Chiefs Can't Contain Ford in Raiders' OT Win

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Chiefs Can't Contain Ford in Raiders' OT Win

Nov. 7, 2010RAIDERS PAGE RAIDERS VIDEO

OAKLAND,Calif. (AP) The Oakland Raiders gave their fans who came out for thefirst sellout in more than a year plenty to celebrate.Jason Campbell threw a 47-yard passto rookie Jacoby Ford in overtime to set up a 33-yard field goal bySebastian Janikowski that gave the Raiders their biggest win in eightyears, a 23-20 victory over the AFC West-leading Kansas City Chiefs onSunday.Campbell and Ford hooked up on a29-yard pass in the closing seconds of regulation to set upJanikowski's tying 41-yard field goal. The Raiders (5-4) then won it inovertime for their most significant victory since winning the 2002 AFCchampionship. Oakland hasn't had a winning record at any time sincebeing 2-1 in 2004 and not this late since '02.By winning their third straight gamefor the first time since that season, Oakland heads into its bye weekjust a half-game behind Kansas City (5-3) in the division.The Chiefs won the overtime toss butwere unable to generate a first down and the Raiders started theirfirst drive at their 38. Campbell then hit Ford for a deep, divingcatch on the first play. Ford, a fourth-round pick, caught six passesfor 148 yards and also returned the opening kick of the second half fora touchdown.After a short run and a timeout bythe Chiefs, Janikowski came on for the winning kick. As soon as itsailed through the uprights, the Raiders poured out on the field andcelebrated with the first sellout crowd in Oakland since last year'sopener.The talk all week was about therevival of a rivalry that was one of the sport's best for a decadestarting in the 1960s. While the play was sloppy at times with fiveturnovers, 27 penalties and two blown fake punts, the intensity wastop-notch.The Raiders trailed 20-17 when theytook over at their 25 with 2:06 to play. Campbell converted two thirddowns and then hit Ford on a 29-yard pass to the 22 in the closingseconds. Oakland rushed to the line and spiked the ball with 7 secondsleft, setting the stage for Janikowski's tying 41-yard field goal.Kansas City had taken a 20-17 lead ona 20-yard pass from Matt Cassel to Dwayne Bowe with 6:13 to play. Thatscore was set up when Nick Miller muffed a punt and Kansas City'sVerran Tucker recovered at the Raiders 30. It appeared as if Miller'sknee might have been down before the ball came loose, but coach TomCable had already used his two challenges so Kansas City kept the ball.The Raiders had gained just 54 yardswith their only score coming on Ford's 94-yard kickoff return to openthe second half when they took over trailing 13-7 early in the thirdquarter.The offense finally got going asCampbell hit Ford on a 16-yard pass and Darren McFadden followed with a34-yard run. A 16-yard pass to McFadden on third-and-4 moved the ballto the 2 and two plays later Campbell found tackle Khalif Barnes for atouchdown that gave Oakland a 14-13 lead.The Raiders tacked on a 23-yardfield goal by Janikowski after Campbell found Ford on a key third-downconversion for 37 yards. Campbell scrambled to keep the play alive andFord made the catch at the 7 while falling down.Both teams opened up the playbooksearly, with the Raiders running four direct snaps to McFadden in thefirst quarter and both teams failing to convert fake punts.After Rock Cartwright was stopped onOakland's try. The Chiefs appeared to score on a slant pass from Casselto Tony Moeaki on third-and-2 from the 6.Cable challenged the call and won itwhen replays showed Moeaki's knee went down at the 1. Instead of givingthe Chiefs a first down, the officials originally called it fourth andgoal from the 1. After a holding call on Kansas City, the officialscorrected the down and the Chiefs had first-and-goal at the 11.Tucker made an acrobatic catch inthe back of the end zone on the next play to give Kansas City the lead.Cable challenged that call and lost it, meaning Oakland was out ofchallenges with 14:31 left in the half.The Chiefs added a field goal fromRyan Succop after McFadden lost a fumble to make it 10-0 and could havehad an even bigger lead at the half but had a touchdown and field goalerased by penalties. Cassel also threw an interception in the end zonein the final minute of the half.

Mack, Irvin feed off each other, form dynamic duo in Raiders pass rush

Mack, Irvin feed off each other, form dynamic duo in Raiders pass rush

The Buffalo Bills were running right through the Oakland Raiders early in Sunday’s contest, a never-ending assault that took its toll on defenders in silver and black.

