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Raiders notes: Secondary welcomes Philip Rivers throwing deep again, Darius Latham ready to return vs. Chargers

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ALAMEDA — San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers offered his frank and honest assessment after his team’s first matchup with the Raiders this season.

“We didn’t think they could run with us on the back end,” Rivers said after a game in which he completed three passes of 50-plus yards.

“Well, evidently he was right,” Raiders coach Jack Del Rio said this week. “I mean, they got a couple behind us, so we’ll see if we can run a little faster this week.”

Rivers threw for 359 yards and four touchdowns in that game, averaging a whopping 17.1 yards per completion — the 10th-highest single-game average of his 13-year career.

Rivers’ longest connection was a 59-yard pass to tight end Hunter Henry and he also had a 54-yarder to Travis Benjamin. Both of those were of the shorter variety as the Raiders’ secondary struggled to make tackles.

But Rivers also hit Tyrell Williams deep twice. There was a 29-yard touchdown in which he blew past the coverage of cornerback David Amerson and safety Reggie Nelson.

Later, Williams got deep again on Amerson and Nelson was late to react and provide the help and the Chargers connected on their third 50-yarder of the game.

Don’t think Rivers won’t remember the success he had attacking down the field.

“We’ve got our work cut out,” Nelson said. “As a secondary, period, we can’t give up deep balls. That’s my job as a safety so it’ll be a challenge and we’re looking forward to it.”

Raiders cornerback Sean Smith said it didn’t bother him “not one bit” how openly Rivers spoke about attacking Oakland deep.

“If they’re plan is to come in and sling it around, then by all means, go for it,” Smith said. “I can’t worry about what their plan of attack is. I can only go out and do my job.”

Amerson, who obviously struggled in that outing, also dismissed what Rivers had to say — particularly because the Raiders won 34-31.

“It’s talk. You’ve still got to win the game,” Amerson said. “You’ve still got to go out there and play, so let him do it again.”

Smith was tested deep early in that game, but he read and was able to pick off an underthrown pass to Benjamin for a first-quarter interception. Rookie safety Karl Joseph, who is unlikely to play this week with a toe injury, also picked off a deep Rivers pass just before halftime.

That’s part of the Rivers’ conundrum. He’s fourth in the league in both passing yards and touchdowns, but has thrown an NFL-high 17 interceptions. The Chargers as a team lead the league with 30 giveaways. That’s the Rivers the Raiders are looking forward to seeing.

“We know if he’s going to go out there and just throw the ball crazy, just throw it up, we’re going to make him pay,” Amerson said.

The Raiders also have a pass rush that’s in better shape. They remain near the bottom of the league with just 22 sacks — only the Cleveland Browns have fewer — but Khalil Mack has a sack in eight straight games and a strip sack in three straight. He thinks they’ll be ready to slow down the Chargers deep game.

“We pride ourselves on that, not letting guys throw the ball over the top,” Mack said. “We’ve given up a few here and there but it’s all about getting better, learning from the mistakes, learning from the week before, the game before and so knowing that, I know guys are going to be ready and fired up.”

— Raiders defensive tackle Darius Latham said he will make his return when his team faces the San Diego Chargers on Sunday.

The undrafted rookie has missed the past two games with an ankle injury, but has returned to practice this week and said “everything’s feeling better.”

As for playing in Sunday’s game, Latham said, “yeah, that’s the plan.”

Latham had played in the first 12 games as a rotational lineman and has 12 tackles on the season. While the stats are modest, Latham is a big-bodied presence who has been able to provide decent push up front when he’s out there. He’s happy to be back for the stretch run.

“I’m not used to missing games,” Latham said. “It’s hard to miss any game for any reason, even if it’s preseason.”

— The Raiders injury report was unchanged from Wednesday.

Latham, wide receivers Amari Cooper (right shoulder) and Michael Crabtree (left ring finger), left guard Kelechi Osemele (knee) and linebackers Malcolm Smith (hamstring and Perry Riley Jr. (hamstring) were all limited.

Safety Karl Joseph (toe), defensive tackle Stacy McGee (ankle) and linebacker Shilique Calhoun (knee) all did not practice. Derek Carr (right pinkie) was a full participant.

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Jimmy Durkin

Sports writer for the Bay Area News Group, covering the Raiders.

  • PodunkRaider (aka RRS)
  • idahoraiderfan33

    LOL crybaby Rivers!!

  • idahoraiderfan33

    Why does the Media always fail to mention Musgrave when talking about good young coaches out there?? Musgrave has one of the best and most exciting offenses in the league.. And that’s a fact..

  • ENGLANDRAIDER

    Good article, Durkin.

  • Rikster/Da/Kool/Kat

    Where’s that Chiefs fan Riff…

  • CARR SHOW (baby Al)

    Vic Tafur ‏@VicTafur
    As for meeting w/ Goodell, Aldon Smith told Fotion that “it went well. They poked the bear, they poked the bear … but they didn’t rattle me”

  • PodunkRaider (aka RRS)

    Musty is VANILLA … always has been, always will be

  • PodunkRaider (aka RRS)

    FREE ALDON!

