Raiders' Run DMC continues evolution


Raiders' Run DMC continues evolution

OAKLAND -- The evolution of Darren McFadden continued in the Raiders' 34-24 defeat of the New York Jets on Sunday.Not only did McFadden rush for a career-high 171 yards, eclipsing the 165 yards he had in Denver last season, he also broke off a career-long 70-yard touchdown run while catching three passes."McFadden is always a threat to anybody's defense," Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis said. "He's a great player. He crushed us today."And then some.

McFadden averaged 9.0 yards per carry, and even if you take away his 70-yard burst, made possible first by a corner-sealing block by tight end Kevin Boss then by a pair of downfield blocks by receivers Derek Hagan and Chaz Schilens, he still averaged 5.6 yards per carry.He was only the fourth running back to go over 100 yards against the Rex Ryan-led Jetsand McFadden did it before halftime."First I have to give credit to the offensive line," McFadden said. "They did a great job out there making blocks and opening holes for me. You know I just hit them running using my speed to do what I have to do, and they made great blocks for me, so all I had to do was hit the hole running."On one play in the third quarter, he was supposed to pass to quarterback Jason Campbell running down the left sideline after taking an inside handoff off a shotgun snap, but thought better and tucked the ball and ran for 23 yards, though he pump-faked as he scooted on by the Jets defense.Late in the game, he was replaced by Michael Bush in the backfield as coach Hue Jackson said McFadden strained his groin."It wasn't strained," McFadden insisted. "It was just getting tight. I felt like we had a pretty good job running. We have another great running back in Michael Bush. You know, there wasn't any point to try to go out there and try to stress it anymore."He had already stressed out the Jets enough. McFadden's 171 rushing yards are the ninth-most in franchise history."He's the best in football, bar none," Jackson said. "Bar none."He's the Boss? -- Tight end Kevin Boss made his Raiders debut and his left knee seemed just fine, thank you very much.Boss, out of action since taking a helmet to the knee in the Raiders' exhibition against the 49ers on Aug. 20, caught a pair of passes for 36 yards, including the clutch 28-yarder in the first quarter that got Oakland to the New York 2-yard line."It felt amazing to get back out there," Boss said. "I haven't played in a couple weeks, and I was just champing at the bit to get out there. It was a huge win for our team and I really enjoyed it."Boss also had the initial block to spring McFadden in his record 70-yard TD run.Raising the bar -- The Raiders are 2-1 for the first time since 2004, when Norv Turner was the head coach and Stanford Routt was still in college at Houston."We're 2-1 right now, should be 3-0," Routt said. "I'm not sure how the other teams in the AFC West fared today or whatever, but I know that right now we're at the very least we're tied at the top of the division and we've got to stay there. It was obviously a good win. The Jets have been in the playoffs, the AFC title game the last two years, so clearly they're a good team. It's a win, that's the main thing."Selling out --The announced crowd of 61,546 was the largest for a home game since the 2009 season opener against San Diego on Monday Night Football, 61,940."Oh, it was an awesome atmosphere today," rookie left guard Stephen Wisniewski said. "The crowd was so into it. They were so loud we got a couple of procedure penalties for the Jets there. They couldn't hear. You feed off that energy as a player and after starting the first two on the road, you really notice that it's really a lot more fun and a lot easier to play at home, where you can hear each other."Injury report --Raiders that did not finish the game: free safety Michael Huff (concussion), fullback Marcel Reece (ankle), cornerback Chris Johnson (groin). Other injuries to report: McFadden (groin), defensive end Matt Shaughnessy (shoulder) and linebacker Quentin Groves (quad).

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.”