Oakland Raiders: Mike Jenkins

Might Raiders be in market for CB?

February, 26, 2014
Feb 26
The Oakland Raiders used their top draft pick on a cornerback last season in D.J. Hayden, and big things are expected of him in his second season, what with his being healthy enough to have a full offseason. And while three other corners will be unrestricted free agents in Tracy Porter, Mike Jenkins and Phillip Adams, it does not seem likely Oakland will again take a cornerback with its first pick, at No. 5 overall. Then again, if a quality corner falls into their lap, perhaps.

A look, then, at three cornerbacks who intrigued the masses at the NFL combine on Monday ...

CB Justin Gilbert (Oklahoma State)

Widely seen as the top cornerback in the draft, he cemented said status with a show in Indianapolis. The 6-foot, 202-pound Gilbert ran a 4.37-second 40-yard dash, fastest among defensive backs. He also showed strength in getting 20 reps in the bench press, which was the second-highest number among corners, and explosiveness with a 35.5-inch vertical leap and a broad jump of 10-6. Scouts rave about his ball skills and physicality.

CB Jason Verrett (TCU)

Verrett also did a lot to improve his draft stock at the combine. Besides showing speed in the 40 (4.38 seconds), he also had a 39-inch vertical (third best among corners, seventh best of the entire combine). Still, at just 5-9, 189 pounds, his future seems to be in an NFL slot, and it would be difficult to see a team using their lone first-round pick on a nickelback, no?

CB Stanley Jean-Baptiste (Nebraska)

OK, so, many critics think Jean-Baptiste stunk up the joint with a 4.61-second 40-yard dash. But he is big. At 6-3, 218 pounds he would not be dwarfed by the bigger receivers in the NFL. His 41.5-inch vertical was the second-best mark of the combine and his 10-8 broad jump was sixth-best in the combine.

Rookie glance: CB Chance Casey

February, 18, 2014
Feb 18
How acquired: Undrafted free agent

2013 season: Casey was a fan favorite in training camp and showed enough to the Oakland Raiders’ staff to earn a spot on the team’s practice squad. The Baylor product stayed there for the Raiders’ first 12 games before being activated to the 53-man roster on Dec. 7 and being active for the Raiders’ game at the New York Jets the following day. Casey was inactive the following two games, but in the season finale, he recovered a blocked punt at the Denver Broncos’ 24-yard line in the third quarter.

Looking ahead: Casey was more of a special-teams guy so it’s hard to say he made a mark to become a regular part of the Raiders’ secondary. Still, with Tracy Porter, Mike Jenkins and Phillip Adams all free agents, there should be an opportunity to compete.

The Raiders’ other 2013 rookies that finished the season on the roster: S Shelton Johnson, WR Greg Jenkins, G Lamar Mady, QB Matt McGloin, WR Brice Butler, DT Stacy McGee, TE Mychal Rivera, RB Latavius Murray, TE Nick Kasa, LB Sio Moore, OT Menelik Watson, CB D.J. Hayden, DE Ryan Robinson.

Raiders report: CBs questionable

December, 27, 2013
ALAMEDA, Calif. -- Sure, Nnamdi Asomugha is signing a ceremonial one-day contract to retire a member of the Oakland Raiders, but couldn’t he be convinced to suit up for one last game?

I kid, of course. Kinda. Because while the Raiders are as healthy as they’ve been all season -- when it comes to players available on the 53-man active roster -- their starting cornerbacks are a bit dinged up as they prepare for Sunday’s season finale against the Denver Broncos at the O.co Coliseum.

Tracy Porter was added to the injury report Friday with a hip issue and Mike Jenkins remained limited with a hamstring injury. Both cornerbacks were officially listed as being questionable to play against the Broncos.

Raiders coach Dennis Allen said Friday that Chimdi Chekwa has moved ahead of Phillip Adams on the cornerback depth chart and would start if Jenkins is unable to go Sunday. Chekwa had already been playing in place of Adams in Oakland’s nickel defense, with Porter sliding into the slot.

Also, rookie offensive tackle Menelik Watson practiced a day after sitting out with a sore calf, meaning all 53 active players practiced for the second time this week, and season.

