NFL Wire News

Raiders’ run defense keeps improving


The Sports Xchange

ALAMEDA, Calif. – The Oakland Raiders continue to be one of the NFL’s top teams against the run, and proved it by stifling the Jets’ third-ranked rushing attack.

Jets running back Chris Ivory was held to 17 yards on 15 carries and held to no gain or losses on seven attempts. The Jets finished with just 74 yards on the ground, and 46 of those came on quarterback scrambles.

The Raiders are giving up 82.9 yards per game rushing, second in the NFL.

“This is what we do. We stop the run and cover them deep, “defensive end Khalil Mack said.”We’re going to keep building on that.”

The Raiders got additional girth for the middle to go along with defensive tackle Dan Williams when defensive tackle Justin Ellis (ankle) and end/tackle Denico Autry (concussion) were back in action.

“I think we planned well for them,” linebacker Malcolm Smith said. “We have some big, thick guys in the middle, good guys on the edges. It was good to see them be active today.”

–Wide receiver Andre Holmes, who led the Raiders in receiving yardage last season, has been pegged at No. 4 in the current pecking order behind Amari Cooper, Michael Crabtree and Seth Roberts.

Holmes got 28 snaps against the Jets (Roberts had 32) but cashed in with touchdown receptions from 5 and 49 yards.

“I was happy to get the opportunities and happy to make plays out of those opportunities,” Holmes said. “The first one was a fade, and D.C. knew where to put it. On the second, I wasn’t the primary, but D.C. has a lot of confidence in me on that route.”

–Running back and special teams gunner Taiwan Jones scored his first NFL touchdown, taking a simple dump-off from Carr and racing 59 yards for a touchdown. The fastest player on the roster since he arrived, Jones was drafted as a running back by Al Davis, later shifted to defense, then returned to offense.

All the while, Jones made a name for himself as a special teams’ gunner.

Jones said afterward he was happy to be able to demonstrate the skill for which Davis had faith in him.

“I thought about cutting it back in, but I was like, ‘You know what? I’m just going to go,'” Jones said. “Once I hit that gear, I was gone.”

–Free safety Charles Woodson had his fifth interception of the season and No. 65 of his career, tying him with Ken Riley for fifth place on the all-time list.

–Kicker Sebastian Janikowski made a 52-yard field goal (he also missed one from the same distance), his 50th NFL field goal of 50 or more yards.

–Defensive end Khalil Mack had his fourth sack of the season, tying his season total as a rookie last year.

–Derek Carr became the first Raiders quarterback since Rich Gannon (Sept. 29, 2002) to pass for 300 yards and four touchdowns and have no interceptions in a game.

–Wide receiver Andre Holmes was the first Raiders receiver since Jerry Porter (Dec. 19, 2004) to have two receiving touchdowns in the first half of a game.

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