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Chiefs face questions on Kareem Hunt after win over Raiders

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Oakland, CA – The Kansas City Chiefs faced some harsh scrutiny after one of their top  Running Back, Kareem Hunt was put on the NFL’s exemption list and then placed on waivers due to an online video of him assaulting a young woman that was released by TMZ just 48 hours ago.  
After severing ties with Hunt, the Chiefs got back to football but the Raiders tried to take advantage of any opportunities to best their rival’s.  After four turnovers along with missed opportunities, Oakland made it interesting with a comeback in the fourth quarter despite the 40-33 loss to the Chiefs. 
A competitive game between two rival teams was overshadowed by Hunts actions to warrant his dismissal by the team.  Hunt in his second year was apart of the draft class that included teammate Patrick Mahomes.  While Mahomes continues to join an elite class of quarterbacks he addressed Hunt in his press conference.

Mahomes finished 23 for 38 for 295 yards and threw four touchdowns that included a late touchdown pass to Chris Conley with less than 2 minutes on the clock.  The Raiders had just cut the lead down to three but didn’t have enough time to stage a another comeback.  After kicking a field goal Oakland tried an onside-kick but failed to get the ball.  Kansas City let the clock run out for the win.
“I feel like with this team, we’ve had open line of communication,” said Mahomes.  “I think the league does a good job of giving us resources.  If you utilize those things, you can keep yourself in the right position to play football.”
Ware replaced Hunt as the starter and got a touchdown of his own in the third.  Ware scored on a direct snap on 4th and goal for the 1-yard touchdown giving the Chiefs a 26-10 lead.  Ware who was very close with Hunt had a few words on his friends release.

Derek Carr led his offense in the fourth with two touchdowns with 6:46 left in the game.  An unbelievable effort by the Raiders offense.  Carr connected with Lee Smith for a 1-yard touchdown and then found Marcell Ateman for a 9 yard touchdown.  Carr finished 29 for 38 for 285 yards and threw three touchdowns.  The biggest problem for Oakland was the turnovers.
The Raiders committed four fumbles and three of those fumbles led to 13 points for the Chiefs.  Oakland has now recorded their tenth loss of the season.  Doug Martin who rushed for a 1-yard touchdown in the second was one of four who lost the ball today.
“It’s disappointing,” Martin said.  “I don’t think it should have been that close.  We should have been on top. The turnovers really, really hurt us.  Who knows?  The better team who didn’t make the most turnovers won.”
The Raiders had a chance to change the momentum of the game after Kansas City fumbled on the game’s first play from scrimmage.  Travis Kelce fumbled the ball and the Raiders recovered.  But the offense failed on 4th down due to a holding call on Rodney Hudson that forced them to punt giving the ball back to the Chiefs who scored on the next drive.
Kelce then recored two touchdowns and finished the game with 12 catches for 168 yards.  While the Raiders had a great effort today, they must erase this loss and get ready for the Pittsburg Steelers next week.  
“We’re playing good football,” said Jon Gruden.  “We played good last week in Baltimore. They’re a good team. I don’t know how they did today, but we were close with them going into the fourth quarter.  I’m really proud of our coaches, proud of our players.  We had a chance.  We got beat by a hell of a football team.”

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Raiders lose final home game to Jaguars 20-16

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Oakland – A touchdown in the final minutes silenced the sold out crowd.  They deserved so much more but instead sat in disbelief.  Their team was not only playing their final home game of the season but this was the last game to be played at the Oakland Coliseum.  The Raiders will be moving into their new home in Sin City next season.

“I’d like to say we could’ve sent the Raiders fans off with a lot better finish that that,” said head coach Jon Gruden.  “I think most importantly, before we talk about the game, I’d like to thank the fans.  I’d like to thank the city of Oakland for supporting the Raiders and being faithful in all kinds of seasons.  I’ll miss them.  I love them and I’m sorry about the outcome today, but I think that’s something that needs to be said. An exclamation point.  I really apologize that we weren’t able to deliver a victory.  I‘m proud of our team’s hustle and effort.  We had numerous opportunities to make a play there in the ballgame, but we didn’t do it.”

Photo by Eric Taylor

Oakland’s 20-16 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars was the nail in the coffin to a season that seemed promising.  A win today would’ve kept the Raiders in the hunt for the playoffs with two teams (Tennessee Titans and Cleveland Browns) losing today. The defeat was felt across the entire stadium as well as with the players who wanted to leave behind so much more.  

“I feel really bad about not ending this game and homestead on a note that the fans wanted,” TE Darren Waller said.  “It’s more about the city and every person that’s involved.  You want to win and go out on a high note, but at the same time, I still love the team.  The execution has to be better, but it’s more so about all the people involved and wanting to go out on a high note. That’s what I feel bad about.”

