Veldheer wins "Jared Bowl" over Allen


Veldheer wins "Jared Bowl" over Allen

MINNEAPOLIS -- Carson Palmer sought out his young left tackle in the Raiders' victorious postgame locker room.He went to Jared Veldheer and shook his head."Do you realize," Palmer wondered, "what you did out there today?"A few minutes later, in recounting the story for reporters, Palmer smiled and shrugged.Said Palmer: "I don't think it's hit him yet."

Fittingly enough, neither was Palmer hit by Minnesota defensive end Jared Allen.Veldheer not only pitched a shutout at the NFL's leading sack master, but also ended Allen's streak of games with at least one sack at 11 in the Raiders' 27-21 defeat of the Vikings."He didn't have any help, either," Palmer said.In this edition of Jared on Jared Violence, Veldheer was the clear victor. Truly, the only negative was a holding call he got early in the second quarter.Even if Allen was slow to give the second-year pro from Division-II Hillsdale College much credit."Yeah, the one I got held on, if (Veldheer) wouldn't have tackled me I would have made it (and sacked Palmer)," said Allen, who has 13 12 sacks on the season. "They did a good job. Carson Palmer is a good quarterback. He does a good job of sitting in that pocket and staying behind those big offensive linemen, five or six yards deep."It's a Catch-22 -- if you go up top, he steps underneath. If you go under, he steps up top."The 6-feet 6, 270-pound Allen was limited to just two tackles, both assists, and not a single quarterback hit, even as the Vikings had four sacks as a team."Allen's the best pass rusher in the league," said Raiders rookie lineman Stefen Wisniewski. "What Jared did, doesn't surprise us."The 6-feet-8, 315-pound Veldheer, though, was taking his personal victory in stride.After all, he's only given up two sacks in 10 games, after allowing 7 12 as a rookie, and he's only been called for six penalties all year, compared to 15 last season.Veldheer gave credit to the entire offensive line, particularly left guard Wisniewski and, when Wisniewski moved to center in the second half in the wake of Samson Satele's concussion, Stephon Heyer."They were sliding to their left," Veldheer said. "That way I can work my set like I can."It's all part of the mindset here. Every person offers something and plays a role in that. Plus, it wasn't like we were living in 3rd-and-long all day, either. So to say I did (all) that, it doesn't give much justice to what happened out there."Still, Palmer, who had a 107.9 passer rating, was impressed. And thankful that his blind side stayed clean and, yes, untouched by Allen."I know where No. 69 is at all times," Palmer said, "but I didn't notice him much at all today."

Del Rio pleased with Raiders' mature attitude towards 5-2 start

Del Rio pleased with Raiders' mature attitude towards 5-2 start

SARASOTA, Fla. – The Raiders were certainly happy they beat the Jacksonville Jaguars into submission. They jumped out to a strong halftime lead, played smart complimentary football and, at 33-16, ended up with a large margin of victory.

All, however, was not right with the world.

Derek Carr lamented settling for too many field goals. Latavius Murray wanted more efficiency from his runs. Defensive players saw progress in several deficient areas, still seeking greater cohesion and consistency.

[BAIR: Top 5 takeaways from Raiders' 33-16 win over Jaguars]

Sunday’s big victory over lowly Jacksonville was not a sign they've arrived. It was proof these Raiders remain a work in progress.

Records normally suffer with much to correct. These Raiders are 5-2, and feel better football’s ahead.

“That’s what is great about this team is that we haven’t played our best yet,” Murray said. “That’s a good feeling moving forward, knowing there are things you can get better at and you’re still 5-2.”

Winning while fixing things; that’s a coach’s dream. It’s also easier when players know it, that egos don’t expand and confidence doesn’t become arrogance.

“I like that part. I like the fact that we recognize it,” Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio said. “I’m certainly going to point it out. There are things that we have to do better. I think it’s healthy.

“You should enjoy the wins. You should feel good about the success. Take pride in it. We worked hard for it, but to have a healthy respect for what’s coming and the need to play better and the need to continue to grow as a football team as we go throughout the year. That’s a mature way to look at it, and I’m very pleased about that with a younger team.”

The Raiders are a confident bunch and have survived several games on guts, guile and turnovers -- a recipe for success with inconsistent production.

