Raiders dominate both lines of scrimmage


Raiders dominate both lines of scrimmage

OAKLAND -- It's a simple game, really.

Dominate the line of scrimmage and, more often than not, you win the game.

The Raiders on Sunday won the battles in the trenches on both sides of the ball -- left no prisoners, really -- and there was no surprise, then, that Oakland ended its six-game losing streak with a 15-0 defeat of Kansas City in the Raiders' home finale, their first shutout victory in almost a decade.

Indeed, it is a symbiotic relationship.

"Yeah, I felt like up front that we did a nice job," said Raiders coach Dennis Allen. "I thought we were able to run the ball effectively. We were able to control time of possession, which I think was critical in our defense being able to play as well as they did.

"I think we had 40 minutes time of possession in the game, so that was outstanding, as far as keeping our defense fresh."

[INSTANT REPLAY: Raiders 15, Chiefs 0]

Consider: on offense, Oakland rushed for a season-high 203 yards, on 45 carries, and for the first time this season, the Raiders had more rushing yards than passing yards, even as quarterback Carson Palmer was not sacked for the third time this season.

"Just for guys to go out there, still laying it on the line and showing people that we haven't laid down," said Darren McFadden, who rushed for 110 yards, "we're still going to go out there and fight every down."

The Raiders held a 40:06-19:54 time of possession advantage.

"Our defense outplayed them," Palmer said. "It's good to get a win against a team that's also struggling."

Defensively, the Raiders limited the AFC's leading rusher, Jamaal Charles, to 10 yards on nine carries. Charles came into the game with 1,220 rushing yards and averaging 5.1 yards per carry but in two games against the Raiders, he had a mere 14 yards on 14 carries…total.

"Not too many holes today," offered Chiefs coach Romeo Crennel.

"It's easy to say, hard to do," said Raiders defensive end Andre Carter. "But we were on point."

The Chiefs entered with the No. 5 rushing attack in the NFL, but the 10 yards they gained on the ground equaled a Raiders single-game franchise low, set on Dec. 10, 2000, against the New York Jets.

Plus, the Raiders had a season-high four sacks of Brady Quinn, with one each from linebacker Philip Wheeler, defensive tackles Tommy Kelly and Desmond Bryant and Carter.

The Chiefs did not get a first down until the 5:30 mark of the third quarter.

And the Black Hole even got into the action when, with 2:36 to play in the third, and the Chiefs at the Raiders' 4-yard line, Quinn was called for a delay of game penalty.

"He couldn't hear me, obviously," Quinn said of his center. "It's loud down there."

Kansas City was 1 for 12 on third down, 0 for 3 on fourth down.

"We smelled blood," said linebacker Philip Wheeler.

Indeed, the last time the Raiders shut anyone out came on Dec. 28, 2002…against the Chiefs.

"It definitely felt great," said strong safety Tyvon Branch. "It's our last home game, we had to make a statement and tell our fans we're still playing hard. We're still playing with that same passion."

It showed up down in the trenches.

"To get that goose egg on the board," said defensive end Lamarr Houston, "it's the best feeling in the world."

Report: Former Raiders RB arrested for domestic violence


Report: Former Raiders RB arrested for domestic violence

Trent Richardson is reportedly in some trouble.

Richardson was arrested on Thursday night for domestic violence, according to TMZ Sports.

The former running back was taken into custody on a third degree charge, the report states, with bail being set for $1,000.

The arrest was made in Hoover, Alabama.

The Browns selected Richardson with the third overall pick in the 2012 draft.

He was traded to the Colts in 2013 and played for Indianapolis in 2014.

He signed with the Raiders in 2015 and appeared in three exhibition games, but did not make the team.

The 26-year old was cut by the Ravens last August.

Downing: Carr will have increased influence on Raiders game plan

Downing: Carr will have increased influence on Raiders game plan

Derek Carr and Todd Downing are tight. A strong friendship was forged between the Raiders’ franchise quarterback and his position coach these past two seasons, one that should help the Raiders now that Downing will call plays.

The Raiders new offensive coordinator will use his young signal caller as a resource formulating a game plan. Carr has a bright offensive mind – he called his own plays in high school and in college at times – and Downing plans to use it to put his quarterback in positions to succeed.

Carr’s influence in preparation will expand over previous seasons under coordinator Bill Musgrave.

“Where I see him needing a little bit more command is just being able to share his thoughts of game plans,” Downing said Wednesday in a conference call. “Being a student of the game, as he already is, but vocalize what he likes and doesn’t like. I think my relationship with him is something that’s going to give him the opportunity to voice his opinions. I look forward to him really taking charge of expressing his thoughts on the offense.”

Carr has always had freedom to adjust at the line of scrimmage, but that could increase with Downing in charge. Derek Carr’s brother Davis Carr told 95.7 The Game as much a few weeks ago, a topic Downing addressed on Wednesday.

“There’s been a lot made about his command at the line of scrimmage,” Downing said. “There’s certainly going to be opportunities for Derek to do that. That’s not something I feel we’ll even have to get into until we’re much further into this offseason and into training camp.”

Downing had opportunities to interview with other teams this offseason, but head coach Jack Del Rio wanted to pair Downing and Carr together. The young duo have similar personalities and a strong working relationship based on a love of the game.

“My relationship with Derek starts there,” Downing said in Wednesday interview on 95.7-FM. “We both love coming to work each day and respect the heck out of each other. When you have that kind of relationship with any coach, you’re taking a step in the right direction. Derek’s the leader of our franchise. In my opinion, he’s the best young quarterback in football. We’re fortunate to have him. Why wouldn’t I be in a good mood every time I am around him?”

Carr made great progress working with Downing the past two years, and was an MVP candidate in 2016. Downing sees continued room for growth and refinement as next season approaches.

“I think Derek made big strides in 2016, just in terms of his command of the offense, being the field general, being able to get through progressions more efficiently,” Downing said. “His footwork took big strides. I certainly want him to remain focused on all of those attributes. You don’t want to feel like you’ve arrived in a certain area of your game and then have it go backwards when the next season starts. Certainly, I want him focused on all of those.”