Oakland maintained the lead almost the entire game, until the final two minutes.  Daniel Carlson’s attempt at two field goals were no good.  The first attempt for 50 yards, he missed and there was a flag on the play.  The next attempt for 45 yards went far left.  The Jaguars took over with 1:44 left on the clock.  Eight plays and 65 yards ended with Gardner Minshew II connecting with Chris Conley for a 40-yard touchdown to secure their win.

You could hear a pin drop throughout the stadium.  The Raiders had a great start, on opening drive Derek Carr went deep with a 40-yard touchdown pass to Tyrell Williams for a quick 7-0 lead.  But unable to score in the end zone, Carlson kicked three field goals for 33, 34 and 27 yards in the first half for a 16-3 lead. It looked like Oakland had everything under control and the fans were happy.

Photo by Eric Taylor

But by the second half, the Raiders offense didn’t score and struggled moving the chains.  This was the second straight game were Oakland was scoreless in the second half.   Yet, they’ve scored on the games opening drive in four contests this season.  There were plenty of opportunities for the Raiders offense but they seem to fall short.

“Really three possessions is all we had,” said Gruden.  “I think we had one possession start at our 2-yard line.  We did a good job with it.  Moved it out of our territory, and I think on a fourth down and maybe a yard, a little over a yard I chose to punt. 

I think we had 20 first downs and they had two at the time.  I don’t regret it.  I do now, but I didn’t regret it at the time.  We had another possession that we just came up short on.  The end of the ball game I thought we managed pretty good.  Unfortunately, we weren’t able to put points on the board.  We mishandled a pass and Jacksonville went the distance to beat us.”

On the final two plays Carr went deep with “Hail Mary” passes that ended up out of bounds.  A poor ending for any game.  The crowd began to boo loudly.  A different reaction from last year’s finale when the city of Oakland thought the Raiders played their final game at the Coliseum.  Fans were dancing on the dugouts, in their seats and chanting “RAIDERS”!  Today’s game ended with fans throwing objects on the field and booing as players ran off the field.  A terrible ending to a decade of football played in Oakland.  Former players also came out for the final game, including Charles Woodson who lit the Al Davis memorial torch before the game.  

Photo by Eric Taylor

“Its disappointing not to come out on top,” Woodson said.  “It was a game we felt like we had under wraps but it didn’t come out the way we wanted it to.  But the message is these are young guys, this is a young team, they’ll fight and keep getting better and I’m looking forward to seeing their progress throughout the years.

It was special, to be the guy Mark Davis wanted to light the torch for Al Davis, and we know what Davis meant to the NFL and the Oakland Raiders.  he is the Oakland Raiders!  It was really special to be that guy.”

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Raiders playoffs hopes fall short after loss to Titans

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Oakland, CA – The Raiders playoffs hopes diminished after losing their third straight game.  Today’s game was a must win to stay in the AFC hunt and now it will take almost a miracle for things to turnaround in their favor.  The loss today was pretty ugly, Oakland’s offense collapsed in the second half after a great start. 

The Tennessee Titans 42-21 victory over the Raiders moved them into a tie in the AFC South with Houston.  After an early turnover, the Titans matched Derek Car and his offense the entire first half.  On Tennessee’s opening drive, Ryan Tannehill’s intended pass for Corey Davis was tipped by Dion Jordan and intercepted by Maurice Hurst who rushed it back for 55 yards.

“It was a good play by Dion,” said Hurst.  “He hit the ball up, it got up in the air and I was able to make a play on it and get some yardage.  I was hoping (for a touchdown).  I looked to my right, didn’t see anybody, but I guess the quarterback came back and made a good play.”

Tannehill was credited for the tackle on Hurst to prevent the touchdown.  But that play setup DeAndre Washington’s 14-yard touchdown making it a 7-0 game.  The Titans clapped back with Derrick Henry’s 12-yard touchdown to tie the game 7-7.  And Tannehill wasn’t done yet, he went deep to start the second quarter with a 91-yard touchdown pass to A.J. Brown to extend their lead 14-7.  That was Tannehill’s longest completion in his eight year career.

“It was a lack of execution, said LB Tahir Whitehead.  “That’s what’s been hurting us the last few weeks.  Tackling, getting the ball on the ground, yards after the carry, yards after the catch.  We just didn’t do a good enough job of getting them on the ground today and staying on top of the routes.  It’s been the same thing that’s hurt as pretty much all year.  We didn’t go a good enough job of tightening up on that stuff today.”

