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Despite a lackluster performance by the offense,the Oakland Raiders bounce back with a big win against the Houston Texans. Good grades galore.
Long-time Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis passed away on Saturday, a day before the Raiders were scheduled to take on the Houston Texans. On Sunday, the Raiders came out and stopped the Texans deep in the red zone to claim a 25-20 victory over the Texans. The win was emotional for Oakland, as seen from the expressions on the faces of the players, coaching staff and management afterwards.
According to Raiders blogger Steve Corkan, the game-winning ball will be given to the Davis family to honor the team's late owner. Safety Michael Huff wrapped up the Raiders win on Sunday by intercepting on Texans quarterback Matt Schaub in the game's closing seconds. Huff, given the game ball in honor of the final play, will be the one to give the ball over to the Davis family.
The 3-2 Raiders return home for a three-game home stand that will certainly feature lots of emotion. With the Cleveland Browns, Kansas City Chiefs and Denver Broncos coming to town, Oakland will look to honor Davis further with victories at home in the presence of a fan base
Matt Schaub looked like he was going to pull it out. The Houston Texans had dominated the Oakland Raiders on the statsheet, and now they were going to take the win they believed they'd earned. But as Schaub began to scramble left on the final play of the game, instead of deciding to scramble into the end zone, he let the ball loose to Jacoby Jones coming back to him, and Michael Huff stepped easily in front of it to secure victory.
Many folks, however, are going to be second-guessing the quarterback for a long time to come about his opting not to run like a fool to daylight, such as it was. It won't help any, either, when they hear about Tommy Kelly's assessment of the situation. The Raiders' defensive tackle didn't cut Schaub one iota of slack.
"Old boy choked," Kelly chortled. "All he had to do was run it in. He choked, simple as that."
Schaub hadn't heard about the comment when he glumly addressed the media later, but, to be sure, he wouldn't have agreed with such an assessment. In his opinion, neither the geometry nor the physics favored him beating [the pursuing Tyvon] Branch across the goal line.
It's really hard to say someone choked when they just led their team all the way down the field for the game-winning score. And Schaub was in a tough position as Raiders defenders like Branch would have likely pursued him in the open field and taken him down short. Schaub probably just ran out of options instead of outright choking.
The Raider Nation mourned together this weekend after the passing of Al Davis early Saturday morning. It started on Saturday as sports networks around the country paid tribute to one of the most influential men in the history of professional football. During most of these tributes, tickers at the bottom of the screen showed the love being poured out by the Raider Nation for Mr. Davis via Twitter.
On Sunday, the Nation continued the celebration of Mr. Davis as they came together across the country to do what Mr. Davis did every Sunday for years, watch the Silver and Black play football the Al Davis way. The Oakland Raiders traveled to face a very good Houston Texans team on Sunday, in a game that no one expected the Raiders to win.
After being blown out by the New England Patriots at home just one week earlier, most believed that the Raiders would not be able to bounce back on the road against such a good team. At first, it looked as though the talking heads were right. The Raiders offense looked terrible as it failed to get a first down until the very end of the second quarter. Then, something changed at half time.
Whether you believe Mr. Davis played a role in it or not, the Raiders players certainly felt a change and came out in the second half with a passion and determination not seen yet this season. The defense stepped up to the plate and continuously harassed Matt Schaub throughout the second half. The coaching staff stepped up making gutsy calls like the fake punt in the fourth quarter. And the offense stepped up, taking and increasing their lead over the Texans.
At the end of the day, as the dust settled, one of Al Davis' draft picks, Michael Huff, stood in the endzone with the ball in his hands as the Raiders celebrated a big and very emotional win.
To thank the players for playing their hearts out, and to show respect for the man who is responsible for making the Raiders what they are today, nearly 500 fans showed up at the Raiders headquarters on Sunday night in order to welcome back the team.
Amy Trask joined the Raiders coaching staff and players who mingled with fans for half an hour and shared in the heart felt celebration. This time though, the Raiders were celebrating more than just a win, they were celebrating the legacy of Al Davis, a man that changed professional football in this country forever.
We miss you Al. Just Win Baby!
