7-15-14: Second-year cornerback D.J. Hayden is finally out of his walking boot and is expected to be ready for Oakland’s training camp, which opens for rookies and veterans on July 24th. Hayden had suffered an ankle injury back in OTAs but appears to be on the mend and will try to help the Raiders raise their level of play on defense in 2014. James Jones remains nicked up on the offensive side, as Oakland’s newly signed number one receiver is nursing a shoulder injury. Rookie quarterback Derek Carr has also officially bypassed Matt McGloin as the direct backup to Matt Schaub. It remains possible that Carr could see serious game day action in his first NFL season.
6-5-14: The Oakland Raiders wasted no time getting first round pick Khalil Mack under contract, while potential franchise passer Derek Carr was locked up to a long-term deal on May 21st. Mack also wasted no time making his presence known in the AFC West, putting Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning atop his “sack wish list”. The Raiders also continued to add solid veteran talent that other teams no longer want, as they brought in recently waived wide receiver Greg Little. Little will compete for a roster spot in a fairly crowded receiving corps behind Denarius Moore and James Jones.
5-19-14: The Oakland Raiders are stuck in complete rebuilding mode - or so we thought. With some nice offseason acquisitions, it’s actually not that crazy to think the Raiders can compete a bit in 2014. They’d need a stellar 2014 draft to do that, though. Let’s take a look at how much better they got with this year’s crop of young players:
Round 1. Pick 05 Khalil Mack, LB , Buffalo
Round 2. Pick 04 Derek Carr, QB, Fresno St.
Round 3. Pick 17 Gabe Jackson, OG, Mississippi St.
Round 4. Pick 07 Justin Ellis, DT, Louisiana Tech
Round 4. Pick 16 Keith McGill, DB, Utah
Round 7. Pick 04 Travis Carrie, CB, Ohio
Round 7. Pick 20 Shelby Harris, DE, Illinois State
Round 7. Pick 32 Jonathan Dowling, DB, Western Kentucky
Oakland landed a stud impact player on defense with the 5th overall pick in Khalil Mack, potentially giving them a game changer right away that can elevate a steadily rising defense. If he’s the player scouts pegged him as, the Raiders could get nasty on defense in a hurry.
While not every move this year was about getting competitive immediately, some had to be made, regardless. Quarterback Derek Carr may have to wait a year or two behind Matt Schaub, but that should only help his development. Carr is a rocket-armed passer with decent size and good athleticism. He has some of the best potential out of any passer in this year’s draft.
Oakland found two other gems in this year’s crop, landing a very solid guard in Gabe Jackson in round three, and then snagging Keith McGill in round four to round out their secondary. In the end, the only position the Raiders really didn’t address was wide receiver. However, with the addition of James Jones in free agency, the need may have been a little overblown.
5-9-14: The Oakland Raiders’ mission going into the 2014 NFL Draft was too simply add more talent. Anyone who could make them better on either side of the ball would be in play, but when Buffalo linebacker Khalil Mack was suddenly still available, the decision was pretty much made for them. Mack is expected to fit in the “Von Miller role” in Dennis Allen’s defense, potentially giving Oakland an elite pass rusher on the outside as linebacker, as well as another player who simply will make plays all over the field. Oakland could have felt pressured to draft a quarterback or a big play receiver, but they lucked into one of the draft’s most complete players. They couldn’t have gotten the 2014 NFL Draft off to a better start.
4-28-14: Oakland remains in full blown rebuilding mode, although they’ve made enough positive moves so far this offseason that it wouldn’t be completely out of left field if they were a much better team in 2014. With that being said, they still probably have a long ways to go. They still need a franchise passer, which could mean they take one as early as the #4 overall pick in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft. Johnny Manziel has been rumored to be a guy they like, while Fresno State’s Derek Carr actually has been getting the majority of the buzz. Oakland figures to wait on a passer that early, though, which likely puts them in a spot to take a playmaker on offense like Sammy Watkins, or someone who can change their defense like Jadeveon Clowney or Khalil Mack. The Raiders need help just about everywhere, so few picks would be all that surprising throughout their run in the draft.
