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Raiders hold one-game edge in AFC West, ease of schedule

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The Raiders emerged from last week’s games with a one-game lead over the San Diego Chargers, Denver Broncos and Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC West.
It gets better the more you delve into the teams’ remaining seven games. The Raiders play four teams with losing records as of now, while the Broncos face only three such opponents and the Chargers and Chiefs one each.
The records of the Raiders’ remaining opponents is 32-29, not counting tonight’s Vikings-Packers game, teams the Raiders face between now and season’s end. The Broncos face teams that are a combined 32-30. The Chargers face teams that are 35-28, the Chiefs 41-22.
In other words, things are looking up for the Raiders in their bid to win the divisional title for the first time since 2002, the season they advanced to the Super Bowl.
“It makes me feel good,” defensive tackle Tommy Kelly said, “because I have never been in first this late in the season. At the same time, we can’t sneak up on anybody anymore. We’re the hunted now.
“We just got to make sure to dot all our I’s and cross our T’s. Like coach said at practice, we have to keep building until the end of the season, get better every day and take advantage of our opportunities.”
Actually, the Raiders and Chiefs were tied for first place at 5-4 last season. This season, the Raiders are right back at 5-4, one game ahead of the three 4-5 teams.
Raiders coach Hue Jackson said he and his players aren’t content. They also are encouraged by the fact that they haven’t played their best football.
“I have a high expectation for this team, for the staff, for everybody connected with this organization,” Jackson said.
“We’re not close yet. We know that. We’re chasing it. That’s the beautiful part, that it’s out there somewhere.
“We just got to get in it and do it. Now, do I think we’re playing better? Do I think we’re playing a little bit more consistently? Yes, I did in the last game. But that was one game.”

RAIDERS BACK IN GRIND
Jackson put his troops through the paces Monday for the first time since the Chargers game. That gave the players Friday, Saturday and Sunday to clear their minds, spend some time with family and friends and rest up their bodies.
That’s the end of the long breaks for the Raiders the rest of the season, unless they qualify for the playoffs and get a first-round bye. As of today, the Raiders would host the Baltimore Ravens in a first-round game.
“It’s good to be back,” Jackson said. “Guys are working, getting ready for a big game, Minnesota. Now we’ve got six more days to get healthier, get stronger and get better. Guys came out here with a good mind-set for the first day. We ran around a little bit and got the cobwebs out. Guys are excited about playing again.”

MCFADDEN UPDATE
Jackson said McFadden was out of the protective boot on his right foot when Jackson saw McFadden this morning. He added that McFadden still might be using the boot off and on.
Of more import, Jackson said, McFadden is making progress in his return from a midfoot sprain he suffered against the Kansas City Chiefs on Oct. 23. He has not practiced since and has spent a great deal of time in rehabilitation.
Jackson said it’s too early to gauge whether McFadden has a chance of playing against the Vikings. There’s still three practices left this week, which is plenty of time for McFadden to get back into football shape.
“I know we’re getting closer to getting him back out here,” Jackson said. “I know he’s working his tail off. When I saw him this morning, he looked good. Until we get closer later on in the week and we know exactly where he is, I don’t want to speculate.”

FORD BOOT-BOUND
Wide receiver Jacoby Ford’s right foot is in a walking boot, Jackson said. That’s not a surprise, given Ford’s injury occurred Thursday night against the San Diego Chargers.
Again, it’s too early for Jackson to make any kind of guess as to what Ford’s status might be later in the week or for the Vikings game.
“Nobody’s been ruled out as of now, so we’ll go through the week and see where we’re at,” Jackson said.
That includes defensive tackle Richard Seymour, middle linebacker Rolando McClain, free safety Michael Huff, cornerbacks Chris Johnson and DeMarcus Van Dyke, and others who were held out of practice or weren’t able to do much.