Carr went deep to Rico Gafford for a 49-yard touchdown tying the game again 14-14.  Then Tannehill connected with Brown again for a 16-yard touchdown to extend their lead 21-14.  With 45 seconds left in the quarter, Carr found Darren Waller for a 25 yard pass, that setup Carr’s 1-yard touchdown pass to Foster Moreau tying the game 21-21.  Tennessee’s final attempt to score failed when kicker Ryan Succop missed a 42-yard field goal to end the half.

By the third, Oakland’s offense was completely shutdown.  Henry rushed up the middle for a 10-yard touchdown breaking the tie, making it a  28-21 game.  Tannehill went deep to Jonnu Smith in the fourth for a 17-yard touchdown extending their lead 35-21.  When the Raiders found good field position Waller fumbled the ball after getting hit Tye Smith, Jayon Brown recovered the ball and rushed for a 46-yard touchdown making it a 42-21 game.  

“You’re not going to beat anybody like that,” head coach Jon Gruden said.  “We gave up a 90-yard touchdown pass.  We missed the tackles.  They missed a field goal at the end of the first half.  They would’ve had three more points.  We’ll take a good look at it.  A lot of it had to do with their ability to make plays.  They made some unbelievable catches and throws and we didn’t today.”

“We did put ourselves in a position to make a run,” said Carr.  “We didn’t do it.  It is just as simple as that right.”

The Titans finished the day with almost 600 yards and 26 first downs.  It was the Raiders third lose to a team with 21 or more points.  They drop to 1-2 against AFC South opponents this season and 42-38 (.525) all-time against the division.  The final home game will be next Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars.  Oakland will finish the season on the road against the Los Angeles Chargers and Denver Broncos.

Notes:  Raiders Again Embrace My Cause My Cleats Campaign

For the fourth straight year, the Oakland Raiders are joining with players across the NFL to wear custom cleats reflecting their commitment to charitable causes during this Sunday’s contest vs. the Tennessee Titans at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum.

The NFL recently announced that NFL players have the chance to share the causes that are important to them during all Week 14 games, as part of the NFL’s My Cause My Cleats campaign. The initiative is a culmination of collaborative work between the NFL and players across the league.

According to the NFL, “More than 900 players are planning to showcase their causes on-field during My Cause My Cleats games this season. Selected causes represent hundreds of different charitable organizations with varying focuses. Out of the total, 24 percent of participating players will represent causes related to health and wellness, 18 percent place emphasis on cancer awareness and prevention, while 17 percent of player causes were youth-focused.”

The Raiders again this year are taking it one step further and involving the entire organization. In support of the My Cause My Cleats campaign, Raiders executives and front office staff, Raiderettes, gameday and stadium staff will recognize the important charitable causes by wearing personalized footwear during the game on Sunday.

Quarterback Derek Carr, whose son, Dallas, was born with intestinal malrotation, will wear cleats that raise awareness to support Valley Children’s Healthcare and hospitals that offer help to families with children in need. Running back DeAndre’ Washington will wear cleats to address gun violence and to honor his late sister.

For the third consecutive year, the NFL celebrated Unboxing Day, a league-wide unveiling of NFL players’ Week 14 customized cleats, on Giving Tuesday, December 3. Beginning on Unboxing Day and continuing through Week 14 games, players are sharing images of their cleats and the stories behind them on social media, using the hashtag #MyCauseMyCleats.

The NFL recently announced that players can also raise funds for their cause of choice through auctioning their cleats via NFL Auction; 100% of funds raised will be donated to charities selected by players– all designated charities must have 501c3 status. Fans may bid on game-issued player cleats at NFL.com/Auction and help players raise funds for their causes. In addition, fans can visit www.nfl.com/mycausemycleats to learn more about each player’s cause.

RAIDERS SPECIFIC CAUSES

NO PLAYER CAUSE
24 Johnathan Abram Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome
54 Preston Brown Youth Development
77 Trent Brown Arteriovenous Malformation (AVM)
8 Daniel Carlson Pediatric Cancer
4 Derek Carr Children’s Health
85 Derek Carrier Global Aid Relief
6 A.J. Cole Mission Work
98 Maxx Crosby Pediatric Cancer
18 Keelan Doss Lung Cancer
7 Mike Glennon Prostate Cancer
90 Johnathan Hankins Military Appreciation
25 Erik Harris Youth Development
61 Rodney Hudson Autism
73 Mo Hurst Pediatric Brain Tumors
45 Alec Ingold Faith in Athletics
66 Gabe Jackson Autism
28 Josh Jacobs Homelessness
68 Andre James Testicular Cancer
42 Karl Joseph Breast Cancer
97 Josh Mauro Military Appreciation
74 Kolton Miller Children’s Craniofacial
27 Trayvon Mullen Jr. Help youth reach their full potential
22 Keisean Nixon Youth Education
75 Brandon Parker Fibromyalgia
13 Hunter Renfrow Critical Education and Health Issue
30 Jalen Richard Heart Disease
35 Curtis Riley Economically challenged students
72 David Sharpe Breast Cancer
47 Trent Sieg ALS
83 Darren Waller Fight addiction and fuel recovery
33 DeAndre’ Washington Gun Violence Prevention
59 Tahir Whitehead Childhood Education and Athletics
58 Kyle Wilber Suicide Prevention
16 Tyrell Williams Anti-Bullying
20 Daryl Worley Epilepsy Awareness