4-18-14: The Oakland Raiders will hopefully have some new exciting talent to put on full display come week one of the 2014 NFL preseason, when they battle the Vikings in Minnesota. Oakland should unleash all of their starters for at least a handful of series in week two, however, when they welcome Matthew Stafford and the Detroit Lions to Oakland. Week three of the Oakland Raiders preseason schedule is probably their best matchup, as the Green Bay Packers welcome them to Lambeau Field. Aaron Rodgers and Green Bay’s offense will push Oakland’s defense to their limits for at least a half of action, while the Raiders will be able to see how far they’ve come against a tough opponent on the road. Oakland’s preseason schedule will then conclude a week later with another brutal matchup, as they welcome the defending Super Bowl champion Seahawks to town.
4-7-14: Oakland endured a trying season under center in 2013, which makes it no surprise that they jumped at the opportunity to deal for Texans quarterback Matt Schaub. Schaub wasn’t the only key acquisition for the Raiders, though, as they re-signed running back Darren McFadden and brought in Maurice Jones-Drew to improve their backfield, while also getting Schaub a new weapon in former Packers receiver James Jones. Oakland made the most progress on defense, however, where they added defensive linemen Justin Tuck, Antonio Smith and Lamarr Woodley, while also getting better in the secondary by bringing in stud corner Tarrell Brown and re-signing veteran safety Charles Woodson.
3-21-14: Oakland has made some positive noise in free agency so far this offseason, making sound moves to address the offensive line. They missed out on stud tackle Rodger Saffold due to a shoulder injury that scared them off, but they still wound up beefing up the line with Donald Penn and Kevin Boothe. Oakland also brought back Darren McFadden to see if he can’t stay healthy for an entire season and improve their rushing attack, while also bringing in former Packers wide receiver James Jones to take the passing game up a notch. Justin Tuck signed on to pick up the Oakland pass rush, although the Raiders did fail to retain defensive end Lamarr Houston. It was an up and down free agency period for the Raiders, but solid enough to offer optimism going into the draft.
12-31-13: Terrelle Pryor got one last chance to prove himself as a starting quarterback in Oakland. It didn’t go as planned. Peyton Manning stormed out of the gates with four touchdowns in the first half and the Raiders simply couldn’t keep up in a 34-14 loss at home.
12-24-13: Darren McFadden returned from injury and found the end-zone, but the Raiders struggled too much on offense to hang with the Chargers in San Diego, losing their week 16 contest, 26-13. Matt McGloin continued to struggle under center for the Raiders, as he failed to throw a touchdown and threw a pick in Oakland’s 11th loss of the year.
12-17-13: Matt McGloin threw for nearly 300 yards and two touchdowns as he helped dig the Raiders out of an early 35-10 hole, but four bad interceptions doomed him and Oakland in a bad 56-31 home loss. The Raiders simply couldn’t keep up with the Kansas City Chiefs, who had Alex Smith and Jamaal Charles scores five touchdowns a piece in the unexpected shootout.
12-10-13: Marcel Reese busted off a 64-yard touchdown run on the vaunted New York Jets run defense and for a second it looked like the Raiders might pull off the road win. No one else outside of Reece was consistent enough to help make that happen, however, as Oakland simply couldn’t keep pace with the home team this week, falling 37-27.
12-3-13: Oakland did it’s best to get one step closer to .500 in week 13, but DeMarco Murray and the Dallas Cowboys were just too much in the end. Murray pounded into the end-zone for three scores and Oakland couldn’t hold onto a 21-7 half-time lead, falling to the Cowboys in Dallas, 31-24.
11-26-13: Matt McGloin wasn’t nearly as good as he was in his first ever start a week ago, but he was still impressive, passing for 260 yards and the go-ahead touchdown to give Oakland a 19-16 lead over the Titans with just six minutes remaining. Ryan Fitzpatrick wouldn’t be denied, however, as he drove Tennessee down and hit the game-winning throw to give the Titans the dramatic 23-19 road win.
