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The Raiders' dominating performance on Thursday night against the Chargers put them a half-game ahead of Kansas City for first place in the AFC West. The Raiders just needed Tim Tebow and the Broncos to defeat Kansas City on the road in order to take a one game lead and full ownership of the division. The Broncos obliged, physically pummeling the Chiefs all day long with a grueling rush attack.
The Broncos had great success rushing the ball despite the fact that their two top running backs left the game with injuries. Lance Ball, the third-string running back, entered the game and rushed 30 times for 96 yards. Tim Tebow added 43 yards on 9 rushes, including a TD scamper early in the first quarter. Tebow did not complete a pass in the first half and only completed two of eight passes on the day, but one of his completions was a beautiful 56-yard touchdown strike to Eric Decker that put Denver up by 10 points in the fourth quarter. Kansas City scored a garbage time field goal, but did not recover the onside kick and the Broncos knelt for the victory.
The very presence of Tebow seemed to put the Chiefs off-balance. Even though he only passed eight times, the Chiefs were never able to sell out against the rush and were continually gashed by it, giving up 244 yards on the ground.
The Raiders have a long week to prepare for Minnesota, who will be facing the Packers on Monday night. With a good showing in that game, the Raiders may be able to gain some separation in the division. They clearly appear to be the best team in the division at this time, but they still have the entire NFC North to play as well as two more divisional games in the final two weeks of the season. The Raiders will need all the separation they can get if they want to make the playoffs.
The Oakland Raiders have already taken a big hit to their offense with the sidelining of Darren McFadden over the past few weeks, but may be in line to lose another for a significant chunk of time. Wide receiver and kick returner Jacoby Ford is in a walking boot and using crutches to deal with an ankle Injury he suffered during the Raiders 24-17 win in San Diego this past Thursday night, though he does not feel his injury is as serious as the one suffered by Run DMC a few week ago against the Chiefs:
Per Raiders insider John Dickinson on Twitter:
His status for next week is still unknown though he'll have a few extra days to try and get healthy, though any loss of time with the second year player out of Clemson could be a detriment to Hue Jackson and the rest of his squad.
Ford, 24 has 17 catches for 260 yards and one touchdown so far in 2011, but has been explosive in the kick return game for the Silver and Black. He broke a 101-yard kick return against the Browns earlier this year for a touchdown, and had three from them last season in his rookie year, including another 101 yarder.
For more discussion and analysis of the Raiders, head over to Silver and Black Pride to get your fix.
Oakland Raiders head coach Hue Jackson was in good spirits on Friday when he spoke to the media in his weekly day-after press conference, and spoke to the confidence he has in his football team, the importance of running back Michael Bush, and the benefit of having 10 days off between games.
Can you talk about the importance of stopping the bleeding by getting this win, and not letting any of the negativity that's been surrounding the team lately creep in?
"Everybody thinks there's been negativity, I don't. I know losing breeds that, people start saying things...but I never felt that in our locker room. What I wanted to do was to make sure everybody kept working, just keep your head down. I had a good feeling of what wasn't going right, and if you don't know what's wrong with your team you won't know how to fix it."
Whatever Jackson saw that was wrong with his squad he got it righted in a hurry. Carson Palmer played much better (14/20, 299 yards, 2 TD's), the defense was getting tons of pressure (6 sacks), and Michael Bush had a beast of a game (30 carries, 157 yards, 1 TD). Jackson spoke about the important of Bush as well:
Did you come into the game thinking you would have to give it to Michael [Bush] 30 times?
Honestly, I thought I was going to give it to Michael as many times as it took to win the game. If it meant 50 times I would have handed it to him 50 times. I'm sure those guys will tell you that I script the openers, and the opener didn't say run the ball 30 times to Michael Bush, it says be balanced, be diverse. He was starting to stake over the game, the blockers were taking over the game, and the rest is history.
Well said coach. Well said indeed.
How beneficial is it to have 10 games off before you next game?
I think it's very beneficial. I told the guys we got 10 days to get healthy and get to get strong. We're in the last run of this thing, you know, you got seven games left, and we got some real big football ahead of us to play.
With four games left against the NFC North, including a meeting with the Detroit Lions and undefeated Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field, there are a lot of tough games left on the docket for the Silver and Black. Hopefully they can continue to play like they did in San Diego.
To watch the presser in it's entirety, click here.
For more on the Raiders, head over to Silver and Black Pride.
