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Game balls galore

It was raining game balls in Alameda Monday, the result of a 31-10 win over the Denver Broncos to snap a four-game losing streak.

Fourteen of them were bestowed upon the Raiders by coach Tom Cable.

Defensive game balls went to cornerback Chris Johnson, safety Gibril Wilson, safety Rashad Baker, defensive tackle Tommy Kelly and linebacker Thomas Howard.

Editorial aside: Nnamdi Asomugha was the only member of the secondary to missed out. What a slacker. Kelly may be the first player to ever receive a game ball without showing up a single time in the postgame stat book.

Those honored on offense were quarterback JaMarcus Russell, guard Cooper Carlisle, wide receiver Ashley Lelie, running back Justin Fargas, running back Darren McFadden and tight end Zach Miller.

Special teams game balls went to punt return specialist Johnnie Lee Higgins and core special teamer Marquis Cooper, who has stepped into all four special teams and been a solid player since the day he arrived.

One more _ assistant coach Willie Brown got a game ball for speaking to the team before the game about the history of the Denver rivalry.

More news, notes and analysis:

– Two Cable slogans appear to be clashing somewhat. When he took over as coach, down came Lane Kiffin’s “I’m in” banner in favor of “1-0.” Cable’s message was to never look ahead or behind, focus only on the task at hand.

Except after beating the Broncos, Cable was talking in terms of 2-0.

“A lot of positives,” Cable said. “In terms of turning the corner and all that, I think you have to answer that after next Sunday. To me, you win a game, it makes you feel good. You win two games now you can start to believe.

“That’s the approach we’re taking this week. This is a huge game for us, just like Denver was. We’re going to prepare that way and get after it.”

Perhaps they’ll just go 1-0 for a second straight week.

– Cable confirmed what was obvious to those who watched the game on television _ that McFadden lobbied hard for the play which resulted in the Raiders first offensive touchdown in 15 quarters. McFadden took a pitch from Russell after a play fake and easily turned the corner for a 1-yard scoring run.

“We didn’t have the flip play out of that formation and he said, `If you give it to me out of the formation where I can get it, I can get it into the end zone.’ So we called the formation where he could get the ball,” Cable said.

– Russell had his most efficient game as a Raider while dealing with family issues and the death of his godmother in Mobile, Ala. Russell left the team Friday night and returned Saturday night, handling personal issues while at the same time being prepared to play.

“He and I had our typical Wednesday meeting,” Cable said. “We talked about it every day to make sure the plans and everything were in order. He took care of it. He met us (in Denver) and got through his review and all the things that we do in preparation for the game. And, obviously, he played very well.”

– Defensive end Derrick Burgess had just two tackles and showed up only occasionally as a pass rusher _ he was in Jay Cutler’s face on one bootleg run his way _ but his presence was a plus, Cable said.

“I think he’d be the first to tell you he’s a little bit rusty. But at the same time he gave our team some needed energy,” Cable said. There’s no question about that. As he gets back into it, like I think you saw with Darren McFadden, you expect him to be better this week and he will be.”

– Pass rushers will receive no special counsel after Howard was called for two personal fouls for roughing the passer, with Gerard Warren getting another. The two on Howard were borderline at best.

“We have to play the game the way we’re supposed to play it which is all out,” Cable said. “It’s unfortunate but it is what it is so let’s just keep ripping it. Calls will go our way soon.”

– As noted last night, the Raiders’ willingness to put the penalities aside and just play without getting all caught up in the blame game with regard to officials was a positive sign.

“I believe this, that we’re beginning to rely on each other and not worry about the negatives,” Cable said. “If I make a mistake, then you’re going to pick me up. If you do something wrong, I got your back.

“And I think that’s starting to happen. I think that it’s that whole thing about team mentality that we’ve been working for and I just felt that, really for a little while now, and I think it really kind of came
together a little bit yesterday.”

One example came after Higgins was called for unsportsmanlike conduct for doing a backflip following his 89-yard punt return for a touchdown, forcing Sebastian Janikowski to kickoff at a 15-yard disadvantage.

With one mighty swing of his left leg, Janikowski still reached the goal line with his kickoff and the Broncos opened at the 26.

Janikowski, who covets touchbacks, told Higgins not to let it happen again.