  • CARR SHOW (baby Al)

    2h2 hours ago
    Vic Tafur ‏@VicTafur
    Raiders’ Aldon Smith wants answer from NFL on suspension http://m.sfgate.com/raiders/article/Raiders-Aldon-Smith-wants-answer-from-NFL-on-10800145.php?cmpid=twitter-mobile … via @SFGate

  • CARR SHOW (baby Al)

    Welp

    Todd Gurley II ‏@TG3II
    Pull up then. https://twitter.com/codyhasek1/status/809627839595184128

  • Raiders21

    there was a browns offensive lineman that just got a DUI too and he got suspended two games

  • Raiders21

    Aldon is pretty upset as he should be. i read the article and I guess the NFL told him a decision would be made Monday. it is now Friday. Goodell is a clown

  • Die Haters

    Hi Rik

  • idahoraiderfan33

    And we average 28 or so points a game.. Imagine if Musty opened up the playbook?? 50 points a game??

  • Die Haters

    Did you see the fans response? I’ve been waiting for you in the end zone….lmfao

  • idahoraiderfan33

    Of course he does.. Dude did his time and followed the rules.. Goodell is being a jerk

  • idahoraiderfan33

    It’s a big game no doubt, but the biggest since our SB run?? Well i guess since a win would clinch a playoff spot..

  • PodunkRaider (aka RRS)

    As JFB would say, it’s about the Willie’s and Joe’s … not the X’s and O’s

  • Raiderfusion

    Hi Gang, I miss you guys. I thought they closed this site down. Went to Pillaging and another site, but they were hit and miss with posts being a few days old. Why isn’t anyone going to East Bay Times or Mercury News? Good articles. For all of you I go to Silverandblackpride.com, great articles and a good cast of characters posting. Give it a try sometime.

  • Die Haters

    Instead we need to get this site rolling again

  • Bull Crap – Pillaging has fresh content and it is inclusive of the fans.

  • Aussie Raider

    I can’t believe I’m saying this but Skip Balless was great compared to this politically correct turd Kellerman.

  • Plunkhead

    Thats brutal and its blowing up on twitter. Gurley should have kept his big tweet shut

  • idahoraiderfan33

    SB Pride is pretty good.. But Durkin, JerryMac and crew are better..

  • idahoraiderfan33

    I do my part, lol

  • idahoraiderfan33

    JFB says a lot of stuff, a lot of it on point too..
    But i don’t agree with him on this one..
    Musgrave is one of the better OCs in the league, his offense says so, imo

  • idahoraiderfan33

    IMO

  • idahoraiderfan33

    Yeah, Skip was better than Kellerman..

  • idahoraiderfan33

    So no MEJ against the Bolts.. Yeah i didn’t think so, he’s not there yet.. We might see him against the Colts, but it’s a lock that he will play against the Donks to close out the season..

  • Die Haters

    Don’t want to rush him and lose him again. He hasn’t had a game in a long time and his history would say take it safe and easy. Probably will play limited snaps his first few games back anyway

  • idahoraiderfan33

    Exactly
    While it’s awesome to get a talent like MEJ back, we just need to ease him back into the lineup.. We get Latham back for this game, and he’s pretty good too, so at least there’s that..

  • PodunkRaider (aka RRS)

    Good. We don’t need him

  • PodunkRaider (aka RRS)

    Agreed!

  • PodunkRaider (aka RRS)

    Me too bro!

  • PodunkRaider (aka RRS)

    You never forget your first love. Long live IBA !!

  • idahoraiderfan33

    If we can’t beat the Bolts without MEJ then our problems run deeper than that,imo

  • idahoraiderfan33

    You sure do!! And i really don’t understand what the big deal is by not posting on 2 boards?? Shoot, i post on more than 2 and it’s no big deal.. Oh well, it’s all good

  • PodunkRaider (aka RRS)

    Actual beat writers with access to the players, coaches and facilities. Paid professionals with ties to the local community and charities. All for free! You can’t replace that with wannabe fanboys

  • PodunkRaider (aka RRS)

    Edwards is a nobody

  • PodunkRaider (aka RRS)

    I love it here, even with reduced comments. Quality trumps quantity every time

  • idahoraiderfan33

    I’ve been reading this blog for a LONG time, then finally decided to join the fun.. And now that some feelings got hurt nobody wants to post?! SMH!!

    That seems pretty weak to me, again IMHO

  • idahoraiderfan33

    LOL No comment bro

  • idahoraiderfan33

    This blog is legendary!! I just call it THE BLOG!!

  • idahoraiderfan33

    Some of the best bloggers on the NET were MADE on this blog..

  • CARR SHOW (baby Al)

    Yo yo yo yo

  • CARR SHOW (baby Al)

    2h2 hours ago
    Eddie Paskal ‏@EddiePaskal
    How much do the Raiders players respect Charles Woodson?

    They decided to keep his old practice locker empty and untouched this season

  • CARR SHOW (baby Al)
  • CARR SHOW (baby Al)

    6h6 hours ago
    Levi Damien ‏@LeviDamien
    The only team #Raiders ‘need’ to lose is the #Chiefs https://twitter.com/markusg82/status/809852735226986496

  • CARR SHOW (baby Al)

    Bye bye oakland

    Dec 15
    Steve Sisolak ‏@SteveSisolak
    Had a great meeting today with the Raiders and the Adelson family. Both are working very hard to finalize a complicated deal

  • CARR SHOW (baby Al)

    Looks like Mark isn’t even sniffing Oakland way