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Shutdown Corner NFL Power Rankings: The Oakland Raiders' scary 0-16 question (Shutdown Corner)
There are many stats that sum up how miserable the Oakland Raiders' 0-6 start has been, but we have something better than a statistic for that. Darnell Dockett. The injured Arizona Cardinals defensive lineman was at his trash-talking finest on Sunday, poking fun at Raiders fans as the Cards sealed up their 24-13 win. Cardinals DE Darnell Dockett Trolls Raiders Fans With Sign On Whiteboard http://t.co/Kt9LTrbPWL pic.twitter.com/MRHbHQCNXT — ThePostGame.com (@Post_Game) October 21, 2014 If you can't see it well, it's a hand-written message from Dockett to the fans reminding them that the Raiders are 0-6, and the worst team in the NFL. Sadly, both are indisputable facts at this point. Even worse for the Raiders, they just got past what is the relatively easy part of their schedule. And while it's ridiculously early under most circumstances to pose the question, it needs to be asked: Is 0-16 possible for the Raiders? [ Join FanDuel.com's $2.5M Week 8 fantasy league: $25 to enter; top 21,905 teams paid ] Raiders fans are thinking that Cleveland might be a possible win, but this is a Browns team that will be playing at home and refocused after losing to the Jaguars. The Browns are a seven-point favorite, so a Raiders win can't be considered likely. But if the Raiders don't win this week, then when? Here's what's coming for the Raiders, who have the toughest schedule I've ever seen: Week 9: at Seattle Week 10: vs. Denver Week 11: at San Diego Week 12: vs. Kansas City Week 13: at St. Louis Week 14: vs. San Francisco Week 15: at Kansas City Week 16: vs. Buffalo Week 17: at Denver Oh my. Where's the win in there? The Raiders will be underdogs in every game from here on out, and probably by at least a touchdown in almost every one of those games. The home game against Buffalo might be less than a touchdown. Maybe the St. Louis game will be a tick under a touchdown. But that's about it. Odds are the Raiders get a win somewhere. It's mathematically tough for an NFL team to go 16 games without winning at least once, even if they're underdogs in all 16. And this team isn't without any talent – you'd hope all these old vets general manager Reggie McKenzie signed this offseason could get at least one win – but it still will be scary until they post that first win. There's only one winless team remaining in the NFL. That's a pretty lonely place to be. And based on the schedule, it's possible the Raiders will be there for a while. Here are the post-Week 7 power rankings: 32. Oakland Raiders (0-6, Last Week: 31) The performance against the Chargers two weeks ago has to give them hope that a win is on the way. 31. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-5, LW: 30) Depending on what kind of draft pick the Buccaneers could get, it would make sense to trade Vincent Jackson. Seattle should be first in line if Tampa Bay is serious about dealing him. 30. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-6, LW: 32) There's a huge difference between zero and one win. 29. Tennessee Titans (2-5, LW: 28) They lost to a bad team. A bad team with Colt McCoy at quarterback. 28. Washington Redskins (2-5, LW: 29) Jay Gruden didn't come out and say it, but by tabbing McCoy to start next week if Robert Griffin III isn't ready, he effectively said the team no longer thinks Kirk Cousins can be an effective NFL starting quarterback. You wouldn't bench him for McCoy if you did. Maybe Cousins gets a chance to change that perception, but that's where we are now. 27. Atlanta Falcons (2-5, LW: 25) Julio Jones has 311 yards and no touchdowns in Atlanta's last four games. The Falcons are 0-4 in their last four games. These two sentences are closely related. 26. New York Jets (1-6, LW: 26) Here's one problem with the Percy Harvin trade: Are the Jets really going to get a good look at him before deciding if he's worth that $10.5 million base salary next season? It's really tough to learn an offense when you join a team right before Week 8 of the regular season. 25. Minnesota Vikings (2-5, LW: 24) A nice bright spot: Rookie Jerick McKinnon had 103 rushing yards against a good defense. That's not going to make them forget losing a game with one second left, but it was nice. 24. New York Giants (3-4, LW: 23) Eli Manning played well. They ran the ball well enough. The defense turned a big Tony Romo interception into a short touchdown. And they still lost by 10. That can't feel too comforting. 23. St. Louis Rams (2-4, LW: 27) I can't say this enough: Calling a fake punt on your own 18-yard line to ice a win over the defending champs is an all-time great call. It was a gamble but not reckless, because it's pretty clear the Rams knew based on Seattle's punt return scheme that they'd have that pass wide open. 22. Houston Texans (3-4, LW: 20) They really had Monday night's game under control, then it got away in such a hurry. And despite a terrible second quarter they lost by just a touchdown. They can't afford to drop games like that. 21. New Orleans Saints (2-4, LW: 19) That would have been an enormous win, getting a victory at Detroit with virtually nothing from injured tight end Jimmy Graham. But now it's just a 2-4 hole they're in. 20. Chicago Bears (3-4, LW: 16) The Bears' offensive rankings: 17th in yards per game, 17th in yards per play, 18th in points scored. With all those weapons to work with, that's hard to comprehend. 19. Pittsburgh Steelers (4-3, LW: 21) For about 27 minutes of the first half against Texans, it looked like their season was in an irreversible slide. Maybe that turnover and scoring flurry will spark something.
