Goethel: 'I wish it never happened'


Goethel: 'I wish it never happened'

OAKLAND -- Travis Goethel's nightmare of a game began when Jon Condo was knocked out of said game Monday night.

REWIND: Raiders' Bartell, Condo knocked out of game vs. Chargers
Goethel is a backup middle linebacker by trade; Condo a two-time Pro Bowl long snapper.So it only made sense that Goethel, who last long-snapped in high school and never on dirt replaced Condo in the Raiders' season opener on national television, right?Well"Trust me," Goethel said, "I wish it never happened."One of Goethel's long snaps to six-time All-Pro punter Shane Lechler bounced to him. Another was blocked, though it was not Goethel's fault, so to speak. And a third rolled to Lechler on the A's infield dirt like a 4-6-3 inning-ender.Actually, game-ender. And, truth be told, Goethel was in a rough spot. Teams, you see, do not carry backup long snappers on their 53-man roster. So rookie coach Dennis Allen essentially asked for volunteers when Condo was lost with what was described as a head injury."He asked if I knew how to long snap," Goethel said of Allen, "and I was the only one at camp that stood out. That's kind of how I got put in there."REWIND: Instant replay -- Chargers 22, Raiders 14
Said Allen: "He's worked on snapping the ball. Actually, he's done a nice job in practice. It's obviously a lot different when you get put in a game-like situation. He was put in a tough situation and it hurt us."The two flubbed snaps cost Lechler eight- and seven-yard losses. The blocked punt was recovered by San Diego deep in Oakland territory. The three plays resulted in nine points for San Diego. The Raiders lost by eight, 22-14. But it would be too simplistic to place the blame on Goethel.Or, as Lechler said in making like Dean Wormer when asked how many long snaps he takes from Goethel in a typical week, "Zero," as in Bluto's grade-point average in Animal House."My hats off to him just for doing it," Lechler said of Goethel. "That (stuff) aint easy. You know, he went out and did his best. Thats all you ask from a guy (who is) put in a situation like that."Two years ago, the satirical Web Site The Onion had prescient fun with Goethel when the Raiders selected him as a sixth-rounder out of Arizona State, saying he was drafted as a "realtor." But, The Onion said, it was "far better than being asked to switch to car dealer, casino greeter or long snapper."After Monday night, perhaps Caesars Palace is hiring? I joke, of course, and Goethel insisted his flubs were not mental.RELATED: Ratto -- Raiders get new coach, same game-day face
"It was just mechanics of snapping," he said. "If you don't snap that often, if you don't snap in a game since high school, it's a little different."Still, he had the backing of Lechler, who gave Goethel a pep talk."I said, 'Man, you got put in a tough situation,'" Lechler recalled. "'You got credit for having (guts) to step up and do it, you know? A lot of people would have walked away from that idea.'"I know he feels terrible. But he shouldnt."

Instant Analysis: Raiders overwhelmed, stunned by Washington in season's first loss


Instant Analysis: Raiders overwhelmed, stunned by Washington in season's first loss


LANDOVER, Md. – The first two Raiders games went according to plan. They established an early lead, played solid defense and cruised to victory. The offense proved a dynamic and defenders exceeded expectation.

That streak snapped on Sunday night, when nothing went right.

The Raiders fell off the rails early and never recovered, losing a 27-10 decision to Washington at FedEx Field.

They made an average Washington squad look like a juggernaut. A prolific Raiders offense wilted under Washington pressure. Their mighty offensive line had its worst day in a while and typically reliable quarterback Derek Carr was off target.

The Silver and Black had just 128 yards of total offense, and gave up explosive plays on defense. They were beat soundly on both lines, and were never able to dig out of a early rut.

The Raiders were uninspired in most instances, but Marquette King gave his team some life. He forced a muffed punt late in the third quarter that James Cower recovered. Carr found Jared Cook on a 21-yard touchdown that ended the shutout.

The defense didn’t allow a comeback to take shape, giving up a 74-yard reception to running back Chris Thompson – he had 188 yards of total offense – that set up a field goal that put the Raiders down three scores.

Cory James forced a fumble deep in Washington territory, but the Raiders only mustered a field goal

The Raiders laid an egg in the first half. They got manhandled on both sides of the ball, committed silly turnovers and gave Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins far too much time to work.

He picked the Raiders secondary apart on two touchdown drives that established a two-score halftime lead. Former 49ers tight end Vernon Davis, seeing more time with Jordan Reed hurt, had five catches for 58 yards and a touchdown.

The Raiders have long struggled covering tight ends, and made the veteran look like his old self, when he was dominant as a 49er.

The whole team seemed flat early in this game. Marshawn Lynch struggled to get the ground game going, Carr threw too many to the other team and the Raiders fell in an early hole.

Carr’s rough start: Derek Carr’s first pass was an interception. It wasn’t the only one. The typically reliable Raiders quarterback was out of sync to start this nationally televised contest, and the offense sputtered as a result. He was sacked on consecutive plays, as the offensive line struggled to maintain a pocket.

Washington scored after both Carr interceptions, and he finished the first half with just 32 passing yards.

Marquette strikes again: Raiders punter Marquette King puts some English on his punts. They’re tough to catch when he does that.

He forced a muffed punt for the second time in as many games, Sunday night, which helped the Raiders get on the scoreboard. James Cower recovered the muffed punt, and Carr found Jared Cook a few plays later to score the team’s first touchdown.

Majority of Raiders sit, link arms during anthem in response to Trump


Majority of Raiders sit, link arms during anthem in response to Trump

LANDOVER, Md. – Most Raiders took a seat during the national anthem, locked arm in arm across the bench. Others stood and linked arms, without a smile among them.

The Silver and Black sat in protest of comments made by president Donald Trump on Friday night in Huntsville, Ala., when he denounced the anthem movement popularized by former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

Quarterback Derek Carr was among the few Raiders not protesting the anthem. Owner Mark Davis stood for the anthem in a luxury box, with his hand over his heart.

Davis prefers his players stand for the national anthem, but told ESPN on Sunday that his stance has changed.

“I can no longer ask our team to not say something while they are in a Raider uniform,” Davis said. The only thing I can ask them to do is do it with class. Do it with pride. Not only do we have to tell people there is something wrong, we have to come up with answers. That’s the challenge in front of us as Americans and human beings.”

Running back Marshawn Lynch has sat during the national anthem all season, though he hasn’t addressed his decision publicly.

Kaepernick’s movement started early last season, when he was vocal about inequality for minorities in this country, especially in regard to police brutality.

The Raiders have generally avoided anthem protests outside of Lynch, though Derek Carr put an arm on Khalil Mack’s shoulder showed signs of unity during the preseason, but Trump’s comments changed the team’s attitude. He said anthem protesters should be fired, and also took some shots at NBA players, including Steph Curry.

The Raiders weren’t the only team protesting Trump’s comments on Sunday. Several teams didn’t come out for the national anthem, including both sides of the Tennessee-Seattle contest.