“He was a little salty to me but in the end we got back and I was like, ‘It’s my bad. Just blame that up on me.’ He was like ‘no, it’s cool. We just can’t have penalties. It’s cool,’ ” Higgins said.

Higgins never saw the kickoff, which traveled 85 yards.

Editorial aside: Maybe Lane Kiffin had something with regard to that 76-yard field goal attempt after all.

“I was busy getting air,” Higgins said. “They say he probably could have kicked it to the second level.”

Cable thinks relieving Higgins of his kickoff return duties with the arrival of Justin Miller has enhanced his punt return skills.

“A kickoff returner is like saying, `you’re going to get in a head-on collision, and you’re a Volkswagon and here comes a Mack truck,’ ” Cable said. “That may distract you a little bit, you’ve go to be wired a little different for that one.”

– The play came back on a defensive holding call anyway, but Johnson was spoken to about his high-stepping interception return in which the ball was nearly knocked out by a Denver defender.

“That ball security isn’t good enough,” Cable said. “There was an opportunity right there to change the entire game had that ball gone the other way, went out of the back of the end zone or something like that. He’s aware of it. Next time it happens he’ll do the right thing.”

– Jon Alston, who carried his helmet in his hand after losing it on a block while running interference for Higgins, also started at strong side linebacker. Alston has been regarded as a tweener _ not really a safety or a true linebacker.

And it doesn’t matter to Cable.

“He doesn’t really look the part and those sort of things but he’s a football player,” Cable said. “He’s good for our team. He’s been tremendous on special teams and all that. He’s a good football player.”

– According to a note in the Rocky Mountain Tribune, Raiders CEO Amy Trask told a man in a Raiders jersey who was being led away in handcuffs by security that it was important to “be respectful” in someone else’s stadium.

Broncos fans had little respect for their own team. They weren’t booing Denver as Raider fans have taken to booing there team in some recent games, but then again, Raider fans weren’t running on to the field three separate times and interrupting the game.

Injury update

Safety Michael Huff left the game with a stinger and did not return, but Cable said he didn’t believe it to be a serious issue with regard to this week against the Chiefs. Center Jake Grove (calf) and linebacker Ricky Brown (groin), neither of whom were active against Denver, are “day-to-day.”

Cable said he thought Brown was getting closer to practicing. Grove said last week he expected to be ready by the time the Raiders played the Chiefs.

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Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • Nnamdi21

    AFC Playbook had Brian Baldinger and Sterling Sharpe pointing out how Denver was looking so good and had found their run D. BalDinger went on to say he doesn’t like the Raiders and its clear Sharpe’s no fan.

    Eat a heapin’ bowl of up yours jag offs.

    Can’t blame you too much from what Oakland has shown this year, but there really is something special there like it or not.

    Just have to focus the beam for the laser to get destructive.

    I hope the Raioders have gotten a taste for victory and realize they can get into the end zone.

    They played down and almost apologetically at times this year.

    I hope we see no more of that.

  • Nnamdi21

    AFC Playbook had Brian Baldinger and Sterling Sharpe pointing out how Denver was looking so good and had found their run D. BalDinger went on to say he doesn’t like the Raiders and its clear Sharpe’s no fan.

    Eat a heapin’ bowl of STFU.

    Can’t blame you too much from what Oakland has shown this year, but there really is something special there like it or not.

    Just have to focus the beam for the laser to get destructive.

    I hope the Raioders have gotten a taste for victory and realize they can get into the end zone.

    They played down and almost apologetically at times this year.

    I hope we see no more of that.

  • darkknight01

    I also love how the idiot Primetime Sanders, didn’t put JLH Punt return in his top 10 highlights.

    Did they even show the highlights or do I have to look them up on youn tube? LOL

    We all know how BSPN tried to avoid the dominating win all together….what a joke.

  • Al Davis Underoos

    Peter King picked GB of course lol.

  • http://view.playlist.com/12165303563/standalone 408RAIDER

    freakin mod we woulda been @ 408 if you didnt have to delete a bunch of comments.. Now I gotta go into the lab ufck!

  • darkknight01

    We all send emails to and clown DumbDinger and Sharpe and the NFL Network and send emails to the annoying Berman and biased Tom Jackson….anyone here have any contact information for all those clowns?