Since then, Janikowski has been absolutely on fire. He has made 11 of 12 field goals this season. That includes five field goals of 50 yards or longer already this season. Janikowski's only miss was on a 50 plus yard field goal as well. Anyone who has watched Janikowski this season knows that he is probably having his best season to date and that it could be an all time great season for a kicker.
In fact, Janikowski took one step closer to having an all time great season this year on Sunday in the Raiders away game against the Houston Texans. In that game. Janikowski tied a second NFL record by hitting three field goals of 50 or more yards in a single game, a feat that has only been done five times before Janikowski was able to do it on Sunday.
It seems only fitting that Janikowski played a major role in the Raiders win while tying an NFL record on the day after Al Davis passed. Janikowski was one of Al Davis' more controversial picks, being the first ever kicker to be selected in the first round of the NFL draft. Perhaps the passing of Mr. Davis will motivate Janikowski to reach even greater heights this season in loving memory of the man who showed so much faith and devotion to him.
Everyone in the Bay Area knew that the Oakland Raiders were probably going to deliver the most emotional game of the week in the wake of owner Al Davis' passing on Saturday. What they weren't expecting was an instant classic that came down to the very last second against the Houston Texans.The Raiders were able to walk away with a huge 25-20 win over the heavy favorite Texans. We're still not entirely sure how they did it, but here are some of the key numbers.
Sebastian Janikowski got the Raiders scoring started with a 54-yard field goal in the first quarter and a 55-yard field goal in the second quarter. Janikowski didn't have any easy assignments in this one, as he also added 50-yard and 42-yard field goals in the second half.
Field goals were far from the only story in this back-and-forth game. The Texans were overwhelmingly dominant in passing yards, total yards, total plays, and had nearly twice as many first downs as the Raiders.The only key stat that the Raiders led in (besides field goals) was a slight edge in rushing yards: 94 yards to Houston's 74. The Raiders, in typical Raiders fashion, even racked up more penalty yards than the Texans.
Two key stats stand out in this one: the Texans were only one-for-three in red zone attempts. This may not seem like a big deal considering the Raiders were in the red zone even less (one-for-one in red zone attempts), but when Oakland has a kicker routinely making field goals from midfield, it's important to capitalize. The second stat that stands out is Houston's two interceptions thrown compared to Oakland's one.
Considering the game ended at the very last instant when Matt Schaub threw that last interception into the waiting arms of Michael Huff in Oakland's end zone, "two interceptions" pretty much says it all.
"Poetic justice" were the first words that came to mind today as I watched Darrius Heyward-Bey break a tackle in the second quarter and sprint for the end zone for a 34 yard touchdown in the Oakland Raiders' win over the Houston Texans.
When Al Davis drafted Darrius Heyward-Bey with the number seven pick of the 2009 draft, people were shocked. It was expected that the Raiders would choose a wide receiver with their first round pick, but when both Michael Crabtree and Jeremy Maclin fell to the Raiders at the seventh pick, no one expected to hear Heyward-Bey's name called.
In his rookie season, Heyward-Bey had immense struggles trying to adjust to the NFL game, finishing the season with only 9 catches for 124 yards. He showed some improvement in his second year, but was still incredibly far away from living up to the expectations of the number seven pick in the draft.
This season, Heyward-Bey has started to show signs of finally emerging into a good receiver. He has not had anywhere near the number of dropped passes as he had in previous seasons at this point. In addition, Heyward-Bey had back to back impressive games against two good teams.
In their loss to the New England Patriots, Heyward-Bey led the Raiders receiving corps with four catches for 115 yards. Then, this week Heyward-Bey stepped up to the plate once again, making big plays on the day after the man who had so much faith in him passed away. Heyward-Bey finished the game against the Texans with 7 catches for 99 yards and a touchdown that came at a very important time.
Heyward-Bey still has not lived up to the number seven pick that was used on him, but he continues to show improvement. It will be fun to see if he can continue to excel this year in memory of the man who drafted him, Al Davis.
It was looking like the Oakland Raiders were on the verge of another collapse a la the Buffalo Bills game a few weeks ago, but perhaps a little divine intervention from Al Davis caused a last second Michael Huff interception to ensure the Silver and Black's exciting 25-20 win at Reliant Stadium in Houston.
Matt Schaub and the Texans were driving down the field with no timeouts at the end of the game, getting the ball down all the way to Oakland's 5 yard line. And with only seconds left in the game, Schaub's pass in the endzone was taken by Huff to ensure the Raiders moving to 3-2 on the year.
