ALAMEDA, Calif. -- Benson Mayowa's NFL career appears to be taking off, so it is fitting he's playing his next game where it all started.

The Oakland Raiders claimed Mayowa off waivers in September from the Seattle Seahawks. The Raiders liked Mayowa's preseason film. Because of injuries, Mayowa is now part of the rotation at defensive end. He played 46 snaps at Cleveland and has shown ability both against the run and as a pass-rusher. He will surely be part of the Raiders’ defensive attack Sunday at Seattle.

Oakland interim coach Tony Sparano has praised Mayowa’s impact and Seattle coach Pete Carroll said the Seahawks liked him but the defensive end was caught in a numbers game. Mayowa played in two games as a rookie with the Seahawks last season.

The Idaho product credits his time in Seattle with helping him become the player he is today.

“I learned how to pracitce and learned the intensity of being in the NFL,” Mayowa said.

Mayowa, who won a Super Bowl ring, said his experience with the Super Bowl champions during their winning run only made him hungrier.

“I want more,” he said. “Winning the Super Bowl is what you play for.”
ALAMEDA, Calif. -- The good news for the Oakland Raiders is they have the third-highest efficiency rate in the NFL in the red zone

The bad news?

They've been there just 11 times in seven games.

Oakland got into the red zone just once in a 23-13 loss at Cleveland on Sunday. It was the Raiders' last series of the game and the game was out of reach. They scored a touchdown.

Oakland has scored a touchdown on 72.7 percent of its red zone trips. It's the third-highest rate in the NFL behind Denver and Atlanta. Oakland, 0-7, leads the NFL with three touchdown drives in the final two minutes. All three have come with the game out of reach.

Oakland quarterback Derek Carr said the Raiders have to find a way to get in the red zone more consistently earlier in games.

"Obviously, when we get down there, we're pretty good," Carr said. "We'd like to be in there more. We always feel like we have a good red zone plan. I think our guys execute it really well. It just goes back to the field, we have to execute on third down. We have to be good on first and second down. Those things lead you down there. I'm looking at any way that I can do those things better that way we can get down there and try and get some more points."

Evening Oakland Raiders notes

October, 29, 2014
Oct 29
ALAMEDA, Calif. -- Random Oakland Raiders notes to close out a Wednesday night:

Oakland interim coach Tony Sparano said the play of safety Charles Woodson at Cleveland was "absolutely amazing." Woodson, 38, had been playing in the box in recent weeks. Sparano said it is part of trying to get players in the best position to produce.

Reserve tight end David Ausberry (foot), receiver Vincent Brown (hamstring) and cornerback Keith McGill (groin) all continued not to practice. Cornerback Carlos Rogers was held out with a knee issue, as he has been during recent practices on Wednesdays. Defensive end Justin Tuck (knee) and fullback Marcel Reece (quad) were limited. They both missed the Week 7 game against Arizona, but played at Cleveland. Sparano said they will be managed through the injury. Barring setbacks, they should play Sunday at Seattle.

This is the eighth time in NFL history, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, that a team with a double-digit losing streak has played the defending Super Bowl champion. Of the previous seven, three have won. The 0-7 Raiders have lost 13 straight games dating back to last November.

The Raiders' remaining opponents are a combined 40-25. Oakland faces the toughest remaining schedule in NFL, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

The folks at take a look at the fast start to Andre Holmes' career. Check it out.
ALAMEDA, Calif. -- The night of August 28th was a vital night for the Oakland Raiders. It was the night Derek Carr ripped apart the visiting Seattle Seahawks, including several starters, in the fourth preseason game.

In the record books, it meant nothing. But in terms of the franchise, it was the night the team decided Carr -- the team's second-round pick -- was ready to overtake veteran Matt Schaub as the starter.

Fast forward two months later. It is time for Carr to lead the Raiders against the same world champion Seahawks. This time the game is in Seattle. More importantly, this time it counts and the entire Seattle defense will be on the field for the entire game and it will be for keeps.

Carr is well aware that that wonderful preseason moment means nothing now.

"It's so different," Carr said. "That game, it is what it is. It was preseason game No. 4, and that's where it ends. There's nothing to be said after that about playing them and all that. This is the defending Super Bowl champs at their house with great players all over the field. It'll be a challenge and something I'm looking forward to."

