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  • Oakland Raiders The playoffs are slipping away Derek Carr fumbling out of the end zone agasinst Dallas might have been the final nail on the coffin to Oakland's playoff hopes. Photo by Eric Taylor/1st String Magazine
  • NFL Football LA is back in fashion LA (10-4) has NFL football again and the Rams are trying their best to win their fans back. They control the NFC West after trouncing Seattle 42-7. Photo by Eric Taylor/1st String Magazine
  • Photo by Eric Taylor Things looking up in Santa Clara The 49ers have hope for the future it seems like after knocking off 8-4 Tennessee 25-23. Photo by Eric Taylor/1st String Magazine
  • Oakland Raiders All eyes on Cam Carolina suffered the Super Bowl loser curse last year. The Panthers finished 6-10 plus their QB, Cam Newton got hurt. Photo by Eric Taylor/1st String Magazine
  • Photo by Eric Taylor John Madden honors the Snake One of the NFL finest, John Madden was on hand to honor his old QB Kenny "The Snake" Stabler's Hall of Fame induction during halftime of Oakland's game vs Atlanta. Photo by Eric Taylor

 


Oakland Raider's | San Francisco 49ers | NFL

 

 

Oakland Raider's crash out of the 2017 NFL playoffs

Photo by Eric Taylor

Photo by Eric Taylor/1st String Magazine

It is official. The Raiders will not be a part of the 2018 post season. The prize, a cold chilly night playing the playoff bound Eagles on Monday night football.

This was a game many thought could be a Super Bowl preview but instead the grinch stole the fun out of this Christmas affair.

Kansas City clinched the division with their win over Miami Sunday. Oakland's only hope to make the playoffs was to win the AFC West.

They needed KC to lose their last two while Oakland beat Philly and the the LA Chargers week 17.

It might be time to check out the back ups in this one. Injuries again will play a part against Philly.

Tackle Donald Penn is out. Derek Carr will play but he could use a rest. A sore back is just one of the things hurting Carr. Oakland's leading receivers are banged up.

Who knows if this make up can win games in Oakland. Last years 12-4 record was done with smoke and mirrors and Oakland was lucky to stay in the playoff race as long as they did this season.

 

Oakland going backwards as the season goes on

Photo by Eric Taylor

Photo by Eric Taylor/1st String Magazine

Somehow, someway the Raiders came into the game with KC in control of their playoff lives.

Now it is San Diego who has brushed off as 0-4 start sitting in the cat bird seat, tied with KC at 7-6 but holding the tie breaker.

Everybody from the coaching staff to the players have to take the blame for this one.

Nobody stepped up and made some kind of play that let the other team know they were playing to win.

No hit on defense. No great catch or run. Oakland played as if the season has been over for weeks. Changing offensive coordinators was not the best move. Their Raiders offense looks nothing like last year.

Carr seems to be learning the new one on the fly where he had learned to work last year's O pretty good by the time he got hurt.

It remains to be seen if Oakland's season finale against the Los Angeles Chargers will mean anything for them. It could mean an AFC West title for the Chargers.

KC is in first place out west. Tennessee and Buffalo are the wildcards right now. San Francisco can help the Raiders by beating the Titans Sunday. A 49ers win will only matter if Oakland can back it up with a win against Dallas Sunday night.

Miami (6-7) saved their serason by knocking off New England last week. The Chargers and Baltimore are both 7-6 just ahead of Oakland.

 

It was worse then it looked. Oakland went nowhere fast in their loss at Kansas City Sunday.

Photo by Eric Taylor

Photo by Eric Taylor/1st String Magazine

With first place on the line in a three team race the Raiders fell to KC in one of the ugliest gamers of the season.

It was 26-0 KC before Oakland QB Derek Carr had 50-yards passing. Carr had just 39-yardfs thru the air midway into the 3rd quarter.

This was without the Chief's All Pro corner Marcus Perters who did not play. The Raiders could do nothing against KC nd a defense ranked 30th in the NFL.