JOHNSON RESURFACES
Ran into starting cornerback Johnson, by chance, in the locker room today as he was passing through. Naturally, I stopped him to check on the status of his recovery from a hamstring injury.
Johnson revealed that his recovery hit a snag along the way, which has caused him to miss far more time than expected.
“I got infected, so I had to remove the infection fluid,” Johnson said. “My body’s healing, but I’ve got to be smart. Last time, I don’t think I was smart enough. I tried to come back too fast. I hurt myself.”
Johnson suffered a hamstring injury during training camp and underwent an “oil change,” his phrase for a surgery. He returned in time for the regular-season opener, only to aggravate the injury.
He played through the injury before he decided to shut it down after three games. He has missed the past six games. On Monday, he said he is out for the Vikings game but intends to play against the Chicago Bears on Nov. 27 if things go as planned.
“If you get any kind of major fluid in your muscle, they have to take care of that, because it can really turn into something worse than we expected,” Johnson said.
With Johnson and DeMarcus Van Dyke still out, the Raiders are short on cornerbacks. Therefore, they worked out five Monday (see the previous post).

WIMBLEY SACK HAPPY
Kamerion Wimbley’s four sacks against the Chargers fell one shy of Howie Long’s franchise record for a single game.
Wimbley said he wasn’t aware of that until after the game. He said he was more intent upon getting after Philip Rivers as often as possible.
He goosed his sacks total from two to six in one game. That’s precisely what he told Jackson was about to happen when they discussed the reasons for Wimbley’s lack of sacks early in the season.
Not that Wimbely was worried about his lack of sacks. He said he is pleased with how often he has pressured the quarterback, hit the quarterback and forced errant throws.
Just the same, he added, he understands the infatuation with sacks, even though sack leaders typically wind up with 10-20 sacks out of the 1,000 or so plays they are on the field for during a 16-game season.
“Well, it’s an important play in football because it’s a big momentum play,” Wimbley said. “A lot of it happens on third down, when you’re trying to get off the field. So, that’s kind of the thing that players, fans, coaches, they all look at that when you’re going against teams that are passing more now.
“So, it’s an important attribute. That’s why those players are in high demand, people who can get back to the quarterback and, not only get sacks, but another important statistic would be the hurries and if you make the quarterback throw incomplete passes. It all helps out.”

PALMER CHALLENGES MOORE
Another reason why Jackson and the Raiders love quarterback Carson Palmer, listen to rookie wide receiver Denarius Moore describe his first conversation with the veteran.
“He came in, asked me questions about, How is life, how I wanted to become a wide receiver, what it takes to be a good wide receiver, and then he turned around and asked me if I am willing to take on those challeges, am I willing to take advantage of the opportunity.
“I said ‘yes,’ and took it upon myself to spend some extra time with him, working out. We started to develop some chemistry.”

Follow me on Twitter: @corkonthenfl

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Steve Corkran

  • fingers

    A lots gonna fall on our Dline…. Pressure the Qbs …we have a chance….
    I believe our offense has the Ability to be as good as any Offense… Talents there …

  • fingers

    Extra… True

  • DonManoukiansNeighbor

    Noticed last night. Rogers and Palmer both like to throw at the back of defenders helmets and challenges his Wr’s to get it. JC would never make those throws and thats way he is captin check down.

  • bcz24

    Minnesota is not going to be an easy out, but we have beaten tougher opponents and loss to easier.

    The one thing that really makes me a little nervous is the extra time off. We don’t do well with extra time off. Thats why we have lost after our last 9 bye weeks.

  • Plunketthead

    J hill Thats hard to disagree with.

  • fingers

    Tuskface Elway knows Tebow can’t take the Donks to a ” NFl ” championship running the option offense……look at the number of running backs out due to injuries … And the Qbs lost just this week… I’m suprised Tebows lasted this long without being drug off the field with an injury ..

  • r8rwill

    Tebow running in the open field isn’t good for defenders

  • Seymour Bush

    bcz24 Says:
    November 15th, 2011 at 8:23 am

    Same thing is happening with Cam Newton right now. Defensive coordinators are beginning to catch up to him.
    ********************
    I dont really agree with your take on Cam. He CAN throw to beat you.
    =====================================

    Don’t get me wrong, I like Cam, but I think Defensive Coordinators have caught up to him and are making him adjust. That’s what great players do. They then adjust their games and they become very tough to beat. See (Brees, Brady, Peyton)

  • fingers

    Agree… Can’t take The Vikings lightly…

  • mr Jared V, its your time to get some well deserved national recognition against mr Jared A.

    if JV handles JA, we can send out more options for our new toy.

    i cant wait to see our offense get on the field nowadays. as opposed to being very cautiosly optimistic

  • Plunketthead

    I went to bed right before halftime monday night. I was actually ahead by a few points. Wake up, Brady went off and I am on the biggest blowout loser board again.