Pete Carroll talks Raiders

October, 29, 2014
Oct 29
ALAMEDA, Calif. -- In a conference call with Bay Area media, Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll touched on several topics:
  • Carroll said he is very impressed by the regular-season film of Oakland rookie quarterback Derek Carr. Carroll also got a look at Carr in the final preseason game when the rookie shredded Seattle, earning himself the starting job. "He has a strong arm and looks very comfortable," Carroll said. "He looks like a terrific prospect ... I think he's darn good."
  • Carroll said Oakland rookie linebacker Khalil Mack looks almost "unblockable." Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson, earlier in the day, said Mack looks like a rookie of the year candidate.
  • Carroll said it was too "cool" to see former Seattle prospect Benson Mayowa play well for Oakland in the past few weeks. Mostly a special teamer in Seattle, Mayowa, claimed off waivers by the Raiders from Seattle in September, has been playing at defensive end. Carroll said he likes the way Mayowa competes, but he was the victim of a numbers game in Seattle.
ALAMEDA, Calif. – Oakland Raiders right tackle Menelik Watson and cornerback TJ Carrie both practiced Wednesday.

Both players were injured Sunday in a 23-13 loss at Cleveland. Watson had a stinger and Carrie had a lower-back injury.

Cornerback Chimdi Chekwa did not practice Wednesday. He left Sunday’s game with a hamstring injury.
ALAMEDA, Calif. -- The Oakland Raiders re-signed safety Larry Asante to the 53-man roster.

A fourth-year player, Asante was cut by the Raiders in August. He tried out again for Oakland last week. Asante adds depth to the position that has saw Tyvon Branch (foot) and Usama Young (knee) go to the injured reserve. This will the fourth NFL team he's joined in his career.

He takes the place of undrafted rookie Bojay Filimoeatu on the roster. Filimoeatu was cut Tuesday and signed to the practice squad on Wednesday.

In other Raiders notes:

ESPN’s John Clayton thinks the Raiders are headed to a 2-14 record.

The Raiders worked out three tight ends Tuesday, including former Miami tight end Michael Egnew. The Raiders have an opening on their 53-man roster. Third-string tight end David Ausberry is dealing with a foot injury.

Derek Carr will test Richard Sherman

October, 29, 2014
Oct 29

ESPN Raiders reporter Bill Williamson says rookie quarterback Derek Car isn’t afraid to test the best corners in the game, which means Richard Sherman will be the target this week.
Oakland Raiders' Derek Carr was not the best rookie quarterback, according to Total QBR, in Week 8, but he wasn't bad, either.

Carr finished No. 17 in the NFL with an average rank of 49.5 in a 23-13 loss at Cleveland. Minnesota's Teddy Bridgewater, taken four slots ahead of Carr at No. 32, was ranked ninth with a nice 71.7 score. Jacksonville's Blake Bortles, taken at No. 3, struggled as he finished 30th in the week with a horrid score of 2.8.

For the season, Carr -- the only rookie quarterback to start all season -- has the best score over the other two rookies. The Carr is 26th in Total QBR for the season with a 48.8 Total QBR. Bridgewater is 29th at 36.7 and Bortles is 31st at 24.8.
The NFL trade deadline has passed and there are no saviors headed the Oakland Raiders' way, nor did any charitable team agree to take any high-priced players off the winless team’s hands.

It was not surprising the Raiders didn’t make a move. NFL deadline deals are rare, and there was really no reason for the 0-7 Raiders to add anyone. No one is going to make a huge difference at this point and the Raiders, in total rebuild mode, need to hold onto every draft pick possible.

That’s why the talk of Oakland trading for Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch was ridiculous. There was no way the Raiders would have done it. Perhaps down the road Lynch could play in his hometown of Oakland. But there was no way it was going to happen in a trade Tuesday.

There were reports that Oakland would be willing to trade defensive end Justin Tuck, as non-contending teams are often willing to trade high-producing veterans. But the market clearly never developed.

It’s fine that the Raiders kept Tuck. He is a decent player and strong in the locker room. There’s no guarantees Tuck is around next season, but for now, keeping him around certainly won’t hurt the Raiders.

In the end, it was just another quiet NFL deadline, with the only noise being false pre-deadline chatter.

Note: The Raiders cut rookie Bojay Filimoeatu. The Raiders have not filled the spot on the 53-man roster yet. Filimoeatu, an undrafted free agent, could go back to the practice squad.
Sunday might have provided a glimpse of new young defensive look for the Oakland Raiders.