Road gets tougher for 5-1 Arizona Cardinals (The Associated Press)
TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) -- The Arizona Cardinals are 5-1 for the first time in 38 years. After a victory at winless Oakland, the team sits alone atop the NFC West, with a two-game cushion in the loss column over San Francisco and Seattle.
Raiders plagued by 3rd-down defensive woes (The Associated Press)
ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) -- As if the Oakland Raiders' defensive problems weren't bad enough, another injury will force them to use a third-stringer at strong safety.
No stopping Peyton and Broncos (The Associated Press)
This was one ball Peyton Manning wanted in his grasp.
Palmer leads Cardinals past Raiders 24-13 (The Associated Press)
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- Carson Palmer left his homecoming game in Oakland in a position he rarely held during his two seasons with the Raiders: first place.
NFL Today, Week 7 (The Associated Press)
Monday, Oct. 20
Bills lose top 2 backs, Jackson and Spiller (The Associated Press)
The Buffalo Bills had little choice but to try a pass from the 2-yard line with 1 second left in the game.
NFL Winners and Losers: Dez Bryant's big transformation will pay off (Shutdown Corner)
It wasn’t too long ago that the idea of giving Dez Bryant a huge contract extension seemed like tossing money into a garbage can and setting fire to it. Bryant was undeniably talented, and a headache for the Dallas Cowboys. You haven’t thought about Bryant’s off-field issues in a while, have you? That’s because there has been nothing to think about. Bryant has been as quiet off the field as he is dynamic on it. But in July of 2012, when Bryant was arrested for allegedly attacking his mother (the misdemeanor assault charges were dropped later in the year), it didn’t seem like Bryant’s future was all that bright. He had a long line of off-field issues that had piled up.  If suspended receivers Justin Blackmon and Josh Gordon need a role model, Bryant isn’t a bad one. Bryant has completely turned his image around. His transformation in two years has been amazing, and now he’s not only one of the best players on the 6-1 Cowboys, he seems like one of the team’s leaders. It also seems like Bryant will be a sound investment for Cowboys owner Jerry Jones before he hits free agency. There was concern about having Bryant play out his contract year, especially after left tackle Tyron Smith got a huge extension. How would Bryant react? The results have been good. Bryant had nine catches for 151 yards in a 31-21 win over the New York Giants on Sunday and it’s hard to argue he wasn’t the best player on the field (though DeMarco Murray, who had yet another 100-yard day, would have a good case). Bryant now has 45 catches for 590 yards this season, on pace for another great season. Bryant turns 26 in November. There’s almost no chance the Cowboys are going to let him go, whether he agrees to a long-term extension or the Cowboys give him the franchise tag. A scout once said Bryant had the “worst background” he’d ever seen, but Bryant has turned that into a great story. And for Jones, whose personnel moves are often mocked, his gamble on Bryant has paid off and then some, especially with his Cowboys looking like one of the NFL’s elite teams. Here are the rest of the winners and losers from Week 7 in the NFL: WINNERS Kyle Orton and Doug Marrone: When the Buffalo Bills fell to 2-2, Marrone made a decision that was second-guessed, sitting 2013 first-round pick E.J. Manuel for journeyman veteran Kyle Orton. Not that Manuel had played well, but it was still a bold move to give Manuel the hook so soon into a season, with the Bills still at .500. Especially since Orton has established his role in the NFL: a solid quarterback who can execute the offense but rarely will do anything special. But lo and behold, Orton made one of the biggest plays of the NFL season so far, and Marrone looks pretty smart. Orton – who also led a last-minute drive in his first start to beat the Detroit Lions – took the Bills 80 yards in 3:06 with Buffalo trailing by six, and hit rookie Sammy Watkins with one second left to give Buffalo a dramatic 17-16 win. The degree of difficulty on the win was high after the Bills lost their top two tailbacks, Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller. Orton came through. Orton's career looked to be over when he threatened retirement all offseason. He did that to force the Cowboys to release him (you can argue the ethics of that), and then the Bills gave him a two-year, $11 million contract that seemed a bit expensive. But now with the Bills at 4-3 thanks to two late victories led by Orton, it all makes sense.  