  • LA to TheBay

    J,

    Trade DMAC?

    I know we got some holes, but I’m sure they can be filled in free agency or later rounds.

    I’d rather keep Bush around and have DMAC for 13 games a year.

  • DonManoukiansNeighbor

    Maybe we need to start McHalfAseason in week 6 next year.

  • bcz24

    Don’t get me wrong, I like Cam, but I think Defensive Coordinators have caught up to him and are making him adjust. That’s what great players do. They then adjust their games and they become very tough to beat.
    ***************
    True, I just don’t think Cam has the weapons to adjust, especially as a rookie.

  • Lowdown_in_Beijing

    Tebow vs. Man on man coverage is more disasterous than K2’s prom night.

    Dude is no John Elway, Elway was always a threat to throw it.

    Stack the box, play a strong nickel zone (they have no RBs) with only two LBs, and give him no where to run.

    No need to spy, just keep him in front of you.

  • RaidingTexas

    CJ Legend 34 Says:

    But be honest, you can’t help but to think maybe God’s hand is in Tebow’s victories.

    ——————————–

    I can definitely NOT think that. I have zero doubt there is not any divine intervention making Tebow win these game. I think he’s a 240 pound athlete that is difficult to tackle and is giving defenses fits for the moment.

    But maybe if you believe in fairy tales, you do think this is going on. So then I ask: Are the 1,643 players on the other 31 NFL teams are just sh-t to this god?

    Man, I can’t wait for defenses to figure out how to scheme this kid – and they will – so we can put this crap to rest once and for all. It’s like some people think he is going to win the next 15 Super Bowls because he is the second coming.

  • lefty12

    We play Minnesota this week,not the donkeys.Why so much concern about Tebow?

  • hwnrdr

    F Tebow…he’ll get figured out! Maybe the Jets this Thursday?

  • No Mas Diamante

    If McClain had played in the denver game we would not have lost in my opinion. McLain played against Tebow in college a few times and would have known how to defend the read option.

  • Lowdown_in_Beijing

    Perhaps a Sniper Defense built around a .308 will take Tebow out???

    3-D-linemen
    0-Linebackers
    8-DBs

    Not like the Donks have a running game now…

  • Silverandblack666

    “I went to bed right before halftime monday night. I was actually ahead by a few points. Wake up, Brady went off and I am on the biggest blowout loser board again.”

    Sorry about that!

  • Good Morning Raider Nation!!!!

    Whats crackin?

    What do you all think…we got our work cut out (Allen) for our O-line?

  • Lowdown_in_Beijing

    Allen will go out with an injury.

    Bush Moore often.

  • No Mas Diamante

    Minnesota is a fast indoor track. Would love to have Mcfadden and Ford for this game.

  • Silverandblack666 Says:
    November 15th, 2011 at 8:07 am

    “But be honest, you can’t help but to think maybe God’s hand is in Tebow’s victories.”

    Ok if that’s true then when they lose its gods fault as well?

    why would God lose does he like losing?

    Its not logical it does not make any sense at all!

    Religion is a scam stop giving them your money!!!!
    #################

    whaaat so you dont believe Al was in coverage on the last play of the game in Houston?

    me neither..

    i think he had a hand in making JC scramble on a certain play……

  • No Mas Diamante

    maybe a 6-3-2 would work against tebow.
    6-dl 3-lb and 1 cb and 1 saftey. lol

  • The Big Banana

    DonManoukiansNeighbor Says:
    November 15th, 2011 at 7:49 am
    Vote for Hue!
    http://espn.go.com/nfl/sportsnation/ratings

    ____________________________________________

    Tough crowd in Baltimore. But then, they just lost to lowly Seattle.

  • No Mas Diamante

    I think we can score on the packers. question is can we score as many as they will.

  • The Big Banana

    lefty12 Says:
    November 15th, 2011 at 8:52 am

    We play Minnesota this week,not the donkeys.Why so much concern about Tebow?

