ALAMEDA -- You could say the Raiders have been relatively fast-starters this season.You could not say the same about closing out games. Especially of late.Consider: Oakland has not scored in the fourth quarter since Sebastian Janikowski kicked a 42-yard field goal with 10 minutes to play in Houston on Oct. 9. The Raiders have not scored a touchdown in the fourth quarter since Jason Campbell hit Chaz Schilens with an 18-yard pass 10 seconds into that period against the Texans.Carson Palmer, who was still more than a week away from joining the Raiders, raised his eyebrows when told of the fourth-quarter scoring drought."Wow, I didn't know that," Palmer said Thursday. "We've got to get that fixed this week. That's a stat I wasn't aware of."But as we go on and the better and better opponents we play, you've got to be able to score in the fourth quarter, so that's something we need to work on and something we need to fix."Interestingly enough, the Raiders have won three of five in that stretch, including the Houston game."Been lucky, yeah," Palmer added. "We've got to find a way to finish, and we'll do that."In the four games since, against Cleveland, Kansas City, Denver and Kansas City, the Raiders have scored cumulative totals of 17 points in the first quarter, 31 points in the second quarter, 24 points in the third and, of course, offered up nothing but goose eggs in the fourth. The Raiders have been outscored by a combined 31-0 in the fourth quarter of their last four games.So is it a scheme thing? A play-calling thing? A conditioning thing?"I can't put my finger on it," said coach Hue Jackson, the Raiders' playcaller. "I just know it's something I have to get fixed. I have to make sure that we find a way to get in this end zone in the fourth quarter. We haven't. We have to do a better job."We've been down there, but for some reason, whether it's turnovers or penalties or whatever it's been, we haven't been able to close it out with a score. We haven't harped on it but I know that that's true, I understand that, and that's something that I have in the back of my mind, that we have to make sure we do a better job of closing out in the fourth quarter of games scoring points."Still, it must be troubling then?"No it's not a troubling thing because we won a week ago, we won some of those games, so it's not troubling, but it's become a trend that we don't want to have happen," Jackson said. "You have to make sure you're paying attention to it because that's what we need to do. It seems like we get stuck on the 24(-yard line) a lot, I know that. So we have to get off the 24 and get more points."Then again, the Raiders could have kicked a 22-yard field goal with less than five minutes to play against the Browns, rather then going for it, and not making it, on 4th and 1."It's real strange," rookie receiver Denarius Moore said about the Raiders' fourth-quarter drought."I know it's something I'm going to take to heart right now and actually think about it and then ask the offense if we've thought about it. But that's something we really got to hone into and focus in on."Entering the Houston game, the Raiders had scored a combined 37 points in the fourth quarter against Denver, Buffalo, the New York Jets and New England."There's no doubt that we actually are producing on offense, but if you really look at it, it's something that you really got to think about," Moore added. "I mean, it's really on my mind right now that we didn't score in the fourth quarter. So I'm pretty sure that we're going to focus in on that and try to score in the fourth quarter."
PHOENIX -- All signs point to the Raiders being approved for relocation to Las Vegas. It could happen as early as Monday, when the topic will be discussed at the NFL owners meetings in Phoenix. It could be Tuesday. Or in May. Or at any point in a conference call.
The timing is less important than the ultimate outcome. The when is uncertain. The what seems likely, though not guaranteed, at this stage.
The Raiders need 24 of 32 approval votes to relocate and start construction on new digs.
The Raiders have presented a solid application to the NFL, centered on a stadium proposal in Las Vegas that includes $750 million in public funds for stadium construction. Bank of America, who is financing the project, is expected to loan the Raiders money to complete a financing plan that includes the public contribution and $500 million from the team and the NFL.
The Sports Business Journal reported on Sunday that the estimated stadium cost has dropped to $1.7 billion, and will receive $200 million in infrastructure improvements not included in their construction contribution.
League sources continue to say approval is expected. There is great confidence within the Raiders organization a vote will go their way.
Some issues remain, though none are significant roadblocks. A stadium lease hasn’t been finalized and a site hasn’t been formally announced – it’s reportedly set for a spot just off the Las Vegas Strip near Russell Road – so approval would likely come with conditions that could be met in time.