The Oakland Raiders were looking good down in San Diego Thursday night, taking care of the dangerous Chargers in all three facets of the game. here are some key stats and important information from the Silver and Black's epic road victory:
On Thursday night, the game between the Raiders and Chargers was billed as a battle between two quarterbacks. Only one of them came out of the game looking dominant. Carson Palmer threw for 299 yards in the game, twenty-five more yards than Philip Rivers threw for despite Palmer attempting a staggering 27 fewer passes on the evening. Palmer finished the night with a stellar 125.0 passer rating and a 70% completion percentage. Rivers, conversely, completed under 50% of his passes with a 72.5 passer rating.
Early on on the game when Jacoby Ford went down with injury, it seemed as though Palmer may struggle with his new favorite target sidelined. However, Denarius Moore simply shifted into that role and totally shined, catching five passes including two beautiful touchdowns. Palmer also hit Michael Bush with some nifty screen passes, which were successful primarily due to the defense being stretched out of respect for Palmer's deep ball. This is not a luxury Jason Campbell ever afforded the Raiders. On a crucial third down late in the fourth quarter, Palmer was able to calmly step up in the pocket and complete a pass to Kevin Boss for a key first down to keep the clock moving.
Palmer did have a couple turnovers, but those were due to pressure from edge rushers and not due to any sort of poor decision-making on his part. He played this game with calm, cool precision. Michael Bush may have dominated this game, but it was clearly Palmer's ability to keep the defense back on their heels that enabled the Raiders to move the ball so effectively. It may still be too early to tell definitively, but if Palmer keeps putting up numbers and posting victories like this, he will be well worth the price paid to acquire him.
The Oakland Raiders offense will get plenty of praise for a strong performance Sunday night, most notably the dominant rushing effort of Michael Bush and the big play effort of Denarius Moore. However, the Raiders defense stepped up in a big way after several weeks of struggling. The pass rush was all over Philip Rivers and never gave him time to get comfortable in the pocket. When he wasn't getting driven into the ground, Rivers had to hurry throws, which led to significant accuracy issues.
The player of the game on the defensive side of the ball has to be Kamerion Wimbley. The Raiders pass rush was dominant on Thursday and Wimbley had his way with the Chargers offensive line en route to a career-high four sacks. Wimbley became the first Raiders player since Anthony Smith in 1993 to grab four sacks in a game. The franchise record was Howie Long's five in 1983.
If you missed Wimbley's dominant performance, here is a gif of him ducking under the left tackle:
Here is the end of game sequence where Wimbley gets his fourth sack of the evening coming off the right end and again blowing past the helpless right tackle. Philip Rivers tried to toss the ball away for an incomplete pass, but the refs ruled him down. The Chargers did get everyone back to try for a hail mary, but fittingly enough Rivers was sacked again, this time by Tommy Kelly.
Although the final score was a close 24-17 difference, the Oakland Raiders had their way with the San Diego Chargers on Thursday Night Football. Kamerion Wimbley destroyed the Chargers offensive line, while running back Michael Bush torched a struggling Chargers defense.
The Raiders were able to put together an optimal offensive game plan as they lit up the Chargers through the air, while also pounding away at them on the ground. Michael Bush showed why he has been arguably the best backup running back in the league and also one of its best kept secrets as he dominated the Chargers all night long. Bush finished the game with 157 rushing yards and 85 receiving yards. Josh Dubow is reporting that his 242 combined yards are the most yards from scrimmage since Art Powell had 247 yards on December 22, 1963 against Houston. Earlier that season, Powell set the franchise single-game record with 256 yards from scrimmage.
Although this offense entered the season built around Darren McFadden, the star running back has dealt with injuries for much of his career. Due to those injuries, Michael Bush plays as important a role as just about any running back in the league. When he has stepped in for McFadden, the offense has not skipped a beat. Even as Mike Mayock kept referring to his diminished speed compared to McFadden, Bush kept on pounding away the yards.
Below is some video of Bush's touchdown plunge late in the first quarter. It was important to get the points, but two of his receptions were the plays I found most important. He turned some third and longs into huge conversions and got the Raiders deep into Chargers territory. He was a do-everything man on Thursday.
The Oakland Raiders pulled off a huge road victory on Thursday Night Football as they defeated San Diego Chargers 24-17. The Raiders rushing game and pass rush were key to the victory, but just as important was the ability of rookie receiver Denarius Moore to stretch the field on Carson Palmer's deep passes. Moore finished the game with five receptions for 123 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He also added in a big 21 yard punt return on the punt immediately preceding his first touchdown receptions.
Moore has been a bit inconsistent at times as he finds his way as a rookie receiver. After no catches in the season opener, Moore blew up with five catches for 146 yards and a touchdown. He added a touchdown two weeks later, but had generally been quiet for much of the last two months. That changed Thursday evening with his second monster performance of the season.
