Author: Chris McClain

Raiders’ road struggles continue in loss to Bengals

The Oakland Raiders traveled to Cincinnati looking to build on last week’s upset win over the Pittsburgh Steelers but the Bengals proved to be too much to handle. Head coach Jon Gruden has been excellent at scripting opening drives all season long but that success ran out Sunday, going just 10 yards on five plays. Things didn’t get much better on the Raiders second offensive drive of the game as Derek Carr was sacked, fumbling the ball and giving the Bengals a short field. Paul Guenther’s defense came up bit as safety Erik Harris intercepted quarterback Jeff Driskel’s pass on the ensuing play, giving it right back to Carr and the Raiders offense. But once again, Carr and the Raiders couldn’t get anything going. They went three-and-out and were forced to punt the ball away. The Bengals got on the board first, putting together a 12-play drive that went 85 yards. The Raiders defense forced a fourth down, but Bengals standout running back Joe Mixon pushed his way through the line for a one-yard touchdown to put the Bengals up 7-0 early. The Raiders first score of the game wouldn’t come until they were already down 10-0 in the second quarter. It took Carr just five plays to go 80 yards. Facing first and goal from the one-yard line, Carr found a wide open tight end Lee Smith for...

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Raiders grit out a win over the Pittsburgh Steelers

The Oakland Raiders returned to the Coliseum looking for a big win over old AFC rivals Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday. Head coach Jon Gruden has been stellar all season at scripting an opening drive and that continued this week, helping his team take an early lead. Quarterback Derek Carr led the offense 74 yards down the field on eight plays, finishing it with a one-yard touchdown run from Doug Martin. Without both James Conner and Leveon Bell, the Steelers turned to running back/tight end Jaylen Samuels to carry the ball. Defensive coordinator Paul Guenther’s defense did a good job bottling him up. The Steelers rushed for just 40 yards. The Raiders defense kept the Steelers off the scoreboard until the end of the first quarter, when running back Steven Ridley rushed up the middle for a two-yard touchdown to tie the game. The Raiders defense did a good job slowing down Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers offense. The Raiders secondary held Antonio Brown to just five receptions for 35 yards. But with Brown limited, it was JuJu Smith-Schuster who found room to work. Smith-Schuster hauled in eight catches for 87 yards and two touchdowns, including an acrobatic catch to give the Steelers a 14-10 lead heading into halftime. Roethlisberger got hit hard on the play though, and was questionable to return. Oakland’s defense reaped the benefits of going against...

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Raiders can’t keep up momentum, falter in Baltimore

The Oakland Raiders traveled to Baltimore looking to build on last week’s win against the Arizona Cardinals but the Ravens proved to be too much to handle. Jon Gruden and the Raiders offense have found success scripting their opening drive and that continued in Baltimore. Quarterback Derek Carr and the offense took their opening drive 81 yards on 12 plays into the end zone with a touchdown by running back Doug Martin. The touchdown gave Oakland 34 points on their opening drives this year, fourth best in the NFL. Unfortunately for the Raiders, not every drive’s script worked so...

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Last-second field goal lifts Raiders over Cardinals

Jon Gruden and the Oakland Raiders went to Arizona hoping to get their second win of the season against a 2-8 Cardinals team that is also struggling to find any sort of consistency. Quarterback Derek Carr and the Raiders offense once again struggled, but luckily for Gruden, defensive coordinator Paul Guenther’s defense put them in an opportunity to succeed. Guenther’s defense has struggled to come away with takeaways this year, but they got a pair of them Sunday. Second-year cornerback Gareon Conley got the first one on just the second offensive play of the game. Cardinals quarterback Josh Rosen was looking for his veteran receiver Larry Fitzgerald but Conley came away with the interception instead, returning it 28 yards to give Carr a short field. The Raiders offense took advantage when Carr found a wide open Jared Cook for the 23-yard touchdown to give the Silver & Black the early 7-0 lead. Rosen and Fitzgerald would get revenge on the next drive when the receiver ran by Nick Nelson and Marcus Gilchrist for a wide-open 18-yard touchdown to tie up the game at seven apiece. The Cardinals would take the lead late in the first quarter on a short bubble screen to the speedy Christian Kirk. Rookie defensive end Arden Key had a chance to bring Kirk down in the backfield but he slipped by and went 59 yards...

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Raiders can’t find end zone, fall to Chargers

The Oakland Raiders returned home to host the Los Angeles Chargers hoping to get their second win of the season. It looked like it was going to be another slow start to the Raiders offense, but punter Johnny Townsend saw a weakness in the defense and ran a fake punt 43 yards to the left side to extend the drive. Derek Carr used the first down to go 80 yards with 13 plays and knock on the Chargers’ goal line. Facing a fourth and goal, head coach Jon Gruden elected to go for it but called a sweep and the ball carrier was stopped short to turn the ball over on downs. Luckily for the Raiders, the defense stepped up by forcing a three and out to give the offense good field position after a Chargers punt. Carr would go 32 yards on eight plays this time, but have to settle for a field goal after tight end Jared Cook dropped a pass for a first down. Daniel Carlson hit the 46-yard field goal to give the Raiders the early 3-0 lead. Defensive coordinator Paul Guenther’s squad would keep up the solid play, holding the Chargers scoreless through the first quarter. Problem for Gruden was his offense could not find the end zone. Their second-best chance came late in the quarter but Carr was sacked hard in the red...

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