Oakland Raiders: Tracy Porter

Top free-agent roundup: AFC West

March, 10, 2014
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The AFC West produced three playoff teams and the eventual AFC title winner in the Denver Broncos, so it should come as no surprise that many top free agents come from the division. Oakland Raiders reporter Paul Gutierrez, Broncos reporter Jeff Legwold, Kansas City Chiefs reporter Adam Teicher and San Diego Chargers reporter Eric D. Williams break down the top 15:

1. Branden Albert, Chiefs offensive tackle: Kansas City won’t franchise him this year. Albert will get a nice contract elsewhere.

2. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Broncos cornerback: He’s not yet 30 and still a top-tier athlete.

3. Eric Decker, Broncos wide receiver: Productive in scoring zone, will be one of the biggest wide receivers on open market, but rarely faced opponents’ top cornerback in Broncos offense.

4. Lamarr Houston, Raiders defensive end: Better suited to the left side because he’s not the prototypical speed-rusher.

Moreno
5. Knowshon Moreno, Broncos running back: Has had multiple knee surgeries, including one on a torn ACL in 2011, but he runs with passion, is solid in pass protection and a productive receiver.

6. Jared Veldheer, Raiders offensive tackle: Didn’t have a very good season in 2013 but would attract some attention as a free agent.

7. Geoff Schwartz, Chiefs guard: Was a free-agent find for Kansas City last season. Can play right tackle if needed.

8. Jon Asamoah, Chiefs guard: A better pass-protector than run-blocker. He will be only 26 in July.

9. Shaun Phillips, Broncos linebacker: He’ll be 33 in May but showed last season that he can still be an effective situational pass-rusher.

10. Zane Beadles, Broncos guard: For a movement-based front, he’s a smart, durable option who played in every game while with Denver.

McCluster
McCluster
11. Dexter McCluster, Chiefs wide receiver/punt returner: Hasn’t had a huge impact on the offense in Kansas City, but he will be only 26 in August.

12. Robert Ayers, Broncos defensive end: Had his best season in 2013, so maybe he’s a late bloomer.

13. Tyson Jackson, Chiefs defensive end: Like Ayers, he had his best season in 2013, so maybe he’s figuring it out as well.

14. Tracy Porter, Raiders cornerback: He’s versatile enough to cover the slot receiver, and he had one of his better seasons in 2013.

15. Kendrick Lewis, Chiefs safety: He’s only 25 but was a better player earlier in his career. He hasn’t been the same since a shoulder injury in 2012.

Free-agency primer: Raiders

March, 7, 2014
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» AFC Free-Agency Primer: East | West | North | South » NFC: East | West | North | South

Key free agents: LT Jared Veldheer, DE Lamarr Houston, RB Rashad Jennings, FS Charles Woodson, CB Tracy Porter, RB Darren McFadden

Where they stand: With 17 remaining unrestricted free agents -- Oakland re-signed offensive tackle Khalif Barnes last week -- the Raiders chose not to use the franchise tag on Veldheer or Houston. That should not surprise anyone; general manager Reggie McKenzie said he wanted to avoid using it, and Veldheer said he did not want to be tagged. With nearly $65 million in cap space, the Raiders are primed to be players during free agency. They need help especially on the defensive line -- all four starters are free agents -- and in the secondary, and ditto with both cornerbacks and the free safety. The primary need on defense is a prototypical edge rusher.

What to expect: As McKenzie said last year, just because he has money to spend does not mean he’s going shopping at Macy’s. And as he restated this year, just because he has money does not mean he’s going to spend it on junk. True, it’s time for McKenzie to make like Macklemore and “pop some tags,” but don’t expect him to break the bank. He’ll use the money judiciously, and although the Raiders have the most cap space, they also have the most needs. It makes sense for Oakland to find a veteran quarterback to serve as a bridge, of sorts, while McKenzie strengthens to team around said quarterback, someone the staff trusts and already knows. Targets could include Josh Freeman, Josh McCown and Mark Sanchez (if and when the Jets cut him). Defensively, Jared Allen could fit the bill at defensive end.

Might Raiders be in market for CB?