Moore brings crazy speed and athleticism to the Raiders (shocking, we know) and if he can establish some consistency week to week he could be a huge weapon for them. With Jacoby Ford on the other side of the field, the vertical passing game could be thoroughly disgusting alongside the power rushing attack.
If you missed out on Denarius Moore's two touchdown catches, we've got video below. The first one is a great example of him extending the play as Carson Palmer kept it alive in the pocket. The second is a great example of going up in traffic and coming down with the catch.
For more on the Raiders, head over to Silver & Black Pride!
Early in the first quarter, Ford hauled in a deep pass from Carson Palmer. Just moments after, he sprained his left foot and immediately had to be helped off the field. The wide receiver was carted into the locker room and has not returned since suffering the injury. We have a video of the scary play:
This is obviously a tough blow for Oakland. Darren McFadden suffered a similar injury three weeks ago and has still not recovered or seen any time on the field. In Ford's absence, Denarius Moore has stepped up big time and Carson Palmer continues to work the ball down the field through the air, but it could cause problems in the coming weeks as defenses have time to prepare.
For more on the Raiders, check out Silver and Black Pride.
The Oakland Raiders moved into temporary sole possession of first place in the AFC West Thursday evening as they snapped a two-game losing streak and took down the San Diego Chargers 24-17. It was an up and down game that saw both teams making plenty of mistakes, but the Raiders held on in the end. The Raiders are now a half game up on Kansas City in the AFC West and await the result of Sunday's Chiefs-Broncos game.
There were numerous heroes on the evening for Oakland. The Raiders offense will get plenty of love, but the Oakland pass rush was intense all night long. Philip Rivers rarely had time to get comfortable in the pocket and it cost him over and over again. Kamerion Wimbley had a career day as he sacked Rivers four times as part of the Raiders six sack effort. It was fitting that the game ended with back-to-back sacks by Wimbley and Tommy Kelly. It was emblematic of Rivers evening.
While the defense was huge, the offense deserves plenty of praise for going after the Chargers early. The Raiders punted on their first two drives, but they quickly found their footing and were off to the races. Michael Bush was the workhorse on Thursday, rushing 30 times for 157 yards and a touchdown. He also was integral to the passing game as he caught three passes for 85 yards, including two huge screens.
While the Raiders looked great in the more physical aspects of offense and defense, the passing game looked solid once it got things sorted out. Carson Palmer completed 14 of 20 passes for 299 yards and two touchdowns. He threw one interception and fumbled another play, but otherwise looked especially solid on the evening. His main connection was to wide receiver Denarius Moore who had a monster game, finishing with five receptions for 123 yards and two touchdowns.
The Raiders did suffer a few injuries, with the most notable being Jacoby Ford who suffered a sprained foot. It was a tough loss but the Raiders rebounded quickly en route to the victory. The severity of the injury is not yet known, although Ford was on crutches for the second half.
The Raiders now get to sit back through the weekend and wait for more AFC West fallout. The Raiders will travel to Minnesota in week 11 to face the Vikings. For more on the Raiders, check out Silver & Black Pride.
Does anyone else feel like the NFL should play a game every Thursday night?
The first TNF game of the season has lived up to all expectations, as the two AFC West favorites are battling in the fourth quarter. The Oakland Raiders once held a comfortable lead in the game, but the San Diego Chargers have come storming back to cut the deficit to 24-17.
Michael Bush has dominated this game from the early going and is continually gashing the Chargers front-seven. The running back currently has 140 rushing yards on 25 carries, including a touchdown run in the first quarter. To balance the offensive attack, Carson Palmer has had the best game of his short career with Oakland and has hit Denarius Moore for two touchdown passes.
Despite being bothered by injury, kicker Sebastian Janikowski kicked a 23-yard field goal in the second quarter and has converted all three of his extra-point attempts.
The Chargers struggled mightily in the first half, but Philip Rivers has his team rolling late in the contest. Rivers connected with rookie receiver Vincent Brown for a 30-yard touchdown pass. After leading his team down the field once again, it appeared the Rivers-Brown connection had worked again. After originally being ruled a touchdown, instant replay overturned the call. While it momentarily upheld the score, Rivers was able to roll out and hit Jacob Hester for a seven-yard touchdown pass.
With the Raiders driving, Carson Palmer was hit late and floated a ball into the San Diego night. The Chargers came away with the interception and now have the ball with 11 minutes remaining in the game.
