its full potential.
The Oakland Raiders talk during the bye week focussed almost entirely on the offensive side of the ball. All anyone wanted to discuss was whether Carson Palmer would be ready to play and on whether it was a wise decision for Hue Jackson to go out and sign TJ Houshmandzadeh. Forgotten by the media and the Raider Nation was the defense that has struggled to find consistency this season. Unfortunately for the Raiders, it appears that the defensive struggles were not the only thing forgotten over the bye week, apparantly, the defense forgot that that it is their job to stop the run.
For weeks now, one of the most popular talk subjects in the NFL has been how bad Tim Tebow is. I almost felt bad for Tebow as his name was dragged through the mud. No need to feel bad, the Raiders defense is here to save the day. Tebow became just the third quarterback in NFL history to throw for over 200 yards and run for over 100 yards in a single game. Two of Tim Tebow's naked book legs led to massive gains for the Broncos and played a major role in their upset victory against the Raiders. Maybe the Raiders defense did not forget about the concept of covering the back side of a play, maybe they just felt worse for Tebow than I did.
Tebow was not the only Denver player to run all over the Raiders on Sunday. NFL heavy weight and clearly one of the best running backs in the game today, Willis McGahee also had a big day for the Broncos. I know, I know, McGahee is not anywhere near being an NFL heavy weight or one of the best running backs in the league, but the Raiders sure made him look like it. McGahee put up 163 yards and two touchdowns. His average of 8.2 yards per carry was double his career average coming into the game.
All total, the Raiders gave up 299 yards on the ground to the Denver Broncos on Sunday. There is simply no way the Raiders are going to win games when they allow teams to dominate the game on the ground. This type of performance is nothing short of embarassing for the Raiders.
The Oakland Raiders suffered a surprising 38-24 loss to the visiting Denver Broncos on Sunday. The Raiders seemed to be getting called on penalties every time they turned around. At the end of the game, they'd been called for penalties 15 times and racked up 130 penalty yards. That's a tough sum to overcome, especially combined with Carson Palmer's three interceptions -- the only three turnovers of the entire game. Giving the ball away and giving up over a hundred yards to the opposing team on penalties is a terrible combination.
After the game, Raiders head coach Hue Jackson was vocal in his disappointment regarding the penalties. According to Jerry McDonald of the Mercury News, Jackson acknowledged that his team isn't playing terribly intelligently at the moment. He said that some of the penalties in Sunday's game were "uncalled for" and stressed that it's an issue he's well aware of.
"We're going to continue to address it. I don't want anyone to think we haven't. We emphasize it, and we're not going to stop. It might be Game 16 when we get it fixed, I don't know."
It's only halfway through the season, but the Raiders are already leading the NFL in both penalties and penalty yards. You can bet that the Oakland front office is hoping Jackson will fix the problem well before Game 16.
If you want to discuss the Raiders, you can always connect with your fellow fans at Silver and Black Pride.
There is no joy in Mudville following Sunday's game between the Oakland Raiders and the Denver Broncos. The Raiders were handed a stunning 38-24 defeat by Tim Tebow's team. Twice in the game the Raiders held a ten-point lead, but ended up dropping a game to a team they were largely favored against. Let's take a closer look at some key numbers and see if we can find any clues as to what went wrong.
New quarterback Carson Palmer had a fairly decent game, all things considered. He was 19-for-35 with 332 passing yards and three touchdowns. He had well over twice as many passing yards as did Tebow and nearly twice as many complete passes. The big difference between the two passers was the whopping three interceptions thrown by Palmer. Tebow, perhaps in a shock to his critics, did not throw a single pick. To Palmer's credit, none of the interceptions was a pick-six. Palmer's interceptions were the only turnovers in the game, which did not bode well for Oakland.
Denver also picked up the only defensive or special teams touchdown of the game on an 85 yard punt return by Eddie Royal that gave the Broncos the lead with just 5:33 remaining in the fourth quarter. They never looked back.
The Raiders gave it their best shot during their time with the ball but things never completely came together. Michael Bush had 19 carries for 96 rushing yards. Bush also contributed on the receiving side, with two catches for 33 yards and a touchdown. Jacoby Ford had the biggest game for Oakland receivers, nabbing five catches for 105 yards with a long of 34 and a touchdown.
The Denver Broncos exploded in the second half to tie things up in the third quarter, then blew things open in the fourth quarter with a big special teams play. Eddie Royal fielded a punt from the Raiders, and then blew it open when he blew past Oakland's coverage team for the go-ahead score.