The Raiders defense believes it made strides in the Jaguars win, though there’s significant work remaining to be a decent defense. With the offense rolling, that’s all the Raiders need to be a top team. Defenders aren’t striving for decent. They want more, and believe that realizing potential could put them in position for a playoff push.

“This team has so much talent, with good coaches and good players,” cornerback David Amerson said. “The sky’s the limit. Once we all start clicking, we can go out there and beat teams 30-0. Once we get to that point, that’s when we can look towards the playoffs and things like that. We have just as much talent as any team in the league.”

Broncos buck Osweiler with rude welcome back in Denver

Broncos buck Osweiler with rude welcome back in Denver


DENVER -- The Denver Broncos ruined Brock Osweiler's homecoming Monday night, incessantly hurrying, hitting and harassing their former teammate in a 27-9 win over his Houston Texans.

Coach Gary Kubiak returned to the sideline following his second health scare in three years, and he had to like what he saw as the Broncos (5-2) snapped a two-game skid in sending the overwhelmed Texans home at 4-3.

C.J. Anderson and Devontae Booker energized Denver's sputtering ground game, both running for a touchdown. Anderson gained 107 yards on 16 carries and Booker had 83 on 17 hand-offs.

But the big story was Trevor Siemian, Peyton Manning's surprise successor, outplaying Osweiler, who was groomed to be Denver's next QB but instead bolted to Houston in free agency.

Osweiler left for bigger numbers in Texas - both in his bank account and his stat sheet - but he spent this night quickly getting rid of the ball, constantly overthrowing DeAndre Hopkins in double coverage and otherwise running for his life from Von Miller & Co.

Although he avoided sacks, Osweiler was just 22 for 41 for 131 yards with no TDs and no interceptions. Siemian was 14 of 25 for 157 yards, a TD and no interceptions.

Osweiler's fumble at his own 25-yard line was scooped up by Chris Harris Jr. on the first play of the fourth quarter. That led to Brandon McManus' chip-shot field goal that made it 24-9 and snuffed out Houston's hopes of a comeback.

Anderson scored on a 7-yard run and Siemian hit Demaryius Thomas from 4 yards out as the Broncos took a 14-6 halftime lead.

Osweiler took a couple of big shots from safeties Darian Stewart and T.J. Ward in the first quarter but the Texans led 6-0 on a pair of 43-yard field goals by Nick Novak.

Novak's 29-yarder made it 14-9, but Stewart punched the ball from running back Alfred Blue's grasp and linebacker Todd Davis plucked it out of the air. That led to Booker's 1-yard TD run.

Kubiak missed Denver's last game when doctors ordered him to take a week off after he was transported via ambulance to the hospital following Denver's last home game, on Oct. 9, with a complex migraine condition, which can mimic a stroke. Kubiak had a mini-stroke in 2013 while coaching the Texans.

Like Osweiler, this was his first game against his former team.

STREAK BREAKER: Denver's dazzling defense is a real dawdler , having allowed scores on five of six opening drives coming into the game. That didn't stop them from deferring when they won the toss. The Texans went three and out on their first two possessions, the first time all season the Broncos hadn't allowed points on their first two defensive series.

OH NO, OKUNG: Broncos left tackle Russell Okung cleared concussion protocol to make the start. But he was rusty a week after his pair of penalties resulted in a nullified touchdown and a safety in a 21-13 loss at San Diego. This time, he was whistled for a pair of holds that negated a nifty first-down run by Booker and a 28-yard grab by Thomas.

INJURIES: Texans right tackle Derek Newton was carted off the field with what looked like serious injuries to both knees in the first half. He crumpled to the grass while blocking Miller. Newton was dropping back to pass block midway through the first quarter when his left knee buckled first and then his right knee gave way. For Denver, linebackers Brandon Marshall (leg) and Dekoda Watson (head) left in the second half.

RING OF FAME: The Broncos honored former safety John Lynch, linebacker Simon Fletcher and kicker Jason Elam by inducting them into their Ring of Fame during halftime ceremonies. Lynch, who played in Denver from 2004-07 after 11 seasons in Tampa Bay, will be inducted into the Buccaneers' Ring of Honor next month.