Raiders key matchup No. 2: McFadden vs. Trevathan


Raiders key matchup No. 2: McFadden vs. Trevathan

EDITOR'S NOTE:This is the second part in a series that spotlights three Raiders-Broncos matchups to watch Thursday, 5:20 p.m. (NFL Network), at the Coliseum

Raiders RB Darren McFadden vs. Broncos LB Danny Trevathan

Tale of the tape
McFadden (20): 6-foot-2, 210 pounds, fifth season, Arkansas
Trevathan (59): 6-foot-1, 232 pounds, rookie season, Kentucky

ALAMEDA -- As Darren McFadden is expected to make his first appearance in a game since suffering a high ankle sprain on Nov. 4, you would think this matchup would be about McFadden trying to elude Denver weakside linebacker Wesley Woodyard.

But Woodyard is dealing with an ankle injury of his own, and after not practicing in this short work week, he is listed as doubtful to play. Enter Woodyard's backup, rookie Danny Trevathan.

"Looking at their linebackers, they’re flying around," McFadden said. "You have to be aware of all of them."

Not that it matters much to McFadden, who was averaging a career-worst 3.3 yards per carry before missing four straight games. Because the Raiders run game and zone-blocking scheme has improved in his absence, with the continued improvement of center Stefen Wisniewski and the return of right tackle Khalif Barnes.

"No doubt, we've got to keep doing what we've been doing, being assignment perfect, getting the right calls, getting everybody spotted in the right direction," said Raiders running backs coach Kelly Skipper. "I think that's helped us a lot. We've been getting on blocks, we've been moving people off the ball. I think definitely (McFadden will) reap the benefits of that. Got to keep it going."

Trevathan was drafted by Denver in the sixth round of the NFL draft, No. 188 overall. He has yet to start a game but he has 25 tackles with a sack.

He also may face a sound McFadden.

"You could see (McFadden) cutting, you could see him bursting off the foot," Skipper said. "You wouldn't have noticed today that he had been injured.

"There's a big difference, big difference. Last week we tried to get him going, see where the foot is, get a feel for how much strength he had in it and everything. I think as the week went, the better he got at it, and now you can see the difference. It paid off to get him moving around."

Said McFadden: "Haven’t (done) much running or (taken) a pounding …so I feel pretty fresh. I’m ready to get out there and get to running the ball again."

Davis explains why talks between Raiders, Oakland went south


Davis explains why talks between Raiders, Oakland went south

PHOENIX – Raiders owner Mark Davis has given Oakland and Alameda County officials the silent treatment over the past year.

He has ignored attempts to keep his Raiders in the East Bay, choosing instead to focus on a stadium proposal in Las Vegas. Relocation was a goal achieved on Monday morning, when NFL owners approved a move by a 31-1 vote.

Oakland mayor made several last-second attempts to sway ownership, hoping they would help bring him back to the negotiating table.

Davis never thawed his cold shoulder. He explained why after Las Vegas approval was secure.

While the Raiders and Oakland officials clashed over land use and control of the Coliseum site, a schism occurred roughly a year ago. The Raiders and Chargers were angling to share a stadium in Carson, while the Rams wanted to build a facility in Inglewood. The Raiders were still open an Oakland return at that point, but official’s actions changed his outlook.

“I think it turned during the L.A. (relocation attempt),” Davis said. “Before the vote for Los Angeles, Oakland had an opportunity to come in and make a presentation to the league. They came in with a five-page (submission) that had nothing to do with anything. They claimed that they would wait for us to lose the L.A. vote, and then come back with all the leverage.”

Davis didn’t view that as good-faith negotiations, and still went back to Oakland after losing the L.A. battle to the Rams, and the first option to join them to the Chargers.

“We came back to Oakland and negotiated a one-year lease with two years of options and talked about getting together to discuss a long-term future together,” Davis said. “A week later, I got a call from one of the (Alameda County) supervisors and told me, ‘Mark, the lease you just negotiated and the options are not going to be valid.’

At that point, we ended up signing that lease anyway, but decided we had to start looking elsewhere to find a long-term solution.

He found a willing partner in Las Vegas and Nevada. That state’s legislature approved $750 million in public funds for stadium construction, and will contribute even more to infrastructure improvements.

That’s a sweetheart deal Oakland couldn’t match. The city ultimately presented a plan NFL owners didn’t consider actionable, which wasn’t a deterrent to a positive relocation vote.

Not that it mattered much. Davis committed to Las Vegas, and remained focused on that.

“The commitment made by the legislature and the governor was very strong,” Davis said. “I think my commitment was strong as well, and we worked out a deal.”

Damian Lillard trolls Raiders owner Mark Davis

Damian Lillard trolls Raiders owner Mark Davis

Damian Lillard grew up in Oakland and still roots for the Raiders.

Suffice it to say he is not happy with Mark Davis choosing to move the Silver and Black to Las Vegas.

[RELATED: Schaaf proud Oakland did not capitulate to Raiders' unreasonable demand]

On Monday afternoon, Lillard took to Twitter:

Lillard attended Oakland High School for his junior and senior years.

Back in August, he predicted an 11-5 record for the Raiders in 2016.

They went 12-4.