Following, then, is the Raiders’ status report for Sunday:

Out: None

Questionable: CB Mike Jenkins (hamstring), CB Tracy Porter (hip)

Probable: RG Mike Brisiel (knee), WR Denarius Moore (shoulder), RB Jeremy Stewart (ankle/knee), OT Menelik Watson (calf)

Injury report: Watson misses practice

December, 26, 2013
ALAMEDA, Calif. -- Two days after the Oakland Raiders had their first perfect attendance by the 53-man roster at a practice, rookie offensive tackle Menelik Watson missed Thursday with a recurrence of his calf issue that first flared up in training camp.

Watson, the Raiders' second-round draft pick who also underwent a knee procedure just before the season began and did not make his NFL debut until Week 9, has appeared in five games this season, starting three. He was active for the Raiders' game at the San Diego Chargers last weekend but did not play in Oakland's 26-13 loss.

“It's the same thing that's been troubling him,” coach Dennis Allen said of Watson's calf.

Following, then, the Raiders' injury report for Thursday:

Did not participate: OT Menelik Watson (calf)

Limited practice: CB Mike Jenkins (hamstring)

Full practice: RG Mike Brisiel (knee), WR Denarius Moore (shoulder), RB Jeremy Stewart (knee/ankle)
ALAMEDA, Calif. -- Because the Oakland Raiders are taking Wednesday off for the Christmas Day holiday, they practiced Tuesday instead.

But with it not being the “official” start of the NFL week, the Raiders did not have to submit an official injury report on Tuesday. Still, coach Dennis Allen did give an update.

“For the first time in a while, we had everybody out there (practicing),” Allen said.

Asked if he’s had all 53 players on the roster on the practice field at the same time this season, Allen said, “I don’t think so. I’d have to go back and check the records, but it’s been awhile, for sure.”

It was the first time running back/special teams standout Jeremy Stewart practiced since getting injured on the road against the Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving Day.

Following, then, the Raiders' “unofficial” official injury report for Tuesday:

Did not participate: None

Limited practice: CB Mike Jenkins (hamstring), RB Jeremy Stewart (knee/ankle), RG Mike Brisiel (knee).

Full practice: WR Denarius Moore (shoulder).
ALAMEDA, Calif. – Twelve minutes before announcing that Terrelle Pryor would start at quarterback in the Oakland Raiders’ season finale against the Denver Broncos, coach Dennis Allen broached a variety of topics Monday in the wake of the Raiders’ 26-13 loss at the San Diego Chargers.

Among them: that his mind was not changed after watching the tape of Rod Streater’s ruled non-catch of what would have been a 39-yard touchdown reception.

“I still believe that he had possession of the ball, he went to the ground, maintained possession and that the ball was pulled from him after he had,” Allen said. He paused and then added, “I thought it was a touchdown.”

That he never considered pulling cornerback Mike Jenkins from the game after his taunting penalty cost the Raiders 15 yards when he slapped the ball out of Ryan Mathews’ hands on the sideline.

“My thinking was that Mike Jenkins playing in the football game gave us the best opportunity to have success,” Allen said. “There’s a point in time where you have those conversations, and I had a conversation with him when the drive was over, but in the middle of the drive I felt he gave us the best opportunity to have success so I wanted to keep him in the game.”

That the increase in penalties – the Raiders had a season-high 12 penalties, on 15 flags thrown their way, against the Chargers – and Oakland now being second in the league with 114 penalties a year after having 108 is not necessarily a poor reflection solely on him.

“It reflects on all of us,” he said. “I think we have to do a better job of eliminating those plays. It’s something that’s been a part of this organization for a while. We cleaned it up some last year and we’ve gotten back to committing some penalties this year. That’s something we’ve got to improve and continue to work to clean up. It’s something we talk about a lot. We give a penalty report each week. We’ve got to continue to clean that up.”

And, of course, Allen addressed the Silver and Black elephant in the room. Sorta.

Asked if it was hard to remain focused for the final game with so much speculation about his job security, Allen did not flinch.

“We’re all human, but I realize that I only control the things I can control,” he said. “We only control certain things, and that’s all that we can focus on. We’re back up there, game-planning for Denver. Those are the things we control.”

Allen, who still has two years remaining on his contract, also said he was not putting a time frame on the Raiders being able to close the gap between the current 4-11 team and the elite teams in the NFL.

