Raiders Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Oakland Raiders

November 24, 2008
Raiders show signs of growing up

DENVER - As the Raiders piled up a few questionable penalties team officials were become red-faced.

It was if Denver Broncos quarterback Jay Cutler should have been playing two-hand touch.

There were three personal fouls for unnecessary roughness called for hits on Culter in the Raiders 31-10 win at Invesco Field at Mile High on Sunday.

One was on defensive tackle Gerard Warren and two were on linebacker Thomas Howard for hitting Cutler with his helmets.

Howard's penalties were especially questionable.

But something happened during the game.

The Raiders just kept playing.

The team that's loved to blame the officials when things go wrong didn't use the flags as a reason to fold.

They kept playing and won.

"It's touchy when you get to talking about those refs so I'm not going to get too deep into it," Howard said. "All I can say is ... they made the calls, we lived with it. We didn't let it get us down. So we just went back in there and played."

Interim head coach didn't want to say too much but called the penalties on Howard "ridiculous" which might earn him a fine (even though those calls were ridiculous).

But it's a step in the right direction for a franchise that's become accustomed to failure and excuses.

"You know it's kind of been the battle cry the whole time," Cable said. "We're gonna keep pushing, keep playing, keep playing."

Cornerback had an interception return for a touchdown negated when he was called for holding on the same play.

Johnson continued to play well in spite of the call in the second quarter.

"I didn't think it was holding," Johnson said. "But if the refs made that call I've got to respect that call. I couldn't let that one take my confidence away so I just kept playing."

The Raiders are still an incredibly young team in a lot of areas. Sunday's showing was a sign that players are starting to understand what it takes to win.
Dare I say a sign of maturity?

"I guess you could say that," Howard said. "A sign of maturity always sounds good. But it was just us sticking in there. What else can we do when a ref makes a call like that? What else can you really do but play?"

*Johnnie Lee Higgins was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct after a backflip after his punt return for a touchdown.

The reason? Apparently his falling on the landing somehow is penalty-worthy.

If Higgins had stuck the landing, there would have been no penalty.

*JaMarcus Russell had his second consecutive solid game after completing 10 of 11 passes for 156 yards and a touchdown.

Russell is 25 for 33 (75.8 percent) for 308 yards and a touchdown and no interceptions in his last two games since sitting out the Carolina loss with a knee injury.

And next up is Kansas City, which allows the opposition to complete 66.6 percent of its passes and has only six sacks all season.

*Darren McFadden ran for two touchdowns. Quarterback Daunte Culpepper ran for three scores Sept. 30, 2007 at Miami.

The last time a running back ran for two touchdowns for the Raiders was LaMont Jordan. He scored twice Nov. 27, 2005 against Miami.

*Both of Cable's wins as head coach have come over division leaders (New York Jets, Denver).

*Cable was a bit teary eyed after the game and said it wasn't from allergies.

"It's just been a lot of hard work," he said. "And we're getting there. And I know you all think I'm crazy when I say that for the last month. But the bottom line is I just believe in our players and I believe in what we're trying to do. So you just keep pushing and when you do it right enough, long enough, something good is going to happen. So, I don't know. I'm just happy. I'm very happy, I know I seem calm right now but it's a lot of hard work. Today was a good day for the Raiders."

--Jason Jones

About Comments

Reader comments on are the opinions of the writer, not The Sacramento Bee. If you see an objectionable comment, click the "report abuse" button below it. We will delete comments containing inappropriate links, obscenities, hate speech, and personal attacks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. See more about comments here.

What You Should Know About Comments on is happy to provide a forum for reader interaction, discussion, feedback and reaction to our stories. However, we reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments or ban users who can't play nice. (See our full terms of service here.)

Here are some rules of the road:

• Keep your comments civil. Don't insult one another or the subjects of our articles. If you think a comment violates our guidelines click the "report abuse" button to notify the moderators. Responding to the comment will only encourage bad behavior.

• Don't use profanities, vulgarities or hate speech. This is a general interest news site. Sometimes, there are children present. Don't say anything in a way you wouldn't want your own child to hear.

• Do not attack other users; focus your comments on issues, not individuals.

• Stay on topic. Only post comments relevant to the article at hand. If you want to discuss an issue with a specific user, click on his profile name and send him a direct message.

• Do not copy and paste outside material into the comment box.

• Don't repeat the same comment over and over. We heard you the first time.

• Do not use the commenting system for advertising. That's spam and it isn't allowed.

• Don't use all capital letters. That's akin to yelling and not appreciated by the audience.

You should also know that The Sacramento Bee does not screen comments before they are posted. You are more likely to see inappropriate comments before our staff does, so we ask that you click the "report abuse" button to submit those comments for moderator review. You also may notify us via email at Note the headline on which the comment is made and tell us the profile name of the user who made the comment. Remember, comment moderation is subjective. You may find some material objectionable that we won't and vice versa.

If you submit a comment, the user name of your account will appear along with it. Users cannot remove their own comments once they have submitted them, but you may ask our staff to retract one of your comments by sending an email to Again, make sure you note the headline on which the comment is made and tell us your profile name.

hide comments

On October 14, The Sacramento Bee will temporarily remove commenting from While we design the upgrade, we encourage you to tell us what you like and don't like about commenting on and other websites. We've heard from hundreds of you already and we're listening. Please continue to add your thoughts and questions here. We also encourage you to write Letters to the Editor on this and other topics.

About Raiders Blog and Q&A

Matt Kawahara was born in Sacramento and attended McClatchy High School and UC Berkeley, where he wrote for the independent student paper The Daily Californian. He graduated from Cal in 2010 and started at The Sacramento Bee as a summer intern. He joined The Bee's sports staff in fall 2011.

Raiders stories on

October 2013

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
    1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31