This was the go-ahead score, but the bigger issue was the Denver rushing attack, which gashed the Oakland defense for 299 rushing yards on 38 carries for over seven yards a carry. Willis McGahee compiled 163 yards on 20 carries, and his two touchdowns of 60 and 24 yards helped tie and clinch the game respectively for the Broncos. Tim Tebow was his partner in crime, rushing for 118 yards on 12 carries and threw two touchdowns among his 10 completions while not turning the ball over once.
Carson Palmer looked okay for most of the first half, but other than his lone scoring drive, he was inconsistent most of the second half and threw a killer interception that set up the tying Denver score. Palmer was probably saddled by the absence of Darren McFadden, as the Raiders run attack was stifled for only 100 yards and went to a pass-heavy attack to prevent themselves from overworking Michael Bush. Palmer threw for 332 yards, but completed only 54% of his passes and threw three interceptions along with three touchdowns.
The Denver Broncos have roared to life out of halftime and are somehow in a dogfight in the Black Hole against the Oakland Raiders. On Denver's first drive, Tebow found Dante Rosario for 18 yards, scrambled for 19 more, then hit Eddie Royal on a semi-rollout for 26 yards to bring the Broncos within seven.
Back came Oakland, as Carson Palmer engineered an 80 yard drive, finding Michael Bush, Marcel Reece and Jacoby Ford twice (once on a spectacular catch for a touchdown) to put Oakland back up ten. But Denver came right back when Tebow found Demaryius Thomas for 29 yards and scrambled for twelve more to set up a Matt Prater field goal to bring Denver within seven. After Carson Palmer was intercepted over the middle by Chris Harris, Willis McGahee took the next offensive snap and cut back past the left guard for a 60 yard score to tie things up in Oakland.
This AFC West showdown is up for grabs as we progress into the fourth quarter in Oakland. Both quarterbacks have had their ups and downs, but it's all evened out for what's looking like an epic showdown in the Bay Area.
Palmer did find Jacoby Ford early to set up an early Oakland field goal, but looked ineffective at the start of the first quarter when he threw two completions on eight attempts. But Palmer recovered to complete five of his last six passes, including throwing two touchdowns, one to Michael Bush and another impressive one down the middle to the fullback Marcel Reece. Here's the Reece touchdown below.
Denver had the nice first quarter drive from Tim Tebow, but the Raiders defense has knocked him around. Tebow has six completions on 16 attempts and his last drive before the end of the first half resulted in a Kyle Prater missed field goal. Oakland also took advantage of a flubbed punt by the Broncos to score one of Palmer's two touchdowns. The Broncos need better play from Tebow and the offense in a hurry.
Moore is probably out of this game and was replaced by Quinton Carter, a fourth round pick out of Oklahoma.
Oakland quickly struck with Carson Palmer, going to Jacoby Ford for 34 yards on Palmer's only completion of the game. Michael Bush has also rushed for 22 yards on three carries in place of Darren McFadden.
T.J. Houshmandzadeh didn't catch a pass in his debut appearance in the Bay Area, but he did break up an errant pass from Palmer that landed right in the hands of Broncos defender D.J. Williams, saving what would have been a score-killing interception. The hobbled Sebastian Janikowski booted in a 48 yard field goal that just scooted past the uprights to give Oakland an early 3-0 lead.
Oakland's defense had held the Broncos to three-and-outs up to this point, but Tim Tebow made two big plays. He took a zone-read outside to the left when the outside defender crashed, letting the quarterback scamper for 32 yards. Tebow then found Eric Decker down the middle on 3rd and 10 to put the Broncos up for the first time near the end of the first quarter.
It's been looking like it was going to happen all week long, but Oakland Raiders Darren McFadden is officially inactive this Sunday against the Denver Broncos, along with a number of other important members of the Silver and Black.
Quarterbacks Terrelle Pryor and Jason Campbell, cornerbacks Chimdi Chekwa and Chris Johnson, guard Bruce Campbell and tight end David Ausberry will all be out for Oakland this afternoon, leaving the depth chart limited in the secondary as well as at signal caller. Only Kyle Boller will be available behind Carson Palmer, making his first start as an Oakland Raider.
As for the Broncos, safety Rafael Bush, cornerback Cassius Vaughn, fullback Quinn Johnson, guard Manny Ramirez, tackle Tony Hills, tight end Virgil Green, and defensive end Derrick Harvey will not be suiting up for John Fox this afternoon, who's Broncos haven't beaten the Raiders in their last six attempts.
For more on the Raiders, head over to Silver and Black Pride.