“But I’m very confident that we can close that gap,” Allen said. “This offseason will be the first opportunity. I’m not going to put limits on us. That’s something we address and we work toward when we get to the offseason. It’ll be the first time we have a full complement of draft picks and the room to do some things to go out and continue to improve on the team.”

And yes, Allen was asked if he thought coaches deserve a third year to turn a franchise around.

“Well, I really don’t want to get into all the speculation,” he said. “There will be a time and place for that. I don’t think right now this is the time and place.”

Not with one game to go, and not with the focus seemingly shifting on Pryor being named the starter.

Raiders play hard, but not very smart

December, 22, 2013
SAN DIEGO -- Looking for a positive Oakland Raiders nugget after their fifth straight loss, and seventh defeat in eight games, courtesy of Sunday's 26-13 loss to the San Diego Chargers?

Well, the Raiders played hard. Just not very smart.

Oakland was flagged for a season-high 12 penalties, equaling the 12 the Raiders had at the Atlanta Falcons last season for the most penalties under second-year coach Dennis Allen.

In fact, the Raiders have had at least eight or more penalties in seven of their past 11 games. And with discipline a point of emphasis for this regime, regardless of talent level, that does not bode well for a coach who wants and needs to show progress to ensure he gets to Year 3 of his four-year contract.

[+] EnlargeMarcel Reece
AP Photo/Lenny IgnelziThe Raiders played one their sloppiest games of the season Sunday, getting flagged 15 times (12 were accepted penalties).
And yet …

“The last two weeks were really tough,” said center Stefen Wisniewski. “I'd be crazy if I said we were getting better, with the last two weeks.”

Sounds like an indictment. Or, a dose of reality.

The Raiders surrendered a franchise-record 56 points to the Kansas City Chiefs and committed seven turnovers last week before the flags came flying at Qualcomm Stadium and Oakland, which was tied at halftime, 10-10, did not have enough to stem the tide.

“We have to play smarter,” Allen said. “Penalties are going to happen in the game but we can't have the not-smart penalties, which cost your football team.”

The most egregious example? Mike Jenkins getting called for taunting when he knocked the ball out of Ryan Mathews' hands after the cornerback stopped him for a no-gain. Instead, the Chargers got 15 free yards and six plays later, Philip Rivers hit Keenan Allen for a 4-yard touchdown pass and San Diego led, 17-10.

Jenkins declined to talk in the postgame locker room.

“That wasn't smart,” Allen said. “Those are the plays that we can't have because they cost your football team. This guy, in the heat of the moment, did something emotional. We have to be better than that. We can't do that and hurt our team.”

So at whose feet does the blame lay for the Raiders' regression in terms of discipline? Consider: yes, the Raiders had 12 penalties for 73 yards, but three penalties were also declined, meaning 15 flags were actually thrown at Oakland on the day.

Obviously, Oakland's roster is not brimming with talent and you have so many players, especially on defense, making career-high appearances and wearing down at this juncture of the season.

“I think the coaching staff has done a good job this year,” offered free safety Charles Woodson. “What it boils down to is …we as players have to put it all together, and I can't put that on the coaching staff.

“It's about the players not going out there and, again, executing calls or game plans or whatever it is.”

We're not just talking one-step-forward-two-steps-back stuff here. Against the Chargers, Oakland's season-long issues bubbled to the surface. Again.

It's a team with 10 new starters on defense, and an undrafted rookie at quarterback who began his NFL career this summer as a fourth-stringer.

“Yeah, I mean some of it might be inexperience,” Wisniewski said. “But, I mean, we're not all inexperienced. Some of us are, some of us aren't. It might just be a matter of executing when the time comes."

“I would like to think that if it was because of inexperience, here in Game 15, we would be getting better at it.”

Many others think the exact same thing, especially when playing hard does not equal playing smart.

Rapid Reaction: Oakland Raiders

December, 22, 2013
SAN DIEGO -- A few thoughts on the Oakland Raiders' 26-13 loss to the San Diego Chargers:

What it means: The Raiders have lost five straight games and seven of eight after sitting at 3-4 on the cusp of the AFC playoff race. With so many rumors floating regarding Dennis Allen's coaching future, the Raiders did play hard. Just not very smart. And, the conspiracy theorist (and Raiders' radio broadcasters) would argue, against more than the Chargers. No matter the case, the lack of quality depth reared its head again. At least it was an entertaining game, no?

