Second Chiefs-Raiders contest boasts new look


Second Chiefs-Raiders contest boasts new look

ALAMEDA -- Two months may not seem a long time in the real world, but in the NFL it can be an eternity.Back on Oct. 23, the Raiders still had Darren McFadden as their lead running back. Jacoby Ford was rounding back into form as their electric kick returner and playmaking receiver and Carson Palmer was still picking the cobwebs out of his ears.Kansas City, meanwhile, had Matt Cassel under center and Todd Haley as its coach.With so much turnover and turmoil as a backdrop, it will be as though the Raiders and Chiefs will be meeting for the first time this season on Saturday at Arrowhead Stadium. Kyle Orton is the Chiefs quarterback now and Romeo Crennel is their interim coach.
"It's two totally different teams because it's later on in the season and these teams have already seen each other once," said Raiders fullback Marcel Reece, who did not play in that first game between the two teams either as he was still recuperating from a sprained ankle suffered in Week 3."I think teams are going to have to come out with their adjustments and go after's going to be a different game, but not because I didn't play (the first time) or Carson wasn't familiar with us, or anything like that. It's just going to be two different games by two different teams."The Raiders, of course, would like a different result. The Chiefs beat the Raiders that day, 28-0, at the Coliseum and the week leading up to the game was one of self-imposed and ultimately futile cloak-and-dagger gamesmanship.With Jason Campbell suffering a broken collarbone the previous week and the Raiders trading for Palmer during the week, coach Hue Jackson played coy as to who would start at quarterback -- Palmer or Kyle Boller.Turns out Boller got the start, but was not told of it until the day before. But after a rough outing, Palmer got in on the action in the third quarter and threw three interceptions.Now, Palmer is acclimated and coming off his most efficient game as a Raider in completing 80 percent of his passes (32 of 40) for 367 yards and a touchdown without an interception in the 28-27 loss to Detroit."We look at the first game because the system is still the system," Crennel said. "Carson now is more established in that system, he understands the players that he's working with better, he understands his weapons better and he's using those guys to his advantage. So, it will be a different type game than it was the first time we played them."So what, if anything, does Palmer glean from the first encounter with the Chiefs, when he was essentially thrown into the fire?"I'm not taking much from that game," he said. "They're a different team. We're a different offense now. Personnel-wise, I guess it helps a little bit, but they're playing a little bit differently now, and we're definitely playing a little bit differently. And it's in their environment."It's going to be a hostile environment. It's going to be wild. There's going to be a lot of energy from last weeks game, the new head coach thing. They're all fighting for him, and the fans, I'm sure, are fighting for him. It's going to be a much different game than the last time we played them."By the time Palmer entered that game, the Raiders trailed 21-0.And the nine-year pro has also been in situations where the "return" game is between two markedly different teams."A lot of times those divisions games, not every year, but there are a lot of coaching changes that shake things up," Palmer said. "Or you play a division team early in the year and you don't play them again (for a while), kind of like this situation. It's happened before."You watch the film and you kind of digest what they did to you last time. Then it's kind of a guessing game. Are they going to do the same thing or are they going to completely change it up? Were preparing, really, for everything. Don't know what we're going to see, but we're going to have to adjust on the fly and make plays when it comes down to it."

Notes: 'Carr to Crabtree was special' in Raiders win

Notes: 'Carr to Crabtree was special' in Raiders win

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Raiders receiver Michael Crabtree was a non-factor in last week’s loss to Kansas City, an aberration of the highest order this season.

It proved to be just a one-game lull.

Crabtree was an offensive catalyst yet again Sunday in a 33-16 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars. He had eight receptions for 96 yards and a touchdown, including a long bomb that changed the game.

Quarterback Derek Carr went big on 3rd-and-5 late in the second quarter, sending a perfectly-arched ball down the right sideline that Crabtree caught over his shoulder at full gallop for a 56-yard gain that set up the Raiders’ second touchdown in five minutes.

Crabtree got it, again on third down, using a quick slant just beyond the goal line.

He refused to speak with the media again, but those around him were again wowed by his impact on the game, especially when Jaguars corner shadowed and largely shut Amari Cooper down.