The Chief's came in struggling, losers of 6 of their last 7 games but Oakland was just what they needed to get right.

There was one bright spot. Tailback Marshawn Lynch scord a TD in his fifth striaght game.

The loss at KC was followed by a gut wrenching loss at home to Dallas Sunday night that left Oakland, now 6-8, on their last legs to make the 2017 post season.

In control of their destiny eight days ago Oakland now needs all kind of help and a pair of wins for a berth into the playoffs.

 

Oakland Raider's make a last stand to make the NFL Playoffs

Photo by Eric Taylor

Photo by Eric Taylor/1st String Magazine

As bad as Oakland has played this past month first place Kansas City has played worse. So at 4-6 the Raiders are very much alive to win the AFC West.

Oakland's next two games are against 3-7 Denver (Sunday) and the 2-9 Giants at home.

It will be interesting to see how the "home town" Oakland fans greet the team when they take the field Sunday against the rival Bronco's.

A loss to them and the Raiders season could be over. Oakland has little chance of winning any kind of a tie breaker to get into the post season and hoping KC keeps their slide going is a lot to ask.

Oakland's D has gone missing during several games this year and it has set a record for not getting an interception thru their first 10-games. That's hard to do. When you think of all the retreads playing QB in the NFL right now all you can do is shake your head.

And fire a coach. I would hate to see anybody lose their job, but you can't stop with a coach. A some point the players have top take some blame and a shake up in the secondary would help.

The Raiders fell apart down in Mexico City against New England after Seth Roberts fumbled away Oakland's only chance to stay in their 33-8 loss to the Patriots.

Down just 14-0 right before the half, Roberts fumbled at New England's five. The Pat's quickly converted that into 3pts and they followed it up with a quick TD to start the second half and just like that it was 24-0 with a half of garbage time football left.

There is no place for moral victories in the NFL and the way Oakland lost to the Pat's it can demoralize a team and their fan base. A good team will respond with a solid effort.

Take into account Denver loves few things more (winning a Super Bowl) then putting Oakland out of the playoffs and the Raiders know they better come with their A game Sunday at the Oakland Alameda County Coliseum.

 

Oakland, sinking into the AFC playoff race, lose at Buffalo

Photo by Eric Taylor

Photo by Eric Taylor/1st String Magazine

The Raiders, now 3-5, are hanging on to the possibility of making the 2017 NFL playoffs by a thread after falling apart late in the first half on their way to a 34-14 loss to the Bills.

It started out great for Oakland who took the opening kick off and scored a touchdown for a quick 7-0 lead. That lasted until the second quarter when the Bill tied the score.

It was a 7-7 game with a minute left in the first half when Oakland began to self destruct.

Four turnovers later the Bills had a 5-2 record and the Raiders had a bunch of questions that need to be answered if they are going to make the playoffs this season.

One question, what happened to their offense. Firing their offensive coordinator after last year was a big mistake. Oakland had a potent offense last year in part because of the play calling.

New coach, different plays and the O is not the same. Carr has thrown or a lot of yards, but Oakland does not have a running game and Carr's passing yards are not turning into points.

The game changed late in the second quarter and early in the 3rd. Bills rookie linebacker Matt Milano was right in the middle of it all.

First, with 32-seconds left in the first half Milano snatched a DeAndre Washington fumbled out of the air and returned it 40-yards for a TD and a 14-7 Bills lead at the half.

The Raiders then put their defense under too much pressure by turning the ball over the first two times they had the ball in the second half. A Carr pick and a DeAndre Washington fumbled punt (at Oakland's 14) led to a pair of Bills field goals.

That's 13pts coming directly from Oakland turnovers in the space of about five minutes. Without them Oakland stays in the game.

The Bills put the game away when Bills QB Tyrod Taylor converted a 4th and goal from the 1 on the first play op the 4th quarter giving the Bills a 27-7 advantage.

Oakland allowed a season high 151-yards rushing to Lesean McCoy who closed out the Raiders with a 48-yard TD gaunt in the 4th..

