Oakland Raiders

Raiders can clinch first winning season since 2002

Oakland Raiders wide receiver Amari Cooper scores the decisive touchdown during an NFL football game against the Houston Texans Monday, Nov. 21, 2016, in Mexico City. His score helped give the Raiders their 27-20 margin of victory.
Oakland Raiders wide receiver Amari Cooper scores the decisive touchdown during an NFL football game against the Houston Texans Monday, Nov. 21, 2016, in Mexico City. His score helped give the Raiders their 27-20 margin of victory. The Associated Press

The particulars

  • Opponent: vs. Carolina Panthers
  • Time: 1:25 p.m.
  • Line: Raiders by 3
  • Records: Raiders 8-2; Panthers 4-6
  • TV/radio: Ch. 13 (Jim Nantz, Phil Simms); no radio

Three things to watch

NOT JUST ANOTHER GAME FOR RAIDERS

After missing the postseason for a 13th consecutive year in 2015, the Raiders are within one victory of their first winning season since 2002, when Oakland reached the Super Bowl. With four consecutive wins for the first time since 2002 and a tie for the best record in the AFC, Oakland has an opportunity to do far more than end the playoff drought. “Our focus is strictly on beating Carolina,” MVP candidate Derek Carr said. “It’s going to be a tough task because they are 10 months out from playing in the Super Bowl, or however long it was. This team coming in is such a good football team. Their record doesn’t show how good they are.”

RESTED VS. WEARY

While the Panthers come to Oakland with extra rest after playing on Thursday last week, the Raiders have a quick turnaround after a Monday night game in Mexico City. Making it even more difficult, that game was played at 7,380 feet, taking even more out of the players. Coach Jack Del Rio backed off his players Wednesday, but the team believes its conditioning program will have the players ready Sunday. “Really the only disadvantage in a short week is that extra day where you can get a little extra in or whatever,” Carr said. “But you just make it up on the back end.”

CAN RAIDERS KICK-START GROUND GAME?

One game after rushing for 218 yards in a win over Denver, the Raiders gained just 30 rushing yards against Houston. That’s not to say the backs didn’t produce. Led by fullback Jamize Olawale’s 75-yard tying touchdown catch in the fourth quarter, Oakland’s backs combined for 11 catches for 199 yards, with Jalen Richard adding a TD catch in the second quarter and Latavius Murray setting up the winning score with a 39-yard reception

The Associated Press

Injury report

PANTHERS

  • Out: DE Mario Addison (foot); C Ryan Kalil (shoulder); LB Luke Kuechly (concussion)
  • Questionable: S Tre Boston (ankle); C Gino Gradkowski (knee); LB A.J. Klein (concussion); CB Leonard Johnson (chest)

RAIDERS

  • Out: LB Shilique Calhoun (knee)
  • Questionable: CB David Amerson (knee); WR Michael Crabtree (ankle); C Rodney Hudson (knee); DT Stacy McGee (ankle); DB Keith McGill (abdomen); RB Latavius Murray (ankle); OG Kelechi Osemele (knee); LB Perry Riley (hamstring)

Schedule

DATE

OPPONENT

OUTCOME

RECORD

Sept. 11

at New Orleans

W, 35-34

1-0

Sept. 18

vs. Atlanta

L, 35-28

1-1

Sept. 25

at Tennessee

W, 17-10

2-1

Oct. 2

at Baltimore

W, 28-27

3-1

Oct. 9

vs. San Diego

W, 34-31

4-1

Oct. 16

vs. Kansas City

L, 26-10

4-2

Oct. 23

at Jacksonville

W, 33-16

5-2

Oct. 30

at Tampa Bay

W, 30-24, OT

6-2

Nov. 6

vs. Denver

W, 30-20

7-2

Nov. 13

BYE

Nov. 21

vs. Houston

(Mexico City)

W, 27-20

8-2

DATE

OPPONENT

TIME

TV

Today

vs. Carolina

1:25 p.m.

Ch. 13

Dec. 4

vs. Buffalo

1:05 p.m.

Ch. 13

Dec. 8

at Kansas City

5:25 p.m.

Ch. 3

Dec. 18

at San Diego

1:25 p.m.

Ch. 13

Dec. 24

vs. Indianapolis

1:05 p.m.

Ch. 13

Jan. 1

at Denver

1:25 p.m.

Ch. 13

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