The Texans got on the board early with a 5 yard pass to Kevin Walter, followed by Sebastian Janikowski's first 50 plus yard field goal (54) to get the Silver and Black on the board. Janikowski would hit another in the second quater to make it 7-6 when Matt Schaub connected with Joel Dreessen for a 56 yard TD pass to extend their lead. Darrius Heyward-Bey caught a 34 yard touchdown before the half, but a missed two-point conversion keep the score 14-12 at the half.
Janikowski and Texans' kicker Neil Rackers traded 50 yard field goals in the third quarter to keep Houston ahead 17-15 setting up a wild fourth quarter at Reliant Stadium. Chaz Schillens caught an 18 yard pass from Jason Campbell for a TD, followed by another Janikowski field goal that was set up by a fake punt and 35 yard gain for Rock Cartwright. Neil Rackers would hit a 40 yarder to bring the Texans within five, but they couldn't get the job done.
Texans outside linebacker Mario Williams left early in the game with a pectoral injury, though the extend of the injury isn't completely known yet, pectoral issues are historically very bad things for football players to recover from quickly.
Jason Campbell finished the game 15/35 for 190 yards with two TDs and one INT, while Darrius Heyward-Bey lead all receivers with seven catches for 99 yards and a TD. Darren McFadden had his worst game of the year so far, rushing for only 51 yards on 16 carries for the day, as well as two catches for 17 yards. Matt Schaub still threw for 416 yards without Andre Johnson, finishing 24/51 with two TDs and two INTs, while Arian Foster carried the ball 22 times for 68 yards.
Full box score can be found here.
For more on the Raiders, head over to Silver and Black Pride to get in on the action.
The Oakland Raiders and Houston Texans have found themselves in a battle of distance field goals at Reliant Stadium this Sunday as Sebastian Janikowski and Neil Rackers have combined for four 50 plus yard field goals thus far, as Oakland takes a 22-17 lead after a 18 yard TD from Jason Campbell early in the fourth.
The Oakland Raiders weren’t firing on all cylinders in the first half to say the least, but thanks to a late touchdown from Darrius Heyward-Bey the Silver and Black got back into the game by the score of 14-12 at the half.
The Raiders were flowing in their 2 miunte drill as Darren McFadden broke a 41 yard run down to the one yard line with about 1:30 left in the half, which would eventually get called back due to a holding penalty (the Raiders currently lead the NFL in penalties). But DHB broke some tackles for a 34 yard touchdown a few plays later, though the Raiders would miss the two-point conversion.
The Raiders offense was basically Sebastian Janokowski for the majority of the first half, hitting two 50-plus yard field goals to get the Raiders on the board. DHB leads all receivers with 5 catches for 85 yards, though Darren McFadden only has 12 yards on six carries in the first half. Jason Campbell finished the first half 9/19 for 132 yards and an interception.
Matt Schuab had two TD passes and an INT thus far, including a 56 yard bomb to Joel Dressen for his longest play of his career. Arian Foster has been decent with 15 carries for 54 yards, while the Texans D took a hit after OLB Mario WIlliams left the game early with a pectoral injury and will not return.
The Oakland Raiders trail the Houston Texans 7-6 early in the second quarter as Oakland has squandered excellent field position on successive drives. They've managed six points thanks to the powerful leg of Sebastian Janikowski, but they've left points on the board behind a struggling offense.
Houston got on the board on their first drive with a ten play 65 yard drive that was capped by a five-yard Matt Schaub touchdown pass to Kevin Walter. After Oakland punted, Matt Schaub had a pass intercepted by Lamarr Houston, setting up Oakland on the Houston 35 yard line. The Raiders proceeded to go three and out and Janikowski booted a 54-yard field goal to get them on the board.
On the next Texans drive, Oakland forced a three and out and then proceeded to deflect Brett Hartmann's punt. The Raiders started at the Houston 39 but a drive-opening chop block penalty cost them 15 yards. The Raiders recovered enough yardage to get Janikowski in line for a 55-yard field goal, but once again left points on the board. Oakland can win this game but they can't afford to keep blowing such huge opportunities.
