Skip to content

Week 13 power rankings

Schaub Getty Images

1. Texans:  Nine straight years with no playoffs followed by two straight years with playoffs.  For Texans fans, it was worth the wait.

2. Patriots:  Another year, another late-season winning streak.

3. Falcons:  Yes, they still have only one loss.  But there’s still something that seems to be missing.

4. Broncos:  The only problem with a Colts-Broncos wild-card playoff game is that one of them would have to lose.

5. Packers:  When the injured guys return, this team will be even more dangerous.  Unless other guys get hurt along the way.

6. 49ers:  It’s a good thing Jim Harbaugh has two good quarterbacks.  He may be needing the other one soon.

7. Seahawks:  With three straight wins at Chicago, the Seahawks need to start raising the 12th man flag before games at Soldier Field.

8. Ravens:  It’s a good thing they play well on the road in the postseason.  They eventually may have to.  Every week.

9. Colts:  The good news?  Andrew Luck has the resilience of Tim Tebow.  The better news?  Luck can throw the ball, too.

10. Bengals:  Their playoffs start in Week 16 against the Steelers.

11. Bears:  It’s not a five-game losing streak.  Still, 1-3 and sliding isn’t the way to get back to the postseason.

12. Steelers:  So does Charlie Batch have the hot hand now in Pittsburgh?

13. Giants:  Someone apparently forgot to tell the Giants that November has ended.

14. Redskins:  If God were really on the Redskins side, wouldn’t He have protected them from Albert Haynesworth?

15. Rams:  That tie could still make things interesting down the stretch if the Rams keep winning and enough of the other contenders keep losing.

16. Saints:  Yet again, the team hosting the Super Bowl won’t be playing in it.

17. Buccaneers:  At least the future is brighter than it used to be.

18. Cowboys:  Barely beating the Eagles J.V. team isn’t really something to brag about.

19. Vikings:  Why do they even try to do anything other than give the ball to Adrian Peterson?

20. Dolphins:  At least they’re still the only team in the last decade not named the Patriots that has won the division.

21. Bills:  Why do they do even try to do anything other than give the ball to C.J. Spiller?

22. Browns:  They’re gonna blow their chance at another top-five pick.

23. Titans:  The team that currently is in Houston gave the owner that used to be in Houston a double-barreled middle finger this season.

24. Lions:  Why do they even try to do anything other than give the ball to Calvin Johnson?  Oh, wait.  They don’t.

25. Jets:  Why do they even try?

26. Panthers:  Here’s hoping the new G.M. gives Ron Rivera a fair chance to show he can get it done.

27. Cardinals:  The passes made by Ryan Lindley are about as effective as the passes Audra Lindley used to make at Norman Fell.

28. Chargers:  Speaking of Norman Fell, the guy who likes like him will soon be free to manage an apartment building in L.A.

29. Eagles:  At some point, Andy Reid’s final year in Philly will make it impossible for another owner to sell him to a fan base as a viable coaching option.

30. Chiefs:  Officially, we’re neutral.  Unofficially, we’re Chiefs fans until further notice.

31. Jaguars:  It’s time to slay the fatted calf in Jacksonville.

32. Raiders:  Not-so-slowly but surely, Mark Davis is proving Mike Silver to be right.

Permalink 60 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Features, Top Stories
yo

Goodell says “tremendous support” in London justifies four games

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on stage during an NFL Fan Rally at the NFL House in Victoria House, in London, Saturday Oct. 22, 2016. Los Angeles Rams are due to play the New York Giants at Twickenham stadium in London on Sunday in a regular season NFL game. (AP Photo/Tim Ireland) AP

The NFL has officially announced what was previously reported, that there will be four regular-season games in London next season. And NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is giving no hint that the league might slow down on its plans to continue growing the game in England.

“We continue to be incredibly excited by the passion and love for the NFL shown by our millions of UK fans,” Goodell said in a statement. “London is an amazing city. We have had tremendous support from our fans, from Mayor Khan and other government leaders and business partners, and we are looking forward to taking the next step in the UK by playing four games in London next season.”

London Mayor Sadiq Khan said in a statement distributed by the NFL that he’s hoping the league will eventually put a team in London on a permanent basis.

“London is the international home of the NFL and staging the equivalent of what would be half an American football team’s home games in the city is a huge step towards my ambition of bringing a franchise to the capital,” Khan said.

