Marcus Allen to light Al Davis flame Sunday


Marcus Allen to light Al Davis flame Sunday

"Marcus Allen, come back home." - Ice Cube, on 'Come and Get It'

ALAMEDA -- The long simmering feud between Marcus Allen and the Raiders, specifically, Al Davis, has come to an end.Allen, at the behest of Mark Davis, will light the team's ceremonial flame in honor of the late Raiders owner before Oakland's game against Pittsburgh on Sunday, has learned.

Allen, the Raiders' top draft pick in 1982 as the reigning Heisman Trophy winner out of USC, was Super Bowl XVIII MVP and the NFL MVP in 1985. But shortly thereafter he was on the receiving end of the elder Davis' cool rage."What do you think about a guy that has attempted to ruin your career?" Allen said in 1992, in an interview aired on Monday Night Football.

"He told me he was going to get me. We've had conversations. I don't know for what reason, but he told me he was going to get me."

Some theories had Davis angry that Allen wanted more carries and more money. Others had Davis jealous that Allen had become a bigger star than him in the team's then-home of Los Angeles. The most scandalous, though, was the one whispered the loudest, and given legs in Murray Olderman's new book, "Just Win, Baby, The Al Davis Story," that Davis disapproved of Allen's relationship with O.J. Simpson and his inner circle.

This much is true, though. Year after year, Davis brought in different running backs -- from Bo Jackson to Greg Bell to Nick Bell to Roger Craig to Eric Dickerson -- and Allen's time on the field grew shorter while his time on the bench grew longer.

After 11 star-crossed years with the Raiders, Allen went to Kansas City and enjoyed a resurgence playing five more seasons for the Chiefs. He won Comeback Player of the Year in 1993 and entered the Hall of Fame in 2003.

Ice Cube, in his 2010 documentary "Straight Outta L.A.," asked Al Davis if Marcus Allen was a true Raider."At one time he was," Davis said. "Yeah, he was.So what happened with Allen, then? "I'm not going to tell you," Davis told Ice Cube. "It's a deeper story than you even dream, that I was well aware of, and I just got a certain approach to life."

The younger Davis would not wade into it now, though. After all, there's a homecoming for which to prepare, even if Allen never played a home game in Oakland.

Raiders 'continue to fight,' score 29 unanswered points in latest comeback

Raiders 'continue to fight,' score 29 unanswered points in latest comeback

ALAMEDA – The Buffalo Bills were in firm control of the Raiders on Sunday afternoon. That was the case well into the third quarter.

Then this game turned upside down.

The Raiders scored 29 unanswered points in just over 15 minutes. They erased a two-score Buffalo lead in the second half by doing everything they couldn’t do at the start.

The 34-28 victory was the Raiders’ sixth fourth-quarter comeback of the season, but this one was special. They went from 0 to 60 in a snap.

The Raiders were down 24-9 before that big surge, but the mood was hardly somber.

“We don’t dwell too much on the score,” receiver Michael Crabtree said. “We don’t say, ‘we’re down 15, and we need this.’ We don’t panic. We don’t sweat. We just go out and play ball.”

The Raiders played some of their season’s best ball during that stretch.

They consistently halted drives on defense, including three straight three-and-outs to start the surge. They created turnovers in key moments. Special teams tightened up. And, of course, the offense got rolling after playing with pace.

“It felt like everything was smooth and working out,” left guard Kelechi Osemele said. “The confidence keeps building on this team.”

During that blitzkrieg, the Raiders out-gained Buffalo 212-8. It was all out dominance, the Raiders have been looking to play for four full quarters. That’s been largely elusive, but they’ve learned to clamp down and execute when it matters most.

Several Raiders were asked what was more impressive: The 29, or the 0.

Picking wasn’t a common response. Most focused on why this team is able to rally, and why they did so against Buffalo.

“We just continue to fight, continue to believe,” edge rusher Bruce Irvin said. “29 unanswered is hard to do in this league. Buffalo has an explosive offense. Hat’s off to us and to Derek Carr for continuing to believe in us, continuing to battle and put points on the board.”

Mack makes more clutch plays vs Bills: 'Those are moments you live for'

Mack makes more clutch plays vs Bills: 'Those are moments you live for'

OAKLAND – Khalil Mack had a strip sack and recovered his own forced fumble that virtually secured a Raiders victory.

The star edge rusher did that last week against Carolina, and again on Sunday to beat Buffalo. The box score displays them the same, but this clincher was different. Mack slow-played Jordan Mills, jogging toward him before a strong blow knocked the right tackle back.

He cut inside the space he created, chased Tyrod Taylor down and swung down on the quarterback’s throwing hand. The ball came free and lay on the ground before him, waiting for him to pick up.

Then the Oakland Coliseum showed its appreciation with this: “M-V-P! M-V-P! M-V-P!”

Mack heard it, and wasn’t sure it was for him.

“Was Steph Curry in the crowd? I didn’t know he showed up today,” Mack said with a smile after Sunday's 38-24 victory over Buffalo. “It is what it is. I’m just ballin’ and trying to make plays.”

Mack is making tons of them. In addition to his strip sack and fumble recovery, he tipped a pass Nate Allen intercepted with ease. He finished with seven tackles, a sack, a tackle for loss, a quarterback hit, a pass defensed, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.

Mack now has 58 tackles, 10 sacks, four forced fumbles and an interception on the season.

Many of those plays came in the clutch. Mack isn’t just a stat collector. He shows up in important moments, when his team needs them.

“Those are times you live for, making plays in those moments,” Mack said. “You want to step up and stamp the win. That’s what it’s all about for me.”

That makes him extremely valuable to the Raiders. Even so, the MVP is typically reserved for offensive players. Defensive Player of the Year? Mack has to be a frontrunner in that race.

“Khalil Mack is really making his mark on these ball games,” head coach Jack Del Rio said. “He just keeps showing up huge, and that’s what great players do. Khalil’s a great player."