Raiders notes: Why no field goal at end?


Raiders notes: Why no field goal at end?

OAKLAND -- As the Raiders drove into Cleveland territory late in the fourth quarter Sunday, they needed 10 points to tie the game. So with no timeouts remaining, just under a minute left in regulation and the Raiders in field-goal range for Sebastian Janikowski, why didn't Oakland just kick a field goal?After all, the Raiders were going to have to attempt an onside kick on the ensuing kickoff no matter what kind of score they got, and with time running out, they needed to score quickly.But coach Dennis Allen decided to keep going for that elusive touchdown, and while Carson Palmer did hit Brandon Myers for a 17-yard touchdown pass, there was only one second left to play. Of course, there was no time to attempt an onside kick, recover it and then take a shot at the end zone. Ballgame, Browns 20, Raiders 17.PAUL G'S INSTANT REPLAY: Browns 20, Raiders 17
So, did Allen contemplate having Janikowski attempt a field goal, especially when the Raiders were at the Browns' 24-yard line with a minute to play?"Yeah, we thought about it," Allen said. "But we were down there and I was trying to get seven points there. Unfortunately, we didn't have enough time on the clock to be able to execute an onside kick and still have an opportunity."Your eyes andor ears were not deceiving you -- receiver Denarius Moore was indeed benched in the second half after having another rough game and dropping at least two passes. As was cornerback Ron Bartell earlier in the game.In fact, Moore was targeted by Palmer eight times but only caught two passes, for 31 yards."He dropped a couple balls and we have to make plays when we get those opportunities," Allen said. "Both of those guys, they understand that. It wasn't from a lack of effort, but we've got to make the plays when we get an opportunity."Moore does not seem able to get separation from defensive backs and could still be struggling from a strained hamstring suffered in June.Allen said he expected both Darren McFadden and Mike Goodson to play Thursday night against Denver. The running backs have both been out since suffering high ankle sprains on Nov. 4."We tested them out (Sunday)," Allen said. "They just weren't quite ready to go."Omar Gaither, signed by the Raiders on Nov. 14, started at middle linebacker in place of the suspended Rolando McClain and was unofficially credited with two tackles."I made a few mistakes (with) the fact that I hadn't played in a while, period, and the fact that I was in the middle," he said. "Felt a second slow in the first half, but second half rolled around and I felt a lot more comfortable. How I played? I don't know. You'll have to ask the coaches."It was Gaither's first start since Nov. 20, 2011, when he played for Carolina.

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.”