Oakland could only manage 54-yards rushing as a team forcing Carr to throw the ball a lot. He had 313-yards thru the air, but Oakland needs the balance Buffalo had.

165-yards passing to go with 166-yards rushing.

After starting the season 2-0 Oakland has lost 4 of 5 games (all to AFC teams) meaning that any run to a playoff spot will have to over come what ever tie breaker scenario Oakland might find themselves in.

Next up for Oakland is a Sunday night match up with Miami in South Beach Nov 4th.

 

 

Oakland Raiders gets their mojo back in 31-30 win over the Chiefs

Photo by Genome Wright

Photo by Eric Taylor/1st String Magazine

The magic of Oakland's 2016 season when they finished 12-4 and made the NFL playoffs seemed to come back after three listless games that saw the Raiders fall into last place in the AFC West.

A loss to division leading Kansas City would have left Oakland at 2-5 with a loss to every team in the AEC West.

Playoff chances for a team picked to compete for a Super Bowl would have been dashed before Halloween.

In stepped their franchise quarterback Derek Carr who lit up KC for 412-yards passing and three TD's, wide receiver Amare Cooper who had over 200-yards receiving and a pair of touchdowns.

And we can't forget about Michael Crabtree who caught a pair of touchdowns in the last few seconds of the game but only one counted.

Oakland won the game despite running back Marshawn Lynch getting ejected while protecting KC cornerback Marcus Peters from his own Raiders teammates.

 

 

Oakland Manhandles the Jets in Oaktown

Photo by Eric Taylor

Photo by Eric Taylor/1st String Magazine

Oakland showed it's home fans that they might mean business in 2017. A win over the lowly New York Jets was expected.

Raiders fans got what they wanted. A blowout victory. My, how the downtrodden have risen.

Oakland jumped out to a 14-0 lead, the Jets tried to make a game of it in the second quarter.

New York closed to 14-10 before the Raiders pulled away in the second half to win 45-20.

Raiders fans have not been treated to very many routs and they loved it. The Raiders D made sure they got one.

Marshawn Lynch got into the act with some nice runs on the field and some nice dance moves off of it. Derek Carr hooked up with Michael Crabtree for three touchdown passes, including the first two scores of the game.

In the end head coach Jack Del Rio got the victory improving his team to 2-0 on the young season.

Photo by Eric Taylor

Photo by Eric Taylor/1st String Magazine

The Raiders took advantage of a Jets mistake late in the first half to score a TD making it 21-10 at the half and they never looked back.

That late first half touchdown would be the start of a 28-3 Oakland run that put the game out of reach.

New Raider Cordarrelle Patterson busted loose for a 43-yrd touchdown sprint before Jalen Richard took off on a 53-yard TD run of his own.

Richard's score made it 35-13 and the Raider's defense kept the Jets from thinking about any kind of a comeback attempt.

Derek Carr was methodical (23 of 28 passing) good for 230-yards passing and three TD's, zero turnovers and the offensive line did not give up a sack.

Marshawn Lynch rushed for a modest 45-yards (12-carries) and a one yard touchdown.

His biggest play of the game might have been when he picked up a blitz during a flea flicker play that saved Carr from taking a big hit and a sure sack.

This is what the coaching staff and the fans were looking for. Players knowing their jobs and doing the little things to help the team win. Lynch took the hand off, pitched the ball back to Carr before picking up a streaking cornerback blitzer who had a clear shot on Carr.

Derek completed the pass for a first down.

Everybody knows the Raiders are becoming a prolific scoring team, but can there D stop other teams. The Jets are not a powerhouse on offense but who cares.

Oakland has had trouble with teams like this in the past. Oakland's D allowed just 166-yards passing, collected four sacks and recovered a fumble.

The Raiders open the 2017 season with three of their first four games on the road and that stretch has Oakland at Washington Sunday before heading off to AFC West foe Denver the following week.

Oakland returns home Oct. 8th for a game against Baltimore. That starts a three week home stand with the LA Chargers and KC after the Ravens.

