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

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

  • http://www.insidebayarea.com/raiders r8eray
  • RaidingTexas

    DonManoukiansNeighbor Says:

    Vote for Hue!
    http://espn.go.com/nfl/sportsnation/ratings

    ———————-

    I’m not doing that. This team is in first place despite him. I’m not voting for him just because he’s Raider.

    The guy across the bay has done a way better job. Their record and what he’s done with Alex Smith speaks volumes.

    Hue has alone cost this team at least one win against Denver.

  • Carl Weathers

    True, I just don’t think Cam has the weapons to adjust, especially as a rookie.

    @@@@@@@@@@@@@2

    Carolina has some pretty good weapons on offense actually. Smith, Shockey, Olsen, Lafell & Nanee to throw to and Williams/ Stewqart at RB.

  • joetoronto

    My bad. I Googled “fedex player of the week”, and it took me to week #9.

  • mcfadden20.

    I already voted DWOW 100 some times… u guys should do the same…

  • http://Www.bullycains.com r8dercain

    Bush is there you have to go to week 10

  • bcz24

    I swear some posters here don’t even watch football.
    *************
    Our starting linebacking core when healthy is very stout with Wimbley McClain and Curry. Not a position of need (although we DO need to add some depth there)

    Next years draft will address depth only (unless we lose a key FA, but aside from Bush I dont think we have too many of those)

  • http://www.buffalobeast.com Sullivan44

    DonManoukiansNeighbor Says:

    Vote for Hue!
    http://espn.go.com/nfl/sportsnation/ratings

    ………….

    Done.

  • mcfadden20.

    RaidingTexas Says:
    November 15th, 2011 at 9:47 am

    DonManoukiansNeighbor Says:

    Vote for Hue!
    http://espn.go.com/nfl/sportsnation/ratings

    ———————-

    I’m not doing that. This team is in first place despite him. I’m not voting for him just because he’s Raider.

    The guy across the bay has done a way better job. Their record and what he’s done with Alex Smith speaks volumes.

    Hue has alone cost this team at least one win against Denver.

    ————–

    Only thing matters is limit turnovers , we might have the same Record as them without a great D…

    Give the Niners, our D i promise their record is more like 3-6 or 4-5 …

    Reason why i’m talking about the D is because…

    1. We had D coordinator who was picked by AL and is a loser..

    2. The Niners D been Great before even Harbaugh came over.. I admit he’s making Alex Smith a decent player.. but u can’t tell me their not winning cuz of D..

  • Carl Weathers

    I hate the nfl site. I find it sooooo slow to navigate page to page. There are always errors as well on the team pages.

    CBS I find to be the best.

  • bcz24

    Carolina has some pretty good weapons on offense actually. Smith, Shockey, Olsen, Lafell & Nanee to throw to and Williams/ Stewqart at RB.
    ********************
    Every one of those players, aside from Steve Smith, has underperformed this year. Shockey is washed up, Olsen is a decent TE, but not consistant, Nanae struggles to find space, and Deangelo Williams has all but disappeared since getting paid. Stewart is ok but not a game changer at this point. And like I said, their biggest problem is the defense, which has been ravaged by injury this year.

  • Silverandblack666

    Sandusky44

    You should not be allowed to vote.

  • Method To My Madness

    I double spike the punch….skip breakfast and lunch

  • inonewordraider

    draft best player avail we’re young at every position except Sey which can be replaced by Houston or Bryant, Carlisle which can be replaced by Barks, Heyer or an inexpensive FA, and John Henderson but good NT’s are hard to come by anyway

  • http://www.buffalobeast.com Sullivan44

    Going to be interesting to see what happens with Harbaugh the perfect, genius coach when some of those defensive players, Singletary’s guys, start leaving. Every game the Niners have won this year, their defense deserved just as much credit as their offense.

  • Method To My Madness

    Mizzou 2-0 and will be 3-0 after rolling Niagra on thursday…then the big tests next monday and tues….Notre Dame then Winner of Cal/UGA game! All will be on ESPN….good times…Raiders kickin ass and Mizzou hoops starting off well!………now thats GUCCI

  • raiderinparadise

    We talking draft already?! I say Jonas Gray … RB from Notre Dame, he is having a huge senior year after being quiet for his first 3. He is a bruiser with athleticism just like Michael Bush (who will be gone).

    He will replace him nicely and lets face it McFadden is elite, but only when he is on the field.

  • HairyBush

    Raider Mike latest vid from last game

    http://www.youtube.com/user/RaiderFanPodcast#p/a/u/0/B4-G2RITTMc
    ———————————-
    Props to Raider Mike, well done.

  • HairyBush

    No draft talk! This isn’t 2006, We are in the playoff hunt!

  • qodrn

    Hi there.

    I’m back, so the prediction board is open.

    I hear we are playing that future LA team this week.

  • raiderinparadise

    LoL I didn’t wanna talk draft, just seen a few related comments so threw in my opinion.

    … and we are not in the playoff hunt … we are IN the playoffs. We could click and catch fire as Palmer continues to get better and our team gets healthy.

    This can be a truly great year in wake of AL’s passing.

    McFadden is one of the best offensive players in the NFL, Huff when healthy is a nice coverage guy and blitzer. DVD & Chekwa were looking like they belong.

    The defense will get better down the stretch and the offense just got back Reece, who will be a great tool for Palmer.

  • daraider09

    doriangray Says:
    November 14th, 2011 at 6:03 pm
    tom brady is like a q.b. god dude . see yall needa calm down for a second. rodgers looks amazing this season but i remember when kerry collins looked great . rodgers has a better team than brady and his scheme is gettin it done.

    ***********************************************

    This is in fact the STUPIDEST statement ever made on this blog. The facts are the exact opposite.
    Dont get me wrong, Brady is great, but he is a product of the scheme and great coaching and years of confidence building due to winning and accolades.
    His 3 superbowl wins are due to a great defense and clutch passing to go along with a great running game. There’s a reason now that they struggle defensively that they havent won a championship since 2004.

    Brady never dominated passing until Randy Moss came. They set records together, years after Brady had his confidence go through the roof thru years of having a great team around him.
    Plug in matt Cassel the following season and this Machine STILL goes 11-5.

    Rodgers is doing this with his arm. Take him out of the equation and this team is pedestrian. They would go 6-10.
    It is just like Peyton Manning and the Colts. When Peyton goes out, they arent even an NFL team. He is MVP. Rodgers is MVP. But for Brady, the system and scheme is MVP.
    Brady is a system product. Real fans can differential a special QB from a guy who’s confidence and entire career has been built upon CIRCUMSTANCE.

    Rodgers, Manning, Brees >> Brady

    These are real pure passers. Quarterbacks.
    Brady gets it done with 3 yard quick screens and slants, and tempo passing to welker and his tight ends.
    Sorry. It’s just the truth.
    Rodgers can make every throw on the entire field and can do it with his eyes closed.
    I knew they would win the game last year VS Pittsburg because the steelers defense is built on blitzing and when you have a QB who can beat the blitz, they are exposed as the frauds that they are. They can capitolize on weak teams and weak QBs and win their 11 games per year, but when it comes down to having to play real honest defense against good QBs, they get exposed.

  • DMAC

    Morning peoples!

  • SnB offense defense specialteams

    I hope the team and u guys are not overlooking minnesota

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