The Oakland Raiders and Houston Texans announced their inactive lists for Sunday's game and there are not many surprises. For the Raiders, Louis Murphy was unable to get back to 100% for this week and will sit one more week. It is worth noting that the Raiders signed fullback Manase Tonga off the practice squad and officially placed Ricky Brown on injured reserve with a concussion. Marcel Reece has been dealing with an ankle injury and will sit due to that. Tonga will get some fullback chances.
As expected, Andre Johnson is sitting out the game. The Texans do have Ben Tate active as backup to Arian Foster, but Foster will get the bulk of the carries for the Texans. With Andre Johnson sidelined, the Raiders will have to focus their attention on Foster and Owen Daniels.
It's probably been the most emotional weekend in recent Oakland Raiders history. Team owner Al Davis, who has been the driving force of the Raiders for over forty years, passed away on Saturday. You can be certain that a fired-up Raiders team will be looking to bring home a big win for Al and Raider Nation against a Houston Texans team that is without their superstar wide receiver, Andre Johnson.
Here's everything you need to know about the Raiders in Houston:
Kickoff:10:00 AM/PDT, 1:00 PM/EST
Weather Report: Predicted to be 79 degrees, mostly cloudy.
TV: CBS (KPIX CBS 5 in the Bay Area). Commentators: Ian Eagle, Dan Fouts.
Radio: KITS 105.3 (LIVE 105)
Betting Line: The Texans are currently 5.5 to 7-point favorites.
The Oakland Raiders family suffered heartbreak on Saturday as owner Al Davis passed away at the age of 82. While Davis was getting up there in age, many Raiders fans were still stunned by news of his death. Fans have been pouring into Raiders headquarters to leave flowers and condolences and will likely continue to do so for the foreseeable future.
Davis' death came the day before the Raiders are set to meet the Houston Texans in a key road game. While the fans and team continue to mourn the loss of Davis, they face a pivotal game if they want to stay in the playoff hunt. The Raiders are 2-2 but are looking like a contender in the AFC West. While they may not be in a must-win situation, a win over Houston would be huge for their playoff hopes.
The importance of the game was the primary story heading into this weekend. The death of Al Davis casts a cloud over the game and raises another issue entirely. How will the Raiders come out for this game? Will they show fire and emotion and "Win one for Al" ? Or could the emotion of Davis' death leave them relatively flat? I can't imagine this weekend's events not having some effect on the team, but it's just a question of how it affects them. The opening minutes of the game could tell us everything we need to know.
During Oakland's September 25 game against the New England Patriots, linebacker Ricky Brown suffered a concussion. He was listed as questionable for Sundays' game in Houston up through Friday, but was placed on injured reserve today, according to The Washington Post.
To fill the vacant roster spot, the Raiders have activated Manase Tonga, a fullback from their practice squad. The move makes a lot of sense, with both starter Marcel Reece and backup fullback Richard Gordon currently banged up.
The Raiders-Texans matchup looks to be one of the most interesting of the 13-game Week Five. The Texans are heavily favored, but will be without superstar wide receiver Andre Johnson, and the Raiders are sure to be fired up and emotional following the passing of team owner Al Davis. Regardless of their lack of depth at fullback and down a linebacker, they are certain to be looking for a statement win to dedicate to Davis.
The Oakland Raiders will have one less weapon on the Texans' formidable offense to worry about this Sunday as all-world wide receiver Andre Johnson has been declared out by Houston. Johnson will miss this week's game with a hamstring injury he sustained last week against Pittsburgh.
The Raiders will be without Richard Gordon, Chris Johnson, and Matt Shaghnessy. Here is the complete injury report for both teams, including Friday's practice report. Take a look.