The Oakland Raiders are currently rolling against the San Diego Chargers, but if they are going to put this game away they will have to do it without wide receiver Jacoby Ford. The Raiders speedy receiver left the game in the first quarter after injuring his foot on a 41-yard gain.
Ford was carted back to get it looked at it and there is good news and bad news. The bad news is he is on crutches in the second half, but the good news is he did not suffer a broken foot. The NFL Network is reporting it is only a sprain. That's not the best news but given the worst-case scenario, it is not the end of the world. There is no word yet on how it equates to the foot sprain that has cost Darren McFadden almost three full games.
The good news for the Raiders is that wide receiver Denarius Moore has stepped up in Ford's absence and put together a huge game with four receptions, 112 yards and two touchdowns. The Raiders currently lead 24-10.
For more on the Raiders, check out Silver & Black Pride.
The Chargers scored first on a 20-yard field goal from Nick Novak. Other than that, not too much has gone right for San Diego. Philip Rivers is 4-for-11 with just 44 passing yards. Mike Tolbert and Ryan Mathews have four carries a piece and have combined for just 39 yards on the ground. No player has more than one catch, and after his monster game last week, Vincent Jackson does not have a catch.
Michael Bush led the way early for the Raiders and scored the first touchdown of the game, hurdling the goal line to give his team a 7-3 lead. After being held at the two yard line, Sebastian Janikowski converted on a 23-yard field goal early in the second quarter.
The big play of the game came with less than two minutes remaining in the half. Carson Palmer, who finally looks like the quarterback Oakland thought they were signing a few weeks ago, hit Denarius Moore for a 33-yard touchdown strike to put the Raiders up 17-3.
On the defensive side of the ball, Kamerion Wimbley has stolen the show with three sacks. He is continually getting pressure on Rivers and he has had little time to operate in the pocket.
San Diego attempted to mount a final-minute drive, but they fell short around midfield. Palmer took a knee to the loud applause of the many Raider fans in attendance at Qualcomm Stadium.
The first Thursday night game of the NFL season has featured plenty of excitement and we are just 15 minutes into the game. For a game that means so much in the AFC West, the Oakland Raiders and San Diego Chargers came to play.
The Raiders received the ball to begin the game and were forced to punt and a three-and-out.
The Chargers used a lateral pass in route of a 40-yard return that put the Chargers offense deep into Oakland territory. Despite a strong effort from Ryan Matthews (14 yards on three carries, one reception for 19 yards) San Diego was unable to punch the ball into the end zone. Nick Novak converted a 20-yard field goal to give the Chargers an early 3-0 lead.
Since the field goal, it has been the Michael Bush show. Filling in for the injured Darren McFadden, Bush has already rushed for 78 yards on thirteen carries, including a one-yard touchdown rush in which he hurdled the offensive line.
With a lead of 7-3, Oakland came away with another strong drive and capped it off with a 26-yard field goal from Sebastian Janikowski. With 11:02 remaining in the first half, they lead 10-3.
Editor's Note: Update On Jacoby Ford's foot injury
The Oakland Raiders saw wide receiver Jacoby Ford limp off the field Thursday evening in the first quarter of their divisional battle with the San Diego Chargers. Ford caught a 41-yard pass from Carson Palmer but when he hopped from the reception he took a step or two and went down. He favored one ankle briefly, but it remains to be seen the details of the injury. Twitter has mentioned everything from ankle to groin to knee so it remains to be seen what is the truth at this point.
The NFL Network showed some footage of Ford being taking to the back on a cart with his left cleat off. If it is an ankle issue he might be getting a quick x-ray to see if there is any sort of damage to the ankle. We'll have an update once more is known.
For now, the Raiders are relying heavily on Michael Bush in this first quarter. He has rushed 13 times already for 78 yards and a touchdown. The Chargers have a questionable rushing defense so it makes sense for the Raiders to run right at them. It will be interesting to see if the Chargers can do anything to stop it with the Raiders passing game still a bit questionable.
For more on the Raiders, check out Silver & Black Pride.
The Oakland Raiders might be without Darren McFadden tonight against the San Diego Chargers, but they will at least have their offensive security blanket in place. Adam Schefter has good news for Raider Nation (and a good deal of fantasy football owners out there).
If Janikowski wouldn't have been able to go, that would've probably meant free agent Dave Rayner or backup punter Shane Lechler would've been forced to kick in his place. This sort of arrangement would have negated the kicking advantage the Raiders generally enjoy on gameday. Now that Janikowski is here, it slightly eases the pressure off of Carson Palmer and Michael Bush to carry the offensive load, knowing they won't necessarily have to drive the entire field to be assured of putting points on the board.
