Author: Chris McClain

Countdown to Paydirt: Christmas showdown in Philadelphia

The Oakland Raiders head out on the road to take on the Philadelphia Eagles on Christmas day hoping to keep their slim playoff hopes alive. Head coach Jack Del Rio and his team must win their final two games while also getting a lot of help from other conference teams. The Raiders will be going up against a solid Eagles team that has clinched their first playoff berth since 2013, though they’ll have to continue on without their leader Carson Wentz. Second-year quarterback Wentz suffered a season-ending injury in week 14 when the Eagles secured their postseason berth. Veteran quarterback Nick Foles now has control of the offense that features three receivers with over 700 yards: WR Alshon Jeffery (781), WR Nelson Agholor (722) and TE Zach Ertz (719). The Eagles offense is built to spread the ball around which could make it difficult for the Raiders defense. The same three receivers have also accounted for 25 touchdowns this season. On the ground, the Eagles have relied on running back LeGarette Blount who has 159 carries for 717 yards and two touchdowns. The Eagles also traded for Jay Ajayi in October to help bolster their backfield. Altogether, the Eagles feature one of the best offenses in the league, averaging over 386 total yards of offense a game. It could be a long day for a Raiders defense that has...

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Raiders fall to Cowboys on Sunday Night Football

The Oakland Raiders offense struggled to get anything going early on, much like last week’s matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs. Derek Carr and the Oakland Raiders didn’t get a first down until the quarterback scrambled for a seven-yard gain on the team’s third drive of the night. Meanwhile, Dak Prescott and the Cowboys offense was humming, moving into scoring position each of their own first-three series. Cornerback Sean Smith limited the damage on the opening drive as he took advantage of an errant throw to haul in his first interception of the season. But the Raiders defense wasn’t able to limit the damage on the next two drives taking a 10-0 lead. It wasn’t until late in the first half that Carr and the Raiders offense would find some rhythm and get into scoring position. With just second remaining, Carr found tight end Jared Cook for an 11-yard touchdown but the veteran was called for offensive pass interference negating the score. The Raiders would settle for a field goal try, but kicker Giorgio Tavecchio missed it wide right to keep the Raiders scoreless for the first half. Sean Smith would build on his solid night in to start the second half, hauling in another interception and getting up to high-step into the end zone from 22 yards out for what looked like a Raiders defensive touchdown, only a...

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Raiders lose control of division with loss to Chiefs

The Oakland Raiders went into Kansas City looking to take the sold lead of the AFC West but quickly realized they’ll have to get some help if they plan on winning the division. The Chiefs outmuscled the Raiders from the beginning, forcing Derek Carr and the Raiders offense to struggle to get anything going. With the offense struggling, the Raiders defense was forced on the field for a majority of the time but played well in the first half. Following a first quarter field goal, the Raiders gave up their lone first-half touchdown when rookie running back Kareem Hunt got over the goal line up the middle, giving the Chiefs the early 10-0 lead. The Chiefs would tack on two more field goals to give the Chiefs a 16-0 lead heading into the half. The Raiders defense continued to be put in tough positions in the second half. Back up against the ropes, it was second-year player Karl Joseph that came up with the big play intercepting Alex Smith to give the ball back to Carr. But the Raiders offense couldn’t do anything with it once again, going three-and-out and punting the ball back to Smith. With a short field, it took the Chiefs offense just four plays to go 38 yards, including a 13-yard run by Charcandrick West to extend their lead to 26-0. The Raiders got a...

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Raiders move into tie for division lead with win

The Oakland Raiders went into Sunday’s matchup with the New York Giants knowing they had a chance to hold part of the division lead after the Kansas City Chiefs fell to the New York Jets during the morning games. With the Giants putting together a rebuilt team and facing questions about their head coach, it looked like the Raiders would be too much for them. The Raiders defense came out to a quick start by forcing three consecutive three-and-outs against new Giants starting quarterback Geno Smith. Meanwhile, the Raiders offense started off to a quick start. It took just...

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Countdown to Paydirt: Rebuilt Giants come to Oakland

The Oakland Raiders stand just one game behind the AFC West leading Kansas City Chiefs after last week’s home victory over the Broncos and will now host a rebuild New York Giants team. Holding a disappointing 2-9 record, Giants head coach Ben McAdoo decided to make a change under center. After making 210 consecutive starts at quarterback, Eli Manning will sit on the bench to start Sunday’s game, giving way to Geno Smith. Smith has faced the Raiders three times before, holding a 2-1 record. Smith presents a different matchup for the Raiders as he is more mobile and...

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