That was the case for the most optimistic, steadfast member of that unit.

“We were giving up big plays, and I was frustrated,” star edge rusher Khalil Mack said. “Actually, I was pissed off.”

Bruce Irvin sensed a disturbance in the force. The veteran pass rusher knew how to fix it.  A little pep talk would get Mack going again.

“We feed off each other’s energy. … That dude pulls me up. I was feeling a little down towards the middle of the game, and he was like, ‘Come on. We need you. Come on. Let’s go. He pulled me up and kept pushing.”

That wasn’t the turning point in yet another comeback win. It wasn’t the only reason why defense locked Buffalo down during a run of 29 unanswered points.

It showed how strong a friendship Mack and Irvin have formed since the spring, one that helps get the best out of the other. Bonds formed from insatiable work ethic, one evident even in the offseason program.

“We’re both so hungry to be great that it just brought us together,” Irvin said. “When I got here, we talked right away. Khalil and (quarterback Derek Carr) were the first two guys I sat down with, and I told them I was coming over to play with Khalil, to help turn this thing around and become one of the top units in the league. Khalil and I just bonded quickly, and it was like we had been friends forever. It’s like whole thing was meant to be.”

It has turned out to be a productive pairing. There are 15 sacks, 94 other quarterback pressures and eight forced fumbles between Irvin and Mack this season.

Mack has the bulk of those numbers, especially during a second-half run where he has been outright dominant and jumped into the conversation for defensive player of the year. Mack has been involved in four turnovers the last two games, including game-sealing strip sacks while recovering his own fumble in consecutive weeks.

“You all don’t want to talk to Robin,” Irvin quipped. “Batman’s right over there.”

Irvin has used that line after two home victories in a row. The fifth-year pro is more than Mack’s sidekick. He’s on a roll himself, with sacks in three straight games. He uses speed and agility to create pressure off the strongside edge, dealing with left tackles on a consistent basis.

“I’m in a good groove right now,” Irvin said. “Mentality, physically, I’m in a very good place right now. It’s really showing on the field these past couple weeks.”

Irvin has been a productive defender either making plays on his side or driving traffic back towards Mack. It works both ways, with Mack drawing significant attention that often leaves Irvin in more favorable matchups.

The combination has been impactful, especially on a defense that doesn’t’ get pressure from other sources. They’ve been productive in the clutch as well, with six sacks coming in the fourth quarter. Mack has big plays the last two weeks, and Irvin has a big sack late in a victory over Houston in Mexico City.

The Raiders defense is improving, and having Irvin rushing strong recently helps Mack and the entire Raiders defense.

“He’s always been in a good groove, but there are things going well for this defense,” Mack said. “I’m on the other side, and you have coverage going well. (Opponents) try to do all the chipping and those things that play a factor in doing what we do. The fact that he’s rolling right now is not a surprise.”

Carr, Murray treat Raiders' linemen to Warriors game, witness history

Carr, Murray treat Raiders' linemen to Warriors game, witness history

No NFL regular starting quarterback has been sacked fewer times than Derek Carr. Latavius Murray has 11 touchdowns in as many games, with steady production running between the tackles.

These Raiders aren’t dumb. Carr and Murray know their success comes in large part from the big boys up front.

They acknowledged that with an early holiday gift. Carr and Murray bought five offensive linemen courtside seats to Monday’s game between the Warriors and Indiana Pacers.

Donald Penn, Gabe Jackson, Menelik Watson, Rodney Hudson and Austin Howard all attended that game and enjoyed watching Klay Thompson put up 60 points in a blowout Warriors win.

Afterward the Raiders had a shootaround on the Oracle Arena floor, without much success. Howard missed a dunk, an effort he says was complicated by wearing slacks and dress shoes. Murray missed a layup. “I was fouled,” he said with a smile. Donald Penn missed a free throw, though “my shoulder hurt.”

Then Carr stepped up and buried a 3-pointer much to the remaining crowd’s delight.

Taking care of offensive linemen is common in these parts. Last year Carr bought his line flatscreen televisions. Amari Cooper gave everyone Beats headphones. Warriors tickets were on the docket this year, in addition to a dinner at Carr’s house last week.

The Raiders were able to have a little fun after Monday’s practice as they prepare for a road game at Kansas City on Thursday night.