Of course, the Raiders can't be going on trading touchdowns for field goals, but it's important to have a reliable kicker out there who can give them field goals when they can't hit the end zone.
The Oakland Raiders and San Diego Chargers are locked in a three-way tie for first place in the AFC West race with the Kansas City Chiefs halfway through the season. Both teams have struggled in recent weeks- the Raiders have lost two games in a row while the Chargers have dropped three straight contests- but the winner of today's game will move past the loser in the division standings and gain at least a share of first place.
Following are details about Thursday's game:
Game Date/Time: Thursday, November 10; 5:20 p.m. PT
Location: Qualcomm Stadium; San Diego, California
Records: Raiders (4-4); Chargers (4-4)
TV: KPIX 5. Announcers: Brad Nessler (play-by-play); Mike Mayock (color analyst); Alex Flanagan (sideline reporter)
Radio: KITS LIVE 105.3. Announcers: Greg Papa; Tom Flores
Spanish Radio: KCNL 104.9 FM. Announcers: Fernando Arias; Ambrosio Rico
Betting Line: Accoridng to OddsShark, the Raiders are seven-point underdogs.
Going into Week 10 of the NFL season, the AFC West has a tie atop the standings with three teams at 4-4. All the teams in the division will face a fellow AFC West team this week, as the Raiders and Chargers square off Thursday night and the Chiefs battle Tim Tebow and the Broncos on Sunday. Here's a quick look at each game.
Raiders @ Chargers: With Oakland coming off a crushing defeat at the hands of the Broncos last Sunday, the Chargers look to take advantage of the Raiders' shortcomings on defense and the absence of Darren McFadden. Oakland has not been the same team without McFadden and they have lately been susceptible to lapses in coverage and giving up long runs. On the plus side, Carson Palmer has looked very good and has turned an already immensely talented receiver group into a true threat.
On San Diego's side of the ball, they need Philip Rivers to cut down on his mistakes. He has put up good numbers this year despite not playing particularly well. Ryan Mathews is healthy and expected to play, but it remains to be seen how the workload will be split between he and Mike Tolbert. Vincent Jackson is playing at a very high level right now and racking up touchdowns. I think this may be a shootout, but I'm picking the Chargers by nine points.
Broncos @ Chiefs: This is the week we may see what Tim Tebow is really made of. He struggled against a stout defense vs. Detroit, and he shined against a mediocre defense vs. Oakland. The Chiefs have been solid defensively of late until last week when they were embarrassed by the Dolphins. Can Tim Tebow learn from Matt Moore's success and pick apart the Chiefs as he did? He may be able to, but the game will be in the hands of the Bronco defense. They were able to intercept Carson Palmer three times last week and will have to perform at a similar level against Matt Cassel for the Broncos to overcome.
The Chiefs appear to be a superior team to the Broncos, but Oakland was too and we all saw how that turned out. The Chiefs had an embarrassing loss at home last week and will look to bounce back. However, I'm not certain it will be so easy against a team like the Broncos who run a somewhat unconventional offense. I think Tebow will shine this week. Broncos by three.
The AFC West may be the most confusing division in football right now. At the top of the division is a three-way tie between the San Diego Chargers, Kansas City Chiefs and Oakland Raiders (all boasting 4-4 records halfway through the season) while the Tim Tebow-led Denver Broncos are just one game back (3-5).
At this point, it's anybody's guess as to who wins the division by year's end. According to a recent ESPN poll that polled roughly 10,000 people on Wednesday, however, readers believe that the Raiders have the best shot to emerge victorious with 34% of the vote. The Chargers rank second with 25%, followed closely by the Broncos with 24%. The Chiefs find themselves last with 17%.
All four teams have issues to address before they can make a serious run at the division, and the Raiders find their biggest concerns on offense. Quarterback Carson Palmer has only one start to his name this year and needs to continue developing in Oakland over the next few weeks. Running back Darren McFadden has missed games due to a foot injury and is expected to miss this week's match-up against the San Diego Chargers.
The AFC West race should clear up in the coming weeks as one of the four teams start separating itself from the rest of the pack. If Palmer can become comfortable in Oakland's system and McFadden can get back on the field healthy, the Raiders have as good a shot as any of the other teams to make a run at the division title.
The Oakland Raiders know that they won't have Darren McFadden at their disposal on Thursday night. But they have even more significant losses in the defensive backfield, which could make all the difference against the potent San Diego Chargers offense.