Stock watch: Falling -- discipline. Sure, the officials seemed to be flag-happy in throwing so many yellow hankies at the guys in Silver and Black (not all 13 were accepted as penalties, obviously -- before San Diego had three penalties), but many were also self-inflicted. Particularly galling was the 15-yard taunting penalty on Mike Jenkins for knocking the football out of Ryan Mathews' hand after stopping him for no gain. The Raiders finished with 12 penalties for 73 yards, and the Chargers with three for 24 yards.

McGloin's accuracy issues: Perhaps rookie quarterback Matt McGloin's greatest asset has been his accuracy this season. But it deserted him Sunday. McGloin, who finished 20-of-36 for 206 yards passing and an interception, was just off on several passes that were behind his intended targets. His accuracy seemed to suffer most when he has to wait for a play to develop, as opposed to dropping back and firing when his back foot hits. He missed a wide-open Jamize Olawale down the left sideline on a third-and-1 play, threw behind Andre Holmes on first-and-goal from the 2 and underthrew Rod Streater on a disputed incompletion in the fourth quarter.

Run DMC, remember him?: Darren McFadden played for the first time since Thanksgiving Day, and while he had only 8 rushing yards, he showed a glimpse of his old burst with a 5-yard touchdown run to give the Raiders a 7-3 lead.

What's next: The Raiders (4-11) close out their regular season with a home game against the AFC West champion Denver Broncos (12-3) and quarterback Peyton Manning, who established a single-season touchdown pass record with his 51st Sunday against the Houston Texans. Manning needs 266 passing yards against the Raiders to set a new single-season passing mark. The Broncos beat the Raiders 37-21 in Week 3, with Manning passing for 374 yards and three touchdowns.
ALAMEDA, Calif. -- Cornerback Tracy Porter is one of 10 new starters on the Oakland Raiders' defense this season.

He is also one of the seven defensive starters, per the team's' depth chart, scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent.

Yes, his status for next year being in limbo is in the back of his head, he said. But there is also a time and a place for discussions. And Porter has not had a discussion with the Raiders yet about next year.

“I haven't had any throughout the year but like I said, that's not my main concern right now,” he said Thursday. “My main concern is to finish the season healthy, finish the season strong, finish the season with two victories. And then, once that goes off, then we can talk about what's going to happen next.”

Porter, who also moves into the slot in nickel defense, has a “burn rate” of 59.2 percent, per STATS LLC, in giving up 45 completions on 76 targets, for 576 yards, five touchdowns and 12 passes defensed.

By comparison, Mike Jenkins' burn rate is 70.3, rookie D.J. Hayden's was 60.5 and Phillip Adams' is 57.1.

Porter, though, has a team-high two interceptions, with a pick-6 against the New York Giants' Eli Manning, thus becoming the only player in league history to return an interception against both of the Manning brothers. Porter did it against Peyton Manning in Super Bowl XLIV.

Porter was playing for the New Orleans Saints at the time. His position coach? Dennis Allen. Surely that would play a part in Porter wanting to return to Oakland, no?

Well ...

“I'm not saying I don't want to come back,” Porter said, “I would. Otherwise I wouldn't have come here from the start.”

Double Coverage: Raiders at Cowboys

November, 27, 2013
Romo-RoachAP PhotoTony Romo's Cowboys host Nick Roach and the Raiders in a Thanksgiving Day duel.
IRVING, Texas -- For the second time in five years, the Dallas Cowboys and Oakland Raiders meet on Thanksgiving at AT&T Stadium.

The Cowboys won the 2009 matchup 24-7 with Tony Romo throwing for 309 yards and two touchdowns and Miles Austin catching seven passes for 145 yards. Since that game Austin has had more yards in a game just twice.

ESPN.com's Raiders reporter Paul Gutierrez and Cowboys reporter Todd Archer bring you this week's holiday version of Double Coverage.

Todd Archer: The Cowboys are bad in most areas defensively, but they have given up 200 yards rushing in three games this season. The Raiders' strength, from afar, seems to be their running game. What makes it so good and how has it differed with Terrelle Pryor out?

Paul Gutierrez: Hey, Todd, it's not just Pryor being out, but also Darren McFadden, who has missed three straight games and four overall with a strained right hamstring. He said Monday night he hopes to play after practicing (limited) for the first time since Nov. 1. The run game, though, has not missed a beat with underrated Rashad Jennings picking up the slack. In the past four games, he has run for 413 yards while averaging 5.7 yards per carry. In fact, the running game has been so surprisingly solid without McFadden and Pryor that the play-action pass game has picked up with undrafted rookie Matt McGloin under center.