February, 26, 2014
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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
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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 Twitter mailbag

February, 8, 2014
Feb 8
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The Super Bowl is done so the season is officially over. Let's get our Twitter mailbag going ...

ALAMEDA, Calif. -- The Oakland Raiders last played a game on Dec. 29, and the final game of the 2013 season -- Super Bowl XLVIII -- goes down Sunday with the Denver Broncos facing the Seattle Seahawks in New Jersey. So with that as our backdrop, let's get our first offseason Raiders Twitter mailbag party started ...

ALAMEDA, Calif. – The Oakland Raiders have the No. 5 overall draft pick and would seemingly have some options as they begin Year 1 of their “reconstruction” under third-year general manager Reggie McKenzie and third-year coach Dennis Allen.

Before then, though, the Raiders have some in-house decisions to make as they are scheduled to have 18 unrestricted free agents when free agency begins on March 11. And yes, Oakland will have $60-plus million in salary cap room to play with in free-agent season.

A look, then, at the Raiders’ own pending free agents…

RB Darren McFadden -- Missed 19 of Raiders’ last 41 games with injuries and seems on his way out. Could Cincinnati Bengals' O.C./former Raiders coach Hue Jackson’s complimentary words be considered tampering?

RB Rashad Jennings -- Not exactly a game-breaking running back to build a franchise around, but he exuded toughness, especially after contact, and the Raiders need that in a rebuild.

WR/KR Jacoby Ford -- A healthy scratch the last two games, he could not even find his way on the field to return kicks. He’s most likely gone.

TE Jeron Mastrud -- The starter at the beginning of the season because of his blocking ability, rookie Mychal Rivera is the better pass-catcher.

LT Jared Veldheer -- The cornerstone left tackle should be the Raiders’ Re-sign Priority No. 1, as he showed his dedication and skill in returning from surgery in training camp on his left triceps with little negative effect.

OL Khalif Barnes -- Veteran showed his versatility in moving from right tackle to left tackle to left guard this past season. Sure, he has his share of false starts, but he bailed the O-line out.

RT Tony Pashos -- A pleasant surprise at right tackle, veteran presence might be expendable if Menelik Watson gets act together.

OL Andre Gurode -- Still trying to figure out why the Raiders did not put him at center and move Stefen Wisniewski to left guard early in season.

DE Lamarr Houston -- Re-sign Priority No. 1A, though he’s not a prototypical right defensive end, would benefit from move back to left side, so long as Raiders get a pass-rusher for the right. Jared Allen, anyone? How about Greg Hardy?

DE Jason Hunter -- Showed flashed early but then injuries and unfamiliarity with increased playing time caught up.

DL Vance Walker –- Showed versatility in moving from tackle to end and could be a “bridge” piece for Raiders moving forward, especially if Raiders play more 3-4 defenses.

DT Pat Sims -- Showed Raiders in final two weeks what they had been missing the previous 14 games. When healthy and motivated, a force in the trenches who could be a nose tackle in a 3-4.

DT Daniel Muir -- High-energy big-bodied accent piece in the trenches.

CB Mike Jenkins -- Physical corner would make a great play but then commit a silly penalty. Needed to be more disciplined, but might have taken away his aggressiveness.

CB Tracy Porter -- Re-sign Priority No. 1B. Could make a good argument that he was the defense’s best player from start to finish, definitely its best cornerback in moving into the slot in nickel situations.

CB Phillip Adams -- Injuries had him playing major minutes down the stretch.

FS Charles Woodson -- Spiritual leader of secondary whose slip in play late in season was belied by his strong play early on. He wants to return and the Raiders could certainly do worse than a future Hall of Famer.

S Usama Young -- Flashed at times but a neck injury on Thanksgiving ended his season before he could make a lasting impact.
ALAMEDA, Calif. -- Now that it's been established publicly that coach Dennis Allen will return for his third year as the Oakland Raiders' head coach in 2014, you have to wonder what, if any, effect that will have on free-agent targets this offseason.

Especially with the Raiders primed to open the bidding with some $60 million in salary-cap space when free agency begins on March 11.

Because in the past, when the cap meant next to nothing to Al Davis, the draw to the Raiders for free agents (besides being handsomely paid) was the mystique of the franchise in general, the aura of the iconic Davis in particular.