Youngsters Khalil Mack and Benson Mayowa both stood out. The fact that Mack played well against the Browns was not surprising, as the No. 5 overall pick has been strong all season, especially against the run. However, Mayowa is becoming more intriguing by the week. He played some in Week 7 because of a season-ending bicep injury to starter LaMarr Woodley.

Mayowa is now playing with CJ Wilson. Mayowa, claimed off waivers from Seattle, is showing signs he can be a three-down player for Oakland. Expect him to get increased playing time down the stretch so Oakland can see what it has in him.

Interim coach Tony Sparano likes what he has seen so far from both Mack and Mayowa.

“The two most glaring players in my opinion in that group yesterday were clearly Benson and Khalil Mack,” Sparano said. “I mean, Khalil Mack was outstanding yesterday. I mean like really, really good ... I would just say that it’s been a long time since I’ve seen somebody do that in the run game. What he did yesterday in the run game to an opponent, this guy Khalil has just really dominated, and I thought Benson was right behind him there at times. He set the edge and the other guys chases it down.”

Mack has 10 tackles for loss, which is tied for the second most in the NFL. Mack was drafted to rush the passer. While he has gotten some quarterback hurries, he has yet to get his first sack.

“It’s something that’s constantly on my mind,” Mack said. “All my teammates talk about it. It’ll come soon enough, but even then I’m working hard to get there.”

Still, Mack realizes he is making a contribution.

“My mindset has always been to knock the guy back in front of me and make a tackle behind the line of scrimmage, bringing that even from my college playing days,” Mack said. “I wanted to make an impact in the run game as well as the pass game.”

The Film Don’t Lie: Raiders

October, 28, 2014
Oct 28
A weekly look at what the Oakland Raiders must fix:

This is just wonderful news for the Raiders, whose offense is floundering: They next play the Seahawks in Seattle.

While the Seahawks have been a bit off this season, playing that defense in Seattle is still probably the toughest task in the NFL.

Oakland has a lot of issues to address offensively in the next few days. The Raiders looked like they were turning the corner in Week 6 when rookie quarterback Derek Carr threw four touchdown passes in a close 31-28 loss. It was by far their best offensive output of the season. However, the Raiders have regressed on offense the past two weeks.

The only time the Raiders were in the red zone in a 23-13 loss at Cleveland on Sunday was during garbage time. The offense had no balance, as the Raiders threw the ball 56 times and ran it just 22 times.

Considering the Browns entered the game with the NFL’s worst-ranked rush defense, those skewed numbers seem both curious and unnecessary.

That lack of balance and overall futility could be exacerbated by the Seahawks. The Raiders will have to play near perfectly on offense to have a chance to win this game. Can they do it?

It would take a season-best effort by a unit that has been marred by mistakes. This is Oakland’s greatest challenge of the season thus far, and it must find a way to figure things out on offense or 0-8 looms.
Here is a look at what the Oakland Raiders must do and can't do Sunday at the Seattle Seahawks:

Must happen: Perfection. Absolute perfection. In all three phases of the game. That is how the Raiders can beat the Seahawks in Seattle. The Raiders will have to do everything right. They have been far from perfect this season, but they have to be to win this game.

Can't happen: Seattle can’t take this game over on defense in the first quarter. If the Seahawks overwhelm Oakland early, it could be a long, long day.
The Oakland Raiders are 0-7. They clearly have multiple issues that are keeping them from winning a game.

On Monday, interim coach Tony Sparano said the team's main objective is to stop having to "patch up" a problem, after fixing another. Continuously dealing with new problems, Sparano says, will not serve this team well. He pointed out that while the Raiders have vastly improved on third-down defense they suddenly have a turnover problem.

The Raiders entered Sunday's game allowing opponents to convert on third down more than 50 percent of the time -- the highest rate in the NFL. They were able to hold the Browns to 2-of-12 on third down. But Oakland then turned the ball over three times, including two late critical turnovers.

"The one thing that has to stop happening for us is we can't patch one hole up and then find another one," Sparano said.

In other Raiders notes:
  • Sparano said the team will get cornerback DJ Hayden more involved in the coming weeks. He played on five snaps on defense and several on special teams Sunday in his first game of the season. The No. 12 overall pick in the 2013 draft was out all season with a broken foot. Sparano praised Hayden's play on special teams.
  • While there is nothing known for certain. The Raiders are hopeful rookie cornerback TJ Carrie's back injury, that took him out of Sunday's game, is not serious. He will continue to be evaluated.