OUT - TE Richard Gordon (hand), CB Chris Johnson (hamstring), DE Matt Shaughnessy (shoulder)
QUESTIONABLE - LB Ricky Brown (concussion), CB Chimdi Chekwa (hamstring), S Michael Huff (ankle), WR Louis Murphy (groin), RB Marcel Reece (ankle)
PROBABLE - S Jerome Boyd (knee), S Tyvon Branch (knee), RB Michael Bush (ankle), QB Jason Campbell (foot), RB Taiwan Jones (calf), S Michael Mitchell (knee), DE Jarvis Moss (chest)
Friday Practice Report:
DID NOT PARTICIPATE IN PRACTICE - LB Ricky Brown (concussion), CB Chimdi Chekwa (hamstring), TE Richard Gordon (hand), CB Chris Johnson (hamstring), RB Marcel Reece (ankle), DE Matt Shaughnessy (shoulder)
LIMITED PARTICIPATION IN PRACTICE - QB Jason Campbell (foot), S Michael Huff (ankle), DE Jarvis Moss (chest), WR Louis Murphy (groin)
FULL PARTICIPATION IN PRACTICE - S Jerome Boyd (knee), S Tyvon Branch (knee), RB Michael Bush (ankle), RB Taiwan Jones (calf), S Michael Mitchell (knee)
OUT - WR Andre Johnson (hamstring)
DOUBTFUL - LB Tim Dobbins (hamstring)
QUESTIONABLE - CB Kareem Jackson (knee), WR Bryant Johnson (hamstring), CB Sherrick McManis (hamstring), LB DeMeco Ryans (elbow, hamstring), RB Ben Tate (groin), RB Derrick Ward (ankle, shoulder)
PROBABLE - CB Jason Allen (knee), G Thomas Austin (knee), RB Arian Foster (hip), WR Jacoby Jones (knee), CB Johnathan Joseph (hamstring), CB Brice McCain (groin), C Chris Myers (elbow, ankle), DE Antonio Smith (ankle), LB Mario Williams (elbow)
Friday Practice Report:
DID NOT PARTICIPATE IN PRACTICE - LB Tim Dobbins (hamstring), WR Andre Johnson (hamstring), WR Bryant Johnson (hamstring), CB Sherrick McManis (hamstring)
LIMITED PARTICIPATION IN PRACTICE - CB Kareem Jackson (knee), LB DeMeco Ryans (elbow, hamstring), RB Ben Tate (groin), RB Derrick Ward (ankle, shoulder)
FULL PARTICIPATION IN PRACTICE - CB Jason Allen (knee), G Thomas Austin (knee), RB Arian Foster (hip), WR Jacoby Jones (knee), CB Johnathan Joseph (hamstring), CB Brice McCain (groin), C Chris Myers (elbow, ankle), DE Antonio Smith (ankle), LB Mario Williams (elbow)
For more on the Raiders, head over to Silver and Black Pride.
Much anticipation surrounds the Oakland Raiders and Houston Texans game this Sunday, with both teams having a lot to prove to the rest of the league. This has been a popular choice with people as a game to bet on this weekend, though the loss of Andre Johnson to the Texans has caused some questions to arise about this matchup than anything else.
Both teams have looked solid this far into the season, but both have had great opportunities to get a W slip through their fingers already. These teams both have legitimate chances to make the playoffs in their respective divisions, but it's the all-important out of conference games that show the true colors of your football team.
Oddshark.com had the line for this game opened up the week with the Raiders a seven point underdog to the Texans, but the people have been putting their money on the Silver and Black more often than not with those odds, causing the odds-makers to push the closer to six as game time approaches. Bodog has a 6 point line with a 49 over/under, TopBet has a 6 point line as well as a 48.5 over/under. 5Dimes and Bet Online both have a 5.5 point line with a 48.5 over/under, as do Intertops and SBG Global.
For more on the Raiders, head over to Silver and Black Pride.
The Oakland Raiders just cannot seem to find a way to stop the run. Despite having a very talented defensive front seven, the Raiders have the ability to make an average running back look like a stud. In their game this week against the Houston Texans, for the first time this season, the Raiders really will be facing a stud running back. Don't get me wrong, Fred Jackson is having a hell of a year in Buffalo, but he is no Arian Foster.
Realizing that they need to do something quick in order to improve their run defense, the Raiders had veteran defensive lineman Trevor Pryce in Oakland for talks this week. Pryce is a 14 year veteran who has played for the Denver Broncos, Baltimore Ravens and New York Jets. Though Pryce has not played at all this season, the Raiders believe that the 36 year old veteran can still be a productive player in a defensive line rotation that is as deep as the Raiders is.
Pryce is known as a dual threat who is stout in run defense and can also put pressure on the quarterback. Clearly, the Raiders have struggled against the run and any added support is not only welcome, but is necessary. In addition, the Raiders have failed to get good pressure on the quarterback in both of their losses, so hopefully he would also be able to assist in that area as well.
