Tag Archives: Oakland Raiders

2018 NFL Buckeyes (Week 11)

Hopefully Buckeye Nation was able to recover from the “great escape” at College Park, Maryland and enjoy week eleven of the NFL season and the amazing performances of several former Bucks.

Ezekiel Elliott led the way once again for the Dallas Cowboys with 122 rushing yards on 23 carries and a 23-yard touchdown run in a 22-19 win over the Atlanta Falcons. Elliott also caught 7 passes for 79 yards. His backup Rod Smith caught 2 passes for 8 yards in the victory.

Pittsburgh Steelers All-Pro defensive lineman Cam Heyward had a game sealing fumble recovery, 2 tackles for loss, a sack and 5 total tackles in a 20-16 come from behind win over the Jacksonville Jaguars. Carlos Hyde was apart of a monster rushing attack by the Jags that racked up 179 yards on the ground. Hyde chipped in 44 yards on 8 carries for an average of 5.5 a carry in defeat.

Michael Thomas had a ho-hum day–by his standards–for the New Orleans Saints in a 48-7 win over the defending Super Bowl Champion Philadelphia Eagles. @CantGuardMike caught 4 passes for 92 yards and a 23-yard touchdown. The Bayou Buckeyes on defense suffocated the Eagles offense. Marshon Lattimore led the team with 4 total tackles; 2-pass break ups and an interception. Vonn Bell collected 3 total tackles, Eli Apple 2 total tackles and Kurt Coleman one tackle. The Saints are now 9-1 and in first place in the NFC South and hold the tie-breaker for the number one seed in the NFC playoffs. On the Eagles side, Malcolm Jenkins made 9 total tackles and Cam Johnston punted 4 times for 159 yards (39.8 avg.) downing 2 inside the 20-yard line.

Curtis Samuel found the end zone again for the third time this season in a 20-19 loss to the Detroit Lions. The Carolina Panthers’ wide receiver caught 5 passes for 55 yards and the 12-yard touchdown reception from Cam Newton.

Gareon Conley picked off a pass and returned it 28 yards and collected one tackle to help the Oakland Raiders get their second win of the season over the Arizona Cardinals 23-21. Jonathan Hankins also made 2 tackles to aid the victory.

Joey Bosa returned to the LA Chargers lineup from a foot injury that caused him to miss a majority of the season and collected one tackle, but it wasn’t enough to lift the team to victory. They lost to the Denver Broncos 23-22. Jeff Heuerman caught 4 passes for 20 yards and Bradley Roby collected 3 tackles and broke up 2 passes in the victory.

Cincinnati Bengals rookie Sam Hubbard collected 5 total tackles and sack and a tackle for loss in a 24-21 loss to the Baltimore Ravens.

Nick Vannett caught one pass for 17 yards for the Seattle Seahawks in their 27-24 win over the Green Bay Packers on Thursday Night Football.

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2018 NFL Buckeyes (Week 10)

Week ten of the 2018 NFL season kicked off on with a matchup of two hot teams in the Carolina Panthers riding a three-game winning streak against the Pittsburgh Steelers on a four-game win streak. What was expected to be the best matchup of the weekend turned out to be a TKO.

Cam Heyward collected two of Pittsburgh’s 5 sacks of Cam Newton. He also registered two hits on the QB, two tackles for loss and 3 total tackles in the 52-21 win. Curtis Samuel saw plenty of action. He caught 4 passes for 18 yards, one rush for only one-yard and 5 kickoff returns for 107 yards with a long of 31. However, he also had a crucial fumble on a kickoff return that set up Pittsburgh for a touchdown.

New Orleans Saints wideout Michael Thomas followed up his career day in week nine by catching all 8 passes Drew Brees tossed him for 70 yards and two touchdowns in a 51-14 win over the Cincinnati Bengals. The second touchdown catch helped Brees pass Brett Favre for the most touchdown passes in NFL History (509). The Bayou Buckeyes on the defensive side shutdown Cincy. Eli Apple intercepted Andy Dalton and took it back 29-yards to go along with 3 total tackles and 2 pass break ups. Vonn Bell made 2 tackles, while Kurt Coleman and Marshon Lattimore 1 in their return to the Buckeye State. Sam Hubbard and Adolphus Washington each tallied 2 total tackles in the loss.

Ezekiel Elliott ran wild for the Dallas Cowboys in a 27-20 win over the Philadelphia Eagles. Elliott rushed for 151 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries and caught 6 passes for 36 yards and a touchdown to help Dallas improve to 4-5 and keep their slim playoff hopes alive. Rod Smith carried the ball twice for 8 yards and caught one pass for 14 yards to spell Zeke. Wide receiver Noah Brown was activated from injured reserved and played several snaps. Malcolm Jenkins racked up 7 total tackles in defeat. Punter Cam Johnston, who leads the NFL in net rating, kicked twice for a total of 88 yards, downing both inside the 20-yard line.