“Michael Crabtree made some incredible plays today for us,” Del Rio said. “…Throughout the game he came up big for us and I thought he play really, really well for us. Obviously our quarterback is a good player. He did a good job for us hooking up with different receivers, but today Carr to Crabtree was special.”

King shows speed: Raiders punter Marquette King doesn’t have to run much. Players at his position usually don’t, except as a last resort when chasing a return.

King ran forward this time, prompted by a uncharacteristically poor Jon Condo snap. He didn’t have room to punt so he took off running, converting a 4th-and-24 with a 27-yard run down the sideline. It was a move that showed great athleticism, one he

“I just picked the ball up and started running,” King said. “After I passed the orange sticks, I got a little light-headed and realized ‘I’m really running the ball right now.’ It’s been since high school that I ran from the punting formation. I came in as a wide receiver for Fort Valley State and was really good at punting so they stuck with me.”

King ran out without getting hit – a plus in the coaches minds – and extended a drive that ended with a game-icing touchdown from Latavius Murray.

Too many field goals: Sebastian Janikowski had four field goals on Sunday night, which isn’t always a positive sign for the Raiders offense. They let too many touchdown-scoring chances escape, which bothered offensive players despite the fact they scored 33 points.

“When we’re in the red zone, we want points,” Murray said. “That’s most important, but we need touchdowns over field goals. We have a lot of work to do and we’ll keep striving to get seven points over three.”

Winning turnover battle: The Raiders forced three turnovers against Jacksonville and didn’t give up any.

David Amerson had an interception. So did Reggie Nelson. Andre Holmes recovered a punt muffed by Rashad Greene. That’s a recipe for success, something that’s become common for this Raiders team.

They’ve forced three turnovers without coughing it up three times this season. They’ve ended up with a plus turnover ratio six times in seven games.

Notes: Raiders LB Bruce Irvin recorded his fourth forced fumble of the season against Jacksonville, which are the most by a Raiders since Nick Roach equaled that total in 2013. …DE Khalil Mack had his second sack in as many games, and now leads the team with three. … Nelson nabbed his second interception this year and has 32 since 2007, a total that leads all active safeties. …RB Latavius Murray has five touchdowns in seven games, the highest total in that span since 2005. … The Raiders are 4-0 on the road, a mark that hasn’t been matched since 2000.

Del Rio gets a game ball in triumphant return to Jacksonville

Del Rio gets a game ball in triumphant return to Jacksonville

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Jack Del Rio spent nearly nine full seasons as Jacksonville Jaguars head coach. He had three winning seasons and two playoff appearances in that time, before he was fired during the 2011 season.

He hadn’t been back to Jacksonville in a professional capacity since, but returned Sunday with a new team ready to face his old one.

The Raiders head coach publicly downplayed the impact of this return, and did so again Saturday in a speech to the team. He wanted players to locked on the game, not storylines surrounding the head coach.

“Jack said to focus on being a great teammate and having each other’s back,” Raiders cornerback David Amerson said. “With him coaching here before, we definitely wanted to have his back. We wanted to get him this ‘W,’ it was big for him and our team.”

As much as Del Rio wanted to turn attention away from his return, coming back to Jacksonville was a big deal.

His family united at EverBank Field on Sunday, a place where they had so many memories as the children grew up. He has friends in town and within the organization. He brought the Jaguars back to relevance, and it has fallen on hard times since he left.

The Jaguars are 18-57 since Del Rio left, mark set after the Raiders’ 33-16 victory on Sunday afternoon.

His players understood the moment and honored it once victory was secure. Quarterback Derek Carr gave Del Rio a game ball after his triumphant return to old stomping grounds.

Jacksonville’s a place Del Rio will remember always fondly.

“(There were) a lot of great memories here,” Del Rio said. “It was a great place to spend nine years raising the family and being blessed with the opportunity to lead the Jaguar franchise. I was very appreciative of that time. I met a lot of good folks here; a lot of good memories, a lot of good friends. It is good to come back here and get a good effort in this stadium.”

That’s as reflective as Del Rio would openly get during this process, which comes as no shock to the players who work with him every day.

“Coach is cool, calm and conservative,” edge rusher Khalil Mack said. “The motto is the same each week, even here (in Jacksonville). We want to come out and dominate. That was the whole focus for him. He didn’t worry about coming back. Everybody knew he had history here, but we were concentrated only on getting that win.”