Cornerback Lito Sheppard is going to start alongside Stanford Routt, reports Vittorio Tafur of the San Francisco Chronicle. Sheppard was signed last week by the Raiders, but has been bouncing around the league lately and just hasn't returned to the Pro Bowl form he flashed early in his career. However, the Raiders have precious little cornerback depth, as both Chris Johnson and DeMarcus Van Dyke have been ruled out for Thursday's game.
This mean it's going to be Sheppard's job to contain one side of the field against the Chargers pass attack, and Phillip Rivers will likely be picking on him early and often. Keep that in mind if you have the Raiders defense this week on your fantasy team.
Here's a list of Raiders and Chargers injuries.
Oakland Raiders Injury Report
OUT: QB Jason Campbell (collarbone), CB Chris Johnson (groin, hamstring), RB Darren McFadden (foot), CB DeMarcus Van Dyke (hamstring)
QUESTIONABLE: T Khalif Barnes (shoulder), CB Chimdi Chekwa (hamstring), S Michael Huff (ankle), K Sebastian Janikowski (left hamstring), LB Rolando McClain (ankle), S Michael Mitchell (ankle), S Chinedum Ndukwe (knee), C Samson Satele (knee), DT Richard Seymour (ankle)
PROBABLE: RB Rock Cartwright (calf), S Matt Giordano (neck), QB Carson Palmer (quadricep), RB Marcel Reece (shoulder)
San Diego Chargers Injury Report
Well if there was any question as to whether of not Oakland Raiders running back Darren McFadden would be suiting up against the San Diego Chargers this Thursday, it has been answered by Raiders insider Steve Corkran via Twitter:
This will mark the second straight game that McFadden has missed due to his ankle injury, third if you count the five minutes he played against the Kansas City Chiefs. DMC has been spending most of the week in a protective boot and didn't participate at all in any practices the last three weeks including the bye, though hopefully is getting better as the Raiders sorely need him back.
Look for Michael Bush to get the start once again for the Silver and Black, with rookie Taiwan Jones serving as backup/change of pace back. They're going to need to give all they've got against a hungry San Diego squad in front of an always raucous Qualcomm Stadium crowd this Thursday night.
For more on the Raiders, head over to Silver and Black Pride.
On Thursday night the Oakland Raiders will take on the San Diego Chargers, for the third straight game missing their star running back, Darren McFadden. He is not healing properly and is likely out for a while. Michael Bush is a capable backup running back, but lacks McFadden's elite speed and elusiveness. What this means for the Raiders is that Carson Palmer is going to have to become the be all, end all of the offense.
Palmer showed flashes of what he can do against the Broncos, throwing for well over 300 yards, but he again threw three interceptions. INTs were not a problem when Jason Campbell was throwing twenty times a game due to McFadden's success, but with Palmer needing to throw twice that many passes he will need to cut down on mistakes.
The primary recipients of Palmer's throws so far have been Jacoby Ford and Denarius Moore. Darrius Heyward-Bey has not been a primary target thus far, but with his elite speed and talent I suspect that can change at any time. With Palmer at the helm, Ford turns into one of the more reliable WRs in the AFC and an excellent starter in any fantasy league.
As for the Chargers, Philip Rivers has been erratic at best but he still puts up huge numbers because the Chargers pass constantly. Antonio Gates is an excellent tight end but at this point their passing game begins and ends with Vincent Jackson. He caught three touchdowns against the Packers, and has the size and speed to make all the catches. He has terrific hands and is a perfect target for Rivers. There isn't a corner in the league outside of Nnamdi Asomugha who can cover him one on one. I expect these two to hook up early and often against the Raiders, and it remains to be seen whether the Raiders can score enough to keep up.
The Oakland Raiders and San Diego Chargers released their Tuesday injury reports and not much has changed for the Riaders. Carson Palmer moved off the limited participation and into full participation, which is a nice upgrade to have. Unfortunately Darren McFadden did not practice and is looking more and more likely to sit for another week. His sprained foot has not still not sufficiently healed, which means another week of Michael Bush at starting running back. Bush is an excellent option, but McFadden brings another level with his performance.
Sebastian Janikowski did not practice on Tuesday and it remains to be seen how effective he will be on Thursday. Much like last Saturday, Seabass will likely check out his hamstring on Wednesday and decide if he can handle kicking duties on Thursday. If he cannot, the team likely has Dave Rayner available on speed dial.
The Raiders have numerous players not practicing this week, but it is highly likely that many are getting some added rest due to the short week. For example, both Khalif Barnes and Samson Satele missed practice on Tuesday, but both are expected to play. The same would likely hold true for defensive leader Richard Seymour.
