Category Archives: Khalil Mack

Oakland Team Grades: Raiders Open Season With A Big Win Against Titans

By Shawn Lealos

The Oakland Raiders had one of the best teams in the AFC last season until they lost their starting quarterback Derek Carr right before the playoffs. After a first-round exit, the Raiders are looking to repeat their regular season success in 2017—and they got off to a greatstart in their first game of the season. The Raiders took on the Tennessee Titans, one of the favorites to win the AFC South, and won in dominating fashion, 26-13. Here is a look at the Raiders team grades after their opening win of the 2017 NFL season.

Offense: A

The Oakland Raiders have one significant difference between this season’s offensive unit and the one that took the field last year. While the Raiders had Latavius Murray running the ball well last season, the team signed former NFL superstar Marshawn Lynch out of retirement to be its lead running back in 2017. The hope for the Raiders is that Lynch can move the chains and take a lot of pressure off Carr when it comes to the passing game. While the Raiders said they would ease Lynch back into action, they wound up giving him a full load yesterday. Lynch carried the ball 18 times for 76 rushing yards, a 4.3 yards-per-carry average that was .2 yards more than Murray ran for last season.

Carr still carried the load for the Raiders. As he proved on the opening drive of the game, when he is moving the ball, no one can seem to stop the Raiders. Carr completed 68 percent of his passes for 262 yards and two touchdowns. His top receivers in the game were Michael Crabtree (6-83-0), Amari Cooper (5-62-1) and tight end Jared Cook (5-56-0). Carr spread the ball around to seven different receivers and was only sacked twice in the game.

Defense: B

While the Oakland Raiders came into the season with a potent offense, they were shaky on defense. The linebacker corps was banged up and lacked depth. They had some weapons, but nothing that scared the Tennessee Titans. The team ended up sacking Marcus Mariota only once, and allowed him to throw for 256 yards while running for 26 yards and a touchdown.

However, what the Raiders did do well was limit what the Titans could do. DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry combined for a total of 69 rushing yards in the game, with only a 3.8-yard average. It was tight end Delanie Walker who led the way for Tennessee, with seven receptions for 76 yards. Neither team lost a turnover and Oakland’s defensive MVP Khalil Mack led the way with two tackles for a loss. Credit has to be given to the Raiders defense for allowing only one quarterback scramble for a touchdown while holding the Titans to three field goals.

Special Teams: A

The Oakland Raiders have to be very happy with their special teams performance in this game. The Raiders agreed to a new contract with Sebastian Janikowski last week, listed him as questionable on their injury report, and then ended up moving him to the injured reserve list yesterday. As a result, rookie kicker Giorgio Tavecchio started the first game of his NFL career, and he was perfect. The Raiders won by 13 points, and 12 of those were field goals by Tavecchio, who was a perfect four-for-four on field goals and two-for-two on extra points.

Punting was above average for Oakland with Marquette King averaging just under 52 yards on three punts, pinning one inside the 20 and putting one into the end zone. The only punt return for Tennessee went five yards. Jalen Richard of the Raiders didn’t do much better, with two returns for a total of five yards.

Coaching: A

The Oakland Raiders had something to prove in their opening game of the 2017 NFL season. The Raiders showed right out of the gate that they wanted to set the tempo of the game. In four plays, Carr completed three passes and Marshawn Lynch ran for 14 yards, finishing with the Raiders putting up the first touchdown of the game. Oakland never trailed in the contest, and while they needed to rely on too many field goals in the game, they proved that they are one of the best teams in the NFL by working a clean game on offense and a bend-but-don’t-break game on defense. Oakland is 1-0 and looks sharp heading into their second game next week against the New York Jets.

Khalil Mack Returned To Practice Thursday For The Raiders

by Cutter Hicks, Sports 1140 KHTK

Good news for Oakland Raiders fans heading into this weekend’s season opener.

Defensive-end Khalil Mack returned to practice Thursday after suffering a knee injury, per Scott Bair of NBCS.

The 2016 NFL Defensive Player of the Year sat out of practice Wednesday but little information was given on the situation.

Mack recorded 54 tackles and 11 sacks last season.