Indianapolis Colts defense, and their title hopes: Colts quarterback Andrew Luck played well again, but that's to be expected by this point. He's one of the best players in the NFL. What was surprising is that the Colts once again put on a defensive clinic, this time against the Cincinnati Bengals. The Colts had their first shutout since 2008 in a 27-0 victory, and it was even more lopsided than that score indicates. The Colts outgained the Bengals 506-135. That should not happen in the NFL. Especially to a good team (though, we can argue after the last three weeks how good the Bengals really are). A.J. Green was out with a toe injury again, and bad Andy Dalton showed up for the Bengals, but that doesn’t explain Cincinnati getting just 135 yards and eight total first downs. The Bengals were absolutely destroyed. The Colts also dominated the Baltimore Ravens two weeks ago, so maybe we shouldn’t view this as a fluke. The Colts started 0-2, with losses to the Denver Broncos and Philadelphia Eagles, and there’s nothing wrong with that. They’re 5-0 since, and looking like a team that can win a Super Bowl, especially if the defense is capable of more days like these. Denard Robinson: For his first 22 NFL games, Robinson had 48 carries. After his 22 carries on Sunday, it's hard to understand what took so long for the Jacksonville Jaguars to give him a real shot. Robinson rushed for 127 yards in the Jaguars' first win of the season, a 24-6 victory over the Cleveland Browns. Robinson looked very good too, making defenders miss whenever he had the ball ... basically, what he was at the University of Michigan when he played quarterback. He looked fantastic. Toby Gerhart hasn't worked out for the Jaguars. Storm Johnson got his shot and struggled too. After Robinson's coming-out party, the Jaguars are going to see if he's the answer. After how he played on Sunday, a lack of playing time won't be an issue for Robinson going forward. Jeff Fisher: I’ve been critical of Fisher, especially early this year as the St. Louis Rams have underachieved. But I respect his fake punt call at the end, which was the biggest play in a 28-26 win over the Seattle Seahawks. You thought Bill Belichick was being gutsy going for it on fourth down against the Colts a few years ago? Fisher called a fake punt from his own 18-yard line in a two-point game . Wow. That's how you play to win. Again, let’s celebrate one of the craziest play calls you’ll ever see in the NFL: LOSERS Drew Brees: It’s hard to totally blame a guy for a loss after he threw for 342 yards. And he had nothing to do with the Saints defense not tackling Lions receiver Golden Tate on a long touchdown that gave Detroit some hope to come back on Sunday. But Brees’ lone interception has put the Saints’ season in a really, really bad place. Brees didn’t see safety Glover Quin lurking in the middle of the field when he threw to Marques Colston with a little more than three minutes to go in a 23-17 game. Instead of the Saints punting and forcing the Lions into a long drive to win the game, Detroit took over at New Orleans' 14-yard line. The Lions got the game-winning score to Corey Fuller on the ensuing drive. It was a terrible mistake, especially from a future Hall of Famer. Brees hasn’t been bad this season (he has thrown for 300 yards in four of six games and 293 in another) but the Saints are now 2-4 and Brees hasn’t been as great as he usually is. He was far from the only reason the Saints lost Sunday, but the Saints are in a full slump now and needed their quarterback to carry them to a much-needed win. It didn't happen. Brian Hoyer: Nobody should jump off the Hoyer bandwagon after a bad day. But, most quarterbacks who have a bad week don’t have a first-round pick waiting behind them. No need to sugarcoat what happened at Jacksonville on Sunday. Hoyer was terrible. He was 16-of-41 and threw 10 straight incompletions at one point. And the Jaguars defense isn’t very good; it was ranked 30 th in total yards allowed and 30 th in passing yards allowed before Sunday. It was a terrible game for a quarterback who was pretty good in the team’s 3-2 start. He has built up enough goodwill that his job is certainly not in jeopardy. Not yet anyway. A couple more games like this, and it might need to be reevaluated. The “Thursday Night Football” matchup: Finally, finally we were going to get a true marquee “TNF” matchup next week between the San Diego Chargers and Denver Broncos, a great AFC West battle between arguably the two best teams in the NFL through six weeks . And then the Chargers had to go and take some luster off it. The Chargers have had a couple strange weeks after a great start to the season. San Diego struggled to beat the Oakland Raiders in Week 6, which could have been an excusable blip for the Chargers, had they not followed it up with a 23-20 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. The way the Chargers lost, giving up a long drive in the final two minutes after tying the game, is a bit concerning. Maybe the Chargers were looking ahead, because Thursday’s game still is huge in the AFC West race. But right now, it looks like there’s some separation between the best team in the division and the second best. Panthers defense: Last year, the Panthers rode Cam Newton and a great defense to an NFC South championship. This year, at least they have Newton (and even he was off on Sunday).  