The 2017 season will be the first to have four games in London. The NFL first played a regular-season game in London in 2007 and had one regular-season game there every year through 2012. In 2013 the NFL expanded to two games in London, and for the last three years the league has played three games in London.

The league has not announced any specific games that will be played in London next season, but it is expected that the Jaguars’ “home” game against the Ravens will be in London. The Rams are also expected to give up a home game to play in London.

Permalink 2 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Kiko Alonso dealing with hamstring issue along with broken thumb

SAN DIEGO, CA - NOVEMBER 13:   Antonio Gates #85 of the San Diego Chargers drops a pass as  Kiko Alonso #47 of the Miami Dolphins defends during the first half of a game at Qualcomm Stadium on November 13, 2016 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) Getty Images

Kiko Alonso had thumb surgery this week, but that might not be the thing that keeps him off the field this week against the Cardinals.

According to Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald, the Dolphins linebacker is also dealing with a hamstring strain which might be the thing that knocks him out.

He initially tweaked the hamstring in practice last week and aggravated it during the Ravens game, the same one in which he broke his thumb. And because of that, he isn’t sure he’ll be able to go this week.“Right now, I don’t know,” Alonso said. “We’re going to day by day. Today I felt good. We’ll see.”

“Right now, I don’t know,” Alonso said. “We’re going to day by day. Today I felt good. We’ll see.”

Alonso said a decision on whether he can play or not will be made him coaches, medical staff and himself. He’s wearing a large cast, but still has use of four fingers on his hand. But the hamstring might make that a moot point.

Permalink 0 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Lane Johnson feels guilty for letting Eagles down with suspension

TAMPA, FL - OCTOBER 13: Tackle Lane Johnson #65 of the Philadelphia Eagles watches play against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers October 13, 2013 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. The Eagles won 31 - 20. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images) Getty Images

When Lane Johnson’s 10-game PED suspension began, they had just lost their first game to fall to 3-1. Since he’s been gone, they’re 2-6, and he feels responsible for his part in it.

The Eagles right tackle has two more weeks before he can be reinstated, and he said he’s ready to come back for the final two games.

Via Les Bowen of the Philadelphia Daily News, Johnson said he felt he deserved blame for the team’s slide, since his second suspension cost him and them more than half of a season.

I’ve let this whole organization down not once, but twice,” Johnson said. “And I’ve had a long time to ponder on it and look myself in the mirror.”

Johnson returned home to Oklahoma during the suspension, but said he’s planning to return to Philadelphia next week. He can’t go back to the team facility until Dec. 19, in advance of their short-week game against the Giants.

In his absence, the Eagles started rookie Halapoulivaati Vaitai, and then had to move left guard Allen Barbre there after Vaitai was injured.

Permalink 0 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Giants say racism is real, after swastika, KKK and Trump written on walls

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - AUGUST 12: Victor Cruz #80 of the New York Giants looks on from the sidelines during the second half against the Miami Dolphins in an NFL preseason game at MetLife Stadium on August 12, 2016 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Dolphins defeated the Giants 27-10. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) Getty Images

The news that injured/suspended Giants fullback home was broken into rattled him and some of his teammates to the core.

And not just because of the lack of security they might have in their homes, but because of the messages left behind.

Via Ebenezer Samuel of the New York Daily News, there’s also a larger concern because in addition to a swastika, the letters KKK, “Go back to Africa” and other racial slurs, the burglars also scrawled “Trump” on one of the walls of his suburban New Jersey home.

Whitlock said he still thinks his Moonachie neighborhood is mostly good, though there are still some signs that it’s not as welcoming as it appeared. He recalled meeting an older female neighbor who said it was “great” when she found out he played for the Giants because: “I told everyone we didn’t have to worry about drive-bys with you.”

“I didn’t bring it to her attention, because she’s elderly and she’s trying to be nice and she’s good-hearted,” Whitlock said. “The thing about racism is it doesn’t take a whole bunch of racists to spoil a community. I don’t believe by any means that the [Moonachie] community is racist, maliciously racist. I just think there’s some bad people here.”

But Giants teammate Victor Cruz thinks it’s a sign of a growing trend, and he doesn’t think it’s an accident the name of the President-Elect was among the graffiti.

I think it’s definitely a direct reflection of how this country’s being run and how this country’s reacting maybe to some of the decisions, some of the ways that this country’s being run and things that are being said by people at the helm of this country and at the helm of our day-to-day lives — our day-to-day, from social media all the way up to the White House,” Cruz said. “These are things that are being spoken of and talked about on a daily basis, the good and the bad, more so the bad at this point right now because that’s all we have to work with. It’s just an unfortunate situation we’re going through right now.”