  • RaiderDogg

    I see that someone was trolling as me late last night. My positivity must have really gotten under someone’s skin. Hilarious.

    Morning D, LMN, M, 408 and all the rest of you real folks out there.

  • RaiderDogg

    Morning DK01

    thanks again for that validation last night. I was beginning to think I was falling into my Oliver Stone mindset.

  • Al Davis Underoos

    If these young Raider players get a good taste of dominating the division and the skies the limit. Gotta love how McFadden talked Cable into calling the play he said he would score on. Russell and McFadden were very young studs in the SEC most seem to forget. They won’t be busts.

  • http://view.playlist.com/12942502411/standalone La Milicia Negra

    “Reality is whatever one decides it is”

    ehh no?! I know you know of Søren Kierkegaard..

    you are thinking of the reality of an individuals thought, and i’m talking about the reality of fact..

    if you say you can walk through a wall, you might believe it, I still say you can’t because the reality of fact says you can’t, the physics says you can’t..

    this win will not get us to the playoffs thats fact, this win does not mean our team is on the right track, this win does not mean our roster suddenly is good, this win does not mean much other than for the players to start believing in them selves again.. but that means helluva a lot

  • http://view.playlist.com/12165303563/standalone 408RAIDER

    Morning Dogg!

    I cant say who was trolling as you but OG sure was getting his troll on last night…

    Check you guys out later I have to get some work done…

  • http://view.playlist.com/12942502411/standalone La Milicia Negra

    yo Dogg..

    thank for keeping me company last night, those Miamians never called back, my boss was so pissed, he contacted hyoundai in korea, right away, they got the deal.. lol

  • RaiderRockstar

    We all know how BSPN tried to avoid the dominating win all together….what a joke.

    ***

    that’s so true dark! i didn’t get to watch the game (live in MO) and was trying to catch the highlights and only saw them one time in 5 recorded episodes of Sportscenter. ESPNEWS didn’t show them either on The Blitz. Watching the Giants/Cards game there wasn’t one gamebreak for the Raiders either after they scored. and during half time of that game all they showed was the stats, no Higgins highlight PR TD. We’re the team everybody loves to hate. You know if the donks won, ESPN and other networks would have been all over the game

  • Al Davis Underoos

    The Raiders roster is not that bad, ask the Jets. The approach was all wrong with Kiffin starting with the no rival talk.

  • RaiderDogg

    408

    OG and I have no beef, so I highly doubt it was him. It was some fake MR trying to hate on me last night. I rise above the nonsense anyway.

    I think it’s hilarious that someone found it necessary to pretend to be me.

    have a good day bro

  • Nnamdi21

    RaiderRockstar Says:
    November 25th, 2008 at 9:38 am
    John Wade is a lot stronger than Grove. Grove excels in the zbs because of his aggressive style and quickness. He’ll hold his own and cuts pretty well, but he never dominates anyone. He simply gets the job job, which makes him average. Wade has more power and the ability to move people, but he’s not as quick as Grove and probably doesn’t cut as well. He wasn’t familiar with the zbs, because the Bucs didn’t run one. Those reasons made Grove the starter, but since Wade has had a little time to get the zbs down, he seems to be getting better. His strength is a huge lift for us and I don’t think he’ll get mauled by Jamal Williams when we play the Chargers, like Grove would. I think he should start as long as he’s playing well. Same with Alston & Lelie.

    =====================================================

    Don’t know where you got your Grove info from but its wrong on a couple of points.

    Grove’s NOT quick.

    Been bothered by a bum knee for 2 years. Finally had surgery on it this ofgf season and said he felt great.

    Before he got dinged, he could rarely get second level and it showed in our lack of outside ground gains.

    He’s looked slow and fat too often this year, but does well in tight, but quick nuh-uh…

    Wade blew several assigments against Denver mostly inthe run game but was successful at getting second level and its one of the reasons we had a 100 yd rusher and some semblance of a ground attack.

    12th yr man Wades not the answer, but neither is Grove.

    Grove actually played well against Jamaal week 4 for the most part and had a solid game against Marcus Stroud too.

    Wade’s been a disapointment, but not nearly as much as Grove.