The Raiders worked a sweetheart deal that mines significant money from the public. They don’t have investors with direct ties to gambling. And, as important as anything else, the NFL doesn’t believe Oakland has a viable plan to keep the Raiders in an otherwise attractive, booming market.
That includes the latest proposal from the Oakland and financial partner Fortress Investments announced on Friday that makes certain concessions aimed at getting the Raiders back to the table.
The Silver and Black haven’t worked with East Bay officials in more than as year, as they’ve shifted complete focus to their Las Vegas quest.
The revised Oakland plan didn’t move the needle, a league executive said. That point was made crystal clear in a letter NFL commissioner Roger Goodell sent to Oakland mayor Libby Schaaf.
“The material that we reviewed earlier today confirms certain information that had previously been communicated orally, such as a willingness to bring bank financing to a stadium project, and a proposed valuation of the land at the Coliseum site,” Goodell wrote in a letter obtained by Bay Area News Group. “It also confirms that key issues that we have identified as threshold considerations are simply not resolvable in a reasonable time. In that respect, the information sent today does not present a proposal that is clear and specific, actionable in a reasonable timeframe, and free of major contingencies.”
That virtually eliminates the prospect of Oakland planting doubt in NFL owners’ minds heading into a pivotal discussion on the topic Monday at the Arizona Biltmore hotel.
It’s possible the stadium and finance committee will make a formal recommendation on the Raiders application to relocate. That could precede a vote, and generally holds significant weight among undecided owners.
A league source said the new Oakland plan will be a talking point, though it may not be viewed in a flattering light. That’s especially true in light of Goodell’s letter.
“At this date, there remains no certainty regarding how the site will be fully developed, or the specific and contractually-defined nature of the participation by Fortress or other parties,” Goodell wrote. “In addition, the long-term nature of the commitment to the A’s remains a significant complication and the resolution of that issue remains unknown. Other significant uncertainties, which we have previously identified, remain unaddressed. We had hoped that the past two years would have allowed both of us to develop a viable project.”
Adrian Peterson played defense on Friday night.
Hours after a report suggesting that the four-time All-Pro running back was still a free agent due to salary demands, the former Viking posted a lengthy statement on Instagram along with a video of his running an agility drill.
"YOU CANT BELIEVE EVERYTHING YOU READ OR HEAR PEOPLE. The last thing I'm worried about is playing ball this coming season ... that WILL HAPPEN! It's not all about the money as EVERYONE is speculating here lately. You'd THINK these analysts spoke to me directly. When you don't know what's going on people will say anything to create or make a story! How prideful is it for me to put out ... I won't play for anything less than 8 million! But see, when you don't know a person or what they stand for it's easy to paint YOUR OWN PICTURE. Unfortunately, this is the world we live in! Here is something Straight from the horse's mouth ... finding the best fit & helping a team in a major way win a championship is my main objective! I'm in no rush. Let me eliminate questions or speculation as to why... I believe whole heartedly my God will land me right where I need to be to accomplish what I've asked from him PERIOD"
Early in the free agency period, the Raiders were linked to Peterson, but nothing came of those rumors.
The Raiders, in need of a feature back after Latavius Murray signed with the Vikings, are reportedly pursuing the possibility of luring Oakland-native Marshawn Lynch out of retirement.
Peterson was scheduled to make $18 million in 2017, but the Vikings declined to exercise his contract, making him a free agent. The 2012 NFL MVP turned 32 on March 21 and played in just three games in 2016 due to a major knee injury.
According to the ESPN report, Peterson was looking for a contract that paid him over $8 million in the first year of the deal.
YOU CANT BELIEVE EVERYTHING YOU READ OR HEAR PEOPLE. The last thing I'm worried about is playing ball this coming season ... that WILL HAPPEN! It's not all about the money as EVERYONE is speculating here lately. You'd THINK these analysts spoke to me directly. When you don't know what's going on people will say anything to create or make a story! How prideful is it for me to put out ... I won't play for anything less than 8 million! But see, when you don't know a person or what they stand for it's easy to paint YOUR OWN PICTURE. Unfortunately, this is the world we live in! Here is something Straight from the horse's mouth ... finding the best fit & helping a team in a major way win a championship is my main objective! I'm in no rush. Let me eliminate questions or speculation as to why... I believe whole heartedly my God will land me right where I need to be to accomplish what I've asked from him PERIOD