Cruz said he thinks the mindset of the people who would write such things on Whitlock’s walls is connected to the recent election results.

“Absolutely,” Cruz said. “I think there’s a specific mindset that comes with supporting a guy like Donald Trump and supporting what he stands for, and there’s a certain type of person that comes with that, and I’m not sure that person is always a positive-minded person. You know what I mean? You just have to be careful.

“As a minority you have to be careful. As a person of influence you have to be careful, and you’ve just got to make sure your family’s safe and give them the knowledge to stay safe in this world.”

While the larger questions remain, it’s going to be harder to Whitlock and those near him to accept that they’re safe, just because they’re insulated by the money and fame that comes with being professional football players.

Permalink 0 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Travis Kelce: Marquette King told me I don’t have any rhythm

Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce (87) celebrates a catch during the second half of an NFL football game against the Oakland Raiders in Kansas City, Mo., Thursday, Dec. 8, 2016. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel) AP

Tyreek Hill’s punt return touchdown was one of the biggest plays of Thursday night’s Chiefs victory and it was one that Hill’s teammate Travis Kelce celebrated in a pretty specific manner.

The Chiefs tight end did his rendition of the dance that Raiders punter Marquette King breaks out after pinning the opposition deep with a kick in front of the originator himself. King appeared to say something to Kelce as he walked past and Kelce shared what King said with NFL Network after the game.

“He told me I didn’t have any rhythm,” Kelce said. “I told him, ‘Trust me, wait until I get in the end zone again and I’ll show you some rhythm.”

King had a different take on his message for Kelce. He referenced Kelce’s foray into reality television, writing that “I told him I don’t need a reality show to find a girl lol…”

There would be no trip to the end zone for Kelce on Thursday night, but his five catches for 101 yards were a big help to the Kansas City cause.

Permalink 0 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Steelers players want to help pay Ramon Foster’s fine

PITTSBURGH, PA - DECEMBER 6:  Markus Wheaton #11 of the Pittsburgh Steelers celebrates a second quarter touchdown with teammate Ramon Foster #73 during the game against the Indianapolis Colts at Heinz Field on December 6, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) Getty Images

Steelers guard Ramon Foster wasn’t penalized for pulling Giants linebacker Kelvin Sheppard off of running back Le’Veon Bell in last Sunday’s victory, but he did hear from the league this week.

Members of the team told Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com that Foster has been fined $9,115 for his actions, which came after Sheppard appeared to grab and twist Bell’s facemask at the end of a play. Those teammates told Fowler that they’d like to chip in to help Foster pay the league and Bell said that he appreciates what the team’s linemen are willing to do for him.

“I’m glad I got my guys,” Bell said. “I call them my goons up front. They are down to ride with me whenever.”

It’s not clear if Bell will have Foster helping him against the Bills this weekend. Foster missed practice on Wednesday for what the team said were reasons not related to injury and was out Thursday with a chest injury given as the reason.

Permalink 0 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Osemele’s illness struck Thursday morning

OAKLAND, CA - OCTOBER 16:  Quarterback Derek Carr #4 of the Oakland Raiders reacts after turning over the ball to the Kansas City Chiefs in the fourth quarter on October 16, 2016 at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum in Oakland, California.  The Chiefs won 26-10.  (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images) Getty Images

In a game that didn’t feature all that many surprises, perhaps the biggest came 90 minutes before kickoff.

Raiders guard Kelechi Osemele, the man viewed by many as the catalyst for the resurgence of the team, appeared on the inactive list, with an illness. After the game, coach Jack Del Rio explained that Osemele was treated at a local hospital on Thursday morning.

By all appearances, no one was treated to the information that Osemele was ill. As learned a year ago when Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen was a surprise scratch prior to a game against the Chiefs (coincidentally), the NFL requires any team who has a player with an injury or illness that could impact his ability to play after the filing of the final injury report to announce the injury or illness to the local media (including the Associated Press) and the network televising the game. The information also must be given to the other team’s P.R. director and the NFL.