Seattle Seahawks tight end Nick Vannett caught one pass for an 8-yard touchdown, his 1st of the season, in a 36-31 loss to the Los Angeles Rams.

Malik Hooker recovered a game-clinching fumble and made 4 total tackles and broke up one pass to help the Indianapolis Colts defeat the Jacksonville Jaguars 29-26. Carlos Hyde rushed for 5 yards on 3 carries in his second game with the Jags.

Oakland Raiders cornerback Gareon Conley made 6 tackles in a 20-6 loss to the LA Chargers. Jonathan Hankins made 2 tackles in defeat.

Denzel Ward returned to the Cleveland Browns lineup after missing the second half of last week’s game with a hip injury. Ward collected 2 total tackles and 1 pass break up in a 28-16 win over the Atlanta Falcons.

Terrelle Pryor was target 3 times, but didn’t catch a pass for the Buffalo Bills in a 41-10 win over the New York Jets. Darron Lee led New York with 11 total tackles in the loss.

Raekwon McMillan collected 7 total tackles and Jerome Baker only registered one for the Miami Dolphins in a 31-12 loss to the Green Bay Packers.

1st-year Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Vrabel went up against the team and coach he won three Super Bowl titles with, the New England Patriots and destroyed them 34-10. The Titans are 5-4 and in second place in the AFC South.

Fans Should be Pro-Player, Not Pro-Owners

Le’Veon Bell is the latest, but definitely not the last, professional athlete who’s contentious contract negotiations has caused fans to turn on him instead of the organization. Photo Courtesy: Steelers.com

UPDATED: 9/5/18

Le’Veon Bell, Aaron Donald, Julio Jones and Khalil Mack are just the latest NFL players to spend the offseason engaged in tense contract negotiations with their respective teams for a new deal that pays them what THEY feel they’re worth. This is becoming a common theme among football players as they out perform their current contracts in a violent sport. Donald, Jones and Mack have all gotten their money. Bell won’t, at least until the 2019 offseason.

The Steelers All-Pro running back reportedly turned down a reported 5 year-70 million-dollar contract ($33 million guaranteed) from the Pittsburgh Steelers. The 26-year old has said he wants to reset the market for the position, which has been devalued over the past decade. Meanwhile, L.A. Rams running back Todd Gurley may have beat him to the punch. The 24-year old signed an NFL record contract for a running back worth $60 million dollars ($45 guaranteed) over the course of four years.

Bell, however, will play his second consecutive season under the franchise tag. The tag will pay him $14.5 million for this season, which will likely be his last in Pittsburgh, according to his agent. Fans in Steelers Nation have already turned on him, calling him selfish and greedy, among spewing other ignorant and insensitive comments.

Regardless of Bell’s motivation, and desire for a contract that he feels is fair compensation of his value, I’m confused why so many fans are on the side of Billionaires, instead of Millionaire players, who have a shorter window than their employers to make their living.

Fans need to understand, the owners of their favorite teams, own multiple businesses, many of which their family, friends or themselves work for. These same negotiation tactics they use to low-ball your favorite player, are the same business principles in practice at their other companies to keep the average American’s salaries low.

For example, Stan Kroenke, the owner of the L.A. Rams — as well as the Denver Nuggets (NBA), Colorado Avalanche (NHL) the Colorado Rapids (MLS) and is also the largest shareholder of club Arsenal of the Premier League — is the husband of the daughter of Walmart co-founder James Walton. Another example would be Arthur Blank, owner of the Atlanta Falcons, who owns Home Depot.

So, think about someone who works at one of Kroenke’s Walmart stores or Blank’s Home Depot as a Store Manager. Let’s say this Store Manager earns $50,000 a year. To most in America that’s a great salary. However, the median annual salary for this position is $56, 175 per year. But, the salary ranges between $49,129 to $67,142 across the U.S. If the Wal-Mart or Home Depot store manager went and asked for a raise from $50k to $67k, they probably wouldn’t get it all. They’d be lucky to get a $5,000 raise. Still good, but not their true market value. That’s the key word: Market Value.

See, the rich don’t get rich by spending every dime. They get rich by having great cost management skills, and that involves finding employees that don’t cost much. By much, I mean close to the minimum. An employee’s only chance at getting what they want, may be to leverage going and working for one of Wal-Mart or Home Depot’s competitors, Target and Lowes. That’s just like Professional Athletes who have to consider playing for other teams around the league who will pay them exactly or close to what they’re asking for.

Don’t let the dollar amount that professional athletes earn compared to you; blind you from the fact that this is how the rich take advantage of labor. Fans, you are labor! Just like pro athletes. Regardless of how many more commas your favorite athlete has in his or her bank account than you, you have more in common with them than the owner of your favorite team.

