Raiders

McFadden, Raiders run past Broncos in opening win

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McFadden, Raiders run past Broncos in opening win

Sept. 12, 2011
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DENVER (AP) -- Eric Decker returned a punt 90 yards for a touchdown to help Denver get within 16-13 of Oakland through three quarters Monday night in a game that featured Sebastian Janikowski's NFL record-tying 63-yard field goal.Matt Prater hit a 30-yard field goal late in the third when a promising Broncos drive stalled out near the goal line.Just seconds before halftime, Janikowski kicked the ball low and watched it barely creep over the crossbar. Janikowski shares the record with Jason Elam and Tom Dempsey.His teammates ran onto the field to celebrate before heading into the locker room.It was one of three field goals Janikowski had in the second quarter, the other two being much shorter. Fullback Marcel Reece also hauled in a TD pass.The Broncos climbed back into the game early in the third quarter thanks to their special teams. Decker fielded Shane Lechler's 57-yard punt and was off to the races.Upon reaching the end zone, Decker headed for the fans and jumped into the stands, his rendition of the "Lambeau Leap."The Broncos later went on a 12-play drive that culminated with Prater's kick.It was a first half featuring big plays for the Raiders, who capitalized on a blocked punt and a Broncos fumble.Just before the end of the first quarter, Darryl Blackstock broke through the line and got a hand on Britton Colquitt's punt, setting Oakland up with excellent field position at the Denver 42.Jason Campbell found a wide open Reece for a 3-yard score.On Denver's next offensive play, Knowshon Moreno fumbled the ball away after a hit by Quentin Groves.As the Raiders were celebrating, the rain began to steadily fall. Oakland couldn't move the ball in the downpour and settled for a 37-yard field goal by Janikowski.Soon after that, the rain stopped.The Broncos were driving late in the second quarter but couldn't convert on a long third down. They elected to have Prater try a 56-yard field goal, which sailed wide right and gave the Raiders great field position.Campbell moved the Raiders down the field and Janikowski hit a 21-yarder with 1:27 remaining until halftime.With plenty of time left before intermission, Kyle Orton had the Broncos on the move but was picked off by Matt Giordano at the Oakland 24.A 15-yard facemask penalty on Broncos defensive tackle Kevin Vickerson put the ball near midfield and Campbell's throw to Reece moved the Raiders to the Denver 45 and put Janikowski within range of history.Dempsey set the record for New Orleans on Nov. 8, 1970, and Denver's Elam matched it on Oct. 25, 1998.Janikowski connected on a 61-yard field goal on Dec. 27, 2009.Oakland fumbled on its opening possession of the season when rookie linebacker Von Miller knocked the ball loose with his helmet after a catch by Jacoby Ford. Miller was the No. 2 overall pick by the Broncos.Fellow rookie Rahim Moore pounced on the loose ball. The Broncos couldn't capitalize as Orton completed just one short pass on three attempts, leading to Prater's 28-yard field goal.The much-maligned Denver defense did a formidable job early on as the unit also forced the Raiders to punt.However, Elvis Dumervil walked off the field holding his shoulder, throwing his helmet down in disgust. He later returned to the field but played sparingly.Dumervil, who led the league in sacks in 2009, missed all of last season with a torn pectoral muscle.This was a game featuring two new head coaches. Hue Jackson took over in Oakland after serving as offensive coordinator last season, while John Fox was in his first game in charge of the Broncos after arriving from Carolina.The Broncos are trying to get their franchise back on track a year after turning in a franchise-worst 4-12 season. They brought in Fox and turned the reins over to Hall of Famer John Elway, who's serving as chief of football operations. The organization even renamed their stadium (Colorado-based Sports Authority recently took over the naming rights from Invesco and completed its sign out front just in time for the opener).Still, it's difficult to erase all the memories from an abysmal 2010.One of the low points for the Broncos in a season full of worthy candidates was an embarrassing 59-14 thumping by the Raiders on Oct. 24. It could've been even worse but the Raiders relented in the fourth quarter, showing mercy toward one of their most bitter rivals.Darren McFadden led the way, shredding the porous Denver defense for 165 yards rushing and three scores.On Monday, facing an overhauled Denver defensive front, McFadden had another solid game going, rushing for 100 yards on 19 carries through three quarters.

Marshawn Lynch should address why he sat for national anthem

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USATI

Marshawn Lynch should address why he sat for national anthem

NAPA – Marshawn Lynch sat during the national anthem during Saturday’s exhibition opener against Arizona. We’re still not sure why.

It’s assumed by many to be in protest of racial inequality and mistreatment of minorities, a timely sentiment following racially fueled violence in Charlottesville, Va.

Uncertainty remains because the Raiders running back hasn’t explained his reasoning. He contemplated speaking after Tuesday’s practice but decided against it.

That leave us left to wonder what was going through Lynch’s head. Was this a case of Marshawn being Marshawn, an unorthodox fellow who often swims upstream? Was he simply enjoying a seat and a banana, or was it politically motivated and worthy of being lumped into national anthem protests by Colin Kaepernick and others in 2016 and Michael Bennett on Sunday?

