Janikowski named AFC Special Teams Player of Week


Janikowski named AFC Special Teams Player of Week

ALAMEDA -- Five field goals might not get you much in life, other than a 15-0 victory over Kansas City, but for Sebastian Janikowski, it netted the Raiders placekicker an AFC Special Teams Player the of the Week award for the seventh time in his 13-year career, the team announced Wednesday.

Janikowski, who was also the AFC's special teams player of the month for October, actually outscored eight other teams on Sunday -- the Chiefs, Philadelphia, New York Giants, Chicago, Jacksonville, Tampa Bay, Detroit and San Diego -- while converting five of his six field-goal attempts, from 20, 50, 57, 30 and 41 yards, and missing from 51 yards.

He is 29 for 32 on the season, with his three misses coming from 61, 64 and 51 yards, and with two field goals from at least 50 yards this weekend, Janikowski moved into a tie with John Kasay for second place in NFL history for most career field goals of 50-plus yards, with 42. Detroit's Jason Hanson, who is in his 21st NFL season, leads with 52 such field goals.

Also, Janikowski has converted 51 in a row from 40 yards or less, last missing in that window on Sept. 26, 2010, at Arizona. And on kicks of 40-yards or more, he has made 19 of his last 24 attempts, missing from 51, 59, 61, 64 and 65 yards.

Janikowski's 57-yarder at the end of the first half Sunday was his season long, his longest since he tied the NFL record of 63 yards at Denver in the 2011 season opener. That was also the last time Janikowski was the AFC special teams player of the week.

Plus, Janikowski has made 125 straight point-after attempts, last missing on Dec. 14, 2008, against New England.

Donald Penn: Raiders players trust McKenzie will add right pieces

Donald Penn: Raiders players trust McKenzie will add right pieces

The Raiders were pretty darn good last season. A 12-4 record proved that point. There was plenty of talent on a team with a penchant for high-wire acts in victory that masked the fact there were holes on the roster.

They need to be filled for the Raiders to improve in 2017, and new players will be imported through free agency and the draft.

Left tackle Donald Penn is excited to see who gets added, but said there’s no doubt talent is coming to Oakland. He speaks for Raiders players, who have faith that general manager Reggie McKenzie will make the right moves.

“Things that Reggie has done in past drafts have been great, and we’re looking forward to seeing what he brings back towards us,” Penn said recently during an in-studio appearance on NFL Network. “We can’t wait to get back out there healthy. We’re ready to hit the football world with a storm.”

While new guys are coming, a few might head out. The Raiders have several unrestricted free agents. Penn wants to keep his guys around – he mentioned running back Latavius Murray by name -- though he has some ideas for McKenzie’s checklist.

The Raiders don’t need much with most key players under contract – the Raiders should be less active in free agency over past offseasons – but a few key components could put this team over the top.

“If we stick to Reggie’s plan, we’ll be great,” Penn said. “I know he’s going to have a great draft, add a couple little pieces here and there – maybe somebody in the secondary to help out a little bit.

"On offense, you could always use a weapon. Maybe we get another receiver to take (pressure off Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper), but we have a good nucleus right now.”

Raiders LT Donald Penn: QB Derek Carr 'almost 100 percent'

Raiders LT Donald Penn: QB Derek Carr 'almost 100 percent'

Derek Carr is on the mend. The Raiders franchise quarterback had surgery to repair his fibula shortly after he broke it in a Week 16 victory over Indianapolis, and is recovering well during the offseason.

Carr insisted on intense rehab this winter in an attempt – however unlikely it may have been – to return should the Raiders have played in the Super Bowl. It slowed to a normal pace after the Raiders' loss at Houston in the postseason’s opening round, but those in contact with him say he’s making strides.

Left tackle Donald Penn was recently in contact with Carr, and provided an update on Monday during an in-studio appearance on NFL Network.

“I texted Derek (a few) days ago checking in,” Penn said, “and he said he’s almost 100 percent.”

Surgically-repaired broken filbulas take significant time to heal, and the Raiders plan to be conservative with their MVP candidate during the offseason. Derek Carr’s brother and NFL Network analyst David Carr, who was on set with Penn on Monday, said Derek could be back for offseason work.

“He’s doing good,” David Carr said. “He’s walking around already, stretching it out. You can’t do a lot for the bone, right? But he’s going to be back. He’s going to get a whole full offseason in. That’s going to be the best part.”