The Raiders, as best PFT can tell, didn’t disclose that information to all required parties. The league likely will say it’s looking into the situation, and then we’ll likely never hear anything more about it — in large because the league in most cases (most, not all . . . #DeflateGate) doesn’t like to make it known to the world at large that there may be shenanigans when it comes to inside information that could be valuable to those who would use inside information in order to gain financial value via the primary industry of the Raiders’ potential new home.

Permalink 0 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Hue Jackson: I want to know more about RG3

PHILADELPHIA, PA - SEPTEMBER 11: Robert Griffin III #10 of the Cleveland Browns warms up as head coach Hue Jackson looks on prior to the game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on September 11, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Eagles defeated the Browns 29-10. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Browns will give quarterback Robert Griffin III his second start of the season against the Bengals this Sunday, a point they would have liked to reach in the second week of the regular season.

A broken bone in Griffin’s left shoulder got in the way of that plan and left Griffin on injured reserve for the last 11 games. The Browns have lost all 11 of those games in addition to the one Griffin started in Week One, leaving them at the top of the draft with their pick and not too far behind with the one the Eagles traded them to move up for Carson Wentz this year.

Many suspect the Browns would like to land a player who can be their franchise quarterback with those selections, although coach Hue Jackson said on Thursday that he still believes Griffin, who is signed for 2017, has a chance be that player.

“The fact that we’re putting him out there says that,” Jackson said, via Cleveland.com. “I want to know more. I’ve only seen him really play for not even a full game. The more information, the more time I get an opportunity to evaluate him, the better it’s going to be. I will say it again, I am not expecting for everything to go perfect. It’s not. I don’t want to put that kind of pressure on anybody. It’s his second game in a little over maybe two years so hopefully it’ll go right, but if it doesn’t that’s OK, too. We have to go get him to play and hopefully play well, but we all understand the situation that he’s in. I think he is up to the challenge.”

It seems unlikely that the Browns would put all their eggs in the Griffin basket based on what would be five games if he starts the rest of the the year, but there’s no reason for them not to explore every option available to them at this point in time.

Permalink 0 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Raiders think they’ll get a third chance to beat the Chiefs

KANSAS CITY, MO - DECEMBER 8: Defensive end Khalil Mack #52 of the Oakland Raiders reaches out to strip the ball from quarterback Alex Smith #11 of the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium during the third quarter of the game on December 8, 2016 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Chiefs swept the season series with the Raiders and took over first place in the AFC West with their win over the Raiders on Thursday night. But Oakland coach Jack Del Rio doesn’t think the two teams are done meeting.

“I feel pretty confident that both of our teams will end up in the playoffs,” Del Rio said. “There’s still three games to be played. How it ends up, we’ll see. Certainly they’ve got a leg up right now, they did enough to win the two games we’ve had with them this year, and for now that’s all there is to the story. They’ve earned that.”

Del Rio thinks the Raiders and Chiefs will meet a third time in January, and he’s still hoping to win one more game than the Chiefs over the final three weeks of the season, which would ensure a third meeting would take place in Oakland.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if we see this team again. What we do and what they do the next three weeks will determine whether it’s at their place or ours, because they’re a half game up on us,” Del Rio said.

Raiders quarterback Derek Carr echoed those comments.

“There’s obviously a chance to play again which would be awesome, but they’ve beaten us twice. They’ve had us,” Carr said.

Heading into last night’s game, the Raiders owned the inside track for home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs. Now the Raiders would be a wild card team, playing the playoffs on the road. Having to travel to Kansas City again next month, and beating a team that has already beaten them twice, would be a tall order.

Permalink 1 Comment Feed for comments Back to top

Justin Tuck: Giants need someone who will “light a fire under people”

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 05:  Justin Tuck #91 of the New York Giants reacts after he recorded a sack against the New England Patriots during Super Bowl XLVI at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 5, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana. The Giants won 21-17.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) Getty Images

As the Giants make a push for their first postseason appearance since winning Super Bowl XLVI, a key member of a pair of championship teams in New York believes the Giants are lacking one key ingredient to winning their third NFL title in a decade.

“Just from being in that locker room before, I think one thing they’re truly missing is that guy or those guys that can light a fire under people,” Tuck told Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News. “They’re talented. I know the players on that roster. It’s a super-talented group of guys. I don’t know, maybe they need a wake-up call? I don’t know if that’s the right word. It’s something off where I don’t feel like this team is headed in the right direction for this season.

