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A rough day for Oakland Raiders fans

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An Oakland Raiders fan shows his displeasure about the team possibly moving to Las Vegas during their preseason game against the Tennessee Titans at the Coliseum in Oakland, Calif., on Saturday, Aug. 27, 2016. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group)

An Oakland Raiders fan shows his displeasure about the team possibly moving to Las Vegas during their preseason game against the Tennessee Titans at the Coliseum in Oakland, Calif., on Saturday, Aug. 27, 2016. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group)

On the 15th anniversary of the “Tuck Rule” game, the Raiders have officially filed papers with the NFL in their bid to move to Las Vegas.

How’s that for a gut punch for Raider Nation?

Raiders owner Mark Davis reportedly believes he has enough support among fellow owner to win the two-thirds vote required to move the team. There are still details to be worked out with Las Vegas as Davis formulates his exit strategy. But all signs point toward a March vote by NFL owners to determine whether Las Vegas will get the Raiders.

Many of you have been through this before when Al Davis took the Raiders to Los Angeles after the 1981 season. And you obviously stayed true to your team or you wouldn’t be on this blog.

But will a move to Vegas change how your view your team? Will you still go to games in Nevada?

Should Oakland play hardball with the Raiders now?

Davis’ move, coupled with the haunting, anniversary memories from 15 years ago when the Raiders were seemingly robbed of a victory in snowy New England because of a little-known NFL rule?

If you have some time, here’s a terrific story on what happened in New England that night.

Until then, the waiting game until the owners meeting in March begins.

FOXBORO, UNITED STATES:  New England Patriots  quarterback Tom Brady (C) takes a hit from Charles Woodson (R) of the Oakland Raiders on a pass attempt in the last two minutes of the game in their AFC playoff 19 January 2002 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  The Patriots won 16-13 in overtime. AFP PHOTO/Matt CAMPBELL (Photo credit should read MATT CAMPBELL/AFP/Getty Images)

FOXBORO, UNITED STATES: New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (C) takes a hit from Charles Woodson (R) of the Oakland Raiders on a pass attempt in the last two minutes of the game in their AFC playoff 19 January 2002 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. The Patriots won 16-13 in overtime. AFP PHOTO/Matt CAMPBELL (Photo credit should read MATT CAMPBELL/AFP/Getty Images)

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190

Can Raiders’ Connor Cook make franchise history?

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Oakland Raiders quarterback Connor Cook (8) fumbles in the second half of an NFL football game against the Denver Broncos, Sunday, Jan. 1, 2017, in Denver. The Raiders recovered the ball. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

Oakland Raiders quarterback Connor Cook (8) fumbles in the second half of an NFL football game against the Denver Broncos, Sunday, Jan. 1, 2017, in Denver. The Raiders recovered the ball. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

Connor Cook will boldy go where only one man before him has gone in the storied 57-year history of the Oakland Raiders.

Come Saturday in Houston at 1:30 p.m., the 23-year-old Cook will become just the second rookie quarterback in franchise history to start a playoff game. The Raiders have played 43 postseason games in their history and the only other time a rookie started came in 1991 when Todd Marinovich was under center.

Marinovich’s fateful start against the Chiefs came in under eerily similar circumstances to Cook’s expected start against the Texans. Long before Marinovich’s career and life spun out of control, he was a rookie first-round pick out of USC filled with promise. Like Cook, Marinovich threw his first NFL pass the week before the playoffs. Like Cook, Marinovich was impressive in a Raiders loss — very impressive, throwing three touchdowns in a 27-21 loss to the Chiefs in that Dec. 22 game in ’91.

Connecting the dots of the Raiders rookie quarterbacks, Cook also gave the Raiders reason for optimism in Sunday’s crushing loss in Denver by going 14 for 21 for 150 yards and a touchdown.

But this is where Raiders fans are hoping the similarities between Marinovich and Cook come to an end.

A week after getting his feet wet in ’91, a week later Marinovich was overwhelmed by the same Chiefs defense while throwing four costly interceptions in a 10-6 loss in Kansas City in the wild card round. Marinovich went 12 for 23 for 140 yards and also fumbled once. Not included in his woeful stat line was a locker room mirror that Marinovich broke with his helmet after the loss.

How will Cook respond to the pressure of being the first rookie in NFL history to make his first career start in the playoffs? And what about the task of playing on the road against the NFL’s top-ranked defense? Can Cook become the first Raiders rookie quarterback to ever win a playoff game? It’s probably safe to say the Raiders’ best chance of winning would be for their offensive line to turn in a dominating performance, and for their defense to make some plays against Houston’s Brock Osweiler.

On the other hand, a guy who knows a couple things about quarterback play seems to think an awful lot of Connor Cook!

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287

Raiders begin post-Carr phase expressing confidence in McGloin

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ALAMEDA — Life without Derek Carr officially began Tuesday, with the Raiders returning to work for the first time since losing their starting quarterback to a broken fibula.

 

The Raiders as a matter of policy don’t confirm surgical procedures, but Carr himself passed along the news on Twitter.

 

“Surgery couldn’t have gone better! Received great news! Already started the recovery process!,” Carr said. “Thank you for all of your prayers as I heal up!”

 

Meanwhile, the long faces in the locker room on Christmas Eve have given way to optimism, with players invoking the NFL custom of “next man up.” In the Raiders case, that means backup quarterback Matt McGloin.