The Oakland Raiders are in a three-way tie for first place in the AFC West. On Sunday, they'll host their division rivals, the last-place Denver Broncos. The Raiders are hoping to get back on the winning track and get some more distance between themselves and the Broncos.
The Tim Tebow experience will touch down on Oakland for the first time, and it will be interesting to see just how much scorn the Oakland crowd will heap upon him. (My guess: all of it. All of the scorn.) If the Raiders aren't able to pull off a win at home against the Broncos, this could be a game that sticks in the collective craw of Oakland fans for some time.
We have all of your viewing and listening info for tomorrow's game right here.
Game Date/Time: Sunday, November 6; 1:05 pm PT
Location: O.co Coliseum; Oakland, CA
Records: Raiders (4-3); Broncos (2-5)
TV: CBS (KPIX Channel 5 if the game is sold out). Announcers: Greg Gumbel (play-by-play),(analyst)
Radio: KITS LIVE 105.3 FM. Announcers: Greg Papa (play-by-play), Tom Flores (analyst)
Spanish Radio: KCNL 104.9 FM. Announcers: Fernando Arias (play-by-play),(analyst)
Betting Line: According to our friends over at OddsShark, the Raiders are favored by 7.5 points.
After waiting all week to figure out if he would be ready, Oakland Raiders kicker Sebastian Janikowski appears to be good to go for Sunday's game against the Denver Broncos. Janikowski strained his hamstring in a practice leading up to the Raiders game against the Kansas City Chiefs two weeks ago. The team brought in Dave Rayner for that game. He handled kickoffs but the team was shut out so he attempted no field goals or extra points.
Janikowski was expected to test out his leg on Friday or Saturday and all indications are that he came through with relatively flying colors. If it was questionable I would think the team would play it safe given how easy hamstring aggravations happen.
It will be interesting to see if there are any question marks about his distance. normally Seabass is fairly money on 55-57 yard field goals. If the Raiders offense stalls out around the Broncos' 38-40 yard line, we'll see how Janikowski does on those kicks.
The Raiders look to get the ship righted this week but will have to do so without running back Darren McFadden, who has been declared out for Sunday's matchup with the Denver Broncos. McFadden hurt his foot two weeks ago in the Raiders loss to Kansas City and he did not practice at all during the bye week. Taking his place and getting the start will be Michael Bush. It's a familiar position for the 4th year running back, he noted, "I have been in this situation for four years now. It's all the same. I just know when it's my turn to play I need to take care of my opportunities."
Raiders Coach Hue Jackson doesn't seem too worried about running with Bush though, "He's in a tough spot. He plays behind arguably, in my opinion, one of the best running backs in this league. But I think Bush is a really, really good player himself. It's good when you have two of them in case one can't go, you have one you can lean on. I think he's done some really good things this year. He has big-game capability. He knows how to play. You've seen it here during his career here, and if he has to play I feel very comfortable with him playing."
Also out for the Raiders are Jason Campbell and Chris Johnson, and Michael Huff and Sebastian Janikoswki are questionable. If Seabass is unable to go, and that becomes apparent on Saturday, the Raiders have kicker Dave Rayner on speed dial.
QUESTIONABLE - S Quinton Carter (concussion)
Coming into Week 9 play, there is a three-way tie atop the AFC West. The Chiefs and Raiders are both playing winnable games, but the Chargers have to host the NFL's best team, the Green Bay Packers, to keep pace in the division. Let's take a look at what the Raiders' rivals are facing on Sunday.
Dolphins @ Chiefs: Upon first glance, one might think that going to Arrowhead Stadium would be a huge disadvantage for the Dolphins but we must remember they have not won at home in nearly a year, dropping their last seven regular season games at home. The Dolphins have not won this year but have not been getting blown out by any means; they have lost their last two games by a combined total of six points. They have a good defense, but they tend to choke away games and find ways to narrowly lose. Usually this sort of thing can be attributed to quarterback play, and while Matt Moore has been serviceable he isn't in the top half of NFL quarterbacks.
The Chiefs are on fire after a dreadful start to the season which saw them lose their two best players, Eric Berry and Jamaal Charles, in successive weeks. This caused plenty of panic amongst the Chief faithful, but the team has rallied and put up some stellar defensive efforts to bring their record to 4-3. Matt Cassel has been efficient, Dwayne Bowe is his usual dependable self, and Jackie Battle has been a steady force in the rushing game, although he lacks the game-breaking abilities of Charles. This team is now built upon pass rushing and ball control.
