Raiders notes: QB Campbell finds new targets

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Raiders notes: QB Campbell finds new targets

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Depth-chart wise, Raiders quarterback Jason Campbell was without his top three wide receivers Sunday in Buffalo, what with Darrius Heyward-Bey (knee) Jacoby Ford (hamstring) and Louis Murphy (groin) all injured and inactive.But Campbell found a couple of new and reliable targets in the most bittersweet of manners in the Raiders' 38-35 loss to the Bills in rookie Denarius Moore and veteran Derek Hagan.

The ultra-acrobatic Moore, the fifth-round draft choice out of Tennessee who did not have a catch and was targeted only once last week in Denver, caught five passes for 146 yards, including the 50-yard touchdown with 3:41 to play that gave Oakland a 35-31 lead. Hagan had five receptions for 61 yards."It was an O.K. day for me," Moore said. "I came in, made plays when they called upon me. But overall, the thing is, we took an 'L' today."Hagan made his Raiders debut after being a somewhat surprising addition to the inactive list last week in Denver."It felt good to get out there and run around, make some plays and pick up where Jason and I left off in the preseason," Hagan said. "But we lost. If we won, I would be feeling a whole lot better. But this loss hurts."Campbell benefited from the two wideouts as well, throwing for 323 yards (his second-highest total as a Raider, behind the 324 yards he threw for at Jacksonville last season) on 23 of 33 passing with two touchdowns, an interception (on the Hail Mary to end the game) and a 108.5 passer rating.According to Silver and Black Illustrated, Campbell has a passer rating of 129.9 over his last seven games.Miller's struggles continue: Nick Miller had another tough day returning kicks. After struggling in the opener at Denver on punts, Miller replaced Jacoby Ford on kickoff duty. Miller averaged just 15.3 yards on four returns and slipped and fell inside the 5-yard line before scrambling to get to the 12-yard line on his final return.Miller was replaced as the returner by Rock Cartwright for the final kickoff, with 14 seconds to play but downed the ball in the end zone.Offensive explosion: The Bills set a franchise record with 34 first downs, and combined with the Raiders' 26 first downs, the 60 first downs were a Buffalo single-game combined mark.Also, per STATS LLC, the Bills became the first team to score touchdowns on all five of its second-half possessions since 1993.And the 35 points the Raiders allowed in the second half are a franchise record.Plus, the Raiders' 35 points scored is their most in a loss since they fell to Seattle, 43-37, in the 1988 season finale.Penalties surface again: The Raiders committed 15 penalties for 131 yards in their season opening win at Denver on Monday. And in building a 21-3 halftime lead Sunday in Buffalo, they were flagged just twice, for 10 yards. But they finished with eight for 85 costly yards.Passing of the torch?: For the first time in franchise history, Bills owner Ralph Wilson, 92, missed a Buffalo home opener, recovering from hips surgery. And fellow AFL pioneer Al Davis, 82, missed a game for what is believed to be only the third time since he's been with the team, an association that began in 1963.
HueJax interacts with fans: Raiders coach Hue Jackson got into a shouting match with some Bills fans as he walked off the field following the miscommunication that the replay official was again reviewing the final play of the game -- Da'Norris Searcy's interception on the Hail Mary, rather than a touchdown reception by Denarius Moore."That's just part of it," Jackson said. "I get a little emotional too, sometimes. But everything is good."No word, though, on if the fans feel the same.

Inactives: Raiders LG Kelechi Osemele a late scratch due to illness

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USATSI

Inactives: Raiders LG Kelechi Osemele a late scratch due to illness

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Raiders left guard Kelechi Osemele was questionable to play Thursday night’s game at Kansas City with a knee sprain.

His knee is doing just fine, thank you.

Even still, Osemele wasn’t ready to play. He was a late scratch due to an illness, which sapped him to the point he couldn’t go.

Osemele was listed about the Raiders inactives, announced shortly before kickoff.