    ______________________________________________

    Was wondering the same thing.

  • The Big Banana

    No Mas Diamante Says:
    November 15th, 2011 at 9:06 am

    I think we can score on the packers. question is can we score as many as they will.

    _______________________________________________

    Depends on what kind of pressure we get from the D-line. If Rodgers has time, he’ll carve up our defense like a Thanksgiving Day turkey.

  • Silverandblack666

    I myself am so sick of TeBlow. Reading about that little retard and hearing about him on ESPN makes me wish his mom would have had an abortion.

  • No Mas Diamante

    A good running game will keep Rogers off the field and keep our d fresh. You’re right tho. Pressure is the key

  • MikieG

    Please Please Please GOD Do not let Carson Palmer get hurt this Sunday on the Minnesota Concrete…

    Double that SOB Allen all F’n Game Hue…ALL GAME!!!

  • hwnrdr

    I agree MikieG!

  • No Mas Diamante

    But lets not overlook Minny. they did not look too good last night but at home in the dome could be different. I’m sure peterson has heard all about our run stopping difficulties. we will see alot of him.

  • r8rwill

    If we bring our A game we will beat gb

  • The Big Banana

    Yeah, No Mas, AP concerns me. Could be a long day. Hopefully McClain is ready to go.

  • The Big Banana

    Schaub out for the year. This is the year of the injury. Healthiest team wins the SuperBowl. lol

  • joetoronto

    bcz24 Says:
    November 15th, 2011 at 8:19 am

    Everyone be sure to vote for Michael Bush as the Fedex Ground player of the week
    **********************************
    I just went there, he’s not even nominated.

  • SaintKaufman

    This game should be won by the defense. AP is priority #1, 2 and 3.
    I have total confidence that Palmer and these receivers will be able to outscore Ponder.

    Anyone hear how Seabass is doing? It really makes you realize how much of a freak he is when you see Longwell come up short from 52.

  • MikieG Says:
    November 15th, 2011 at 9:12 am
    Please Please Please GOD Do not let Carson Palmer get hurt this Sunday on the Minnesota Concrete…

    Double that SOB Allen all F’n Game Hue…ALL GAME!!!

    Hwnrdr Says:
    November 15th, 2011 at 9:13 am
    I agree MikieG!

    ———-

    Thanks for putting that thought in my head….wasn’t even thinking about that!(Palmer getting hurt)

  • Does anyone not see us signing a above average MLB next year?
    I can see us drafting one, but we need a Stud Now!

    The Draft should be DT, DE, OLB, MLB. In best available order.

  • ghostraiders

    Denarious Moore should be there for offensive rookie If the week… he won it once already… I hope he wins it again..

  • hwnrdr

    Bush is there…

  • Joetoronto Says:
    November 15th, 2011 at 9:25 am
    bcz24 Says:
    November 15th, 2011 at 8:19 am

    Everyone be sure to vote for Michael Bush as the Fedex Ground player of the week
    **********************************
    I just went there, he’s not even nominated.

    ::::::::::

    Yes he is. Along with Cris Johnson and M Jones-Drew

  • silverback

    Raider run game has been inconsistent this year. Some teams have beaten them on the line of scrimmage. The Vikings look to have a strong pass rush as well. Hue may have to make adjustments on the fly. Lets hope the Raiders come focused and ready for a fight. I still believe the defense is fragile and need to be on the sidelines as much as possible.

  • Vote 4 Moore money for Rookie of the week also.

  • ghostraiders

    Fairly and Suh are both dirty players….wish they were both Raiders. .. but I see the sh!t They do..and obviously it looks classless… every week.. they’re doing the same thing…

  • ghostraiders

    The team needs to get healthy… if we get healthy on defense. . We will be a lot better.. were missing shaughnessy..Goethel.. and Eugene more than I thought we would…

  • The Realist Dirty Raccoon Says:
    November 15th, 2011 at 9:28 am
    Does anyone not see us signing a above average MLB next year?
    I can see us drafting one, but we need a Stud Now!

    The Draft should be DT, DE, OLB, MLB. In best available order.
    ______________________
    where will we get the picks from. We have no draft in 2012