 

“Nobody wants to lose the starting quarterback, so it was an adjustment for that moment,” center Rodney Hudson said. “We’re confident (Matt’s) going to do a good job. He prepares well, works hard, and we’ve just got to do our part to make sure we stay sharp.”

 

McGloin started six games as an undrafted rookie in 2013, winning his starting debut in a 23-20 road win against the Houston Texans and losing his next five starts.

 

His only extended playing time in the last 47 games were single appearances replacing Carr due to injury in London against the Miami Dolphins in 2014 and in the 2015 regular-season opener against the Cincinnati Bengals.

 

The good news for the Raiders is there will be need for major tweaks to the offensive system, given that McGloin operates in a similar way in terms of execution and delivery.

 

McGloin, who will speak to the media Wednesday, goes about his job Monday through Friday much like the man he is replacing.

 

“I would say the only thing is McGloin probably swears a little more than Derek,” rookie quarterback Connor Cook said. “That’s the main difference.”

 

Tight end Mychal Rivera said McGloin brings a competitive edge that was evident when both players were rookies in 2013.

 

“He’s a leader at heart and a hard worker,” Rivera said. “It’s almost like he lives for being that underdog, and that’s what fuels him. We’re going to rally behind him and we’re excited for Sunday.”

 

In McGloin’s first start, Rivera caught five passes for 54 yards, including a 26-yard touchdown.

 

Wide receiver Andre Holmes, who also played with McGloin in 2013, cited the quarterback’s late 19-yard completion to Amari Cooper which put the Indianapolis game away after Carr was injured.

 

“He put the ball out there for Amari to go up and make a play on it,” Holmes said. “Those aer some of the things he did a lot when he was starting here a few years ago. He understands the abilities that his playmakers have. He has full confidence in those players having his back.”

 

This time around, McGloin has a far superior team around him as opposed to the Dennis Allen-coached Raiders that finished 4-12 in 2013.

 

“Now he’s got a running game and he’s got weapons like Crab and Amari, and tight ends that do a good job working the middle of the field,” running back Taiwan Jones said. “He knows we’ve got his back and we’ll keep the show going.”

 

In a podcast Tuesday with Monday Morning Quarteback’s Albert Breer, former Raiders offensive coordinator Greg Olson seconded the notion that Carr to McGloin should be a smooth transition in terms of preparation.

 

“You can’t minimize the loss of Derek Carr and how well he’s playing, but I think the staff believes in Matt and the locker room believes in Matt,” Olson said. “A lot of the traits they have are similar. They’re accurate, they make good decisions.”

 

Olson, the offensive coordinator in 2013-14, said McGloin is a “very capable backup quarterback and one that could probably be starting for a lot of teams this season. I think they’re confidenet in that, and there won’t have to be a lot of changes.”

 

Carr, whose chances of returning to the field even if the Raiders were to make the Super Bowl are extremely remote, is expected back soon.

 

“I think he’ll be back around tomorrow,” running back Latavius Murray said. “I know he’s not going to take time off or be away from this building if he doesn’t have to — that’s the kind of guy he is.”

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33

Jack Del Rio moving on, Derek Carr eyeing Super Bowl, Menelik Watson regains starting job

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ALAMEDA — Raiders coach Jack Del Rio was in the business of moving on Monday, declining to discuss any additional details on the status of quarterback Derek Carr’s broken fibula.

“I’m not really going to shed any more light on it,” Del Rio said at his weekly news conference. “I think at some point there may be more details that follow, but I don’t have any for you today.”

Carr, according to an ESPN report, will have surgery on Tuesday in Los Angeles. But Del Rio claimed to not be aware.

“I don’t know the details,” Del Rio replied when asked specifically when Carr’s surgery would occur. Continue Reading

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42

Raiders notes: Bruce Irvin eyes 10-sack season; Mario Edwards Jr. likely to play vs. Colts; Kelechi Osemele returns to practice

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ALAMEDA — Bruce Irvin makes no secret about his desire to deliver his first 10-sack season.

“I definitely want to get that,” Irvin said. “I definitely … I’m gonna get it. I’m gonna get it.”

The Raiders outside linebacker, in his first season in Oakland after four years with the Seattle Seahawks, has made the elusive double-digit sack season a possibility with five in his past five games.

His seven sacks on the year leave him one away from his previous career high, set as a Seattle rookie in 2012. Defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr., Irvin’s linebackers coach for three years in Seattle, likes the fact that Irvin is motivated to reach that milestone. Continue Reading

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50

Raiders looking to fix recent red zone woes; Shilique Calhoun returns to practice, Stacy McGee, Karl Joseph still out

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ALAMEDA — It wasn’t long ago that the Raiders were humming along as one of the best red zone offenses in the league.

Nobody was better over the first four games and as recently as two weeks ago, the Raiders were seventh in the NFL with touchdowns on 64.3 percent of their possessions.

Two bad weeks — with two touchdowns on their last 11 trips — and offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave is suddenly answering questions about what happened to his once dynamic unit.

“A number of factors,” Musgrave said Wednesday. “We’re ready to get back on track, that’s for sure.”

The Raiders had one touchdown and three field goals on seven trips inside the 20-yard line against the San Diego Chargers. (One red zone possession was following a turnover and led to the game-ending kneel down). Continue Reading

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