  • http://view.playlist.com/12942502411/standalone La Milicia Negra

    Jhill..

    yeah I won, and an important win.. i won this week too..

    but that was way easier, he had earnest graham and Javon walker as starters.. and what was weird he had brady on his bench.. I had discarted that fella right after IR, but why not, he just made it easier for me =)

  • RaiderDogg

    La Milicia Negra Says:
    November 25th, 2008 at 9:48 am
    “yo Dogg..

    thank for keeping me company last night, those Miamians never called back, my boss was so pissed, he contacted hyoundai in korea, right away, they got the deal.. lol”

    LMN

    It was a pleasure, I miss chatting with the brethren. That’s why I’m back so soon.

    Funny how some people seal their own fate inadvertantly. Those Miamians blew it!

  • Nnamdi21

    darkknight01 Says:
    November 25th, 2008 at 9:42 am
    I also love how the idiot Primetime Sanders, didn’t put JLH Punt return in his top 10 highlights.
    =====================================================

    I wonder if Peion Glanders showed Chris Johnson high steppin’ ala Col. Sanders on his called back interception?

    Eat it mass media. we know whats goin’ on. If Oakladn can start to win and keep progressin, they won’t be able to ignore for long.

  • RaiderRockstar

    N21: Grove nor Wade are problems on this o-line. Major upgrade over Newberry. the problems on the o-line have mainly been Harris & Green. not only for poor pass protection, but for the false starts. These two players have really hindered the offense. Too bad all we have is Henderson & Marten backing them up …

  • http://view.playlist.com/12942502411/standalone La Milicia Negra

    Dogg..

    I can’t understand why.. they didn’t call didn’t email, fax us or anything.. this was a major deal, I bet it would have made work for at least 150 jobs for 6 month..

    we decided to go local because its a good sign, and transportation is cheaper, we was thinking about the tough stretch you guys are gong through.. but nopes, those who made the cranes in SD, will make these now..

    I don’t know the size of the deal, i just know it was BIG..

  • Al Davis Underoos

    Harris and Green are better than Simms and Walker though.

  • RaiderDogg

    Nnamdi -

    I was very suprised that Deion didn’t mention CJ at all, considering Sanders is CJ’s mentor and they work out together in Texas in the off season.

    I think it will take a few more W’s before the Raiders get the respect that they deserve.

    Meanwhile the Lions continue to get coverage.

  • darkknight01

    I would love to see this team draft Alex Mack, but it probably won’t happen unless they trade down from there 1st pick….or trade up from there 2nd rounder.

  • Al Davis Underoos

    Its almost certain Davis will take a lineman this time around if they can’t find any before the draft right after the season is over.

  • darkknight01

    I think Marten and Henderson can develop. This team needs a legit bookend LT who can do it all!

  • RaiderRockstar

    everybody used to call him Pee On Deion when I was younger … he was always a flashy self promoter and when DeAngelo Hall played in ATL he reminded me of Sanders. That’s why I wasn’t thrilled about the trade. Too much flare, not enough substance. Too much talk, not enough football to back it up.

  • Nnamdi21

    RaiderRockstar Says:
    November 25th, 2008 at 9:55 am
    N21: Grove nor Wade are problems on this o-line. Major upgrade over Newberry. the problems on the o-line have mainly been Harris & Green. not only for poor pass protection, but for the false starts. These two players have really hindered the offense. Too bad all we have is Henderson & Marten backing them up …
    ======================================================
    Centers are a prob, just not the most glaring.

    Agreed. Worst tackles in history.

    Oddly, Harris had his best game as a Raider.

    Hope Henderson comes around eventually. I like the kid, he’s got some technique and has been bulking up. maybe nexzt year he can start to get worked in.

    Think its a matter of him being comfortable and executing better.

    Like you mentioned about Wade, maybe a lack of familiarity with the ZBS…

  • http://view.playlist.com/12942502411/standalone La Milicia Negra

    hmm I better go fetch some dinner before i go watch some champions league..

  • vegas raider

    I’m hoping Mack will be available with our second-round pick, might be a pipe dream though.

  • http://view.playlist.com/12942502411/standalone La Milicia Negra

    408..

    are you ready? only ~25 posts to go..

