Raiders' penalties not a flagging issue

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Raiders' penalties not a flagging issue

ALAMEDA -- With 15 penalties for 130 yards Sunday against Denver, it was the fourth time in eight games this season the Raiders were flagged at least 11 times, and the third time they hit triple-digits in penalty yardage.Rookie coach Hue Jackson's immediate response?"We're not a very intelligent football team right now," he said following the Raiders' 38-24 loss to the Broncos. "We're not playing very intelligently when it comes to penalties."
It wasn't really Bill Callahan's "dumbest team in America" rant from 2003, but it was a close cousin. And for good reason.No doubt the Raiders are leading the NFL in both penalties (84, or 14 more than Seattle) and penalty yardage (730, or 157 yards more than Tampa Bay). Oakland mind you, has only played eight games, while some have played nine times.On pace for 168 penalties for 1,460 yards, the Raiders would blow past the single-season record set by Kansas City in 1998. Those Chiefs were flagged 158 times for 1,304 yards.The Raiders' single-season marks? They had 156 penalties in both 1994 and 1996 and 1,276 penalty yards last season.In fact, if the Raiders hold on to lead the league in penalties, it will mark an NFL-record 17th time they would have done so, breaking a tie of 16 times with Chicago.Something to shoot for, right?"Some of the penalties, to me, is uncalled for," Jackson said. "And I'm going to continue to address it. I don't want anyone to think that we haven't. We have officials. We talk about it. We emphasize it, and we're not going to stop. I told you guys, it might be Game 16 when it's fixed. I don't know. But I know one thing, I'm not going to let it slide. We're going to continue to address it."No, you can't fine a player for a penalty. You can't take their money for penalties. I've had all kinds of people tell me other solutions. That's not how it works in the National Football League. I wish it did. I wish it did. But that's not the way it works. You can't take a player's, you can threaten a player's job and all that, I mean, but hey, even the backups are making penalties, so it's a problem and we'll continue to address it and keep working on it."
At least they're consistent. In the opener against the Broncos, the Raiders also had 15 penalties, but for 131 yards. In fact, they have 29 penalties for 250 yards in their last two games, gut-wrenching losses to the Chiefs and Broncos.A look at the Raiders' penalties this season:Opponent Penalties Penalty yards
Denver 15 131
Buffalo 8 85
Jets 7 55
Houston 11 89
New England 9 85
Cleveland 5 35
Kansas City 14 120Denver 15 130

Broncos' defense proves to be too much for Bortles, Jaguars

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Broncos' defense proves to be too much for Bortles, Jaguars

BOX SCORE

JACKSONVILLE -- Bradley Roby returned an interception 51 yards for a touchdown, helping the Denver Broncos beat the mistake-prone Jacksonville Jaguars 20-10 on Sunday and gain ground in the AFC playoff picture.

Roby picked off Blake Bortles' wobbler across the middle in the third quarter and went untouched the other way. Star linebacker Von Miller hit Bortles as he released the ball.

It was the 11th pick-6 of Bortles' three-year career and his third in the last four games. Houston and Detroit also returned interceptions for touchdowns in games the Jaguars lost by less than seven points.

The latest one resulted in a seventh consecutive loss for Jacksonville (2-10) and secured another miserable milestone for the small-market franchise. The Jaguars became the fifth team in NFL history to post double-digit losses in six consecutive seasons, joining Tampa Bay (1983-94), Detroit (2001-06), Oakland (2003-09) and Cleveland (2008-13).

Jacksonville had a chance to tie in the final minutes, but Bortles fumbled trying to make a play in the pocket.

The Broncos (8-4) rebounded from an overtime loss against Kansas City, and with Miami's loss at Baltimore, moved into position to get one of the conference's wild-card spots.

They did it without quarterback Trevor Siemian , who missed the game with a sprained left foot. Rookie Paxton Lynch made his second career start and first on the road. Denver didn't ask him to do too much. He didn't need to, either, not against the self-destructing Jaguars.

The Broncos scored all 20 points with help from Jacksonville.

Aside from the pick-6, the Jaguars committed two 15-yard penalties that led to a touchdown and a field goal. Linebacker Telvin Smith was flagged for roughing the passes on third-and-5 in the second quarter. Lynch's pass was incomplete, but Smith grazed his facemask. Devontae Booker scored six plays later, breaking Smith's tackle near the line of scrimmage and carrying safety Johnathan Cyprien across the goal line.