Speaking of passing games ... no doubt Tony Romo can rack up stats, but has he decided to assume more of a leadership role yet as the QB of America's Team, or is that just not in his makeup?

Archer: He has developed over the years as a leader, but there's no question that this has been "his" team the past three seasons. He is the veteran. He is the guy the Cowboys look to. The guys on this team now don't know of the Romo who burst on the scene in 2006 or had to deal with the Terrell Owens stuff. He's the guy who led the lockout practices and has been the big voice in the room. This year he has been given the added responsibility of being more involved in the game plan. The Cowboys' past two wins have come on last-minute drives led by Romo to beat Minnesota and the New York Giants. I don't think there's anybody questioning his leadership anymore. And if they did, well, the $106 million extension Jerry Jones gave him in the offseason should be more than enough proof to those guys that this is Romo's team.

Let's stick with the quarterback theme. Before the Cowboys lucked into Romo, they ran through a ton of guys after Troy Aikman's departure. Is there any reason to believe McGloin or Pryor can be a solution or do the Raiders need to go after one of these guys in next April's draft?

Gutierrez: Well, the way I put it earlier in the season, before Pryor hit his purported ceiling and sprained his right knee, robbing him of his greatest strength (running) while accentuating his biggest weakness (passing), if Pryor was not the Raiders' Mr. Right, he was their Mr. Right Now. McGloin is a pure quarterback, a pocket passer whom Dennis Allen prefers for what he wants to accomplish offensively. It's hard to give Allen and GM Reggie McKenzie much credit for their evaluation of QBs, though, what with their misses on Matt Flynn and Tyler Wilson, not caring much for Pryor early on and then, similar to the Cowboys with Romo, stumbling upon McGloin. But it's hard to see them going all in with the undrafted rookie from Penn State, too. At least hard at the moment. Unless McGloin continues to improve and wins a few games, it would behoove the Raiders to draft another QB if they see one as a can't-miss prospect. I know, I know, they really wanted USC's Matt Barkley but Philadelphia traded in front of them so they traded back and selected Wilson. Oops. There is no doubt, though, that this Raiders regime prefers McGloin as a prototypical QB over the more electric Pryor.

No matter who is under center for Oakland, though, the Raiders' QB is going to have to keep an eye on DeMarcus Ware. Is he rounding back into shape as a dominant pass-rusher, or is he more decoy as he rehabs from his quad strain?

Archer: I think he's still feeling his way through it. The fact that he made it through the Giants game healthy was a plus. He has been dinged up in just about every game with stinger and back strains earlier in the season before the quadriceps injury. We'll see how he fares on a short week, but the defense is a lot better with even the threat of Ware on the field. Jason Hatcher had two sacks against the Giants at least in part because of the attention Ware received. Ware has talked about wanting to make up for lost time. He has five sacks so far, his fewest this late in a season since his rookie year in 2005. Thursday would be a good time to look like the DeMarcus Ware of old.

This game is a homecoming of sorts for guys like Mike Jenkins, Andre Gurode, Kevin Burnett and Tony Sparano, but it's a real homecoming for Dennis Allen. How is he perceived in Oakland and will McKenzie be more patient with him than, say, Al Davis would have been?

Gutierrez: The jury, so to speak, is still out on Allen in the streets of Silver and Blackdom. Of course, when the Raiders win a game, he's the man. When he loses, the fans turn on him and start pining for Jon Gruden ... again. But isn't that the nature of the beast? Even Allen himself said this was a results-oriented business. Of course, he was referring to the quarterback position at the time, but it still applies. Make no mistake about it, Allen is McKenzie's "guy" and he's going to roll with him and have patience with him. The plan coming in was to give Allen at least three years to right this ship and really, the only thing that could damage Allen's chances of lasting another year would be if the team quit on him, like it did last November before playing hard again at the end. Then again, it might not be McKenzie's choice. Owner Mark Davis is a more patient owner than his father and wants McKenzie to handle all football-related decisions. But a year after stating he was fine with just about anything but regression, Davis wants progress. Stagnancy won't cut it, either. So, stay tuned.

