Third-quarter collapse as epic as it was collective


Third-quarter collapse as epic as it was collective


DENVER -- There was a feeling of unbridled hope in the Raiders' locker room at halftime.They were only down 10-6 to the Denver Broncos, momentum had swung in their favor and they would be receiving the kickoff to open the second half.A few hours later, though, and the only emotion left in that room was the three-headed monster of disappointment, disgust and despair.Getting pummeled and embarrassed and outscored 27-0 in the game's final 30 minutes en route to a 37-6 shellacking will do that to a team. Especially one that thought it had turned a corner the previous week.It was a collapse as epic as it was collective."They out-coached us," said Raiders rookie coach Dennis Allen, who was the Broncos' defensive coordinator last year."They out-played us. They beat us in every phase of the game so there's not a lot of positive you can take from it."Indeed. The Raiders, who had won the previous four games in Denver, were beat up and beat down by the Broncos.Consider: Denver led in time of possession, 37:25-22:35, in first downs, 26-12, in third-down efficiency, 10-of-16 to 1-of-12, and in total yards, 503-237.So yeah, you could say the first half was fool's gold for the Raiders, who benefited from Demaryius Thomas simply dropping the ball as he ran towards the Oakland end zone and Denver attempting a fake field goal and the Broncos blowing it.Especially with the way the Raiders folded in the second half."Really shocked," said receiver Derek Hagan, who started in place of the injured Darrius Heyward-Bey. "We came out flat. The game wasnt going our way the whole game but when youre down four at the half, youre obviously still in it."That third quarter, we couldnt put anything together and they kept scoring, kept scoring, kept scoring. You see the results when you come out flat and dont finish.While Oakland's offense had four straight three-and-outs in the third quarter, the Broncos were scoring three touchdowns.While Raiders punter Shane Lechler was getting his punt blocked -- technically, it's not a block because it rolled forward two yards, which will wreak havoc with his average -- the Broncos were not punting. At all.In four games, the Raiders have been outscored in the third quarter by a cumulative 55-7."I'm not exactly sure what that is," Allen said, "but we've got to get that figured out."Obviously. The Raiders also have to figure out how to slow down the opponent's passing game.The past two weeks, the Raiders have given up a combined 722 yards through the air on 66 of 87 passing (75.9 percent) for seven touchdowns with no interceptions and just one sack, for five yards.Disrupting Peyton Manning should have been Goal No. 1 on that side of the ball. And if it was, the Raiders defense failed at it miserably. The Raiders were credited with exactly zero -- ZERO! -- quarterback hits."Pass defense works collectively," Allen said. "It's pass rush and pass coverage together, and when we do put pressure on the quarterback, we've got to be able to cover him. When we're covering him, we've got to be able to get to the quarterback."The Raiders did neither on Sunday.Getting the run game going offensively should have been that unit's main focus. Again, failure, what with Darren McFadden going for 34 yards on 13 carries with a long run of eight yards in the Raiders' new zone-blocking scheme."I never really felt like we stayed in sync on offense," McFadden said. "We'd make a few plays here and there and then we'd get out of rhythm."A game like that, it's hard to swallow. It's a division opponent, you want to go out there and get a win but we just have to come back and go back to the drawing board and execute our plays."And figure out why the third quarter has been one of horrors for them thus far.

Raiders offensive lineman next in line for extension with Carr's deal done

Raiders offensive lineman next in line for extension with Carr's deal done

The Raiders locked up Derek Carr last week, signing their franchise quarterback to a five-year, $125 million contract extension.

He isn’t the only member of the 2014 draft class worthy of a raise. Edge rusher Khalil Mack will get a big one, likely at some point next offseason. The Raiders have some time with Mack after exercising a fifth-year contract option available for first-round picks.

General manager Reggie McKenzie didn’t have that luxury with Carr, and his 2014 second-round pick cashed in before formally entering a contract year.