Reserve tight end Alex Ellis was flagged for unnecessary roughness on a punt return in the final minute of the half. His 15-yarder set up Brandon McManus' 32-yard field goal and put the Broncos ahead 10-3.

And Denver's final field goal in the waning seconds came after Bortles' fumble.

But Roby's interception was the dagger. It was huge for Roby, who gave up a late touchdown to New Orleans two weeks ago and surrendered an 11-yard catch on fourth-and-10 last week against the Chiefs.

SPECIAL TEAMS WOES

The Jaguars continued their streak of special teams gaffes. Ellis' unnecessary roughness foul gave Jacksonville a major meltdown on special teams for the seventh consecutive week. The streak includes five muffed punts - including three turnovers - a punt return for a touchdown and two long punt returns that set up scores.

GOOD COMPANY

Harris' interception was his second of the year, giving him five consecutive seasons with multiple picks. He's the fifth cornerback in the NFL to accomplish the feat, joining teammate Aqib Talib, Arizona's Patrick Peterson, New York Giants' Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Seattle's Richard Sherman.

HELPING HANDS

Jaguars receiver Allen Robinson continues to help his opponents. Robinson dropped his sixth pass of the season and his third that resulted in an interception.

Robinson bobbled a deep pass from Bortles down the left sideline, and it landed Harris Jr.'s hands for Bortles' 14th interception of the season. Robinson, a Pro Bowler last season, also bobbled passes that ended up as picks against Chicago and Oakland earlier this season.

UP NEXT

Broncos: at Tennessee on Sunday.

Jaguars: Host Minnesota on Sunday.

Berry saves the day with conversion return, Chiefs move to 9-3

Berry saves the day with conversion return, Chiefs move to 9-3

BOX SCORE

ATLANTA — Eric Berry returned an interception for a touchdown, and then brought back another pick for a 2-point conversion that gave the Kansas City Chiefs an improbable 29-28 victory over the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday.

The Falcons, rallying from a 27-16 deficit, went ahead 28-27 on Matt Ryan's 5-yard touchdown pass to Aldrick Robinson with 4:32 remaining.

Atlanta decided to go for 2, looking to stretch the margin to a field goal. But Berry stepped in front of Ryan's pass and ran 99 yards the other way to give the Chiefs (9-3) their winning margin. It came after Denver won a game in similar fashion last month, returning a blocked PAT for the winning points at New Orleans.

Berry had another huge play with less than a minute to go in the first half, picking off Ryan's pass over the middle and bringing it back 37 yards for a touchdown. After reaching the end zone, the suburban Atlanta native handed the ball to his mother sitting in the stands at the Georgia Dome.

Those weren't the only big plays for the Chiefs. On fourth-and-2 from their own 45, Kansas City faked a punt and snapped the ball directly to Albert Wilson , who played his college ball in the same stadium for Georgia State. Wilson burst up the middle for a 55-yard touchdown that extended Kansas City's lead in the third quarter.

Alex Smith completed 21 of 25 passes for 270 yards, including a 3-yard touchdown to Spencer Ware. Travis Kelce was Kansas City's top receiver, hauling in eight passes for 140 yards.

Ryan was 22 of 34 for 297 yards, but his two huge mistakes cost the Falcons (7-5). Julio Jones hauled in seven passes for 113 yards, while Devonta Freeman had a couple of 1-yard touchdown runs.

LONG KICK:
Forty-one-year-old Matt Bryant closed out the first half with the second-longest field goal of his career for the Falcons.

Barely across midfield, Bryant booted a 59-yarder that easily clear the crossbar, cutting Kansas City's lead to 20-16 at the break. The only longer kick for Bryant was a 62-yarder with Tampa Bay in 2006.

He also tied Atlanta's franchise record for longest field goal. Morten Andersen made a 59-yarder in 1995.

INJURY REPORT:
The Falcons lost left tackle Jake Matthews to a left knee injury in the first half.

Trainers put a sleeve over the knee, and Matthews tested it out on the sideline with some runs and cuts. But he headed to the locker room just before halftime and didn't return. Tom Compton finished out the game protecting Ryan's blind side.

Kansas City was again missing Jeremy Maclin, its leading receiver. He returned to practice Wednesday and it was thought he'd be able to play after sitting out three straight games with a groin injury. But he didn't dress against the Falcons.

UP NEXT:
Chiefs: Return home for a huge Thursday night game against AFC West rival Oakland, the first of three straight games at Arrowhead Stadium before the season finale at San Diego.

Falcons: Travel to Los Angeles next Sunday to take on the Rams.