MODS PLEASE LOCK | The Oakland Raiders 2015 Season Thread: Week 17 @ Kansas City / 7-8 - Page 41
Poll Results: How many wins will the Raiders have this season?
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By Vic TafurNovember 1, 2015 Updated: November 1, 2015 9:26pm
Michael Crabtree (15) breaks away from Jets linebacker Denario Davis on Crabtree’s 36-yard, 2nd-quarter touchdown. Photo: Carlos Avila Gonzalez, The Chronicle
Photo: Carlos Avila Gonzalez, The Chronicle
There is a point when bad teams become mediocre ones and mediocre teams become good ones. Good ones don’t care what their opponents do well; they simply take care of business.
The Raiders looked like they have taken it to another level Sunday, running the ball at will against the Jets, who had the No. 1 run defense in the NFL coming into the game. Oakland won its second straight laugher, 34-20, and could have had a lot more than 118 yards rushing if not for all those pesky receivers running around open.
“We weren’t about making statements as much as we were going to use our best and challenge their best,” head coach Jack Del Rio said. “We weren’t going to be afraid to utilize our guys.”
That goes for throwing against Darrelle Revis and the Jets’ cornerbacks. Derek Carr passed for 333 yards and four touchdowns, two to Andre Holmes, as the Raiders (4-3) scored 21 points on their first three possessions and didn’t look back. Michael Crabtree had seven catches for 102 yards.
“Bill Musgrave tells us to get the fire started,” running back Taiwan Jones said, referring to Oakland’s offensive coordinator. Jones, who scored his first career touchdown on a 59-yard reception, added, “We can’t wait. Make plays, and have it spread throughout the offense. All over the field.”
Burn, baby, burn.
The Raiders last scored 30 points or more three times in a season in 2010, and if the regular season ended today (yeah, we know it doesn’t), they would be in the playoffs as a wild-card team.
Latavius Murray ran for 113 yards on 20 carries as the Raiders became the first team to run for more than 100 yards against the Jets this season. Oakland, meanwhile, limited New York running back Chris Ivory to 17 yards on 15 carries.
Wins start in the trenches, with the really big, sweaty guys.
“We love keeping our quarterback clean and making holes for the running backs,” said 6-foot-7, 330-pound tackle Austin Howard. “But you can’t get too happy. You have to get mean for the next play.
“We heard a lot about how we couldn’t run the ball this week, and we answered that challenge really well.”
New York took a 3-0 lead on its first possession, and had Oakland on its heels — but the Raiders got a huge break when Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick suffered a torn left thumb ligament on a 12-yard run on the drive.
Fitzpatrick was 3-0 — with three different teams — against the Raiders, and his backup, Geno Smith, was not up to a comeback. (The Jets, down 28-6, did score two touchdowns in the second half as the Raiders couldn’t muster much of a pass rush all day.)
Oakland would have won even if Fitzpatrick had not been injured. He doesn’t play linebacker. Murray ran for 33 yards on the Raiders’ first drive, one that ended with Holmes’ 5-yard catch in the corner of the end zone. The 6-foot-4 receiver, playing behind Amari Cooper, Crabtree and Seth Roberts, hadn’t caught a pass since September, but he had a big day Sunday.
Later, with the Raiders up 14-3, Holmes streaked down the right sideline and put out his hands to snag a pass that Carr dropped in. Holmes caught it in stride and kept going past two defenders for the 49-yard touchdown with 5:11 to go in the first half.
Four minutes earlier, Crabtree scored on a 36-yard pass. He was open in the middle of the field and ran toward three New York defenders — each of whom apparently thought the other was making the tackle. Crabtree put his head down and stumbled the last 10 yards for the score.
The Raiders’ last touchdown came on a pretty play by Jones, whom former head coach Dennis Allen had switched to defensive back. Jones took a quick pass that linebacker Denario Davis read perfectly, but Jones was too fast and sped by him. Jones then juked Marcus Gilchrist and took off down the sideline to complete a 59-yard touchdown.
“I just took it back to the playground,” Jones said. “Instincts. I just went blank. I knew I had to make a play, after watching Latavius, Holmes and Crabtree … I was inspired.”
Burn, baby, burn.
Vic Tafur is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. E-mail: email@example.com Twitter: @VicTafur
Raiders’ 3 notables
QB Derek Carr: He is dealing right now. In his past two games, Carr has completed 47 of 67 passes for 622 yards, with seven touchdowns and no interceptions.
WR Michael Crabtree: Had more yards (102) Sunday than the top three receivers combined (91) on his old team across the bay. Fans hugged him on his leap in the Black Hole and would love to see him re-signed next season.
S Charles Woodson: Pulled down his fifth interception of the season, which was good to get a $250,000 incentive from his one-year contract. It’s all about winning with the future Hall of Famer, but he doesn’t dislike money, either.
By Vic Tafur November 1, 2015
Chris Ivory runs very hard. The Raiders’ run defense hit back harder Sunday.