[+] EnlargeOakland's Dennis Allen
Kelley L Cox/USA TODAY SportsWhy should free agents go to Oakland? "Because they have an opportunity to be a part of building something special," Dennis Allen said.
Now? What, exactly, will be the draw?

“Because they have an opportunity to be a part of building something special,” Allen said in his end-of-year media conference last week.

“That's the belief that we have and hopefully that's something that we can convince these free agents that are out there. We believe that we can build something special here. That's what we get up every day with the anticipation of doing. That's what brings us back to work every day. We're not ever going to stop doing that. We'll be able to find guys that we feel like can come in, fit in and be part of what we're trying to build here.”

But how will the notion that Allen is on a short leash and his staff will most likely be on one-year deals factor into free agents' thinking?

Let's check back in on that one once free agency begins.

Meanwhile, the Raiders themselves are scheduled to have 17 unrestricted free agents and need to initially address the likes of left tackle Jared Veldheer, defensive end Lamarr Houston, running back Rashad Jennings and, potentially, cornerback Tracy Porter.

Still, there is a young nucleus, primarily made of up undrafted players, in place. Granted, for a team coming off consecutive 4-12 seasons and having lost eight of its last nine games in each of Allen's first two years.

So I asked Allen if there were already building blocks in place.

“I think some of the building blocks are in place,” he said. “I don't think we have everything that we need. There's some other pieces to the puzzle that we need. Obviously some of that will come through the draft. Obviously some of that will come through free agency.

“But yeah I believe there's some building blocks in place.”

Blocks that need veteran pieces, through free agency, particularly on both the offensive and defensive lines. A prototypical edge rusher, perhaps?

“I think this is a team, when you look at some of the young players that have improved on this football team, I think this is a team that's going to improve,” Allen said. “I think as some of these young players continue to develop and we're able to add a few pieces to the puzzle, along with some of the guys that we have, to me I look at it as this is the beginning. This is the beginning of being able to build and create the things that we want to create here.

“I'm not looking at this as the end; I'm looking at this as the start, as the beginning, and this is where we have an opportunity to really create here. This is where we should be judged. We should be judged on this point moving forward.”

All-AFC West: Oakland Raiders

January, 2, 2014
Jan 2
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NFC Teams: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South


Tracy Porter and Lamarr Houston are scheduled to become unrestricted free agents. The Oakland Raiders would be wise to re-sign both as the cornerback and defensive end were named to our all-AFC West first-team defense in a vote by the four ESPN.com NFL Nation reporters who cover the division.

That the Raiders were the lone team in the division to not qualify for the playoffs should speak volumes for Porter, who also slid into the slot on nickel defense and whose 67 tackles ranked third among AFC corners, and Houston, whose 69 tackles led the division’s defensive ends.

Still, Houston, who had a team-high six sacks after moving to the right side after playing the first three years of his career on the left, raised many eyebrows following the Raiders’ 34-14 season-ending loss to the Denver Broncos on Sunday when he said he did not expect to return to Oakland.

“I believe that Dennis Allen and the Raiders might be looking to move on and have me go to another team and find something more what they want for their system and their scheme,” Houston said. “Who knows? It’s a rough business, and nothing’s guaranteed, and everything changes from day to day.”

Later that night, though, Houston took to Twitter to blame the Fourth Estate for taking him out of context.

“I would love to b back in Oakland if they will take me,” Houston tweeted. “best fans in the league…u listen to the media u a fool.”

So there.

“I did see that quote, and that’s not the case,” Allen said of his purported desire to move on from Houston. “Obviously, I sat down with Lamarr today and had a nice discussion with him. We’d love to have him back. We think he fits our system and what we’re trying to do and we think he’s a guy that we can build with.”

There has been no such drama with Porter, who had two interceptions, including a pick-six of the New York Giants’ Eli Manning, becoming the only player in league history to return an interception for a touchdown against both Manning brothers.

Porter said during the regular season he was not necessarily thinking about next year ... yet.

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

A case could be made that two other Raiders players should have been named all-AFC West in fullback Marcel Reece and punter Marquette King.