It seems that way while connecting dots, especially with Lynch’s support for Kaepernick in a 2016 interview with Conan O’Brien. The public doesn’t know for sure. Bennett made his protest crystal clear on Sunday, with an eloquent explanation following Seattle’s exhibition against the Los Angeles Chargers.

Lynch could’ve cleared things up and didn’t. That leaves many left to wonder. Silence, in these cases, breeds speculation. We’ll try to avoid that here. Lynch doesn’t speak to the press, and I don’t mind a bit. This instance is an exception. Insight could direct this unguided narrative with a tweet, a statement or a few moments in front of a microphone. His message, if there is one, loses power without backing. If it was designed to illuminate issues in this country, Lynch must direct the spotlight. If his choice to sit wasn't socially charged, then let's put the issue to bed and re-focus on Raiders football.

It’s uncertain whether Lynch will address it this week, this season or ever.

The Raiders hope to avoid the topic altogether and let this incident blow over. It hasn’t been a major topic in the locker room. Head coach Jack Del Rio didn’t add anything in his Tuesday press conference, referring to a Saturday postgame statement on the matter where he called it a non-issue.

The Raiders’ belief, it seems, is that a fire won’t burn without fuel.

Del Rio strongly believes in standing for the national anthem. That’s been clear for a year, when he expressed that sentiment following Kaepernick’s anthem protests.

That didn’t stop Raiders linebackers Bruce Irvin and Malcolm Smith from holding up a fist during the national anthem a few times in 2016, though those actions didn’t last long.

Del Rio said Saturday that he respects the fact Lynch is his own man and hasn’t always stood for the national anthem. There were times in Seattle when he wasn’t present for the Star Spangled Banner. There were times he sat and times he stood at attention. He was never asked whether it was a form protest. Kaepernick started the movement last year, one Lynch couldn’t join while retired from football.

There’s no telling what Lynch will do Saturday against the Los Angeles Rams, the first time he’ll represent the Raiders in Oakland. No matter what he does, it’ll be news. With or without an explanation. Lynch doesn’t feel the need to satisfy public demand for insight, and won’t simply bow to public pressure.

Anthem protests can bring attention to social causes, but they’re polarizing to be sure. That’s the case in public, among football fans and cable-news junkies alike.

NFL locker rooms are full of different personalities, united under a common goal. Del Rio wants his guys focused only on that heading toward a season with lofty expectations.

“We want to have a collection of individuals that come together as a team to play football,” Del Rio told USA Today’s Lindsay Jones. “We don't need everybody in the organization to think the same way I think, or have the same feelings that I have about different topics.

“I mean, we're in America. That's one of the things we have. We have the freedom to be ourselves.”

Lynch is certainly his own man, a unique personality who has devoted great time, money and effort to improving his native Oakland.

Bennett explained his motivation for sitting during the anthem in a first-person narrative posted by Yahoo! Sports, and said seeing Lynch sit wasn’t a shock. Bennett also believes Lynch sat down for a cause.

“It didn’t surprise me that Marshawn Lynch sat, too,” Bennett said. “I think he’s one of the people in the forefront who are making changes in the community. That’s what he believes in. I think we both believe in our community, we both believe that people can be great. We don’t believe that this is the end; we believe there’s more out there – there are more things we can do as people, more ways to challenge ourselves.”

Raiders TE Cook 'proud' of Marshawn, but will he join the RB?

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AP

Raiders TE Cook 'proud' of Marshawn, but will he join the RB?

NAPA –  Raiders tight end Jared Cook hasn't formally spoken to teammate Marshawn Lynch about his decision to sit during the national anthem during Saturday’s exhibition opener against Arizona. 

It’s assumed by many to be in protest of racial inequality and mistreatment of minorities, especially on the heels of racially fueled violence in Charlottesville, Va. Count Cook among them.

The veteran running back has remained mum on the matter in public and, with Cook at least, in private.

If he was in fact protesting by sitting out the national anthem, tight end Cook is glad Lynch took a stand. Cook has stood up against racial inequality, most notably after racial unrest caused by police shootings in Ferguson, Mo., while with the St. Louis Rams. He said it’s vital to speak out against injustice.

“I’m proud of him,” tight end Jared Cook told reporters, with quotes via the Associated Press. “I think it’s awesome. Everybody has points of discussion after what happened in Charlottesville just the night before. I think it’s important for men in our position to step up and speak on unnecessary situations we find ourselves in as minorities in this country. That’s why I’m proud of him.”

Former 49ers Colin Kaepernick became the face of the anthem protest movement last year, when he kneeled during the national anthem and was joined by others around the league.  

Cook said he has thought about joining a new round of protests, including one executed by Seattle’s Michael Bennett before a Sunday exhibition against the Los Angeles Chargers. Unlike Lynch, Bennett articulated his reasoning well in postgame comments. Cook said it’s uncertain whether he’ll join in.

“As far as the future goes, I don’t know. I don’t know,” he said. “I know I feel uneasy about the situation going on in this country and have been for a while.”