  • Nnamdi21

    Al Davis Underoos Says:
    November 25th, 2008 at 9:59 am
    Its almost certain Davis will take a lineman this time around if they can’t find any before the draft right after the season is over.
    ====================================================

    Tauscher looks like Al’s kinda guy. Cheaper than most FA’s next year at least.

  • RaiderRockstar

    Harris and Green are better than Sims and Walker though.

    ***

    ADU: that is the best joke i’ve heard all day!

  • darkknight01

    I’m telling we need to email NFL Network and BSPN….and just rip them and call them out on there BS!

    Those stations love to try and dish it out…but they can’t take it can they? Cowards with no credibilty!

    And people don’t think there is a conspiracy against the Raiders??

    Blatantly obvious…or alot of those media clowns lost alot of money on Denver! hahaha

  • RaiderDogg

    DK01

    That’s what I’m talking about. Spearhead that effort and let me know where to send the e-mail.

  • Al Davis Underoos

    The ESPN shills still believe in the myth that Davis coaches the team from his golf cart.

  • Nnamdi21

    Funny how no ones really all over Johnson’s great performance. Don’t want to jinx it or call the ball too soon. Hope he just plays at this level now and we’ve got a bad ass one on one shut down corner outa no where.

  • Al Davis Underoos

    RR Simms and Walker would have false started us into a loss last Sunday if they were still here lol.

  • Nnamdi21

    385. Right awn!~

  • Chris in NY

    Arguing Sims/Walker vs. Harriss/Green is like debating the merits of Meister Brau vs. Milwaukee’s Best.

  • vegas raider

    What about that pop that Johnson laid on that guy in the flat. Never saw Meangelo do anything like that.

  • vegas raider

    Unleash the beast!!

  • Nnamdi21

    Al Davis Underoos Says:
    November 25th, 2008 at 10:04 am
    The ESPN shills still believe in the myth that Davis coaches the team from his golf cart.
    ======================================================

    BNecause there are no more real journalists in TV anymore, no one even tried to question Kiffin’s famous “Davis Letter”.

    I wishthey would have. Fromthe letter it sounded like Kiffin had afar more control and say than we’d been led to belive possible from ole Al.

    Course they just dismiss everything off hand because they’ve bought into the lie and over blown hype they helped create.

    The only vengeance is winning.

    Raider Nation

  • RaiderRockstar

    I think Marten and Henderson can develop. This team needs a legit bookend LT who can do it all!

    ****

    i agree dark. We need a LT in the worst way. If we keep Cable and the ZBS i think we should move Kwame to RT and draft a LT in the 1st round. Keep Green as the backup RT. Cut Marten and have Henderson compete with the rookie to be the starting LT.

    If we abandon the ZBS the entire line might need to be scrapped, except maybe Wade, McQuistan & Marten. Even those guys might just be backups …

  • Al Davis Underoos
  • http://ibabuzz 4evaRaider

    I think we let Wade start rest of year,all next year to groom Chris Morris 4 the center position,the position he started for 3 years at Mich.St.Drafted by us in ’06.If we could get 1 good year out of Wade Morris will be ready imo

  • RaiderRockstar

    who is going to cover Tony on Sunday?

    Hiram? Gibril? Stanford? Thomas? Kirk? Jon?

  • Nnamdi21

    RRS says:

    i agree dark. We need a LT in the worst way. If we keep Cable and the ZBS i think we should move Kwame to RT and draft a LT in the 1st round. Keep Green as the backup RT. Cut Marten and have Henderson compete with the rookie to be the starting LT.

    If we abandon the ZBS the entire line might need to be scrapped, except maybe Wade, McQuistan & Marten. Even those guys might just be backups …

    =======================================================

    If Cable can inspire a few more wins this year and show enough progress he might be our HC next year…

    I think Ryan stays too. His defensive baby is just about ready to be good. I think he’ll wanna stick around for the pay off.

    Then again, you never know with this outfit. You never know…

  • Chris in NY

    Nnamdi21,
    How do you expect these guys to have the time to research stories AND make commercials for their gay Nutrisystem diet? It’s one or the other, dude.

  • RaiderRockstar

    I think Chris Morris had the highest score on the wonderlic test, didn’t he? must be a smart player.. I know that Raiders draft class had the highest overall of any other team that year. Maybe he’ll eventually be our version of Kevin Mawae?