Sticking with the coaching theme, is Jason Garrett in Jerry World for the long haul, or was Jerry Jones' support merely the dreaded vote of confidence?

Archer: Jerry has publicly backed Garrett, but he's also been a guy who's said, "Just because I say something, doesn't mean it's true." I do know this: He wants Garrett to be the guy. He desperately wants it to work. I really believe that. He believes in Garrett's approach and how he builds a team. Garrett will provide some blow-back to Jerry but not as much as, say, a Bill Parcells. Garrett knows what makes Jerry work and knows how to work around it to a degree or push Jerry in a certain direction. Honestly, Cowboys fans should want the Garrett deal to work out because it might be the best combination to mitigate the bad parts of Jerry and keep the good parts of Jerry.

While left tackle Jared Veldheer remains on track to make his season debut for the Oakland Raiders on Thursday at Dallas and running back Darren McFadden plans on playing for the first time in four games, cornerback Mike Jenkins still had a hurdle to clear in passing his concussion protocol test.

“Mike Jenkins really passed this morning,” coach Dennis Allen said. “There’s one more little step where [doctors have] got to visit with him, but he should be cleared for the game also.”

Meanwhile, rookie right tackle Menelik Watson, who has fallen behind second-year pro Matt McCants on the depth chart, was sent home sick.

There were no other changes to the Raiders injury report. The following is the Raiders’ injury report for Tuesday:

Did not participate: SS Tyvon Branch (ankle), DE Jason Hunter (foot), Denarius Moore (shoulder), OT Menelik Watson (illness)

Limited practice: LB Kevin Burnett (quad), CB Mike Jenkins (concussion), LB Kaluka Maiava (ribs), RB Darren McFadden (hamstring), LB Sio Moore (shoulder), DT Daniel Muir (knee), TE Mychal Rivera (concussion)

Upon Further Review: Raiders Week 12

November, 25, 2013
An examination of four hot issues from the Oakland Raiders23-19 loss to the Tennessee Titans.

Playing soft: The defense the Raiders were in with the Titans facing a third-and-goal from the Oakland 10-yard line with 15 seconds to play? Try a zone. “If I had to do it all over again,” mused Raiders coach Dennis Allen, “I would have been more aggressive right there and come after them.” Instead, with only a three-man rush coming after him, Titans quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick had enough time to find Kendall Wright in a soft spot inside the 5-yard line, between slot cornerback Tracy Porter and cornerback Phillip Adams, and Wright plowed in for the game-winning score. “It was a great read and also the position I was in in zone coverage,” Porter said. “Great throw by Fitz right between me and the corner, and it was difficult for both of us to make the play in such a short window.” Said Allen: “Tracy was fine. It’s a tough route versus the coverage that we were in ... put that one on me.” It was a tough ending for the Raiders' defense, which allowed an 80-yard drive in 14 plays and six minutes after the offense had taken a 19-16 lead. Rookie cornerback D.J. Hayden being placed on season-ending injured reserve last week and starting cornerback Mike Jenkins leaving with a concussion early in the fourth quarter did not help matters.

Get off the field: A strength of the Raiders' defense had been its ability to get off the field on third down. Not against Tennessee, though. The Titans picked up 175 yards on third-down conversions for the game, including four that were third-and-10 or longer. The Titans were 7-for-9 in the second half and 10-for-18 overall on third down. “I’m just going to say it: It was one of those days,” said safety Charles Woodson. “It wasn’t like they were giving us anything we hadn’t seen before on film. You just have to credit it to not making the play.” The Titans had a field day with passes across the middle.

Judging talent: For what it’s worth, the Raiders' "new" regime had more of its undrafted free agents starting the game (QB Matt McGloin, LG Lucas Nix, WR Rod Streater) than its rookie draft picks (DT Stacy McGee, LB Sio Moore).

Of explosive plays XI: And now for our weekly tracking of “explosive” plays. As deemed by Allen, such a play is one that gains at least 16 yards through the air or 12 yards on the ground. The Raiders had nine such plays against the Titans, one run and eight passes, including McGloin’s 27-yard TD pass. Tennessee had six explosive plays, one run and five passes, including a touchdown. In 11 games, the Raiders have 79 explosive plays (24 runs, 55 passes), with three TD runs and seven passing scores. Oakland’s opponents, meanwhile, also have 79 explosive plays: 17 runs (one TD) and 62 passes (seven TDs).
videoOAKLAND -- Rookie tight end Mychal Rivera and cornerback Mike Jenkins suffered concussions in the Oakland Raiders' 23-19 loss to the Tennessee Titans on Sunday.

