Chiefs lead 20-14 at halftime


Derek Carr and Alex Smith both have thrown for more than 200 yards and two touchdowns, but the Chiefs made two field goals and the Raiders had one blocked and missed another. That has Kansas City holding a 20-14 halftime lead.

The teams have combined for 26 first downs and 537 yards in an entertaining game.

Smith has completed 16 of 21 passes for 203 yards and two touchdowns, while Carr is 14-of-24 for 219 yards and two touchdowns.

Raiders wide receiver Amari Cooper has touchdown catches of 38 and 45 yards, though he also has a big drop. Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill has a 64-yard touchdown reception, catching three passes for 80 yards in the first half.

Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt has run for 48 yards on seven carries, while Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch was ejected for contact with an official during a second quarter scrum. Lynch had only two carries for 9 yards before leaving.

The kickers, though, have provided the difference: Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker made kicks of 53 and 39 yards, while Raiders kicker Giorgio Tavecchio had a 53-yard attempt blocked by Eric Murray and missed a 45-yarder.

President Trump releases “stand for national anthem” petition

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The Commander-in-Chief won’t be ending his attack on the NFL any time soon.

Via the New York Daily News, President Trump and Vice President Pence have started a petition regarding the national anthem, urging everyone to stand for it wherever it is played.

“The President has asked for a list of supporters who stand for the National Anthem,” the petition states. “Add your name below to show your patriotism and support.”

It’s the latest gesture by the administration regarding the fact that some NFL players have elected not to stand for the anthem, and the reality that the NFL has not issued a mandate requiring players to stand.

The President directed a pair of tweets at the NFL on Wednesday, a day after an ownership meeting resulted in no change to the policy that makes standing for the anthem optional.

Marshawn Lynch ejected for contact with official


Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch was ejected after contact with an official. He was escorted to the locker room with six minutes remaining in the first half.

The teams began pushing and shoving after Chiefs cornerback Marcus Peters earned an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on a hit on Raiders quarterback Derek Carr. The Raiders took exception with several offensive linemen getting into it with the Chiefs.

Lynch, who was not in the game at the time, sprinted off the sideline and grabbed a fistful of line judge Julian Mapp’s jersey before shoving Mapp. It appeared he might have thought it was a Chiefs player before realizing it was an official.

Not that it mattered: Any contact with an official is an automatic ejection.

Lynch had two carries for 9 yards before leaving.

Chiefs need only three plays to go 99 yards


The Raiders had the NFL’s only 99-yard drive before Thursday night. They became the second team to allow a 99-yard drive Thursday.

The Chiefs needed only three plays to cover almost the length of the field and take a 17-14 lead with 8:51 remaining until halftime. It was the team’s first 99-yard drive since Dec. 3, 2006, against Cleveland.

Kansas City made it look as easy as one, two, three.

Alex Smith found wide receiver Demarcus Robinson for 33 yards on the first play. Kareem Hunt had a 2-yard run on the second play. And Smith hit Tyreek Hill, who blew by Raiders cornerback David Amerson, for a 64-yard touchdown on the third play.

Smith has completed 10 of 14 passes for 164 yards and two touchdowns. Hunt has seven carries for 48 yards.

Who is this Amari Cooper?


After only two possessions, Raiders wide receiver Amari Cooper is closing in on 100 yards and has two touchdowns. The only other game he had two touchdowns came against Green Bay on Dec. 20, 2015.

Cooper has three catches for 95 yards and two touchdowns. His 38-yard score came on a flea flicker when officials picked up a flag that presumably was for offensive pass interference. His second went for 45 yards. They are his two longest plays of the season.

Cooper has not had a 100-yard game since Oct. 30, 2016, when he caught 12 passes for 173 yards and a touchdown against the Buccaneers.

His two touchdowns gave the Raiders a 14-10 victory after the first quarter in an entertaining game.

The Raiders gained 150 yards in the first quarter to the Chiefs’ 112.

Amari Cooper answers critics early


There is nothing wrong with Amari Cooper tonight. The wide receiver caught two passes for 50 yards on the Raiders’ first possession, including a 38-yard touchdown.

It was his longest reception of the season.

Cooper had only 51 yards in the past four games combined, all four losses by the Raiders. In the first six games, Cooper made only 18 catches for 146 yards and one touchdown, with drops a problem.

Cooper’s touchdown Thursday night came on a flea flicker with 8:11 left in the first quarter and gave the Raiders a 7-3 lead.

Kansas City kicker Harrison Butker made his 11th consecutive field goal, good from 53, on the Chiefs’ first series. The Chiefs answered Cooper’s touchdown with a 10-yard touchdown pass from Alex Smith to Travis Kelce. Kansas City was aided by a roughing the passer penalty on Raiders defensive end Denico Autry on third-and-10 at the Oakland 42.

