NFL@L.A.: Jacoby Ford

Wrap-up: Packers 46, Raiders 16

December, 11, 2011
What it means: It’s been a terrible two weeks for the Oakland Raiders, who skipped into December with a lead in the AFC West and on a three-game winning streak. This 46-16 debacle followed up a 34-14 loss at the Miami Dolphins last week. Neither of these two games was close. Now, Oakland is a game behind the 8-5 Denver Broncos with three games to go. Is it panic time? No, but panic is trying to kick in the doors in Oakland.

A long way to go: The 13-0 Packers showed Oakland how far it is from being the game’s elite. The Raiders simply couldn’t complete with Green Bay. The Packers led 31-0 at halftime. It was the Raiders’ worst halftime deficit in team history.

Palmer was dreadful: Oakland traded two premium picks to the Cincinnati Bengals for quarterback Carson Palmer in order for him to perform in games like this. He was terrible. After making strides in Oakland, Palmer has taken a step back and threw four interceptions Sunday. Palmer has thrown 13 interceptions and nine touchdown passes for the Raiders. He had one great game at San Diego, but otherwise has not looked like the difference-maker Oakland expected him to be.

Need the speed back: The Raiders were missing running backs Darren McFadden and Taiwan Jones and receivers Jacoby Ford and Denarius Moore. Palmer needs to get that world-class speed back as soon as possible if Oakland is going to make a playoff run.

What’s next: The Raiders host the Detroit Lions on Sunday. The Raiders are not out of this race -- a win over the Lions and a Denver home loss to the New England Patriots next week ties this baby back up. Oakland has to start playing better in all aspects.

Rapid Reaction: Raiders 24, Chargers 17

November, 10, 2011

SAN DIEGO -- A look at an entertaining, standings-changing Thursday night game:

What it means: The Raiders are in first place in the AFC West. They are 5-4 and snapped a two-game losing streak. San Diego has lost four consecutive games and now is 4-5. Kansas City is 4-4, and Denver is 3-5. The Chiefs host the Broncos on Sunday.

The QBs: Oakland quarterback Carson Palmer was mostly terrific as he threw for 299 yards. San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers had his moments but threw a key interception in the end zone late in the game. He has made a key mistake in every game during the Chargers’ losing streak.

Bush excels: Oakland needs to re-sign running back Michael Bush. He has been fantastic in two starts in place of star Darren McFadden, who is out with a foot injury. Bush finished with 157 yards on 30 carries after starting fast with 78 yards on 13 carries in the first quarter. He is a free agent at the end of the season.

Rookie receivers shine: Oakland rookie receiver Denarius Moore looks like a top target for Palmer. He had five catches for a game-high 123 yards, including two touchdowns. San Diego rookie receiver Vincent Brown had a touchdown pass on a spectacular catch and had another nice touchdown catch reversed. They both look like keepers.

Injuries pile up: Both teams came into this game banged up. The injuries mounted. Oakland lost receiver Jacoby Ford to a foot injury. San Diego saw left tackle Marcus McNeill (stinger), guard Louis Vasquez (ankle) and linebacker Takeo Spikes (concussion) leave the game. The Chargers were playing without three offensive linemen much of the game, and San Diego pass-rusher Antwan Barnes was injured late in the contest.

What’s next: The Raiders play at Minnesota on Nov. 20, and San Diego plays at Chicago in a game that matches up former AFC West adversaries Rivers and Jay Cutler.



Philip Rivers
570 379 4286 31
B. Oliver 160 582 3.6 3
R. Mathews 74 330 4.5 3
M. Floyd 52 856 16.5 6
A. Gates 69 821 11.9 12