“Normally when Giants teams are in contention, they tend to get better and more together as the season goes on,” Tuck explained. “Maybe a couple losses wouldn’t be a bad thing for them. I’m speculating. I don’t know this. I’m going from the perspective of being an outsider, but everybody gets all caught up with going into the playoffs with a hot record or high seed. I never wanted to be the top seed. I wanted to be the guy that was overlooked and playing hot at the time.”

Both times the Giants won the Super Bowl with Tuck on the team they were overlooked, running the table as the No. 5 seed in 2007 and the No. 4 seed four years later. In 2008, as the No. 1 team in the NFC, they had a one-and-done playoff experience, losing at home to the Eagles, 23-11.

It’s hard not to regard Tuck’s words as a shot at quarterback Eli Manning, a guy who never has been wired to be demonstrative or demanding like his older brother, Peyton.

“I hate to use the word ‘leader,’ because there are guys that lead in certain aspects on that football team, but every team [I was on] could point to a guy or couple guys . . .  and I don’t know if I see that right now,” Tuck said.

Tuck seems to hope that he’ll provide the spark, from outside the building.

“If I have to be the bad guy, so be it,” he said.

Currently, the Giants are on track to once again be forced to try to get to the Super Bowl the hard way. Even if they finish the sweep of the Cowboys on Sunday night, they’ll need to make up two games with three to play. Which means that they’ll be hitting the road in the wild-card round, heading to a place like, say, Tampa.

Of course, Tampa is where the 2007 Super Bowl run began, followed by trips to Dallas and then to Green Bay. It could play out that same way for the Giants in 2016 — possibly culminating in a third Super Bowl rendezvous with the Patriots.

Permalink 0 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Dolphins Laremy Tunsil “hurting bad” with shoulder injury

FILE -  In this Friday, Aug. 19, 2016 file photo, Miami Dolphins offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil takes instructions on the sideline in the second half of an NFL preseason football game against the Dallas Cowboys in Arlington, Texas. With three starters hurt, the Miami Dolphins will likely have a patchwork offensive line when they try for their sixth consecutive win Sunday against the 49ers. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth, File) AP

Miami Dolphins rookie guard Laremy Tunsil is trying to stay on the field despite significant pain from a shoulder injury.

I mean, I’m hurting,” Tunsil said Thursday,via Hal Habib of the Palm Beach Post. “I’m hurting bad, but you know I’m going to fight through it. I’m going to give it all I’ve got.

The injury forced Tunsil to miss the Dolphins game against the San Francisco 49ers two weeks ago. He returned to play on Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens and managed to play all 62 offensive snaps despite the injury.

“At the end of the day, I’m here to help the team any way I can,” Tunsil said. “We’re trying to win games. We’re trying to get to the playoff spot, so whatever I can do, I’m going to help.”

Tunsil has started 10 games for Miami this season.

Permalink 0 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Derrick Johnson suffers ruptured Achilles tendon

KANSAS CITY, MO - DECEMBER 08:  Inside linebacker Derrick Johnson #56 of the Kansas City Chiefs is helped off the field after an injury during the game against the Oakland Raiders at Arrowhead Stadium on December 8, 2016 in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) Getty Images

Chiefs Coach Andy Reid told reporters after Thursday night’s 21-13 win over the Raiders that Chiefs linebacker Derrick Johnson suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon and is done for the season.

It’s a sad deal,” Reid said.

Johnson, 34, has played his entire career with the Chiefs and will be missed on and off the field. A first-round pick in 2005, Johnson was named to the Pro Bowl last season for the fourth time and had started every game this season and last season.

Johnson suffered the injury in the second quarter of Thursday night’s game. He seemed to know immediately that something was wrong, tossing his helmet as he awaited attention from the team’s medical staff.

Permalink 0 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Thursday Night Football recap: Chiefs get big plays from Hill, hang on late

KANSAS CITY, MO - DECEMBER 8: Wide receiver Tyreek Hill #10 of the Kansas City Chiefs breaks beyond the Oakland Raiders last line of defense en route to a punt return touchdown at Arrowhead Stadium during the second quarter of the game on December 8, 2016 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images) Getty Images

Two touchdowns by dynamic rookie Tyreek Hill and a dominant defensive effort helped the Chiefs score a 21-13 win over the Raiders Thursday night.

Both teams are now 10-3, and since the Chiefs have swept the season series they have the inside track towards winning the AFC West and also a first-round playoff bye.

The Chiefs never allowed Raiders quarterback Derek Carr to get comfortable in cold conditions, and the Raiders mounted just two significant drives all night. They scored on the first one, late in the first half, but turned the ball over on downs with two minutes left in the game and didn’t get it back.