 

The Raiders are trying to leave town with a bang

Photo by Eric Taylor

Photo by Eric Taylor/1st String Magazine

A lot of things come into play when you are picked as one of the top teams in the league.

After a 12-4 regular season was followed by a one and done playoff appearance last season.

The thrill of making their first playoffs in 13-years was off set by the broken leg Derek Carr suffered late in the season.

Carr is back looking healthy and keeping him so will be a big part of Oakland's plans on making a run towards a Super Bowl.

Sure the Raiders added Beast Mode (running back Marshawn Lynch to the team but it will be the improvement of a defense that ranked near the bottom of the NFL (26th) last season that will be the difference maker.

The Carr injury also showed that Oakland needed some depth on their roster. Oakland had to start a rookie (Conner Cook) at QB in their playoff loss to Houston last season.

It was the first time in NFL history that somebody made their first NFL start in the playoffs.

With another year under their belts Carr and his receiving corps should be able to exploit defenses even more in 2017. Michael Crabtree emerged as a go to threat for Carr.

The development of Amari Cooper is a big priority for the Raiders coaching staff. Cooper has the ability to be a star in the league, but he can disappear at times on the field.

Players can make a big leap in production during the 3rd year of their careers and that is what Oakland coaches, teammates and fans are hoping Cooper does in this, his third year in the NFL.

For now everything is all good. The energy around the Raiders is very positive and the team can't wait to get on the field and start hitting somebody with a different color jersey on.

 

 

Oakland suffers a tough loss in win over the Colts

Photo by Eric Taylor

Photo by Eric Taylor/1st String Magazine

It was going so well. The AFC West leading Raiders were polishing off the Indianapolis Colts early in the 4th quarter when Derek Carr, Oakland's starting QB, went back to pass when Trent Cole fell on his legs in an awkward fashion and breaking Carr's right Fibula.

His season is most likely over and the Raiders season took a turn for the worse right when it was starting to get good.

The Raiders offense had not looked this good for a long time. The defense was balling out of control as well before Carr got hurt. After his injury the team had a understandable letdown.

Injuries are a part of the game and the Colts tried to take full advantage of Oakland's trouble, scoring 11pts in a hurry to make it a 8-point game with just over four minutes left in the game.

Oakland was on their way to over 500-yards of offense when Carr got hurt. The running game was having it's best game of the season with DeAndre Washington, Jalen Richard and starting tailback Latavius Murray combined for 205-yards rushing and two TD's.

Richard added a touchdown receiving for Oakland. Carr had 228-yards passing when he got hurt. That is the kind of offensive balance every team wants to have.

It will be up to new starting QB Matt McGloin to show he can throw the ball down the field in order to give the running game some room. The running game needs to grind out yards to give the passing game some room.

The two work hand in hand and without one the other will suffer.

Oakland and it's fans will now settle down after a Christmas dinner and do something they are not used to. Root for the Denver Bronco's. A Denver win against Kansas City and the Raiders clinch the AFC West title.

That will allow them to play a stress free game next week when they close out their regular season in Denver.

A KC win in Denver on X-Mas and the Raiders will be forced to play at Denver with the possibility of losing the division lead and having to play in a wild card game the next week. More click here

 

 

 

 

 

A CLASS ACT

Photo by Eric Taylor/1st String Magazine

NFL FOOTBALL. Oakland Raiders corner back Charles Woodson. Photo by Eric Taylor

From out of nowhere San Francisco drafted Patrick Willis in the 2007 NFL draft with the 11th pick.

Then rest as they say is history. Willis helped transform the woeful 49ers into one of the best teams in the league.

At the height of his career Willis was perhaps the best linebacker in the game.

It took a few years for San Francisco to start winning and going to the playoffs,.

Willis was right in the middle of it all, making tackles and living up to the high standards that his draft position suggested.

Willis instantly made the 49ers defense respectable.

Turning them into one of the best units in the league. Fast forward to the Jim Harbaugh era and the playoffs and Super Bowl that followed.