Miami's offensive line has been dreadful, giving up 22 sacks in seven games thus far. Tamba Hali and Derrick Johnson should have no trouble harassing Matt Moore and forcing turnovers. However, Miami's defense can also be stout at times and should keep the game respectable. My prediction for the game is Chiefs by six points.
Packers @ Chargers: The Chargers limp into this game having dropped their last two, at home vs. the Jets and on the road vs. the Chiefs. Philip Rivers has taken a definite step back this year, playing more erratically as the defense is unable to keep the team in games and Rivers is forced to try to win them on his arm. The running game has taken a step forward this year with Ryan Mathews living up to some of his hype coming out of college, but the Chargers don't run nearly enough. I can't really fault them for that, with Rivers and Antonio Gates and Vincent Jackson all being top-flight offensive weapons.
I feel more balance would be appropriate for the Chargers, but I don't have much faith in Norv Turner's ability to implement such a system if his defense continues to struggle. Norv Turner was Dallas' offensive coordinator during the Aikman Super Bowl years in which that team did have a balanced attack, but his running back then was Emmitt Smith and his offensive line was the greatest the NFL has ever seen, not to mention the fact that Dallas' defense was very good.
The Packers are clearly the best team in football, with the best quarterback alive at the helm and a defense that forces turnovers consistently. Their running game is underrated, but the Packers have a relatively small offensive line which isn't best suited for run blocking. They use the rush as a counter-balance to keep the defense honest, with the goal of keeping linebackers in the box so that Jermichael Finley can get open downfield. The Chargers have the secondary to cover Greg Jennings and Jordy Nelson, but they have absolutely nobody who is a match for Finley. Randall Cobb is also a weapon for them and may have some success if the secondary keys in on Jennings.
This game features the NFL's co-interception leaders, Eric Weddle and Charles Woodson, so this game could be a shootout decided by a key turnover in the fourth quarter. If there's any quarterback who can win a shootout against the Packers, it may be Rivers, but in the end I feel the Packers will have too much success throwing the football for the Chargers to overcome. Packers by nine points.
When the Raiders defeated the Broncos on Monday Night Football in Week 1, a large part of the reason for the victory was the fact that the Raiders sacked Kyle Orton five times. That is a massive accomplishment, considering Orton was not sacked more than twice in any other game in which he played. Tim Tebow, on the other hand, has not been so fortunate or well-protected. The Broncos gave up a miserly 1.6 sacks per game with Orton at the helm, but have allowed Tim Tebow to be sacked seven times in both his starts.
Interestingly enough, if you calculate that out you'll find that the Broncos have allowed 22 sacks in 7 games, for a ratio of 22/7. For all you math nerds out there, that number means that the Broncos are giving up 3.14159 sacks per game, or pi sacks per game.
The Raiders, on the other hand, are sacking the opposing quarterback to a tune of 2.14 sacks per game. They had no trouble with the Broncos' line the first time around and it's difficult to imagine they will have much trouble this time either. The Raiders' sack numbers are a direct correlation to their win-loss record. In their four wins, they have sacked the quarterback a total of fourteen times. In their three losses, they have sacked the quarterback only once. If the Raiders can get to Tebow at least four times, they should be able to pull away from Denver.
With only two days left before the Oakland Raiders take on the Denver Broncos at the Oakland Coliseum, running back Darren McFadden sat out of practice once again, and now more than ever is looking like a no go this Sunday.
McFadden has been wearing a protective boot all week, nursing an ankle injury he suffered early in the game two weeks ago against the Kansas City Chiefs. Even a whole week of R&R during the bye didn't do him much good as he is still unable to take part in any activities at practice, making him all but ineligible to suit up this Sunday. In his absence Michael Bush will be the starting back, with rookie Taiwan Jones playing the role of backup/change of pace guy.
Run DMC did just that to start out the season, leading the league in rush yards through the first four weeks. He trailed off a bit before the injury two weeks ago, and has 113 attempts for 614 yards and four TD's this season for the Silver and Black.
The Oakland Raiders have been dealing with a handful of significant injuries and special teams has not escaped. Kicker Sebastian Janikowski sat out the Raiders week seven loss to Kansas City with a hamstring injury suffered in practice before the Chiefs game. Janikowski has not practiced the last couple days, but will reportedly try and test his injured hamstring either Friday or Saturday. If Janikowski has problems keeping the hamstring loose, the team has several kickers, including Dave Rayner, available on a moment's notice.