Despite being underutilized in Oakland’s offense, Reece was named to his second consecutive Pro Bowl. He also started at tailback at the New York Jets when Rashad Jennings and Darren McFadden were injured. He rushed for a career-high 123 yards, including a career-long 63-yard touchdown run. On the year, he averaged 4.6 yards per rush and scored two TDs while also catching 32 passes for 331 yards and two scores.

So how was Reece snubbed? The voting system asked us to vote for three receivers and no fullbacks -- and with the season turned in by Jamaal Charles, there you have it. I’m sure Reece will be fine, though, lounging in the Honolulu sun for the NFL’s reimagined all-star game.

King, meanwhile, led the NFL in gross average (48.9 yards) in his first year replacing Shane Lechler and had an AFC West-long punt of 66 yards this season.

Then there was middle linebacker Nick Roach, who led the NFL’s MLBs in sacks (5.5) and forced fumbles (4).

Raiders report: CBs questionable

December, 27, 2013
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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)
ALAMEDA, Calif. -- Cornerback Tracy Porter is one of 10 new starters on the Oakland Raiders' defense this season.

Porter
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.”

Upon Further Review: Raiders Week 12

November, 25, 2013
11/25/13
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An examination of four hot issues from the Oakland Raiders23-19 loss to the Tennessee Titans.

Porter
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).

Rapid Reaction: Oakland Raiders

November, 24, 2013
11/24/13
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OAKLAND – A few thoughts on the Oakland Raiders' 23-19 loss to the Tennessee Titans:

What it means: This loss falls on the foot of Sebastian Janikowski, period. The longtime placekicker missed two more field goals, including one from 32 yards. The Raiders blew a chance to jump into a tie for the sixth spot, and the second wild-card slot, in the AFC playoff race. The Raiders allowed 10 of 18 third-down conversions.

Stock watch: falling -- Janikowski. It's 11 games into the season, and it’s no longer viable to blame your kicking woes on an unfamiliarity with your holder, right? Right? Alas, that’s exactly what Janikowski did to radio sideline reporter, and former teammate, Lincoln Kennedy, telling him midgame he did not like the hold of Marquette King on one of his two misses. After missing from 32 yards and 48 yards, he has missed seven field goal attempts through 11 games this season. He has missed seven total field goals the previous two seasons. The 48-yard miss Sunday was his first miss from the right hash mark all season. Janikowski did make four other field goals -- from 52, 48, 24 and 42 yards. Misses earlier in the season against Indianapolis, Washington and Kansas City were especially costly.

McGloin McEfficient?: What the Raiders miss in a running threat under center with Terrelle Pryor sidelined they gain in a passing attack with undrafted rookie quarterback Matt McGloin. No, the Raiders defense did not set him up twice at the opponent's 16-yard line, as they did last week in Houston. But McGloin was efficient in completing 18 of 31 passes for 254 yards. His 27-yard touchdown pass down the left sideline to Marcel Reece gave the Raiders a 19-16 lead with 6:10 to play. His second-quarter interception deep in their own territory did lead to a Tennessee field goal, though. And the 6-foot-1 McGloin did have four passes batted down at the line.

No stops left: The Raiders' defense simply ran out of gas and could not get off the field on the Titans’ game-winning drive, allowing Tennessee to go 80 yards in 14 plays. Tracy Porter was beaten in the slot by Kendall Wright on the 10-yard touchdown pass on third-and-goal with 10 seconds to play.

What's next: The Raiders (4-7) have a short work week as they travel to Dallas to take on the 6-5 Cowboys on Thanksgiving Day. The Cowboys beat the Raiders 24-7 on Thanksgiving in 2009 to end a three-game Oakland winning streak in the series. Oakland leads the all-time series 6-4.

Upon Further Review: Raiders Week 10

November, 11, 2013
11/11/13
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An review of four hot issues from the Oakland Raiders' 24-20 loss to the New York Giants:

A new ground attack? Seemingly lost in the Raiders' listless passing offense was the gritty showing of running back Rashad Jennings, who rushed for 88 yards on 20 carries in place of Darren McFadden (hamstring). Jennings ran hard and hardly went down on first contact. “The offensive line was putting hats on hats and leaving holes for the backs,” Jennings said. “Hats off to them. That's what we expect from the backfield, is for us to run physical.” It's something McFadden, who has now missed two games this season and 15 of Oakland's past 34 games, has not provided much of lately.