Right guard Gabe Jackson could do the exact same thing. McKenzie prefers to draft, develop and reward homegrown talent, and the 2014 third-round pick should be next in line to do so.

McKenzie has said back in March that he’d like to extend Jackson’s contract, though there isn’t a deadline to do so.

“There’s no timetable,” general manager Reggie McKenzie said. “But, I alluded to earlier in the offseason that Gabe is one of the guys I want to get locked up.”

That could happen later this offseason, or further into training camp. Despite paying Carr an NFL-record $25 million in 2017, his contract is structured in such a way that there’s room for another offseason extension. That was important for Carr, that the Raiders can sign other members of this young core.

“We figured out a way to do it,” Carr said, “so that we have the opportunity to sign the other guys that I think are important to this organization.”

The Raiders have roughly $18 million in salary cap space after the Carr deal. Some of that is earmarked for the team’s top three draft picks, which remain unsigned to this point. A large sum could go to Jackson as incentive to sign up early, well before he’s eligible to hit the unrestricted free agency.

The offensive guard market is booming, with bigger deals going to a position group generally lower than other spots on the offensive line. The Raiders contributed to that inflation in 2016, signing left guard Kelechi Osemele to a five-year, $58.5 deal with $25.4 million in guarantees.

Osemele is one of eight guards with contracts worth $40 million or more, a list that includes two right guards. Jackson played left guard – the more valued position – until Osemele showed up. He moved to the right without complaint.

Jackson thrived there as well. He didn’t allow a sack in 2016, according to analytics site Pro Football Focus, with 27 quarterback pressures in 735 pass-blocking snaps. Jackson has been a strong run blocker as a pro, where he has started 44 games in three NFL seasons.

Finding proper value to entice Jackson to sign while remaining on budget is McKenzie’s next task, trying to keep a valuable offensive lineman in place for years to come.

Carr plans to spread new wealth after Raiders contract extension

Carr plans to spread new wealth after Raiders contract extension

ALAMEDA – Derek Carr isn’t one for extravagance. The low-key Raiders quarterback already has some nice cars, a house and some luxury items to his name, but signing a $125 million contract extension Friday morning won't prompt a spending spree.

Cornerback Sean Smith suggested he get a Bugatti. That’s a $1 million car.

“Yeah,” Carr said with a smirk. “That’s not going to happen.”

That isn’t the 26-year old’s style. Carr had a his own plan after signing on the dotted line.

“I’ve been eating clean,” Carr said. “I’ll probably get Chick-fil-A.”

That makes sense. This is a guy who celebrated his first NFL victory with a trip through a Carl’s Jr. drive-in.

There will be other purchases. His wife Heather will get something nice in the near future. His family, especially Heather and sons Dallas and Deker, will be taken care of for life.

After all that, Carr plans to spread the wealth.

“The exciting thing for me moneywise, honestly, is this money is going to help a lot of people,” Carr said. “I’m very thankful to have it, that it’s in our hands because it’s going to help people. Not only in this country, but in a lot of countries around the world. That’s what’s exciting to me.”

Carr and former Raiders running back Latavius Murray took a missionary trip to Haiti, an impoverished nation had a profound impact on the star quarterback.

“I’ve been down to Haiti and I’ve seen some of those struggles that they have and the kids there, and my heart just… I cry sometimes thinking about it,” Carr said. “So, just knowing that we can go down there and make a difference and help, those are the kind of things that the money makes me kind of like, ‘Oh my gosh.’ Because now we can really do some things to help a lot of people.”

He plans to support those in that area, in addition to global and domestic charities he has been involved with over the years. Don’t expect a press release accompanying every donation. Carr would rather keep those decisions private.

“I’m going to do my best to make sure no one knows what we do with it,” Carr said. “I’ll just say this, I can assure you that it’s going to help a lot of people. I’m not stingy. My business manager will probably be on me saying, ‘Hey man, that’s enough.’ I won’t get into when, how or why. It’s not all about that for me. It’s about making a difference. That’s what’s exciting for me is that we’ll be able to do that.”