The same practices they use to keep the players from getting what they deserve, are the same they use against you. And if you don’t play along, they will get rid of you and find someone else who is willing to take less than you would have. NEVER forget that! Fans who disagree should go read William Rhoden’s book “Forty Million Dollar Slaves”, I’m sure they’ll gain a different perspective.

The Oakland Raiders Mt. Rushmore

“Just win baby!” That’s all the Raiders have done in their 55 seasons as a Pro Football franchise. Photo Credit: Coliseum.com

“Just win baby!” That’s the slogan that has defined the Raiders organization since 1960, their first season of play. In 55 seasons, between Oakland and Los Angeles and back to Oakland again, the Raiders have won 444 games, 3 Super Bowls (XI, XV, XVIII), an AFL Championship (1967), 4 Conference championships, 15 Division titles, and made the playoffs 21 times.

The Raiders have produced 17 Hall of Famers who have done a majority of their work in the Silver and Black. Four of them I have chosen to represent the “Black Hole” on their Mount Rushmore.

CRITERIA:

  • No owners, unless they were also coaches, and their place on this list is based on their contributions as coach. No General Managers or Personnel executives. Just those who directly affected the games on Sunday. I will make a separate list for those contributors soon.  Just for the record, Al Davis will be on my Mount Rushmore for owners for what he did for the Civil Rights Movement by helping African-American players get opportunities in Pro Football, and by refusing to play in cities where black players weren’t allowed to stay at the same hotel as their white teammates. As well as his role in the AFL-NFL merger.
  • Key contributors to the team’s history and success, not just fan favorites or box office draws.
  • Can you tell the franchise’s story without them? If no, they’re on the list.

John Madden (1969-1978) is more than the guy who’s name is on the cover of a popular video game, and the guy who has one of the most recognizable voices in sports broadcasting. He is the Raiders all-time leader in coaching victories (103) and delivered on owner Al Davis’ mantra with an AFC Championship (1976) and a Super Bowl title (XI). In his 10 seasons as head coach of the Raiders, he never had a losing season and was the youngest to reach 100 victories while leading the team to 6 AFC Championship games (5 consecutive 1972-1977). His combined regular season and playoff record (112-39-7) is the second highest win percentage in NFL history. Madden had a winning record against revered Hall of Fame coaches Tom Landry, Don Shula, Chuck Noll and Bud Grant. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2006.

Marcus Allen (1982-1992) his career with the organization ended bitterly with owner Al Davis, but Allen’s name is littered across the team’s record books. He is still the team’s all-time leader in rushing yards (8,545), rushing touchdowns (79) and second in total touchdowns (98). In 1982 he won NFL Rookie of the Year, and followed that up by winning NFL MVP and Offensive Player of the Year in 1985 will with the team. A 3-time All-Pro and 5-time Pro Bowl selection with the team, he led the Raider’s to Super Bowl XVIII where he was named the game’s most valuable player. Allen holds NFL records for most consecutives seasons with a rushing touchdown (16), multiple rushing touchdowns (16) and multiple touchdowns (16). He is the first player to ever gain 10,000 rushing yards and 5,000 receiving yards in a career. In 1999 he was ranked 72nd on The Sporting News list of the 100 Greatest Football Players, and in 2010 he was ranked 85th on NFL.com’s “100 Greatest Players” list. Allen was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2003.

Tim Brown (1988-2003) had one of the most decorated careers in the game both in college and professionally. The 1987 Heisman Trophy Winner did not disappoint in Silver and Black. He is the team’s all-time leader in games (240) and seasons played (16), receptions (1,070), receiving yards (14,734), receiving touchdowns (99), total touchdowns (104), all-purpose yards (19,431), punt return yards (3,272) and punt returns for touchdowns (3).  He holds 8 NFL records. The 2015 Pro Football Hall of Famer could make the case for being the “Greatest Raider.” Hard to believe he wasn’t inducted on his first year eligible. I’m biased because I wore his jersey, number 81, in my first-year playing little league football for the Columbus (OH) Raiders in 1992.

Willie Brown (1967-1978) is remembered by most people under the age of 35 as the guy that was captured in the iconic NFL Films video intercepting a pass in Super Bowl XI and appeared to be running directly to the camera as he made his way to the end zone, for a then Super Bowl record 75-yard touchdown. Brown and the Raiders would go on to win that Super Bowl, he also was a member of the Raiders team that won the 1967 AFL Championship. A 2-time All-Pro and 2-time All-AFL selection with the team, he also was selected to 4 Pro Bowl’s and 3 AFL All-Star games. He finished his Raiders career tied for 1st in interceptions (39). He is a member of the AFL All-Time and NFL 1970’s All-Decade Teams. Brown was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1984, and in 1999 he was ranked 50th on The Sporting News’ list of the 100 Greatest Football Players. He was the highest player from the organization on the list. In 2010, NFL.com ranked him 66th on their “100 Greatest Players list.”

