Raiders pick Manning twice in 31-26 loss to Colts

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Raiders pick Manning twice in 31-26 loss to Colts

Dec. 26, 2010RAIDERS PAGE RAIDERS VIDEO
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OAKLAND,Calif. (AP) Peyton Manning put Indianapolis in the lead with his armand sealed the game with his legs. No matter what happened against theOakland Raiders, Manning knew he'd need one more big game to get theColts back into the postseason.Manning threw three touchdown passesand iced the game with a 27-yard keeper to help the Colts beat theOakland Raiders 31-26 Sunday in a game that turned out to have littleplayoff meaning."All we did was win today," Manning said. "We have to find a way to win again next week."The Colts (9-6) allowed Jacoby Fordto return the opening kick for a touchdown, overcame a pair ofinterceptions by Manning in the second half and survived four fieldgoals from Sebastian Janikowski, including two from more than 50 yards,to move within a win of clinching the AFC South title for their ninthstraight playoff berth.But when Jacksonville lost 20-17 inovertime to Washington in the early game Sunday, the Colts knew that nomatter what happened in this game they could clinch the division with awin at home next week against the Titans or a Jaguars loss at Houston."I don't know what the coaches do orwhat everybody else does, but I didn't know who won the morning games,"Manning said. "All we knew was the time of our kickoff and the defensesand offensive plays that Oakland was going to run. That's really waswhere our focus was."The results in the early games alsorobbed this game of any real meaning for the Raiders (7-8), who wereeliminated from playoff contention when Kansas City wrapped up a 34-14win against Tennessee early in the first quarter of this game.The Chiefs had long been in controlof that game so any Oakland player who had caught wind of the score inpregame warmups knew there was only pride on the line."The guys were trying not to payattention to it," quarterback Jason Campbell said. "We were just reallytrying to focus on our game. That's the situation you're in when youhave to count on other teams. It's a tough situation to be in."The Raiders hung close with theColts for much of this game but were unable to score an offensivetouchdown until Campbell's 6-yard pass to Zach Miller with 1:51 toplay.Manning took advantage of a 31-yardpass interference call against Stanford Routt to throw a 4-yard TD passto Blair White to give the Colts a 24-16 lead late in the thirdquarter. But little came easy for Manning against Oakland's defense. Hethrew a pair of interceptions in the second half, giving him 17 for theseason, which is his most since 2002.He responded from the secondinterception by leading the Colts on a 68-yard drive that was capped bya 7-yard TD pass to Pierre Garcon on third down to give Indianapolis a31-19 lead.After the Colts recovered a lateonside kick, Manning ran out the clock with a 27-yard keeper onthird-and-2. He faked the ball to Dominic Rhodes and then ran aroundthe left side before sliding down at the 4, instead of scoring, toallow the Colts to run out the clock."That was just a great call by him,"Rhodes said. "They had been biting, they were trying to stop me fromrunning the football. Even I thought I had the football, along witheverybody else. The whole defense converged on me. It was just a greatplay all around, he made it happen and we pulled out a great victory."Manning completed 16 of 30 passesfor 179 yards as he struggled at times against Oakland's aggressivecornerbacks. But the Colts managed to gain 191 yards on the ground,including 98 from Rhodes, who returned to Indianapolis earlier thismonth.Joseph Addai added a 6-yardtouchdown run in the first quarter in his first game since hurting anerve in his left shoulder Oct. 17."We went out and out-physicaled aphysical team," Rhodes said. "For the last few weeks, we've done that.We're gearing up for playoff football. And this is what you have to doin the playoffs."Indianapolis' much-maligned rundefense once again stepped up to the challenge a week after holdingMaurice Jones-Drew and Jacksonville to 67 yards in last week's key win.Oakland's second-ranked rushing attach was held to 80 yards."There's no magic to it," coach JimCaldwell said. "We're running the same plays, running the same defense.We were just playing what we do, and doing it a little better."Ford's team-record third kickoffreturn for a TD got the Raiders started. Oakland went ahead 13-10 afterJanikowski made field goals of 59 and 38 yards. The 59-yarder was thesecond longest in team history.But Manning led a late touchdowndrive helped by a personal foul on Lamarr Houston for poking Kyle DeVanin the eye and a 25-yard pass interference call on Chris Johnson.Manning found Jacob Tamme on a 14-yard pass on the next play to make it17-13 at the break."There's not a quarterback that I'veplayed against that controls the game the way that he does, and handlesevery situation and is basically the coordinator on the fly," Raiderscornerback Nnamdi Asomugha said.Notes: Manning tied former RaidersOL Gene Upshaw for the most consecutive starts to begin a career with207. ... Raiders DT Richard Seymour missed the game with a hamstringinjury.

McKenzie focuses Raiders' 2017 draft on defense, beefs up secondary

McKenzie focuses Raiders' 2017 draft on defense, beefs up secondary

ALAMEDA – Raiders general manger Reggie McKenzie made nine selections in this weekend’s NFL draft. That was a requirement given the state of his roster, featuring a stacked offense and a Swiss-cheese defense. It has holes.

He spent significant draft capital trying to upgrade the middle of his defense especially, adding three defensive backs, two defensive tackles and a fifth-round pick in Marquel Lee who will compete to start at middle linebacker.