Willis, still one of the best in the league took a back seat to newcomer Navarro Bowman, a great player in his own right, to fit into the new coaches system and the team took off.

You can go on and on about how professional Willis was on and off the field. He is perhaps the best linebacker the 49ers have ever had and he trails only the great Ronnie Lott (in my book) as the greatest defensive player San Francisco has ever had.

In the end it was not a big bad running back or offensive scheme that did Patrick in. In what a turf toe injury that would not go away.

Seeing the writing on the wall and knowing father time has won every battle with athlete's Willis gracefully stepped away from the game he loved.

Willis retirement was the center piece of an off season that has seen a Super Bowl type squad from just a year ago almost fall to pieces.

Gone is longtime running back and San Francisco's career leading rusher Frank Gore (signed with Indy), head coach Jim Harbaugh (hired at the University of Michigan) and possibly wide receiver Michael Crabtree and defensive end Justin Smith.

This is about Willis and what he meant not only to the 49ers but to the NFL as a whole.

 

 

 

 

Oakland Raiders doing what they can to get kids back at the park

Oakland's George Atkinson plays with some kids during the Raiders NFL Play 60 camp.

Photo by Eric Taylor/1st String Magazine

NFL FOOTBALL. Oakland Raiders running back Darren McFadden. Photo by Eric Taylor

The Raiders do not want their young fans to sit around and wait for a football game to come on TV.

Oakland has partnered up with Hall of Fame tackle Anthony Munoz and the Munoz Agency to host an NFL Play 60 Character Camp in the Bay Area.

Over 350 kids between the ages of 7 and 13 were treated to a two day camp at the Raiders practice facility.

Members of the Oakland Raiders came out to play with the kids.

Top 2014 draft pick Khalil Mack was on hand to interact with the kids.

Among the players joining him were two local high school stars now on the Raiders roster.

George Atkinson of Livermore's Granada High And Notre Dame and T.J. Carrie (De La Salle High school, Concord Ca.) took time away from their busy schedules to come out and spend a couple of hours playing with the kids.

"It was great being able to come out here today and relax playing around with all these kids. I can remember when I was young and going to football camps and you grow up so fast that is it important for players like myself to give their time back to show kids that they do not have to be a star to have fun playing sports." said Atkinson.

The mission of the Play 60 campaign is to emphasize exercise and the importance of having good character in sports as well as life.

So often kids grow up thinking that winning is the only thing that matters.

Many kids drop out of sports just because they are not a top dog and many fail to see the big picture and as a result they miss out on a lot that life has to offer. The Play 60 experience is trying to show kids that playing sports is not only about winning or making to the pro's.

Play 60 is trying to teach kids that playing sports and being active when you are young helps you have a long and healthy life and that staying active with sports also helps you learn better in the class room.

The NFL's Play 60 campaign is design to encourage youth to spend at least 60-minutes a day being active getting some kind of exercise.

Each camp participant received a football with a bilingual hang-tag that will allow them to view video's in Spanish or English teaching the basic's of football on the NFL's web site, NFLRUSH.com.

The NFL donated 40,000 football's for the program that is being run in selected NFL cities were the team has, over the years, shown a commitment to reaching out and helping the area's youth succeed in life.

Photo's click here

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lena's Soul Food

Title1 Selected
Title1

Folsom High's Jordan Richard's drafted in the 2nd round of the 2015 NFL Draft by New England

NFL Football - Oakland Raiders v Kansas City Chief's

Oakland 20 KC 34

Major League Baseball. Photo by Eric Taylor

Major League Baseball. Photo by Eric Taylor

Major League Baseball. Photo by Eric Taylor

Oakland Raiders v New York Jets

Major League Baseball. Photo by Eric Taylor

Oakland 37 Baltimore 33

Major League Baseball. Photo by Eric Taylor

Oakland 13 Cincinnati 33

Major League Baseball. Photo by Eric Taylor

Oakland Raiders 2015 pre season against Arizona

 

 

 
 

 

 
 

 

   
       
       
       
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