Raider Nation did I get it right? If not who would you have chosen? Jim Otto? Gene Upshaw? Jack Tatum? Ken Stabler? Or Howie Long? Let me know.

Steelers Win, and Lose, Again

When the chapter is written on the 2015 Steelers, the overwhelming theme will be injuries. Injuries to their best players. All-Pro center Maurkice Pouncey hasn’t played one snap in the regular season. Pro-Bowl quarterback Ben Roethlisberger missed 4 games with a left knee bone bruise and sprained MCL, and, may be out for a significant amount of time once again after suffering a foot injury against the Oakland Raiders. In Roethlisberger’s first game back against the Cincinnati Bengals, All-Pro running back Le’Veon Bell went down for the season with what’s being called a severely torn MCL. All signs point to this year just not being meant to be.

With that being said, they still hold their playoff destiny in their hands after beating the Oakland 38-35 on Sunday. Here are my takeaways from the 5th win of the 2015 season.

• The offense with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger in the lineup looks like it can only be stopped by themselves. After the first drive that was littered with dropped passes—there were 3 total—the offense once again showed the promise it made in the preseason to put up 30 points a game.

In an all, Pittsburgh put up 597 total yards, 402 by air and 195 by ground and 38 points. Roethlisberger had 334 of those yards and 2 touchdowns before leaving with injury. He moved the ball efficiently down the field, Oakland had no answer. Only drops stalled the drives. One can only hope they can amass half of that production without #7 at QB.

#7 became now has the 14th most passing yards in NFL history after throwing for 334 on Sunday. Photo Credit: Steelers.com

Side note: Roethlisberger passed Hall Of Famers Johnny Unitas and Joe Montana into 14th on the All-Time Passing yardage list, and collected his 40th 300-yard passing game.

• Antonio Brown looks like the best wide receiver in the NFL again. AB caught a Steeler record 17 passes for 284 yards on the day, 10 of them for 180 yards in the first half alone; a new career high for any half he’s played. He also rushed the ball twice for 22 yards, for two first downs.

AB had a career day with 17 catches for 284 yards. Photo Credit: Steelers.com

Brown suffered the most when Roethlisberger went down for 4 games, hopefully offensive coordinator Todd Haley makes a concerted effort to keep Brown highly involved if Big Ben misses significant time with this latest injury.

• The bend but don’t break Steelers D of the last few weeks looked broken from the Raiders first offensive drive of the game, giving up a 3 play, 66 yard drive that ended with a Michael Crabtree 22 yard touchdown reception. While the next 3 Raider drives produced only 66 yards combined, second year QB Derek Carr took advantage of a secondary that had steadily improved since the opening night confusion against the New England Patriots. Carr went 24/44 for 301 yards and 4 touchdowns, his third consecutive game throwing for more than 3+ TDs. 

Oakland came into the averaging 25.4 points per game, 365.3 total yards per game. They exceeded both against the Steelers. Pittsburgh also allowed the Raiders to convert 6/14 (42%) on 3rd down and gave up 24 first down, 17 via the pass. 

• Running back DeAngleo Williams was the pick up of Pittsburgh’s offseason, and will likely need him to be its MVP if they’re to make a playoff run. Steeler Nation knows all too well how bad the offense looked in the 2015 AFC Wild Card loss to Baltimore with Le’Veon Bell sidelined with injury.

Williams racked up 170 rushing yards and 55 receiving yards in Bell’s absence. Photo Credit: Steelers.com

Against Oakland, Williams put up numbers reminiscent of his days as a starter for the Carolina Panthers; 27 carries for 170 yards with 2 touchdowns. He also caught 2 passes for 55 yards and a 2-point conversion. With Williams as Bell’s replacement in 3 games so far this season, he has 374 rushing yards (124.6 ypg) 5 rushing TDs and 75 receiving yards.

• This wasn’t the ugly, physical Steelers versus Raiders of the past. To begin, surprisingly only 1 penalty was called in the first half, coming with 55 seconds left in the half on a pass interference call against Oakland. For the game there were only 8 penalties accepted; 3 against Oakland for 21 yards and 5 against Pittsburgh for 41 yards.

Things did get sloppy in the second half in the turnover department, but that worked out in the Black & Yellow’s favor. The Raiders turned the ball over 4 times to the Steelers 2.

• The Steelers are still in control of their playoff hopes. By beating the Raiders, they would have the tie breaker over them if they finished the season with the same record. The New York Jets and Buffalo Bills are currently the Steelers biggest threats for the two AFC Wild Card spots; both won on sunday. The Jets (5-3) and Bills (4-4) face off on Thursday night. The Steelers host the 2-7 Cleveland Browns in Heinz Field next Sunday at 1 PM.