The Raiders got just three points out of two Chiefs turnovers early in the second half, and that was the story of the night. The Chiefs made the few big plays in the game — on both sides of the ball — while the Raiders kept coming up a play or a step short.

The Chiefs scored all their points in a span of 8:26 in the second quarter. Hill got the game’s first touchdown on a 36-yard touchdown pass from Alex Smith early in the second quarter, then returned a punt 78 yards that made it 21-3.

Carr was 17-of-41 passing for 117 yards, and the Chiefs’ defense kept answering the call. The Raiders were 5-of-18 in trying to convert third downs, 1-of-3 on fourth down and finished with 244 total yards on 73 offensive plays.

The Raiders had a six-game win streak snapped and fell from No. 1 to No. 5 in the AFC projected playoff standings. The Chiefs won despite turning the ball over three times because of Hill’s big plays and their defense.

The Raiders got 15 yards or fewer on four of their six possessions in the second half. They got their only second-half points after moving only four yards early in the third quarter after a T.J. Carrie interception.

Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith threw for 202 yards in the first half and finished with 264. Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce had his fourth straight game over 100 receiving yards, and backup running back Charcandrick West ran for the Chiefs’ other touchdown.

The Raiders played without guard Kelechi Osemele, a late scratch due to illness, and outside of Latavius Murray running 22 times for 103 yards they never established much of anything offensively. With a little over nine minutes left Carr threw the ball deep on third down, and Amari Cooper was wide open. It wasn’t clear if Cooper lost the ball in the lights or just didn’t catch it after getting behind the defense.

It was that kind of night for the Raiders, and Hill’s big plays left them chasing, unsuccessfully, for the game’s last three quarters.

Permalink 9 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Raiders’ defense holding up its end of the deal

KANSAS CITY, MO - DECEMBER 8: Wide receiver Amari Cooper #89 of the Oakland Raiders is tackled on a reception attempt by strong safety Eric Berry #29 of the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium during the first quarter of the game on December 8, 2016 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Raiders started the third quarter by forcing two turnovers, and they feel they should be closer than they are.

Two turnovers only led to three points, and the Chiefs lead midway through the third quarter, 21-13. Sebastian Janikowski kicked a 33-yard field goal after a T.J. Carrie interception to start the second half.

Raiders All-World linebacker Khalil Mack had a strip-sack of Alex Smith on the next possession, but the Raiders couldn’t generate any offense off of it. On the second field goal try it appeared there was a bad snap. By the time Raiders punter Marquette King gathered it, he was forced to try to run and he ended up going nowhere.

The Chiefs led, 21-3, midway through the second quarter. The Raiders closed it to 21-10 late in the second quarter on a Latavius Murray touchdown run.

Permalink 20 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

More big plays from Tyreek Hill spark Chiefs to lead

KANSAS CITY, MO - DECEMBER 8: Wide receiver Tyreek Hill #10 of the Kansas City Chiefs catches a pass on his way to a touchdown in front of cornerback David Amerson #29 of the Oakland Raiders at Arrowhead Stadium during the second quarter of the game on December 8, 2016 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Raiders showed some life late in the first half, and it’s a good thing they did. Thursday night’s game was on the verge of getting really ugly.

The Chiefs dominated for much of the first half, and at halftime they hold a 21-10 lead. The Raiders trimmed the lead on a Latavius Murray touchdown run with 14 seconds left in the half.

A 36-yard touchdown pass from Alex Smith to Tyreek Hill early in the second quarter gave the Chiefs a 7-3 lead. After a quick stop the Chiefs drove again with big passes to Travis Kelce and Chris Conley to set up a Charcandrick West touchdown run and make it 14-3.

Hill had a 78-yard punt return to make it 21-3. It was the ninth touchdown the speedy rookie has posted this season.

Smith was over 200 yards passing a little over 20 minutes into the game. Midway through the second quarter the Raiders had 35 yards of offense, and three Chiefs receivers had more than 35 receiving yards.

At halftime, Smith has 202 passing yards vs. just 77 for his counterpart, Raiders quarterback Derek Carr. Hill has three catches for 53 yards in addition to his punt return.

Chiefs linebacker Derrick Johnson left in the second quarter with what the team announced as an Achilles injury. He won’t return.

Permalink 5 Comments Feed for comments Back to top