While Janikowski can have his ups and downs with accuracy, there is no kicker in the NFL with his level of accuracy on deep kicks. The Raiders know that if they can get to the opponent's 40 yard line, they are officially within Seabass' distance. And that is not just maybe if he gets luck distance. Few kickers can consistently nail 55+ yard field goals quite like Sebastian Janikowski.
At the same time, given the nature of hamstring injuries, if it is remotely tight, the wiser course of action is probably to shut him down for the weekend. If he blows it out and they lose him for several weeks or more, they are only hurting themselves.
For more on the Raiders, check out Silver & Black Pride.
The Oakland Raiders will be without their most important player when the Denver Broncos come to town this weekend. Darren McFadden is not only the Raiders best player, he is one of the best running backs in the league this season. Unfortunately for the Raiders, McFadden is also one of the more injury prone players in the league as well.
McFadden left the Kansas City Chiefs game early in the first quarter due to a sprained foot. However, despite his early departure, the Raiders running game really did not suffer much as Michael Bush put up 99 yards on 17 carries for an impressive average of 4.8 yards per carry.
Now, with McFadden set to miss the Broncos game, Michael Bush and rookie speedster Taiwan Jones will need to once again pick up the slack for the Raiders in the run game. Bush has showed this season, and in seasons past, that he is one of, if not the best back up running back in the NFL. Unfortunately, he is also somewhat limited. He is an in between the tackles running back. While he does have more speed than you would guess when you first look at him, he is not the type of back that can take a ball wide and beat a linebacker to the sideline for a big gain.
That is where Taiwan Jones comes in. Bush should start and receive the majority of touches against the Broncos, and he will get a large number of touches. However, in order to prevent the Broncos defense from stacking the box and stuffing the middle of the line on every play, Hue Jackson would be wise to use the speed of Taiwan Jones to stretch the defense horizontally. Jones has an impressive amount of speed that he can use to break big runs while Bush uses his powerful running style to break down the defense.
With McFadden running so well this season, the Raiders barely ever wanted to take the ball out of his hands. As a result, Bush was not getting a whole lot of touches and the Raiders never developed the one two tandem punch of lightening and thunder first made popular by Reggie Bush and LenDale White at USC. Now, with McFadden out, it is imperative that Jackson get that type of one two punch going with Bush and Jones. These two could have huge success playing off of each other against the Broncos.
The Oakland Raiders are coming off their bye week as they welcome the Denver Broncos to town for an important divisional matchup. The Raiders are tied with the San Diego Chargers and Kansas City Chiefs for first in the AFC West. Every game matters and a game against a team like the Denver Broncos is a must-win.
The Raiders head into this game with numerous question marks among their fantasy football-eligible players. The biggest question mark is at quarterback, where Carson Palmer is trying to work his way into some kind of comfort zone in the offense. The Raiders added T.J. Houshmandzadeh to the mix, with many viewing him as a security blanket for Palmer. Given the dramatic change at quarterback. Houshmandzadeh could also provide some veteran leadership to the young receivers.
The Raiders face a Broncos defense that is middle of the road against the run, but awful against the pass. It is tough to tell what to do with the Raiders receivers. Darrius Heyward-Bey remains the top starting option for now, with Jacoby Ford a decent second option. They are flex or maybe WR2 options at best.
Sebastian Janikowski is another question mark as he comes back from a hamstring issue. When healthy, Seabass is as good as anybody at the kicker position. The question is if he is ready to go. Keep an eye on the Raiders inactive list this Sunday and the transaction wire over the weekend to see if the Raiders go in another direction for week nine.
Desperate Starter Need: Denarius Moore
Leave On Waivers: T.J. Houshmandzadeh
Willis McGahee has been somewhat limited in practice, but he's starting to show signs that he'll be ready for action this weekend.
Having McGahee play could significantly help out Tim Tebow in trying to generate things for the Broncos offense, an offense that struggled to put any points on the board last Sunday. Tebow does like to find McGahee as the dumpoff option in the passing game to help generate steady movement down the field, a huge key to victory. Couple that with the loss of McFadden, and Denver could have a strong shot at pulling out the upset on Sunday.
Here's a look at other injuries from Thursday concerning the Raiders and the Broncos.
Another day passes, and tailback Darren McFadden of the Oakland Raiders doesn't appear to be any closer to finding his way back to the football field this week. McFadden didn't practice again according to Steve Corkran of Bay Area News Group, which should put his status somewhere close to doubtful that he'll be seeing the field this week against the Denver Broncos.