If the Raiders do sign Pryce, he will not likely get a huge amount of playing time on Sunday against the Texans, but the ability to have another big body and run stuffer in the defensive line rotation should help keep the defensive line fresh and help them keep Arian Foster in check.
After being injured early in the season opener, Jacob Ford returned to the field Sunday against the Patriots. Unfortunately, his return was not as successful as he and the Raiders had hoped it would be. Ford did not have a single catch and had one bad drop.
His lack of production can, in part, be attributed to the fact that Ford's hamstring is still not at 100%. Jacoby Ford's biggest threat is his speed. He still has some work to do on his route running and keeping his head in the game. On Sunday, he dropped a ball when he was wide open and on a pass that was not very difficult. Without his speed, Ford is a good receiver, but is nothing special.
Luckily for the Raiders, even with his hamstring still not at 100%, Ford is still pretty darn fast. He showed both his speed and his elusiveness on a 30 yard end around that by all means should have been a loss of yards. Right as Ford got the ball, he was met deep in the backfield by a Patriot defender. Ford sidestepped the defender, then headed to the sideline where he opened up and was only barely pushed out of bounds at the six yard line.
Ford seems to believe that if he were 100%, then he would not have been caught, and instead would have been celebrating in the end zone.
The Oakland Raiders could be getting Michael Huff back from a concussion injury soon enough, but Chris Johnson is still not practicing. The Raiders pass defense needs a boost after Tom Brady shredded them on Sunday, and with Matt Schaub up next, Oakland will need to bolster things up this week.
A look at the full Wednesday injury report.
Raiders injury report
Texans injury report
Coming into this season, most believed that the Oakland Raiders biggest weakness would be their pass defense. They lost one of the best corner backs in the NFL to free agency when Nnamdi Asomugha signed with the Philadelphia Eagles. However, a quarter of the way into the 2011 season, and it appears that the Raiders have bigger problems in run defense than in pass defense, which is a terrible sign because the pass defense looks really bad.
The Raiders boast one of the most intimidating defensive lines in the NFL. Unfortunately, they also boast a massively underachieving linebacker corps. Of the three starting linebackers, the only one who has impressed this season is the only one who came into the season unsure of whether he would be the starter. Quentin Groves has had a good start to the 2011 season, while Rolando McClain and Kamerion Wimbley have failed to live up to their expectations.
In fact, McClain has played so poorly this season, former Raiders linebacker Bill Romanowski called him out after his performance against the New England Patriots. McClain has appeared as though he has actually regressed in his second season in the league, often committing missed tackles that are flat our embarrassing.
While the injury to Andre Johnson is a good sign for the chances of the Raiders winning in Houston on Sunday, the Raiders will still be forced to go through Arian Foster if they want to climb above .500. Foster, who missed time with a hamstring injury caused by anti-awesomeness, came back with a vengence against the Steelers last weekend, putting up 155 yards on the ground.
If Steven Ridley and Benjarvus Green-Ellis could amass close to 200 yards against this poorous Raiders run defense, just imagine what a healthy Arian Foster will do. If the Raiders have to win this game, they must find a way to shore up their run defense and do it quickly. Otherwise, Sunday could get ugly.
The Oakland Raiders fell back to Earth against the New England Patriots, and now at 2-2 the perceptions have kind of dropped back just a little. Things can always get exciting when you want to start putting your money on the Black Hole, but you have to remember Oakland still is taking baby steps back to respectability, and they're still in the AFC West.
The Texans might have no Andre Johnson, but this team finally looks complete enough to compete even without him, and the front seven does seem solid enough to manhandle opposing offensive lines. Houston's homefield advantage is also becoming sneaky underrated, as the Texans have played very well in their first two home games.
Which is why this line is pretty big. Oakland is six to seven point underdogs against Houston, depending on what sportsbook you look at. The line does seem tantalizing to go chase after the Raiders, but do remember there's a reason the odds are long on Oakland pulling this one out. Exercise extreme caution.
Houston Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson will be sidelined against the Oakland Raiders.
Both the San Francisco 49ers and the Oakland Raiders are in good places after the first few weeks in the 2011 NFL standings.
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