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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.

  • Aussie Raider

    Awesome win by the LA Kings.

  • Aussie Raider

    And the talk is Davis may have 30 owners voting for relocation.

  • CARR SHOW (baby Al)

    WOW

  • CARR SHOW (baby Al)

    Oakland officials blew it. Raiders belong in Oakland. And for those that want Mark to sell. Theres not 1 owner out there that would of turned this team around in a short time

  • Aussie Raider

    The only owner who’s spoken against is the Houston guy.

  • Rikster/Da/Kool/Kat

    Kings eh

  • idahoraiderfan33

    Hello Rik

  • idahoraiderfan33

    Looks more like Vegas with each passing day

  • idahoraiderfan33

    Mark ain’t going to sell what’s his.. Dreamers whoever thinks that

  • idahoraiderfan33

    I read that.. Let’s so!!

  • idahoraiderfan33

    Carr Show AKA Baby AL

  • idahoraiderfan33

    My early keys to Victory
    Are the same as always!!

  • idahoraiderfan33

    I am thinking of doing some drive by posting there..

  • Reuel Smith

    with Aldon we go deep into the play offs. without one and done… if we even get there.

  • CARR SHOW (baby Al)

    Goodell will get Aldon in time for the playoffs. Raiders are the most watched team in the NFL. ” The NFL is better when the Raiders are good” we are keeping the ratings up for the NFL.

  • Rikster/Da/Kool/Kat

    Great articles Durkin

  • Rikster/Da/Kool/Kat

    One more sleep….

  • PodunkRaider (aka RRS)
  • PodunkRaider (aka RRS)
  • Reuel Smith

    if that was so, he would clear Aldon now. i hear you but….

  • PodunkRaider (aka RRS)
  • PodunkRaider (aka RRS)

    personally, I don’t see it …

  • PodunkRaider (aka RRS)

    Aldon didn’t contribute much to the S&B last year. Not at all this year. We’d like to have him, but we don’t NEED him.. what we NEED is a few extra healthy bodies on defense (McGee, Joseph, Calhoun)..Edwards is way overrated on this blog as well

  • Rikster/Da/Kool/Kat

    Ahoy

  • idahoraiderfan33

    Chips Ahoy??

  • idahoraiderfan33

    Jihad Ward is still pretty raw.. He does have all the tools to be good one though.. Sometimes rookies take a few seasons to develop

  • idahoraiderfan33

    JDR = COY

  • idahoraiderfan33

    Carr’s bro has the same tattoo as Carr..
    And they seem like a talented family as well

  • idahoraiderfan33

    We 10-3 without Aldon right now.. So you don’t think we beat the Bolts and punch that playoffs ticket??

  • idahoraiderfan33

    It seems like the Bolts have a pretty good run defense, and will be looking to stop the RAIDER run game.. We could see Carr put that ball up 45 or so times in this game?!
    With that said, get the ball to Amari Cooper!! The Bolt killa!!
    Cooper vs their secondary, i will take that all day

  • idahoraiderfan33

    Now, we can ignore one of the BEST pure WR talents in the game in Amari Cooper and just force feed the ball to drops Roberts??

  • Rikster/Da/Kool/Kat

    Get Edwards out there coach

  • CARR SHOW (baby Al)

    20h20 hours ago
    Scott Bair ‏@BairCSN
    Raiders targeting Colts game for Edwards Jr’s return | CSN Bay Area http://www.csnbayarea.com/raiders/raiders-targeting-colts-game-edwards-jrs-return

  • CARR SHOW (baby Al)

    Rick Velotta ‏@RickVelotta
    Raiders, Adelson family begin fine-tuning stadium development details https://shar.es/1D1v1s via @reviewjournal

  • CARR SHOW (baby Al)

    20h20 hours ago
    Scott Bair ‏@BairCSN
    Raiders DL Jihad Ward was fined $9,115 for an illegal face mask vs. Kansas City

  • CARR SHOW (baby Al)

    Vic Tafur ‏@VicTafur
    Injuries have slowed down Walford his first two years but still think he has a high ceiling. Great mentor in Lee Smith

  • CARR SHOW (baby Al)

    3h3 hours ago
    Vic Tafur ‏@VicTafur
    #Raiders tight ends Clive Walford, Mychal Rivera catching on http://www.sfchronicle.com/raiders/article/Raiders-tight-ends-Clive-Walford-Mychal-Rivera-10802583.php?t=8769b701a4&cmpid=twitter-premium … via @sfchronicle

  • CARR SHOW (baby Al)

    Rumors are circling. If Rex gets fired Jack will reach out to him for DC

  • idahoraiderfan33

    Now that would be bold..

  • idahoraiderfan33

    The RAIDERS are involving the TEs more which makes our offense that much better

  • idahoraiderfan33

    Lee Smith was a beast blocking TE and was starting to catch some.. Bummer we lost him for the season

  • idahoraiderfan33

    What face mask?? That looked clean to me!!

  • idahoraiderfan33

    Tick tock Oakland!!

  • idahoraiderfan33

    2 games to fine tune his play, then a full go in the playoffs!!

  • idahoraiderfan33

    Will do Rik..

  • idahoraiderfan33

    If the RAIDERS finish the season strong and have an good playoff run?? Do they still fire KNJ??

  • CARR SHOW (baby Al)

    Oj howard TE from Alabama is a beast

  • PodunkRaider (aka RRS)

    Walford can’t block to save his life

  • PodunkRaider (aka RRS)

    nobody cares. the guy is a non factor

  • PodunkRaider (aka RRS)

    Coop & Crabs will have a nice game this weekend. So Carr goes, so goes the passing game