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Oakland Raiders QB Derek Carr Shows What He Can Do When Backed by Strong Run Game

November 25th, 2014 at 5:34 PM
By Nicholas Gill

For the first time in his career, Oakland Raiders rookie quarterback Derek Carr was able to benefit from a strong running game. Not surprisingly, it played a big part in leading to a Raiders 24-20 win against their division rival Kansas City Chiefs. With the run game in gear, Carr looked like a more confident quarterback and it translated to his play as he helped Oakland embark on an 80-yard game winning drive.

The Raiders finally gave running back Lavatius Murray more chances in the offense and he delivered. On just four carries, Murray exploded for 112 yards and two touchdowns, which included a 90-yard score. When Murray exited with a concussion, Oakland's rush attack went dormant until late in the fourth quarter. The Raiders turned to fullback Marcel Reece on the game winning drive to provide a boost and he came through. Reece carried seven times for 34 yards on Oakland's 17 play winning drive.

“The thing that I’ve noticed is that he’s a guy that when given the opportunity to run the football, makes yards that way, no matter when,” Raiders interim head coach Tony Sparano said of Reece. “It’s not just my experience with the Jet game, but we’ve handed him the football in some other things and he’s made yards. So, that’s another way to get him the touches right now and to get him involved a little bit.”

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Oakland Raiders Show Fortitude, Defeat Rival Kansas City Chiefs 24-20

November 21st, 2014 at 8:31 AM
By Nicholas Gill

It would have been easy for the Oakland Raiders to roll over as they entered the Thursday night game with the Kansas City Chiefs at 0-10. Instead, the Raiders battled and came away with an inspired 24-20 victory over their AFC West rival. The win ended all the 0-16 chatter and snapped the team's yearlong losing streak.

“A hard fought game,” Raiders interim head coach Tony Sparano said. “We learned a little something today. We learned a little something about ourselves today. We’ve been in this end of the pool for a long time now and I just kept saying that eventually it’s going to happen. Today, they just refused to give up the rope. My hat is off to the people in that locker room. Greatest feeling in the world is to see them smile. That's a helluva bunch of guys. They don’t stop playing.”

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Oakland Raiders Vs Kansas City Chiefs Game Preview

November 19th, 2014 at 10:27 AM
By Nicholas Gill

The Oakland Raiders and the Kansas City Chiefs will meet on Thursday night in Oakland for a prime time match-up. It will be the first meeting of the season between the two AFC West rivals. The Chiefs come into the game scorching hot, winning five in a row. The Raiders are the opposite, having lost 16 consecutive games.

Oakland has no semblance of a running game, so they will have to rely on rookie quarterback Derek Carr to pace the offense. That has not been an effective formula recently, as the Raiders have scored more than 20 points once in their last five games. Getting the run game moving is paramount to helping Carr and the Raiders' offense as a whole. The Raiders are on pace for an all-time worst rushing attack. They're averaging only 63 yards per game, which is dead last in the NFL. The Chiefs have been susceptible to the run, though, allowing 124.4 yards per game. That seems like a good match-up, but the Raiders have proven their inability to run week in and week out.

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Oakland Raiders Finally Give RB Latavius Murray Opportunities

November 18th, 2014 at 11:05 AM
By Nicholas Gill

With the Oakland Raiders on pace for one of the most inept rushing attacks in NFL history, the team finally turned to second-year running back Latavius Murray. On Sunday against the San Diego Chargers, the Raiders decided to incorporate Murray into the run game, and he responded with solid production. He carried four times for a team-leading 43 yards.

“I think Latavius did a good job yesterday with the carries that he had,” Interim head coach Tony Sparano said. “I think that he ran the ball well. Not taking anything away from Latavius – he made one run in there that I thought was very good. Really a good run – saw it well, did a good job there. It was into a pressure and it was a big run. I think he made another run in there that was blocked very, very well. I think that any of the guys that were running it there at that point would have made a bunch of yards there. I think Latavius did a good job.”

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Oakland Raiders QB Derek Carr’s True Progression Will Be Evaluated in Second Match-Up Against Chargers

November 13th, 2014 at 10:16 AM
By Nicholas Gill

There is no question that it is difficult to be a rookie starting quarterback in the NFL. Oakland Raiders second-round pick Derek Carr is living that reality right now. As expected, Carr has had some very strong moments and bad mistakes in his first year in the league. That is all part of the learning process. However, when the Raiders face the San Diego Chargers for the second time this Sunday, we will all see how much progress Carr has truly made.

Carr always talks about how much he learns from every opponent and defensive coordinator he plays against. He even keeps a notebook filled with all the things he sees when he plays against them, so he can refer back to it at a later date. That will be the case against the Chargers, when Carr and the Raiders will see how far he has come since the last meeting.

“I’m very confident in every game, Carr said. But this will be my first time that – I think, really, in my career, in life – that I’ve gotten to play someone twice in one year. So I’ve been really relying on the veterans in our room, ‘Flip’ [quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo] and ‘Oly’ [offensive coordinator Greg Olson], just asking them, obviously, the certain questions that rookies would have when you play someone twice.”

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