Aaron Rodgers undergoes surgery Thursday

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Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers underwent surgery Thursday, Ian Rapoport of NFL Media first reported.

The Packers now face a decision: Do they put him on injured reserve or keep him on the active roster? He still could return after eight weeks if Green Bay opts for injured reserve.

“As far as Aaron’s situation, our focus clearly is just to get through the surgery and just see where he is,” Packers coach Mike McCarthy said Wednesday, via Rob Demovsky of ESPN. “I’m not personally looking in that direction. My focus is on Aaron’s health right now.”

Rodgers broke his right clavicle when he landed on his shoulder following a hit from Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr.

The team’s star quarterback did not need surgery in 2013 when he fractured his left clavicle. He missed seven games that season, returning for the regular-season finale and the playoffs.

Dolphins insist Sunday’s game will be fully staffed with security personnel

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The never ending anthem controversy is like a dam that constantly springs new leaks in different spots.

According to Andy Slater of WINZ, police officers may choose not to provide security services Sunday’s Jets-Dolphins game, based apparently on the perception that protests during the national anthem are directed at them.

A Dolphins source insists that the game will be fully staffed, and that fan safety remains the team’s first priority. The team believes, we’re told, that the issues relate more to burnout arising from relief efforts relating to Hurricane Irma.

While it’s possible that some police officers are complaining about the anthem protests, the email leaked to Slater likely is more about politics than practicalities, with few if any officers ultimately refusing the relatively simply assignment of working the local NFL games.

Also, it’s likely that no one will be kneeling or sitting during the anthem. At most, the three Dolphins players who had been kneeling will remain in the tunnel during the playing of the Star-Spangled Banner.

Marquel Lee won’t play for Raiders; Albert Wilson will play for Chiefs

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The Raiders already had ruled out cornerback Gareon Conley (shin) and right tackle Marshall Newhouse (foot), and they won’t have starting middle linebacker Marquel Lee (ankle) either. Lee, listed as questionable Wednesday, was among their Thursday inactives.

Oakland also will play without linebacker Cory James (knee).

That means Navorro Bowman, signed earlier this week, will see a lot of snaps, and the Raiders also will have linebacker Nicholas Morrow (ankle) after listing him as questionable.

Oakland’s other inactives are: Quarterback Connor Cook, defensive end Jihad Ward and tackle Jylan Ware.

The Chiefs will have wide receiver Albert Wilson, who they listed as questionable with a knee injury.

Kansas City’s inactives are: Quarterback Tyler Bray, defensive back D.J. White, running back Charcandrick West (concussion), linebacker Ramik Wilson, center Mitch Morse (foot), right guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif (knee) and defensive lineman Roy Miller.

Myles Garrett “expects better” after three sacks in two games

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Myles Garrett had a sack on the first play of his career. Does it get any better than that? Well, yeah, the Browns defensive end sure believes so.

Garrett has three sacks in two games, having missed the first four games with a high-ankle sprain.

“I feel like you can expect better,” Garrett said, via Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “I’m just going to keep on progressing throughout the season, so hopefully, my snaps improve as well.”

Garrett played 19 of 53 defensive snaps in his debut against the Jets and 33 of 66 against Houston. Still, only 31 players in the NFL have more than his three sacks so far.

The Browns believe no one has seen Garrett’s best yet.

“I think we all know there is a whole ‘nother level for him in there,” Browns coach Hue Jackson said. “He’ll keep pushing and keep working at it.”

Garrett, though, hasn’t seen a left tackle as good as the one he faces Sunday. Taylor Lewan, a 2014 first-round pick, made the Pro Bowl last season and has allowed two sacks this season, according to STATS.

“You really don’t try to show your hand completely throughout the first games, at least for me,” Garrett said. “I have some stuff that I still haven’t pulled out or used. I’m going against a really good tackle, Taylor Lewan, and hopefully I can throw a curveball at him and make some plays.”

Bills waive Tyrell Adams, re-sign Deon Lacey

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The Bills undid Thursday what they did Wednesday.

They waived linebacker Tyrell Adams with an injury designation a day after claiming him off waivers from Oakland. Buffalo re-signed linebacker Deon Lacey, whom it cut after claiming Adams.

The Raiders waived Adams after signing Navorro Bowman. Adams joined the Raiders last year and moved from the practice squad to the active roster before the year was out. He played in six games last year and had 18 tackles while seeing time in all six games with 15 tackles this year.

But Adams failed his physical in Buffalo.

Lacey has three tackles in five games with the Bills, serving primarily on special teams. They claimed him off waivers from the Dolphins on Sept. 3.