11-19-13: Terrelle Pryor was out with a bum knee. Clearly the Oakland Raiders were in trouble. That is, unless undrafted rookie Matt McGloin could throw three touchdowns and keep the Houston Texans on their heels. McGloin did just that, as he helped Oakland to their first road win of 2013 and created a quarterback controversy in the process.
11-12-13: Terrelle Pryor seemed to regress once again as a traditional pocket passer in week 10, as the New York Giants sacked him three times and forced him to turn the ball over twice. Oakland was still in it in the final quarter, but simply couldn’t punch in another score due to Pryor’s struggles and stout defense from the Giants.
11-5-13: History was made in Oakland in week nine, but it had nothing to do with the Raiders. Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles was flat-out unstoppable, as he had just six incompletions on the day, as he topped 400 passing yards and became just the sevenths passer in NFL history to throw seven passing touchdowns in a game. Terrelle Pryor was no match for Pryor and joined Darren McFadden on the sidelines with an injury in this one, as the Raiders lost at home, 49-20.
10-30-13: Terrelle Pryor set an NFL record with a 93-yard touchdown run (for a quarterback) and held on for dear life late as the Raiders stepped up to 3-4 with a solid 21-18 home win over the Pittsburgh Steelers. Pryor was mostly ineffective through the air, but Darren McFadden picked up the slack with two scores and Oakland’s underrated defense swarmed the Steelers for five sacks.
10-15-13: Terrelle Pryor entered his week six matchup with the division rival Kansas City Chiefs with a ton of hype. He left it looking more like a young quarterback who got exposed. Pryor struggled mightily throughout this one, guiding the Raiders to just one early score, while absorbing a ridiculous 10 sacks and throwing three interceptions. Oakland’s defense actually stood their ground against the Chiefs for the most part on the other side, rendering Alex Smith ineffective and limiting the Chiefs to just two offensive touchdowns in a 24-7 road loss.
10-1-13: The Oakland Raiders were forced to roll with quarterback Matt Flynn due to concussion symptoms keeping Terrelle Pryor sidelined for week four. It didn’t end well. Flynn played much worse than his numbers suggest, as he threw a costly pick-six with the Raiders nursing a 14-3 lead and failed to generate any points from that point on in a 24-14 home loss that sent Oakland to a 1-3 hole. To better assess just how ineffective Flynn was, the veteran quarterback added a lost fumble and seven sacks to his week four resume’. Rashad Jennings was the lone star for Oakland in week four, as he caught eight passes with Flynn checking down at a rapid rate, while piling up 100+ total yards in the defeat.
9-20-13: In a match-up of two of the worst teams in the NFL, the Jaguars and Raiders battled it out in Oakland on Sunday. Oakland took an early lead on an 11-yard TD run by fullback Marcel Reece and never looked back, winning the game 19-9. Terrelle Pryor was OK in the win, completing 15 of 24 passes for 126 yards and picked up another 50 yards with his feet. He did fumble the ball twice, with the Jags recovering one of the two. Darren McFadden had a good game, carrying the ball 19 times for 129 yards. The win improves the Raiders to 1-1 on the year. Next week, they have a tough match-up when they head to Denver to take on Peyton Manning and the Broncos.
9-10-13: The Oakland Raiders gave fans a very solid game in what was widely expected to be a blowout by the hands of the Colts. Instead, wet behind the ears quarterback Terrelle Pryor rushed for over 100 yards and kept things interesting until a late-game interception ended Oakland’s unlikely magical run. Pryor had a chance to finish off a surprise performance with some late-game heroics, but ultimately came up short in the 21-17 loss. The Raiders look to even up their record next week when the host the Jaguars, who are coming off of a bad 28-2 loss to the Chiefs, a game that also saw them lose starting quarterback Blaine Gabbert to a hand injury.