TUESDAY PRACTICE PARTICIPATION REPORT
Did Not Participate In Practice: T Khalif Barnes (shoulder), QB Jason Campbell (collarbone), S Michael Huff (ankle), K Sebastian Janikowski (left hamstring), CB Chris Johnson (groin, hamstring), RB Darren McFadden(foot), C Samson Satele (knee), DT Richard Seymour (ankle), CB DeMarcus Van Dyke (hamstring), S Chinedum Ndukwe
The Oakland Raiders travel down to face the San Diego Chargers in the first Thursday Night Football contest of the 2011 NFL season. It is the first of two divisional matchups for the AFC West, which is looking to get some clarity at the top of the standings. The Kansas City Chiefs host the Denver Broncos, in a game that could leave us with two teams tied for first or three teams tied for second.
The Oakland Raiders 2011 season has gone from extremely promising to potentially disappointing in a matter of three weeks, but the Raiders are still in the thick of the playoff chase. If the Raiders can get their offense back on track, they have a chance at the division or a possible wild card berth. Week ten features a host of key battles as the AFC West and AFC wildcard picture continues to shake itself out:
Oakland Raiders at San Diego Chargers: While I would like to see the Raiders spring the road upset, I just don't see it happening. A short week for a Raiders team that is struggling from the top down is not a good thing. Michael Bush can provide a sound rushing game, but I just don't know if the Raiders can get enough from the passing game to get the victory. PICK: Chargers
Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs: It is extremely tempting to go with the Fightin' Tim Tebows, particularly following the Chiefs' loss to the Dolphins. However, I think the Chiefs rebound and climb back into a tie for first place. They've got some more of the Tebow read-option tape and can game-plan accordingly. PICK: Chiefs
New England Patriots at New York Jets: The Patriots have a fairly easy second half schedule, but it doesn't start until week 11. The Patriots defense is abysmal and won't do much for them if they make the playoffs and we'll get to see why when Mark Sanchez has a monster performance and gets people to think he's better than he actually is. PICK: Jets
Buffalo Bills at Dallas Cowboys: The Cowboys are a team with a bunch of question marks and the 5-3 Buffalo Bills are trying to prove they are for real. The Bills lost a tough one at home to the Jets and have people questioning where they really stand. I think the slide continues against the Cowboys. PICK: Cowboys
Tennessee Titans at Carolina Panthers: The Titans had a strong start to the season but they are sliding back to reality and it will continue against Cam Newton and the Panthers. I think Cam blows up against the Titans. PICK: Panthers
Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals: The Bengals are sitting in first place in the AFC North, a half game ahead of the Pittsburgh Steelers and few people believe it will hold up. The Steelers are coming off a tough last second home loss to the Baltimore Ravens and it has me wondering how legit they are. The Steelers are favored by three on the road. I don't know if they cover, but I do think they squeak out a win. PICK: Steelers
Run-DMC is going to be shut down for another week.
Darren McFadden of the Oakland Raiders appears to have been ruled out for Thursday night's game against the San Diego Chargers. His sprained foot kept him out of practice on Monday, and with a short week coming up, it makes sense that McFadden would be put out of play on a short week. Vittorio Tafur of the San Francisco Chronicle has the report.
Darren McFadden will miss a second straight game Thursday because of his sprained foot. According to team sources, Michael Bush will start against the Chargers, after he ran for 96 yards on 16 carries in Sunday’s 38-24 loss to the Broncos.
With McFadden out, that'll mean Michael Bush is going to be the starting tailback on Thursday. Bush played okay on Sunday against the Broncos, but wasn't able to handle a full workload and forced the Raiders to go to the air to try and get things going in the second half. Oakland's offense wasn't as consistent as they would have liked it to be though, and Denver eventually came back and sealed the win.
They'll need consistency in the running attack if they expect to beat the high-octane Chargers this week.
The Oakland Raiders travel to face the San Diego Chargers in the first Thursday Night Football game of the 2011 NFL season. The Raiders and Chargers are tied with the Kansas City Chiefs at 4-4 atop the AFC West. The Raiders are a touchdown underdog and will likely be playing without Darren McFadden in a game that could prove crucial to their playoff hopes.
The return of Thursday Night Football means the return of Brad Nessler and Mike Mayock to the NFL broadcast booth. Nessler has focused his career on college football, but he has done a variety of NFL games for ESPN and ABC over the years. Nessler replaces Bob Papa in the broadcast booth. Mayock primarily handles NFL Network draft coverage, but his knowledge of football is extensive enough that he provides excellent color commentary.