Packers defenders come to Aaron Rodgers’ defense

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Clay Matthews and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix refused to call Anthony Barr‘s hit on Aaron Rodgers dirty, but they were surprised when officials didn’t penalize the Vikings linebacker. The NFL still could fine Barr, with fines made public Friday.

“I’ve been hitting quarterbacks for almost a decade now and generally when you see a quarterback get rid of the ball, you’re allowed to give him a shot [but] show that you pulled up on him,” Matthews said, via Rob Demovsky. “But obviously more is going to be made out of it simply because our quarterback broke his collarbone. I’m not going to go as far as to say hits are dirty, because I’m sure plenty of fans from all sorts of teams have said the same thing about me. It’s unfortunate it happened, but [I was] surprised that there wasn’t a flag.”

Barr grabbed Rodgers around the waist and drove him to the ground, with the quarterback landing on his right shoulder. Rodgers broke his clavicle.

Clinton-Dix said Barr should have given Rodgers a “love tap.”

“With that play, I really don’t think it was intentional,” Clinton-Dix said. “I don’t think he meant to do it on purpose, but he definitely knows better than that. Guys like A-Rod, you respect them so much to the point where I wouldn’t dare. If I got a chance to sack A-Rod or knock him out, I’d just go in and make a clean little tackle just to get him on the ground. I wouldn’t dare try to drive him into the ground. That’s understood. You don’t want to hurt a guy like that.”

Jets will get Bilal Powell back this week

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The Jets are going for a sweep of their season series against the Dolphins in Miami this Sunday and they’ll have running back Bilal Powell back in the lineup to help them do it.

Powell is practicing in full after missing last week’s loss to the Patriots with a calf injury and coach Todd Bowles said at his press conference that he will play this weekend.

Powell had 15 carries for 37 yards and a touchdown in the first game against the Dolphins, a 20-6 Jets win that saw them run 34 times for 103 yards overall. Bowles said he’s expecting the same kind of slog against the Miami run defense this time around.

“It’s going to be tough,” Bowles said in comments distributed by the team. “Especially at their place, it’s going to be tough. They play the run very well and they play it with a seven or eight-man box, so either way we’re just going to have to grind it out and hope we can break something late.”

The only Jets player to miss practice on Thursday was defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson, who has been dealing with a shoulder injury for several weeks and is also listed with a foot problem. He has not missed a game, but his play so far this season has been a topic of conversation for Bowles this week.

Scott Linehan on Ezekiel Elliott: An every-down back is hard to replace

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Cowboys offensive coordinator Scott Linehan began the week game planning with Alfred Morris, Rod Smith and Darren McFadden as his running backs. He found out Tuesday night Ezekiel Elliott was returning to the team.

“We spent the weekend thinking one thing was happening, so we started thinking about the other guys,” Linehan said Thursday. “You know things can happen, and things change daily. You have to be proactive.

“. . . We were certainly glad he is playing, but we were excited for the other guys getting opportunities. We had some guys. We prepared our roster knowing this could happen, too, so we’ve got some good depth at running back.”

A U.S. district judge in New York granted Elliott a temporary restraining order, which will keep him on the field at least this week against the 49ers and until a hearing and court ruling before or by Oct. 30.

Despite Elliott’s struggles this season, the Cowboys are better with him than without him. He has accounted for 527 yards, or 29.6 percent of the team’s yards, and three total touchdowns, or 20 percent of their touchdowns.

“Well, I think our other guys are going to do a great job when they play for us,” Linehan said. “Just thinking of Alfred’s years before he even got here. Just his moments of playing when he’s played. Just thinking of all the good football we got out of D-Mac. We know what we’re getting from those guys, and Rod is coming along. We’ve got a really good feel for those guys.

“But the level of play that 21 [Elliott] presents playing on every down primarily, it’s hard to replace.”

Jonathan Allen heads to injured reserve


Word on Wednesday was that rookie defensive lineman Jonathan Allen would miss the rest of the regular season because of a Lisfranc injury to his foot and the Redskins made a roster move on Thursday that supports that outlook.

Allen has been placed on injured reserve after having surgery, although the team isn’t ready to declare him out for the year. Coach Jay Gruden said that Allen has a chance to return later this year. He will miss at least the next eight weeks, so the team’s spot in the standings and playoff hopes may join his health as factors in that decision.

Cornerback Josh Norman said that Allen will be missed.

“He’s one of our driving forces in the middle,” Norman said. “He creates havoc. It goes without saying that to not have him for a while like that is pretty big.”

The Redskins signed defensive lineman A.J. Francis to the active roster from the practice squad. He last saw regular season action when he played two games with the Seahawks and one for the Dolphins during the 2015 season.