9-4-13: The Raiders have made their final roster cuts heading into the regular season: DL Ryan Baker, DE David Bass, LB Billy Boyko, DE Andre Carter, CB Chance Casey, OG Jason Foster, LB Omar Gaither, TE Richard Gordon, CB Joselio Hanson, OT Tony Hills, WR Greg Jenkins, S Shelton Johnson, TE Briant Leonhardt, OG Lamar Mady, K Justin Medlock, S Reggie Smith, OT Willie Smith, DT Kurt Taufa'asau, LB Chase Thomas, WR Conner Vernon, RB Deonte Williams.
8-20-13: It was an ugly game for the Raiders, especially early when they took on the Saints last week. Matt Flynn was OK, completing 12 of 16 passes for 124 yards, but was sacked 5 times and saw the Saints build a 23-0 1st half lead. Flynn did throw a TD pass, an 18 yard toss to Denarius Moore, but it was too little too late. Darren McFadden ran the ball 5 times for just 17 yards. Next week, the Raiders will host the Bears on Friday.
8-11-13: Oakland opened the preseason schedule by beating the Cowboys 19-17. QB Terrelle Pryor completed 6 of 10 passes for 88 yards and threw a pick. Rookie Matthew McGloin was 4 of 7 threw for a TD and 78 yards. Matt Flynn was 4 of 5 for 37 yards, and rookie Tyler Wilson was 3 of 6 for 28 yards.
Darren McFadden ran the ball just 3 times for 5 yards. Rashad Jennings led the way on the ground with 9 carries and 39 yards.
Sebastian Janikowski was 2-for-2 on field goals, hitting from 40 and 51 yards.
8-3-13: The Raiders have signed Sebastian Janikowski to a five-year deal worth just under $19 million. $8 million is guaranteed.
7-10-13: The Oakland Raiders have their eye on the future, but face long odds to have much success in 2013. With that said, they still can lean on star running back Darren McFadden on offense, while they build on an improved secondary consisting of new acquisitions, Charles Woodson and rookie corner D.J. Hayden. A depleted defensive line will likely see the Raiders struggle on defense in the short-term, while a three-way battle for the starting quarterback gig isn’t overly encouraging, either.
6-12-13: Oakland hasn’t really met the “commitment to excellence” mantra much over the past decade, but it does look like they’re finally headed in the right direction. That “right direction” isn’t likely to lead back to the playoffs in 2013, but if Raiders’ fans can be patient, they could be getting a winning team in the next few years.
For now, they’ll get a preseason battle between Matt Flynn and Terrelle Pryor at quarterback, while clinging to the hope that running back Darren McFadden can stay healthy for longer than 10 games. If Flynn/Pryor can prove serviceable and the Raiders can run their offense through a healthy McFadden (which they weren’t able to do effectively in 2012), then it’s not impossible for them to at least be competitive.
Raiders 2013 Draft Overview:
Round 1, Pick 12 (from Miami): D.J. Hayden, CB, Houston
Round 2, Pick 10 (from Miami): Menelik Watson, OT, Florida State
Round 3, Pick 4: Sio Moore, LB, Connecticut
Round 4, Pick 15: Tyler Wilson, QB, Arkansas
Round 6, Pick 4: Nick Kasa, TE, Colorado
Round 6, Pick 13 (from Tampa): Latavius Murray, RB, Central Florida
Round 6, Pick 16 (from St. Louis through Houston): Mychal Rivera, TE, Tennessee
Round 6, Pick 37 (Compensatory Selection): Stacy McGee, DT, Oklahoma
Round 7, Pick 3: Brice Butler, WR, San Diego State
Round 7, Pick 27 (from Houston): David Bass, DE, Missouri Western
12-4-12: The 3-9 Raiders have lost five straight heading into their short week matchup with the Denver Broncos. They currently rank 29th overall in rushing yards per game. Carson Palmer and the Raiders will close out their season with games against the Broncos, Panthers, Chargers and Chiefs. Passing hasn’t been a problem for the Raiders but defense has. They rank 25th and 28th in opponent rushing and passing yards.