That creates a huge void in the offensive line – the Raiders run best between Osemele and left tackle Donald Penn – that will be filled by rookie Vadal Alexander.

Alexander is an aggressive player and a good run blocker, but he isn’t on Osemele’s level. Not having the high-priced player could hinder the Raiders offensive line, which must remain strong for the attack to operate well. The Raiders have allowed a league-low 13 sacks this season. 

Defensive tackle Darius Latham was questionable with an ankle injury, but wasn’t quite ready to play this game. This marks his second contest missed with injury.

Strong safety Karl Joseph was ruled out earlier in the week with a toe injury. Cornerback Antonio Hamilton, Shilique Calhoun, Connor Cook and Stacy McGee are also inactive.

Raiders 'don't mind tough things,' ready for adverse conditions vs Chiefs

Raiders 'don't mind tough things,' ready for adverse conditions vs Chiefs

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Arrowhead Stadium has literally become a frozen tundra. Heaters under the playing surface malfunctioned on Wednesday night, allowing a layer of ice to form under the tarp in below freezing temperatures.

That information comes courtesy of an NFL Network reporter on site Thursday morning in advance of an evening showdown between the rival Raiders and Chiefs.

The field is expected to thaw by kickoff, but any remaining ice patch would add to the adversity facing the Silver and Black in a pivotal AFC West showdown.

They are the only NFL team to travel more than one time zone to play on “Thursday Night Football,” adding another wrinkle to a game that deserves to be played on regular rest. Instead teams will square off in a made-for-TV event without much time to prepare

Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio could’ve griped about an adverse lot, but he refused to line up reasons why his team might not play well.

“We’re going to be excited to play,” Del Rio said. “It’s a tough set of circumstances. We don’t mind tough things. We’re looking forward to the challenge.”

Beating the Chiefs is a daunting task. The Raiders weren’t up to it earlier this year, when Kansas City came to Oakland and made it their home. The Raiders must even the score or find themselves in a bind. Kansas City would own the divisional tiebreaker with three games remaining, and would be in great position to win the AFC West.

The Chiefs have been Raiders kryptonite in recent seasons. They have won six of seven matchups, a trend the Raiders hope to buck on Thursday night.

“Everyone mentions, ‘They’ve beaten you this many times,’ and these things and all of that,” Raiders quarterback Derek Carr said. “When I’m preparing for these guys, it never goes through my head. That stuff never has a determining factor on anything I write down, anything that goes on in my brain or anything like that. I just prepare for them just like I do any other game. I prepare for them the same way that I do for everybody. I’m going to go out there, and I’m looking forward to competing against them though this time.”

Carr won’t compete from under center. The Raiders will stay in shotgun and pistol formations for a second straight week to protect a right pinky finger dislocated in two places against the Carolina Panthers. That shouldn’t limit them much, though it makes life harder on the run game.

The Raiders performed pretty well on the ground against Buffalo, totaling 139 yards on 32 carries. Latavius Murray led that effort, with 82 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries.

Murray missed the last game against Kansas City with turf toe, but will be ready to take a heavy load this time around. He has been taking more carries over the last month, with a previously equal running back rotation now shading his way. Murray should be a play a big role in this contest, which should come down to the fourth quarter.

“The Chiefs are a rival that we’ve struggled with,” Murray said. “We know what’s at stake for this season. They stand in the way of our goal of winning the division. We need to take care of them.”

The Raiders must take care of Kansas City on a short week, in loud, hostile environment. Oh, and in the bitter cold. It’s expected to be 20 degrees at kickoff, with wind coursing through Arrowhead Stadium.

The Raiders don’t mind that either. They’re 6-0 in games away from Oakland Coliseum, and are confident they can overcome adversity this particular game presents.

“You just have to get your mind right and go play,” Del Rio said. “We’ll be ready to go. We have a good group of guys. Feel like we’re weather proof. We’ll go play.”