McFadden's absence will mean a steady dose of Michael Bush and Taiwan Jones in the backfield. The Raiders are very high on the rookie from Eastern Washington, but he has yet to see significant playing time on a football field, so it's likely his learning curve will take some time for him to produce at a high level. This probably means the Raiders will have to rely heavily on Bush and make him the feature back this week. It's a big 'if' as to whether he can handle that load without wearing down.
For more on McFadden and the Raiders, head to Silver And Black Pride.
The Oakland Raiders are coming off their bye week sitting at 4-3 and in the thick of a wild AFC West divisional race. The Raiders, Kansas City Chiefs and San Diego Chargers are all sitting at 4-3 atop the division. The Chiefs have now split their season series with the Chargers and taken one on the road against the Raiders.
As the Raiders continue to get their offense sorted out with Carson Palmer, they will also be looking for some assistance across the AFC in their attempts at a playoff run. If the Raiders can just keep winning they will put themselves in position for a playoff berth, but a few key wins and losses round the division and conference will help matters. We've decided to provide a rundown of picks of games related to the Raiders playoff bid.
Miami Dolphins @ Kansas City Chiefs: The Chiefs have won four straight and suddenly find themselves leading the AFC West after being left for dead a month ago. After a run of tough victories it will be interesting to see if they have any sort of letdown against an awful Miami Dolphins team. PICK: Chiefs
Green Bay Packers @ San Diego Chargers: The Chargers might have a modest chance at the upset, but the Packers are playing so well right now I'd be fairly surprised if it happened. This gives the Raiders a chance to put a bit of distance between themselves and the Chargers. PICK: Packers
Cincinnati Bengals @ Tennessee Titans: The wild card is likely going to be pretty crazy the next two months. The Bengals have come almost out of nowhere and are showing no signs of letting up. They may struggle at some point, but for now they are playing extremely well. PICK: Bengals
Baltimore Ravens @ Pittsburgh Steelers: The Ravens opened the season by smacking down the Steelers in Baltimore. We're now two months later and the Steelers are as hot as anybody in the AFC. I don't think we see a repeat performance. PICK: Steelers
New York Giants @ New England Patriots: The Giants might be able to pass all day on the Patriots, but they will also likely be without Ahmad Bradshaw. I think the Patriots are in for a battle but grab a tight victory. PICK: Patriots
New York Jets @ Buffalo Bills: Can anybody really pick against the Bills at home right now? They're playing extremely well right now and seem like the team to beat in the AFC West. Who knew? They have bounced back from struggles and are hot once again. PICK: Bills
Six players, including McFadden, did not practice for the Raiders on Wednesday: quarterback Jason Campbell (collarbone), cornerback Chimdi Chewka (hamstring), kicker Sebastian Janikowski (hamstring), cornerback Chris Johnson (groin, hamstring), linebacker Rolando McClain (ankle) and McFadden (foot).
McFadden was reported leaving the team building on crutches and still with a protective boot on Wednesday, according to Steve Corkan of the Contra Costa Times. He could miss Sunday's game, which would give Michael Bush the start in the backfield.
Two other Raiders- safety Michael Huff (ankle) and center Samson Stele (knee) were limited in practice.
Three Broncos players- safety Quinton Carter (concussion), tight end Virgil Green (neck) and cornerback Cassius Vaughn (hamstring) did not practice on Wednesday. Meanwhile, tackle Orlando Franklin (groin) and running back Willis McGahee (hand) were limited. Running back Knowshon Moreno could get the starting nod if McGahee misses his second straight week this Sunday.
Oakland hopes to have McFadden back on offense against the Broncos as new quarterback Carson Palmer prepares to make his first start as a Raider. Judging by Wednesday's practice, however, it appears that McFadden may be watching from the sideline on Sunday.
The Oakland Raiders look like they're probably starting Michael Bush next week against the Denver Broncos, as Darren McFadden's ankle seems like it's still not totally healed.
A tweet from Steve Corkran of Bay Area News Group indicates that McFadden might be a little bit further back than just a regular old ankle injury.
Running back Darren McFadden leaving building on crutches. Right foot still in protective boot. Not the look of a guy who might play Sunday.
If McFadden is stuck in a walking boot on crutches, you'd have to think that he might have a more serious injury than he's letting on, and he might be out for more than just his week. Or he could just be taking precautions to make sure that he's totally healed before he gets back into action.
This adjustment will make both the lives of Carson Palmer and Michael Bush that much harder, as both will now have to contend with defenses looking to shut both of them down. Without McFadden to assist them, that job becomes a lot easier for the defense.
For more on the Raiders, head to Silver and Black Pride.