[+] EnlargeOakland's Rashad Jennings
AP Photo/Bill KostrounRashad Jennings rushed for 88 yards on 20 carries against the Giants.
Punch it in: As welcome a sight as it was for the Raiders to see themselves employ a successful power running game, it was just as disheartening for them to settle for a field goal after having first-and-goal at the 1-yard line in the third quarter. “There are no excuses for not being able to get in the end zone,” Jennings said, “and that's starting with myself just being the running back out there.” Jennings ran for no gain on first down, then Terrelle Pryor threw an incompletion before Khalif Barnes was called for a false start. “I could hear T.P. say, ‘Hut, hut,' but I've got to move when the ball moves,” Barnes said. Another Pryor incompletion followed and Sebastian Janikowski kicked the field goal to put the Raiders up 20-14. “That's the difference in the game,” Pryor said. “We got three points there and lost by four.”

The book on the Mannings: With his second-quarter 43-yard pick-six on Giants quarterback Eli Manning, Tracy Porter became the only player in league history to return an interception for a touchdown against both Manning brothers. “It's just a coincidence,” said Porter, who picked off Peyton Manning and returned it 74 yards for a score that sealed the New Orleans Saints' Super Bowl XLIV win over the Indianapolis Colts. “It would have been the same if we had won the game [against the Giants]. It's bittersweet.”

Of explosive plays IX: And now for our weekly tracking of “explosive” plays. As deemed by Raiders coach Dennis 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 the Giants, one run, and three passes, while New York had five explosive plays, two runs and three passes. In nine games, the Raiders have 64 explosive plays (22 runs, 42 passes), with two TD runs and four passing scores. Oakland's opponents, meanwhile, have 64 explosive plays combined, with 14 runs (one TD) and 50 passes (five TDs).

Rapid Reaction: Oakland Raiders

November, 10, 2013
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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- A few thoughts on the Oakland Raiders' 24-20 loss to the New York Giants:

What it means: As opportunistic as the Raiders were early -- all 17 first-half points came on Giants turnovers -- Oakland’s offense was just as inconsistent. One yard from going up 24-14 midway through the third quarter, the Raiders instead could not punch the ball in and had to settle for a field goal. As a result, Oakland’s losing streak in games played in the Eastern time zone reached 12, dating to Dec. 6, 2009, while it's gotten outscored by a combined 379-198. In fact, the Raiders are now 5-29 in games played three time zones away since Dec. 15, 2002.

Stock watch: Falling -- Terrelle Pryor. Yes, Pryor was playing on a bad wheel with his tweaked right knee. And the offensive line offered little help. Same with his receivers. But Pryor looks to have regressed. At halftime, Pryor was 3-of-12 passing for 27 yards. And his third-quarter interception -- he tried to squeeze a pass between three Giants to Denarius Moore -- was a backbreaker as New York returned it to the Raiders' 5-yard line. Pryor's decision-making has come into question as well, even before his lost fumble on a strip-sack in the fourth quarter. He finished 11-of-26 for 122 yards.

Porter owns the Mannings: Tracy Porter's 74-yard pick-six of Peyton Manning sealed the New Orleans Saints' Super Bowl XLIV victory over the Indianapolis Colts. And Porter’s 43-yard pick-six of Eli Manning gave the Raiders a 17-14 lead late in the second quarter. Porter is the lone NFL player to have returned interceptions for scores against both Manning brothers.

Jennings shows up: With Darren McFadden out with an injury, Rashad Jennings was a more-than-capable replacement. The hard-running Jennings finished with 88 yards on 20 carries. So it was strange to see the Raiders not call his number three straight times when they had a first-and-goal from the Giants’ 1-yard line in the third quarter.

What's next: The Raiders (3-6) play at the Houston Texans (2-6, entering Sunday) for the first time since the Immaculate Interception, when Oakland had a game-ending interception in the end zone with only 10 players on the field the day after Al Davis passed away. The Texans are expected to regain the services of coach Gary Kubiak for this game after he suffered a mini-stroke last week, though running back Arian Foster is reportedly headed to season-ending injured reserve on Monday.

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