Stanley misses practice again, but Ravens won’t rule him out

Ravens rookie left tackle Ronnie Stanley did not practice all week due to a foot injury, but Ravens coach John Harbaugh said Friday that he won’t rule Stanley out of Sunday’s game vs. the Raiders. “I think he still has a chance for Sunday,” Harbaugh said. The Ravens are obviously hopeful that Stanley will be…

Jack Del Rio: Khalil Mack’s numbers will come

Rams coach Jeff Fisher said this week that defensive tackle Aaron Donald’s lack of sacks and modest overall numbers through the first three games are not reflective of the impact that Donald is having on opposing offenses. Fisher isn’t the only NFL coach who feels that way about a star defensive player. Raiders defensive end…

Raiders announce contract extension for G.M. Reggie McKenzie

Raiders General Manager Reggie McKenzie has collected some fine young talent with the likes of quarterback Derek Carr, receiver Amari Cooper and defensive end Khalil Mack. Now McKenzie has been rewarded for that. The Raiders have announced that McKenzie has signed a four-year contract extension and is now under contract through the 2021 draft. “Reggie’s…

Jack Del Rio: I don’t spend any time on hype

It’s been hard to miss the optimistic buzz that’s built around the Raiders this offseason as there’s been no shortage of people predicting a winning season in Oakland for the first time since 2002. Raiders coach Jack Del Rio has heard that chatter, but says he isn’t letting it seep into his thinking. Del Rio…

Bruce Irvin has high praise for Khalil Mack

The Raiders spent big back in March and are thinking big as the 2016 season approaches. Bruce Irvin, one of the team’s new acquisitions, hasn’t been shy in talking about the team’s goals, and Irvin told the team’s official website he’s very much looking forward to playing opposite a “beast” in All-Pro pass rusher Khalil…

Malcolm Smith says Raiders have increased their football IQ

The Raiders were active in free agency this offseason and the additions of players like linebacker Bruce Irvin, guard Kelechi Osemele and cornerback Sean Smith promise a higher level of talent across the roster than they had last season. For linebacker Malcolm Smith, that talent is just part of the reason to have higher expectations about…

Jack Del Rio: DJ Hayden can redefine himself this year

The needle has been pointing up for the Raiders this offseason after they added several free agents to a developing roster built around young players like Khalil Mack, Amari Cooper and Derek Carr. Cornerback DJ Hayden joins Mack and Cooper as recent first-round picks in Oakland, but not on most lists of reasons to feel optimistic…

Khalil Mack: Our defense can be as good as Broncos “if we max out”

The Raiders signed several veteran defensive players in free agency and they picked defensive players in each of the first three rounds of the draft, continuing the process of remaking a unit that showed signs of moving in the right direction last season. One of the drivers of that change has been defensive end Khalil…

Report: Some teams think Raiders 2nd rounder Jihad Ward needs knee scope

The Raiders took Illinois defensive tackle Jihad Ward with the 44th overall pick of the draft on Friday night, adding to a defense that they’ve been building up over the last few years through free agency and the draft. According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, some teams were concerned about the health of Ward’s knee…

Raiders grab West Virginia safety Karl Joseph with 14th pick

With the retirement of Charles Woodson, the Oakland Raiders were in need of some additional help in the secondary. They found it in West Virginia safety Karl Joseph, selecting him with the 14th pick in the draft. Joseph will join Nate Allen and Reggie Nelson in the back of the Raiders defense. Allen appeared in…

Reggie McKenzie feels more pressure for this year’s draft

The Raiders have added players like linebacker Khalil Mack, quarterback Derek Carr and wide receiver Amari Cooper in the last two drafts and they were major players in free agency this offseason, leaving the team with a roster that many think is capable of bringing them their first winning season since 2002. The team building…

Derek Carr: 7-9 isn’t going to cut it

The Raiders saw the impact of drafting players like linebacker Khalil Mack, quarterback Derek Carr and wide receiver Amari Cooper last season when they went from winning seven games over to seasons to a 7-9 record. It was a big step forward for the organization that left a foundation that the team has buttressed through…

Bruce Irvin: I haven’t even scratched the surface of what I can do

Bruce Irvin started 37 games at linebacker for the Seahawks over the last three seasons, making him a key part of the league’s stingiest defense and helping him build a profile that turned into a four-year, $37 million contract with the Raiders as a free agent. While the Irvin-Seahawks partnership was positive from team and…

As to cap space, the minimum means as much the maximum

The billion-dollar breathlessness already has begun regarding 2016 league year, which will feature unprecedented amounts of cap space and, presumably, unprecedented spending. Maybe it will, maybe it won’t. The salary cap represents the most a team can spend. In any given year, teams can spend less, if they want. For 2011 and 2012, all teams…