Raiders key matchup No. 1: Janikowski vs. Dawson


Raiders key matchup No. 1: Janikowski vs. Dawson

EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the final part in a series that spotlighted three Raiders-Browns matchups to watch Sunday, 1:25 p.m. (CBS), at the ColiseumRaiders PK Sebastian Janikowski vs. Browns PK Phil DawsonTale of the tape
Janikowski (11): 6-foot-2, 250 pounds, 13th season, Florida State
Dawson (4): 5-foot-11, 200 pounds, 14th season, TexasALAMEDA -- With Cleveland's resurgent defense, which forced eight Pittsburgh turnovers last week, the Raiders having seemingly found some life in the second half at Cincinnati last Sunday, and a few days of rain threatening to turn the field into a quagmire, the game might be decided by the feet of the two best kickers in the AFC this season.Dawson, who spent part of training camp in 1998 with the Raiders and has been with the Browns since they were re-born in 1999, has made 27 consecutive field goals, the longest active streak in the NFL. He is 21-for-21 this season."I'm fond of the way he practices," said Browns coach Pat Shurmur. "I'm fond of the way he prepares and he's just clutch. There's some guys that are just clutch at doing what they do and I think that's what separates some guys from being great to good to not so good."He's displayed, by producing the way he does, that he's one of the great kickers."Earlier this season, Dawson tied a league record with three field goals of at least 50 yards and yes, Janikowski also shares the mark. He also has 15 career game-winning field goals and is Cleveland's franchise record in field goals made (297) and is second on the Browns' all-time scoring list (1,238 points).Janikowski, meanwhile, will be playing in his 200th career game after being the Raiders' first-round draft pick in 2000. The left-footed kicker is already Oakland's career-leading scorer with 1,355 points, thanks in part to his 315 career field goals.He has made 28 of his last 29 field goals, dating to last season, 23 of 24 this season, and the lone miss was a record-attempting 64-yarder at the end of regulation against Jacksonville this season. In fact, he has made 49 straight field goals from 40 yards or less and his 39 career field goals from 50 yards or more lead in the NFL since 2000.So how might the rain change Raiders coach Dennis Allen's thought process in how he'll use Janikowski, who shares the NFL record for longest field goal with a 63-yarder?"It affects everything," Allen said Friday. "Its going to affect how you call the game offensively, its going to affect how you call the game defensively, its going to affect what decisions you make in the kicking game. When it rains like it does today, and if the wind is, as I look at the forecast, if the winds what I anticipate it being it will be a factor in the game, for sure."Beyond Janikowski and Dawson potentially deciding the game, they could also determine Sunday who will represent the AFC in the Pro Bowl.

Raiders' Sean Smith charged with assault

Raiders' Sean Smith charged with assault

Raiders cornerback Sean Smith has been charged with assault, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced on Thursday.

The charge is for assault of his sister's boyfriend in Smith's hometown of Pasadena. Smith allegedly beat and stomped the boyfriend's head on the morning of July 4, 2017 in Old Town Pasadena, the district attorney said.

Smith faces formal felony counts of assault by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury and battery with serious bodily injury to the victim.

The 30-year old plans to fight the charges levied against him. 

"Sean maintains his innocence at this time," Smith's attorney, Daniel Rosenberg told NBC Sports Califorinia on Thursday evening. "We are going to be entering a plea of not guilty and fighting these charges."

A warrant was filed on Aug. 16. Smith's arriagnment is scheduled for Sept. 29. 

Smith was not present at Thursday's Raiders practice, the last session of training camp. He surrendered to Los Angeles County authorities, posted an $80,000 bond and has been released from custody.

If convicted as charged, Smith could face a maximum sentence of seven years in California prison. 

A Raiders spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The case is still under investigation by the Pasadena Police Department. 

This is another blow in a rough summer for Smith. He has struggled on the practice field during training camp and faces an off-field legal issue. Smith is guaranteed $9.5 million for the 2017 season. 

More to come...

After speaking with Marshawn Lynch, two things are crystal clear

After speaking with Marshawn Lynch, two things are crystal clear

NAPA – Marshawn Lynch spoke with the media Thursday for the second time as a Raider. He was quick-witted, disarming and, as always, not suitable for work.

It was five minutes of peak Marshawn, where he brought light to his charitable endeavors, called himself the “daddy” of his position group and cleverly sidestepped all things nation anthem.

He was asked four questions on other topics before elephant in the room was mentioned. It didn’t stick around long.

“I think the elephant left the room because a little mouse ran in here,” Lynch deadpanned. “Didn’t they say elephants are scared of mice or something? That [expletive] left the room, cousin.”

[RATTO: Lynch reminds media how much control he exerts over any interaction]

Two more related questions came down the pike. The first was about Del Rio letting players be themselves. He answered a different question instead.

“Yeah, because on ‘doctor-24,’ it’s a designed way that you’re supposed to run it but I have all freedom to go any way that I choose to run it,” Lynch said. “I would say, yes.”

The final anthem-esque query was deflected in a similar fashion.

“When we run ‘74’ or something like that, where I have to scan and read on both sides, that is pretty difficult. For the most part, I’m a veteran so I can make it work.”

Two things were crystal clear after speaking with Lynch.

He didn’t miss football one bit during his year in retirement. Lynch said this spring he decided to return after the Raiders were approved to relocate away from his native Oakland. He wants to represent his hometown well and give them something to cheer before the team leaves for Las Vegas.

That’s why he’s fired up even for Saturday’s exhibition against the Rams – he’s expected to make a cameo in that game – his first in Oakland wearing silver and black.

“It’s truly a blessing and just to have the opportunity to go and do that is a good [expletive] feeling,” Lynch said. “It’s a good [expletive] feeling.”

Lynch has always been active in the community, and hopes him playing here will bring more visibility to what’s being done to help kids in Oakland.

“I plan on continuing to do what I do in the community,” Lynch said. “It’ll probably be that now that I’m here, more people that are in the community might actually come out and support what it is that we’ve got going on.”