This game marks the Raiders' second appearance in a prime time game. They have no more games scheduled for prime time, but depending on how the AFC West plays out their Week 16 contest against the Kansas City Chiefs could get moved to Sunday Night Football. That is not an option in Week 17 as their is no Sunday Night Football or Monday Night Football.
The Oakland Raiders and San Diego Chargers kick off Thursday Night Football this week at Qualcomm Stadium. The big question for the Raiders entering the game will be the availability of running back Darren McFadden. According to Monday's injury report, McFadden may be watching from the sidelines come Thursday.
Ten Raiders, including McFadden, did not practice on Monday: tackle Khalif Barnes (shoulder), quarterback Jason Campbell (collarbone), cornerback Chimdi Chekwa (hamstring), safety Michael Huff (ankle), kicker Sebastian Janikowski (hamstring), cornerback Chris Johnson (groin, hamstring), McFadden (foot), center Samson Stele (knee), defensive tackle Richard Seymour (ankle), cornerback DeMarcus Van Dyke (hamstring).
Recovering players on this list have only three more days until they play the Chargers, making the return of McFadden and others unlikely. Though Oakland is on a two-game losing streak, the Raiders will likely sit McFadden this week so as to prevent further damage. Running back Michael Bush filed in admirably last week against the Denver Broncos as the starter, posting 96 rushing yards on 19 carries in addition to his 33 receiving yards and one touchdown.
Five Raiders were limited participants on Monday: running back Rock Cartwright (calf), linebacker Rolando McClain (ankle), safety Michael Mitchell (ankle), quarterback Carson Palmer (quadricep) and running back Marcel Reese (shoulder).
Though Palmer was limited, he should make his second consecutive start as a Raider opposite of Phllip Rivers on Thursday. Palmer will attempt to win his first victory as a Raider.
The Chargers had five players miss Monday's practice: defensive end Luis Castillo (tibia), guard Kris Dielman (concussion), wide receiver Malcolm Floyd (hip), linebacker Shaun Phillips (foot) and linebacker Takeo Spikes (biceps).
Mathews missed last week's game against the Green Bay Packers. His status for Thursday remains unknown at this point, but the Chargers could very well adopt the same approach that the Raiders are exercising with McFadden and have Mathews sit in order to avoid further injury.
Both squads are 4-4 this year and can gain ground in the tight AFC West race with a win. With or without their starting running backs, expect both squads to play hard as they attempt to climb above .500.
The Oakland Raiders could have used the gamechanging ability of Darren McFadden on Sunday against the Denver Broncos. Although Carson Palmer, Michael Bush and Jacoby Ford put up their best front and tried to keep the offense moving in the right direction, the Raiders ultimately missed McFadden's ability to churn out big yards. Oakland sputtered on one too many drives and ended up handing the ball back to Tim Tebow, Willis McGahee and Denver, who torched Oakland on the ground and worked down the clock in a big-time road win.
Can McFadden be healthy in time for this Thursday's game? It's not looking good. Vittorio Tafur of the San Francisco Chronicle has this report.
If McFadden is out, can the Raiders hope to keep pace with the high-powered San Diego Chargers offense? Phillip Rivers just torched the Super Bowl champs, so it's not likely that Oakland will be able to keep him down for too long. Bush and Taiwan Jones need to be ready to shoulder a heavy load on short notice, because both will be desperately needed to punch some holes and not force Palmer to throw all game long. Oakland needs balance, and that's something they'll probably be lack without their star tailback in.
To discuss McFadden and the Raiders even further, go to Silver and Black Pride.
The Oakland Raiders are coming off a loss to the Denver Broncos in which they were favored to win by a touchdown, and now with a short week coming up, the tables have been turned. The opening line (courtesy of OddsShark) has the Raiders as the underdogs by a touchdown to the San Diego Chargers on Thursday Night Football.
Oakland was favored to beat the Broncos, but squandered a second-half lead, being outscored in the second half, including two touchdowns in the fourth quarter. The Chargers are also coming off a loss, but it was a loss in which they mostly out-played the defending champion Green Bay Packers. San Diego came within two pick sixes of beating the undefeated Packers, so they're definitely going to be favored over the Raiders.
But it's Rivers' inconsistency with protecting the ball that makes the line a touchdown and not more than that, because the Raiders have shown they can create turnovers when they need to. Then again, this might have been even closer, perhaps by a field goal as opposed to a touchdown, if Oakland hadn't squandered their lead over the Broncos.
The Oakland Raiders are coming off a demoralizing loss to the Broncos, but have a short week to consider it, as they've got the San Diego Chargers on Thursday Night Football. For more on the game and the team in general, go to Silver And Black Pride, SB Nation's Oakland Raiders blog.
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