The Oakland Raiders offense has been dealing with enough turnover and turmoil this season as is that the last thing they need is one of their best players staying on the sidelines on Sunday, but it's looking like that may be the case for Darren McFadden this week.
Steve Corkran tweeted recently that the it's looking like McFadden's ankle did not heal up as much as the team had hoped during the bye week, causing Corkran to believe that Oakland will sit their star RB this weekend against the Denver Broncos. This would make Michael Bush the starter, who filled in admirably for McFadden last week, carrying the ball 17 times for 99 yards including a 35 yard scamper as well. Rookie Taiwan Jones would be the backup.
Although Raiders fans (and fantasy football owners) will want to see Run DMC on the field this Sunday, the last thing you want to do is rush a guy like him back, especially with your struggles in the passing game as of late. They're going to need him big time down the stretch.
For more on the Raiders, head over to Silver and Black Pride.
The Oakland Raiders have placed former starting corner back Chris Johnson on the injured reserve according to a report by Paul Gutierrez of CSN Bay Area. This is another blow to the Raiders already injury riddled defensive unit. The Raiders have already seen two back up linebackers in Ricky Brown and Travis Goethel, one starting defensive lineman in Matt Shaughnessy and one back up safety in Hiram Eugene all go down for the season this year.
Now, the Raiders, who already have a depleted secondary that has struggled massively at times this year, are without a guy who they tagged preseason as a starter. Luckily for the Raiders, this appears to be more of an issue for depth than it does for starting purposes. Johnson started the season off terribly. He was constantly being called for pass interference or being burned throughout entire games (think Stevie Johnson in the Buffalo Bills game). Since his horrid start to the season, Johnson has spent more time nursing injuries than he has playing on the field.
While depth at the corner back position looked absolutely dismal early in the season, rookie corner backs Demarcus Van Dyke and Chimdi Checkwa have both shown that they have what it takes to play in the NFL. Neither has been stellar in their play for the Raiders, but both have shown the ability to stick with their man and make plays, now they just need to do so with more consistency. This makes placing Johnson on the injured reserve a much easier decision for Hue Jackson. He was not playing well anyway and this allows the young corner backs on the team to get more playing time and hopefully develop into solid players for the Raiders.
The Oakland Raiders have a new wide receiver on the team in Carson Palmer's former teammate TJ Houshmandzadeh. In order to make room for Houshmandzadeh on the roster, the Raiders have reportedly waived the man who was previously the newest wide receiver on the Raiders in Derek Hagan.
This is not a surprising move as Hue Jackson has not exactly shown Hagan the love this year despite a stellar preseason and a decent regular season. Hagan led the entire receiving corps in the preseason, and by a large margin. Despite this, he was not even active for the first game of the season. Since then, he has caught 11 passes for 114 yards which is not bad considering he plays in a six man receiving rotation.
It is also not that surprising when you consider the fact that Houshmandzadeh and Hagan essentially played the same role, as a possession type receiver used often on third down. While Hagan played decently well in Oakland, the Raiders want to employ primarily a vertical passing offense, using their young, speedy receivers to stretch the field. Because of that, holding onto too many possession style receivers just does not make sense. The Raiders still hope that Chaz Schilens will develop into the dominant possession style receiver he showed signs of early in his career, so cutting him was a no go. Thus, if the Raiders only wanted two possession style receivers on the roster to compliment the speedy guys, Hagan makes sense as the odd man out.
Hagan quickly became a fan favorite during the preseason and as such, I am sure the Raider Nation wishes him luck on his next team.
The Oakland Raiders have added free agent T.J. Houshmandzadeh to their receiving corps, giving them a veteran presence among their relatively young wideouts. Head coach Hue Jackson has said that Houshmandzadeh "has a chance" to see the field as soon as this Sunday, according to Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee.
Houshmandzadeh played with quarterback Carson Palmer in Cinncinnati for several years and will be reunited with Palmer in Oakland. The Raiders will bank on the chemistry between these two players as the 10-year NFL veteran prepares to make his first appearance of the season.
Houshmandzadeh posted seasons of between 900 and 1,200 receiving yards for six straight years before posting only 398 yards and three touchdowns with the Baltimore Ravens last year. He saw limited action and only started two games in 2010, a number that could be much higher this season if he can re-establish a strong rapport with Palmer.
The 34-year-old will need to be sharp on Sunday after so much time away from the field should he play. Jackson may be better off giving Houshmandzadeh more time practicing with the team before inserting him into a game right away.