The Panthers defense has disappeared. It gave up 38 points to the Green Bay Packers on Sunday, a week after giving up 37 to the Bengals, who barely cracked 100 yards against the Colts. In the Panthers' three games before that, they allowed 37, 38 and 24 points. That streak also started when defensive end Greg Hardy went on the exempt/commissioner's permission list. Hardy's absence is not the only reason for the Panthers' struggles. The struggles are real though. If the Panthers don't figure it out fast, it's hard to see them coming close to repeating last year's success. What in the world did the Browns think they were doing on this call?: So, Cleveland had the good idea to send out the punt team on fourth down in the fourth quarter, then run it off and run on the offense to fool the Jaguars. And was it ever bad. The Jaguars' defense was given time to substitute, by rule, when the Browns substituted. So the Jags got their defense back on the field. Then the Browns ran a fairly hopeless option play that lost 2 yards. That was better than just lining up and running a play on fourth-and-5? Here's the evidence of one of the strangest plays you'll see: - - - - - - - Frank Schwab is the editor of Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at shutdowncorner@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @YahooSchwab
Carson Palmer, Khalil Mack need to be separated ... since their cleats got stuck together (Shutdown Corner)
Something's afoot here. Somehow, someway, Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer and Oakland Raiders linebacker Khalil Mack got their cleats stuck together on a fourth-quarter passing play. Thankfully, offensive linemen Jared Veldheer and Bobby Massie were on their toes, and helped the two foes get untangled. Even weirder: While there was a 15-yard roughing the passer penalty called on Palmer's third-and-5 attempt, Mack was not the guilty party. Linebacker Sio Moore earned the flag, and the Cardinals killed another three and a half minutes off the clock in their 24-13 victory. You could say the play gave Arizona a leg up on the win. OK, we'll stop now. Adding to the hijinks of Sunday's game, the Cardinals' Darnell Dockett, who is out for the season with a knee injury, rubbed the loss in the faces of Raiders fans: Injured Cardinals DL Darnell Dockett trolls Raiders fans with epic sign http://t.co/WFCTOfvZDw pic.twitter.com/2QKqNk3YUB — Larry Brown (@LBSports) October 20, 2014 - - - - - - - Ben Rohrbach is a contributor for Ball Don't Lie and Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at rohrbach_ben@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @brohrbach
Silva's Week 7 Matchups (Rotoworld)
Evan Silva discusses the matchup for every fantasy football option in every Week 7 game.
Greg Cosell's Look Ahead: Examining the Seahawks' offense this season (Shutdown Corner)
Report: Percy Harvin had altercations with teammates Golden Tate, Doug Baldwin (Shutdown Corner)
You knew when the Seattle Seahawks dropped a bombshell of trading receiver Percy Harvin to the New York Jets that there was more to the story, and there is. Harvin gave then-teammate Golden Tate a black eye before the Super Bowl, had another fight with Seahawks receiver Doug Baldwin before a preseason game this season, and the final straw for him in Seattle might have come when he apparently didn't want to go back into a game against Dallas in the fourth quarter last Sunday, the Seattle Times reported. [ Join FanDuel's $500,000 Week 7 fantasy league: $10 to enter; top 10,102 teams paid ] The fight with Tate was first reported by Lance Zierlein of Sports Talk 790 in Houston and confirmed by the Times. Zierlein also reported there was almost a fight between Harvin and quarterback Russell Wilson this season. The Tate story led people to start searching for photos of Tate just before, during and after the Super Bowl, and it does look like he had a black eye: @THE_ELPRESADOR Here's a pic of Golden Tate's black eye after Percy Harvin punched him during Superbowl week. pic.twitter.com/Hxqn99rn67 — Skyler Johnson (@ya_boy_hollywud) October 17, 2014 But that wasn't all, according to the Times. Before Seattle's final preseason game against the Oakland Raiders, Harvin and Baldwin were in a fight, Baldwin got a cut on his chin and both players missed some practices. Harvin didn't make the trip to Oakland for what the team said was "a personal matter," the Times said. Harvin then "apparently balked" at going back into the Dallas game last week, the Times said, citing sources. Harvin played just six of Seattle's final 17 snaps of the loss to the Cowboys. Seahawks general manager John Schneider said in a statement that it was a tough call to trade Harvin. "Although this was an extremely