He needs a few immediate impact players on the defensive group headlined by first-round cornerback Gareon Conley and second-round safety Obi Melifonwu.

“How much do I think I can get out of this group? I hope a lot,” McKenzie said Saturday after the NFL draft was complete. “They’re all going to come in and compete. We’re signing guys post-draft also. We’re going to give them all the opportunity to compete with the veterans that we already have on board. We hope that out of it all, the competition part of it, the cream rises and we have a very good 53-man roster.”

McKenzie follows a draft board thoroughly constructed through hundreds of scouting reports and cross checks, and extensive evaluation at combines and pro days. He trusts it. It has certainly treated him well before, which productive hauls in 2014 and 2015 especially.

While he lost out on some likable players taken before his slot, McKenzie believes the Raiders added quality and depth in previously lacking position groups. He stuck with size and athleticism at times over college production and, as always, beefed up both the offensive and defensive lines.

“I think the way it fell, we got a lot of players, at the end of the day, it looks like we needed,” he said. “We felt like we got a lot of good players with high talent levels from top to bottom. Some are going to be more raw than others. We’re going to have to see down the line, more so. I think talking to the board, you said, ‘Job well done.’”

McKenzie also focused on fixing a lackluster pass defense with speed. Conley can be a shutdown cornerback outside or in the slot. Melifonwu is a heavy hitter who can play both safety spots and is expected to contribute as a rookie. The secondary must improve to prevent big plays and help Khalil Mack and Bruce Irvin get after the quarterback.

“You have to have speed to play the game the way it’s going now,” McKenzie said. “You have to be able to play in space. You have to be able to match up. We took all of that into consideration when we brought these players in. To the players that you mentioned, Obi and Conley, both of those guys have great range, speed, very athletic. So, they make tackles in space. That’s one of the things that we looked at. Make sure short to medium plays don’t turn into big plays. I think they will help in that scenario.”

Here’s a full list of Raiders draft picks:

Round 1 (No. 24 overall): CB Gareon Conley, Ohio State
Round 2 (No. 56 overall): S Obi Melifonwu, Connecticut
Round 3 (No. 88 overall): DT Eddie Vanderdoes, UCLA
Round 4 (No. 129 overall): OT David Sharpe, Florida
Round 5 (No. 168 overall): LB Marquel Lee, Wake Forest
Round 7 (No. 221 overall): S Shalom Luani, Washington State
Round 7 (No. 231 overall): OT Jylan Ware, Alabama State
Round 7 (No. 242 overall): RB Elijah Hood, North Carolina
Round 7 (No. 244 overall): DT Treyvon Hester, Toledo

 

Raiders 2017 UDFA tracker: McKenzie adds safeties, mining for more gold

Raiders 2017 UDFA tracker: McKenzie adds safeties, mining for more gold

ALAMEDA – The Raiders have had great success mining gold from undrafted free agency. Jalen Richard and Darius Latham were kings of last year’s crop, which was six strong by season’s end. with Seth Roberts and Denico Autry other examples of undrafted free agents done good in recent years.

Can Raiders scouts find more helpful pieces from those left out of the NFL draft? Time will tell on that one, but finding the right undrafted players is something the team takes seriously. Scouts revel in undrafted players who make it in the league.

“It’s very rewarding,” Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie said. “If we sign him as a free agent, we may have had him on the board as draftable, but getting guys post draft, that helps you down the road. To maintain a consistent winner, you have to hit on some of those guys. You have to. The way that the contracts are these days, you have to have some of those type players to help you win football games year in and year out.”

The Raiders will search for those players into Saturday evening to fill the 90-man roster. McKenzie secured some of his top targets with four seventh-round picks, though several more have signed with the club. Here’s a list of those who have signed with the team thus far:

-- OL Jordan Simmons, USC: The hulking offensive lineman signed with the Raiders, he announced on social media. Simmons stands 6-foot-5 and 335 pounds, and will turn pro after being denied a sixth year of college eligibility. The talented guard had an injury-riddled career.

-- WR Isaac Whitney, USC: Whitney is yet another undrafted Trojan to join the Raiders roster. He announced the signing on social media. He didn’t have many college stats, but is fast with the size the Raiders prefer in outside receivers.

-- WR Keon Hatcher, Arkansas: Hatcher will reportedly join the offseason receiver group in hopes of taking a roster spot. He had 44 catches for 743 yards and eight touchdowns in his final college season. (Houston Chronicle)

-- WR Ishmael Zamora, Baylor: The Bears official website reported that Zamora will sign with the Silver and Black. He had63 catches for 809 yards and eight touchdowns in 2016. He was suspended three games for abusing a dog in an incident that was caught on video. 

-- S Ahmad Thomas, Oklahoma: The Raiders need safety depth, so it was smart of Thomas to sign in Oakland. He was a three-year starter and a team captain. (Houston Chronicle)

-- S Anthony Cioffi, Rutgers: The Scarlet Knights’ official Twitter account reported a four-year starter in college will give the pros a try in Oakland.

-- DT Jordan Wade, Oklahoma: The 6-foot-4, 295-pound defensive tackle will join the Raiders. (SoonerScoop.com)

-- TE Pharaoh Brown, Oregon: The Ducks didn’t have a single player drafted, but Brown will join the Silver and Black. The tight end announced a signing on Twitter. He had 33 catches for 426 yards and five touchdown.

Check back for further updates...