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Rookies lift Raiders in win over Bengals

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Oakland – The Raiders continue their winning ways at the helm of a few rookies.  Maxx Crosby recorded a career-high four sacks on Ryan Finely and Travyon Mullen recorded his first NFL interception.  Another great effort from the rookies in handing the Cincinnati Bengals their tenth loss of the season.

The Raiders 17-10 victory over the Bengals put them in first (6-4) place tied with the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC West.  With 1:54 left on the clock in the fourth quarter, Cincinnati got the ball.  Finley went deep with a pass intended for Alex Erikson but Mullen was there with great coverage and intercepted the ball to secure Oakland’s third consecutive win.

“I’ll be honest, we had a good first round draft choice that nobody has really even met yet,” said Jon Gruden.  “I think he could be a difference maker.  The poise and the production and the professionalism that they play with and come to work with is something everybody would be impressed with.”

It was an interesting start for the Raiders, unable to score on Opening drive and in the first quarter, the Bengals took advantage off an Oakland turnover early.  On Cincinnati’s first series Finely was sacked by Crosby who forced him to fumble.  Crosby recovered, putting the Raiders in good field position but Josh Jacobs fumbled and Nick Vigil recovered for the Bengals. 

That setup Finely’s 3-yard touchdown pass to Joe Mixon in the end zone making it a 7-0 game to end the first.  Oakland tied the game and took the lead in the second quarter when Derek Carr found an open Foster Moreau for a 2-yard touchdown tying the game 7-7.  Then Carr scrambled and leaped into the end zone for a 3-yard touchdown to end the half 14-7. 

Crosby recorded his first career multi-sack game with 4.0 sacks, tied for the second-most sacks in NFL history by a rookie in a single game and the most by a rookie in franchise history.  Crosby is one of six players in the NFL with at least three sacks (6.5), three forced fumbles (three) and three passes defense (three) in 2019.  

He ranks first in franchise history with 6.5 sacks through a players’s first 10 career games.  Josh Jacobs continues to lead all rushers in the first half with 74 yards on 12 carries.  He recorded his fourth career 100-yard rushing game, surpassing Marcus Allen’s franchise record for the most 100-yard contests by a rookie. 

“I had a good game, but it was a collective unit coming together,” Crosby said.  “We rushed well all day.  I feel like we started it with [Los Angeles], and we just kept getting better.”

We just bought in,” said Jacobs on the rookie class.  “Like I said when we came in, the rookie class came in together and we came to an agreement that we were going to do things the right way and build this program.  We wanted to try and shape it back to the Raider culture and back to what we feel like dominating football is.  Just to see how we are all coming in and trying to keep that promise and execute every week has been huge.”

By the third quarter, the Raiders defense continued to dominate Cincinnati and shut down their offense.  Finley struggled and they scored once when Randy Bullock kicked a 40-yard field goal to cut the lead down to four.  It seemed like a hopeful situation but the Bengals never scored again.  

To make matters worse, Cincinnati lost their top receiver Auden Tate.  Tate made a 20-yard catch on third down, he was sprawled out on the field for a few seconds before team doctors ran out forcing him to stay still.  Tate suffered a neck injury and was carted off the field and taken to a nearby hospital.  

Oakland didn’t do too much on offense in the second half.  Daniel Carlson kicked a 20-yard field goal making it a 17-10 game and that was all the Raiders needed for the win.  Carr passed for 292 yards and a touchdown, Jacobs had his fourth 100-yard game in the last six weeks.  

The wins snaps Oakland’s three-game losing streak to the Bengals dating back to 2009. The Raiders continue to dominate as the home team throughout the series, improving to 13-2 in both Oakland and Los Angeles.  They also lead the NFL with 10 sacks among rookie defenders and are the only team to have at least two rookies with at least three sacks apiece.

“I’m really proud of our team,” Gruden said.  “I compliment the Bengals.  They fought their heart out.  It was great for all of football.  If you’re a young football player, there are no standings.  There are no stats. There are no records.  The ball is snapped, you play hard and anything can happen and that was one of those games today.  Maxx Crosby [had] four sacks.  D.J. Swearinger was here for two days, and he leads our team in tackles.  Trayvon Mullen, another rookie, had a key interception.”

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