difficult decision, we are constantly evaluating our team and believe at this time, that this is in our best interest to move the team forward," Schneider said. "We thank Percy for his efforts that contributed to a Super Bowl XLVIII victory and wish him well." This isn't the first time Harvin's name has been associated with some troubling behavior. When the Sporting News ran a long piece in 2012 of how Florida's program had dealt with many character issues under former coach Urban Meyer, Harvin was prominently involved, including a story of how he physically attacked receivers coach Billy Gonzales. Harvin's high school career was " marked with several suspensions for on- and off-the-field incidents, which included hitting a teacher and a referee," according to a New York Times story. When Harvin was traded from Minnesota to Seattle last year, there was more speculation that he was a high-maintenance player for the Vikings. No matter what happened behind the scenes, the Seahawks decided to move on from Harvin, and got a conditional sixth-round pick that can become a fourth-round pick, NFL Network's Ian Rapoport said. And if Harvin becomes an issue in the New York locker room, it's not like the Jets can say they were blindsided. The Seahawks really can't say they were, either.  - - - - - - - Frank Schwab is the editor of Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at shutdowncorner@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @YahooSchwab
Chargers CB Flowers practices Friday (The Associated Press)
SAN DIEGO (AP) -- Chargers cornerback Brandon Flowers practiced on Friday as San Diego prepares for Sunday's game against the visiting Kansas City Chiefs.
Manziel glad for other rookies as he waits to play (The Associated Press)
BEREA, Ohio (AP) -- Blake Bortles is starting for the Jaguars. So is Teddy Bridgewater with the Vikings. Johnny Manziel, meanwhile, continues to serve as Brian Hoyer's backup with the Browns.
Andre Holmes becoming big-play threat for Raiders (The Associated Press)
ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) -- Andre Holmes is settling into his role as Oakland's big-play wide receiver.
Chargers face challenge against Alex Smith (The Associated Press)
SAN DIEGO (AP) -- The San Diego Chargers' streak of facing inexperienced quarterbacks ends Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs and Alex Smith.
Cardinals-Raiders Capsule (The Associated Press)
ARIZONA (4-1) vs. OAKLAND (0-5)
Chiefs-Chargers Capsule (The Associated Press)
KANSAS CITY (2-3) at SAN DIEGO (5-1)
Dose: More Touches for Asiata (Rotoworld)
Raymond Summerlin checks in on Matt Asiata, Kelvin Benjamin, Calvin Johnson and more in Thursday's Daily Dose.
Hayden practices with Raiders (The Associated Press)
ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) -- Oakland cornerback DJ Hayden practiced for the first time since breaking his foot in June, a potential boost for the Raiders' struggling defense.
After triumphant return, Palmer wants practice (The Associated Press)
TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) -- Three days after his triumphant return against the Washington Redskins, Carson Palmer was looking forward to practice.
Browns coach: Hoyer chatter comes with success (The Associated Press)
BEREA, Ohio (AP) -- Brian Hoyer has done everything - and more - the Browns could have hoped.
Shutdown Corner's Playoff Projection: Could the Seattle Seahawks miss out? (Shutdown Corner)
Brady and Patriots not who Jets need to see (The Associated Press)
In the midst of their worst slide since Rex Ryan became coach, the last thing the New York Jets need is a trip to New England.
Little takes crash course on Bengals playbook (The Associated Press)
CINCINNATI (AP) -- Greg Little spent the last six weeks running routes and catching passes from a friend who played quarterback in high school. He'd decide which NFL games to watch on Sundays based upon which team might need him.
Getting Defensive: Week 7 (Rotoworld)
Jeff Ratcliffe breaks down the matchups for all 30 fantasy defenses in action and gives his top kicker plays for Week 7.
Cardinals-Raiders Preview (The Associated Press)
Carson Palmer returned to bring the Arizona Cardinals within one victory of their best six-game start in 38 seasons. Derek Carr continues to impress but couldn't keep the Oakland Raiders from the brink of their longest losing streak in nearly 52 years.
Week 6 Target Watch: AFC (Rotoworld)
Chet Gresham takes you through all the AFC Targets and Touches from Week 6
Broncos are No. 1 in AP Pro32 rankings (The Associated Press)
NEW YORK (AP) -- As he nears yet another milestone, Peyton Manning has the Denver Broncos back as the top team in the NFL.
Bengals put Marvin Jones on injured list (The Associated Press)
CINCINNATI (AP) -- The Bengals placed receiver Marvin Jones on the injured reserve list on Tuesday and signed former Browns receiver Greg Little, who hasn't played since the preseason with Oakland.