Raiders no longer in control of playoff destiny


Raiders no longer in control of playoff destiny

MIAMI -- The most disappointing aspect of Oakland's loss to Miami on Sunday?Perhaps the fact that the Raiders no longer control their playoff destiny.Sure, a quick glance at the standings show the Raiders still sharing first place in the AFC West with Denver at 7-5. But a deeper look reveals the Broncos owning a tiebreaker and thus, the Raiders on the outside looking in if the playoffs were to begin today.Because while the Raiders and Broncos have already split their season series, the Broncos currently have a better record within the division, 3-2 to 2-2.And with a final four schedule of games at undefeated Green Bay, home against Detroit, at Kansas City and home against San Diego, how putrid the Raiders looked in all three phases of the game against the Dolphins in their 34-14 blowout and injuries severely limiting the offense, the worry on the part of Raiders fans is understandable.
Especially since the Broncos seemingly refuse to lose with Tim Tebow at quarterback and three of the Broncos' four remaining games at home.Denver's next two games are at Sports Authority Field, against a reeling Chicago and a rejuvenated New England, before hitting the road to Buffalo. The Broncos then close the season in Denver against Kansas City.If the Raiders and Broncos are still tied at the end of the season, both in overall record and division record, the third tie-breaker is "best won-lost-tied percentage in common games."Oakland and Denver will have had 12 games against 10 common opponents -- Kansas City, San Diego, Green Bay, Miami, Detroit, the New York Jets, Minnesota, Chicago, New England and Buffalo -- and right now, Denver is better there, too, going 5-3 against those teams while the Raiders are 4-4. The fourth tie-breaking procedure is "best won-lost-tied percentage in games played within the conference," and the Broncos are 6-3 in the AFC while the Raiders are 5-5.The fifth tie-breaking procedure is "strength of victory" while the sixth tie-breaker is "strength of schedule."At 7-5, the Raiders also have the same record as wildcard leader Cincinnati and playoff contender Tennessee. But tiebreakers have Oakland currently sitting out as the No. 8 seed (six teams qualify for the playoffs in each conference, the four division winners and two wild cards).The Raiders are mindful of the Broncos catching and, technically, passing them in the standings, as evidenced by a handful of players asking for a Broncos score in the gloom of their own post-game locker room Sunday in Miami.Denver is in the driver's seat and Oakland needs helps.Still, the Raiders are keeping a stone face."The good thing is," said Raiders quarterback Carson Palmer, looking ahead to the Packers, "you've got a chance for redemption if you beat a team that's undefeated. And that can get you back on the right track."One step at a time, right?

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.

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

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.”