Ivory’s first carry of the game went for a 3-yard loss, thanks to defensive end Khalil Mack. The Jets’ running back got the legs pumping again two plays later, only to be met by linebacker Malcolm Smith and the rest of the defense 2 yards behind the line of scrimmage.
And Ivory was on his way to a painful day, gaining 17 yards on 15 carries in the Jets’ 34-20 loss to the Raiders. The 1.13 average is a career low in a game in which he has had at least 10 carries.
“That’s a testament to the guys up front and working together,” Mack said. “Stopping the run is what we do. … And then we got Wood if they try to go over the top.”
That’s future Hall of Famer Charles Woodson. After the Raiders went up 21-3, most people at the Coliseum could sense that New York quarterback Geno Smith was going to try to get it all back at once. Smith threw as hard as he could and Woodson chased it down, jumping in front of Brandon Marshall for his fifth interception of the season.
The Raiders were up big for the second game in a row, and though the 14 second-half points allowed were better than the 23 fourth-quarter points surrendered the previous Sunday at San Diego, Mack wasn’t happy.
“We gave them too much,” said Mack, who had his fourth sack of the season. “We can do a lot better than what we did in the second half.”
Favorites, please: Players say they don’t look at point spreads.
Woodson said he didn’t like how the Raiders were 2½-point home underdogs to the Jets.
“I think it’s fine for some people to play from the underdog role,” Woodson said, “but I don’t like it. I don’t like being the underdog. I want to be expected to win games. I want these guys to go out there and be expected to win games.”
The win cheered up Woodson, as did the $250,000 contract incentive he earned for his fifth interception of the season.
Yo, Holmes: Andre Holmes’ last catch before Sunday, a 3-yarder, came Sept. 27 in Cleveland. Besides falling behind Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree on the depth chart, Holmes also was below rookie Seth Roberts.
But, the “coaches said they wanted to use me a little bit more,” Holmes said, “so I had to produce.”
And he did, first with a 5-yard touchdown catch in the first quarter and then a 49-yarder for a score in the second. On that one, Derek Carr dropped it where Holmes could reach and grab it as he ran down the sideline.
“He has been doing that all year,” Holmes said.
Holmes and Crabtree got to eat, as the Jets put top cornerback Darrelle Revis on Cooper. The rookie finished with five catches for 46 yards and was up to the challenge, as Carr missed him deep on the Raiders’ first play from scrimmage.
Briefly: The Raiders have two two-game winning streaks in a season for the first time since 2011. … Carr joined Rich Gannon (2002) and Jeff Hostetler (1994) as the Raiders’ only quarterbacks to throw for 300 or more yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions in a game since the NFL-AFL merger.
By Ann Killion November 1, 2015 Updated: November 1, 2015 8:57pm
Michael Crabtree has plied his trade in the Bay Area since 2009, so Northern California fans have had a close-up view of him for a long time. And in his final days with the 49ers last season, he was labeled something of a malcontent, a receiver whose best days were probably behind him.
Don’t tell the Raiders that.
“The person you describe, I’ve never seen,” quarterback Derek Carr said. “I guarantee if you took a poll of our top five favorite teammates, he’d be up there. Everyone loves him. People gravitate toward him because he’s funny. The only thing he cares about is competing. I’m very happy he’s here now.”
Carr certainly was happy to have Crabtree on Sunday. With Amari Cooper contained by Jets All-Pro Darrelle Revis, Carr looked for other targets. His favorite was Crabtree, whom he found seven times for 102 yards and a touchdown; Crabtree caught a pass over the middle and fought his way through tacklers into the end zone. Carr called it “dad strength.”
Crabtree celebrated by taking his first leap into the Black Hole.
“That was exciting,” Crabtree said.
His teammates see him cheering Cooper’s successes, blocking downfield for Latavius Murray, doing the little things. Crabtree brings experience, having played in NFC Championship Games and a Super Bowl.
“He’s a real pro,” head coach Jack Del Rio said. “We love having him. From Day 1, he really fit in our locker room and has been a great teammate. He does everything we ask. He works his tail off. He’s a great example for Coop, but not just a mentor. He’s making plays.”
Crabtree recorded the 10th 100-yard receiving game of his career (and second of the season); he didn’t have one last season. He also has three touchdowns this season after scoring only four times last season in a 49ers uniform.
Crabtree won’t express vindication for his bounce-back season.
“I’m 28 years old,” he said. “I don’t know about no end. All I know about is work. About doing what I’m supposed to do.”
And he’s having fun.
“I love this team,” he said. “I love these fans. I’m just doing whatever I need to do.”
Reggie McKenzie took an AK-47 approach for years and found gems through the draft to really solidify his position as GM.
He was very patient, very patient as was Mark with a lot of players and coaches and gave everyone opportunities.
Reggie I doubted you, but man these three years really came by fast and are really starting to take shape for once.
This team is no longer the joke of the league and people are actually starting to respect, take us seriously.
Edited by OaklandCA - 11/2/15 at 12:39pm