Hue Jackson of the Oakland Raiders is dipping back into his former experience as position coach of the Cincinnati Bengals. First he signed his former quarterback Carson Palmer, and now he's hauling in one of Palmer's favorite targets in T.J. Houshmandzadeh after a workout with the team. The Raiders made the official announcement today.
Houshmandzadeh was once one of the primary targets along with Chad Ochocinco (then Chad Johnson) when the Bengals seemed on the verge of breaking out in the AFC North a half-decade back, but then things fell apart after Palmer's leg injury in the playoff loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. It's been a steep downtrend for Houshmandzadeh since that point, who only caught 30 passes last year with the Baltimore Ravens and had a terrible drop in last year's AFC playoff game.
Do the Raiders really need Housh? It's debatable. Perhaps Jackson wants to give Palmer some familiarity in terms fo the players he's dealing with. Recievers like Jacoby Ford, Darrius Heyward-Bey, and Denarius Moore are strong but not particularly gamebreakers. Perhaps Palmer needed someone like Housh to give him a fallback option in case he couldn't hit his regular receivers. We'll see if he can make his stint in Oakland worth it.
For more on the Raiders, go to Silver and Black Pride.
Raiders starting tailback Darren McFadden is recovering from a foot injury through the bye week, and it's taking time to heal properly. The news isn't quite so supportive that McFadden will be back in time for this week's game against the Broncos.
There's already concern in this area, as running back Darren McFadden has a midfoot sprain of unknown severity. He could be back against Denver on Nov. 6, but it's no slam dunk.
McFadden's probably not in serious danger of missing time yet, but it has to be worrisome that he's still not practicing. It could just be precautionary, especially considering that McFadden has had a recent injury history. Also, Hue Jackson probably doesn't want to rush McFadden back to action and risk further injury even with the uncertain quarterback position, and it's not as if the Denver Broncos are the toughest threat the team will face this year.
Stay tuned to updates on McFadden's status.
For more discussion of the Raiders, go to Silver and Black Pride.
The Oakland Raiders may sign former Baltimore Ravens receiver T.J. Houschmandzadeh in the coming weeks, pairing him with new quarterback Carson Palmer in a reunion of their days with the Cnncinnati Bengals from 2003 to 2008. According to Vittorio Tafur of the San Francisco Gate, head coach Hugh Jackson has been looking at Houchmandzadeh since the beginning of the year.
That interest may turn into something substantial soon. Jackson plans to have a work out with Houshmandzadeh very soon. In Jackson's words: "He may not be what he once was. He may be what he once was. But I get the opportunity to see him, and see him up close and personal and go from there."
The signing of Houshmandzadeh would reunite the newly acquired Palmer with one of his favorite targets. From 2004 to 2007, the duo played together with Palmer as the Bengals starting quarterback. During that time, Houshmandzadeh recorded at least 965 yards each year and an average of 8.0 touchdowns. His best season came in 2007, when he had 1,143 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns.
Houshmandzadeh , 34, probably doesn't have any more 1,000 yard seasons left in him at this point. He may, however, be able to provide the Raiders with a veteran presence at wide receiver and a strong presence in the locker room. The Raiders will wait for Jackson's impression of Houshmandzadeh before deciding to move one way or the other in a possible acquisition.
The Oakland Raiders return from their bye this week with a home game against the Denver Broncos. The Raiders won the first meeting between these two teams in Week One with a 23-20 road victory, and Oakland is favored by seven points in this contest.
The Raiders face uncertainty on offense, with new quarterback Carson Palmer expected to make his first start and starting running back Darren McFadden dealing with an injury. The oddmakers seem to think that the Raiders will play better in this game than in their 28-0 shutout loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in Week Seven, when Palmer threw three interceptions after entering at halftime and McFadden left the game early.
The Broncos are coming off of a brutal 45-10 demolition at the hands of the Detroit Lions. The Lions defense knocked quarterback Tim Tebow around all game and accounted for two defensive touchdowns off of Tebow fumbles.
Given the uncertainty facing the Raiders and the terrible play of the Broncos last week, the one-touchdown line seems about appropriate. Oakland has the upper hand in this game and deserves to be favored, but the question marks surrounding Palmer and McFadden keep the line from reaching double-digits. If the Raiders offense can keep from turning the ball over, Oakland should cover the spread and move to 5-3 on the season.
The Oakland Raiders are coming off a bye week they sorely needed. More accurately, they're coming off a bye week that Carson Palmer sorely needed, and will now host the Denver Broncos on Sunday. For more on the game and the team in general, head over to Silver and Black Pride.
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