And with such a short turnaround before the Thanksgiving Day game at the Dallas Cowboys, their availability is in serious doubt.

Rivera was hit on a helmet-to-helmet blow by Titans free safety Michael Griffin downfield on a ball Rivera nearly held onto for about a 30-yard gain. Instead, Griffin was flagged for a 15-yard personal foul and might just have a FedEx folder with a fine in it at his locker this week.

Jenkins, meanwhile, was injured tackling Titans running back Chris Johnson early in the fourth quarter after a six-yard pickup. Jenkins was replaced on the field by Chimdi Chekwa.

Linebacker Kevin Burnett also could not finish the game. He suffered a contusion to a quad in the fourth quarter and was replaced by Miles Burris, who was making his season debut after offseason knee surgery. Burnett had a game-high 11 tackles, with half of a sack.

Also, running back Rashad Jennings, who rushed for 73 yards on 16 carries, left the game with a stinger but returned, as did receiver Rod Streater, who took a blow to his hip.

The Raiders may receive some offensive help this week as Raiders radio broadcaster Greg Papa said “all indications” are that running back Darren McFadden, who has missed the last three games with a strained right hamstring, will play against the Cowboys.

Upon Further Review: Raiders Week 8

October, 28, 2013
A review of four hot issues from the Oakland Raiders' 21-18 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers:

No staying power: For the fourth straight home game the Raiders had a quick start, only for the offense to play the second half as if stuck in neutral. Against Washington, it was a 14-0 lead before losing 24-14. Against San Diego, the Raiders led 17-0 before hanging on for a 27-17 victory. Two weeks ago, it was a 7-0 lead at Kansas City that would have been 10-0 were it not for a missed field goal. And Sunday, the Raiders led 21-3 before beating Pittsburgh 21-18. Without saying it outright, quarterback Terrelle Pryor hinted the play calling got conservative in the second half against the Steelers, and the Raiders were trying to salt away an 18-point lead. Oakland, though, lost its momentum and had but one first down and 35 yards of offense after halftime. Coach Dennis Allen admitted the Raiders need to find a killer instinct.

[+] EnlargeOakland's Darren McFadden
Kelley L Cox/USA TODAY SportsDid the Raiders get too conservative with their play calling in the second half?
FedEx for Tarver? So incensed was defensive coordinator Jason Tarver at a personal foul call on cornerback Mike Jenkins with 8:48 left in the third quarter that Tarver was caught by TV cameras giving a one-finger salute to the officials. And no, he was not telling them they were No. 1. Former NFL vice president of officiating Mike Pereira wrote an online column saying he took it upon himself to alert the NFL about Tarver giving the refs the bird, er, business, and Tarver should expect a fine from the league. Three years ago, Tennessee Titans defensive coordinator Chuck Cecil was slapped with a $40,000 fine for flipping off the refs when he disagreed with a penalty. Oh, and the flags thrown at Jenkins were picked up, resulting in no penalty.

Ford stalls: Three years ago Jacoby Ford was a playmaking game-changer for the Raiders. Sunday, he could not get out of his own way. Ford badly misplayed two punts, allowing one to be downed at the 1-yard line, the other to nearly glance off him for a turnover. He fumbled another punt return out of bounds and lost a fumble on a short pass catch in the flat. The Steelers turned that turnover into their first touchdown. “You put the ball on the ground in a game like that, you’re giving them an opportunity to get back in the game,” Allen said. “Good teams don’t do that.”

Of explosive plays VII: And now for our weekly tracking of “explosive” plays. As deemed by Allen, such a play is one that gains at least 16 yards through the air or 12 yards on the ground. The Raiders had four such plays against Pittsburgh: two runs, including Pryor’s 93-yard scamper on the first play of the game, and two passes, while the Steelers had five explosive plays, all passes. In seven games, the Raiders have 49 explosive plays (17 runs, 32 passes), with two TD runs and four passing scores. Oakland’s opponents, meanwhile, have 46 explosive plays, nine runs and 37 passes with a touchdown each way.