Raiders RB Marshawn Lynch embracing true self is what Oakland wants and needs

Oakland Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch, just one year removed from his NFL retirement, is back to being his crazy, even chaotic self. And that’s not a bad thing.

Lynch now on the Raiders is having a great time. He’s living the good life as Kanye West would say.

This seemed abundantly clear on Sunday when he was dancing all around the Oakland sideline in the fourth quarter of a blowout win against the New York Jets.

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(Photo via AP Photo/Ben Margot)

The Oakland Coliseum was behind Lynch completely, roaring in agreement with the 31-year-old running back. He appeared as happy as a teenager that hears his favorite song on the radio and wants to just smile and dance.

What else could Lynch be happy about?

The Raiders are now 2-0 and look as dominant as ever after recording convincing wins over the Tennessee Titans and the Jets.

Lynch, hasn’t been a bystander but a catalyst to the aforementioned success. He’s had 121 yards on the ground on 30 attempts with one touchdown.

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(Photo: Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)

He hasn’t been all-worldly but the Oakland native is averaging over 4 yards per carry and his energy has seemed infectious to the team. A major reason why the diehard fans were making the stadium so loud on Sunday.

In Week 1, Lynch flipped off the Titans on the field. The one thing he has publicly admitted he is trying to avoid occurred.

“I’m just here so I don’t get fined,” Lynch famously said during the Super Bowl media day in 2015.

Lynch was fined $12,000 ($6,000 for each finger) but that didn’t seem to impact his attitude against New York.

Lynch has strong ties to the Bay Area as he attended Oakland Technical High School and proceeded to wear the Blue and Gold playing in the city right next to his birthplace at the University of California, Berkeley.

After moving on from Cal, the Buffalo Bills drafted the Oakland native. He then moved on to the Seattle Seahawks after three seasons in Buffalo. After the move, he finally became the elite running back he was projected to become.

The former Cal Bear rushed for over 1,000 yards and 10 touchdowns in four consecutive seasons from 2011-2014, capped off by a championship victory in Super Bowl XLVIII.

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(Photo: AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)

After stepping away from the game after the 2015 season, Lynch decided he wanted to lace up his cleats one more time, but this time he wanted to do it in his hometown.

He requested a trade from Seattle and eventually got his way. The Seahawks got the Raiders’ 2018 fifth-round pick for Lynch and a sixth-round pick in 2018.

With the franchise set to move from its roots in Oakland to Las Vegas, Lynch embracing the great Oakland culture seems perfectly timed.

Will Lynch have an all-pro year?

Probably not. But that’s not the point. Lynch is exciting Oakland and the Raider Nation and is someone for kids to recognize and look up to. The Bay Area youth can see the way he takes on the persona that is Oakland in a positive and happy light.

In a time when the Golden State Warriors are leaving the East Bay, the Oakland Athletics are relocating to a different part of the city and the Raiders will soon be leaving for Vegas, saying Oakland lacks stability is a complete understatement.

Lynch is more than just football. He is a special role model and represents hope and excitement for not only the city of Oakland but the entire Bay Area.


Rob Werner is a contributing writer for The JR Report. For more news follow him on twitter @robwerner28.

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NFL predictions: Raiders improve despite decline in 2017 win/loss record

With the Oakland Raiders’ 2017 preseason wrapping up, it is time to start looking forward to the 2017 NFL regular season.

As such, here are The JR Report’s win-loss projections for the 2017 Raiders.

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Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr (4) scrambles away from Tennessee Titans nose tackle Al Woods (96) in the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 25, 2016, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Zaleski)

Week 1: at Tennessee Titans

Starting the regular season off on the road against an up and coming team in the Tennessee Titans would be tough for any team to overcome.

Running backs DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry and even quarterback Marcus Mariota could cause many issues on the Oakland defense. With so many weapons on the Tennessee offense, the Raiders’ poor defensive communication could be exposed.

With that being said, the Oakland defense will get gashed often, but the Raiders have an MVP caliber quarterback on the other side who will lead Oakland to a nail-biter victory in Week 1 carrying over the common theme from 2016.

Until the defense learns to communicate and gets defensive backs Gareon Conley and Obi Melifonwu up to speed, they will look a lot like the 2016 Raiders, just with fewer victories.

Raiders 34 Titans 30

Week 2: vs. New York Jets

This game will be the first home opener in Oakland since the organization announced their move to Las Vegas.

A blow out victory against the New York Jets should do well in pleasing the fans and keeping the Oakland Coliseum hospitable with the relocation on everyone’s mind.

Raiders 27 Jets 10

Week 3: at Washington Redskins (SNF)

The Raiders are a better team than the Washington Redskins and, despite what the salaries might say in the future, Carr has a major advantage over quarterback Kirk Cousins.

Nonetheless, it is still early in the season and the Oakland defense will be vulnerable. Cousins will have a monster game and Carr’s late magic will not be enough to carry his team on the road against a possible playoff team on Sunday Night Football.

Redskins 27 Raiders 24

Week 4: at Denver Broncos

The Denver Broncos just do not have the star-power at quarterback to compete with a talent like Carr.

The Raiders, like last year’s home win, will use running back Marshawn Lynch to run over the defense and open the play action passing game for Carr to complete a few game-changing strikes.

The Broncos might not admit it, but they are about to enter a rebuilding phase as they need to find their quarterback of the future. Also, placing safety TJ Ward on the trading block does suggest a possible rebuilding period.

Raiders 23 Broncos 17

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BALTIMORE, MD – OCTOBER 2: Michael Crabtree #15 of the Oakland Raiders celebrates after scoring a touchdown in the fourth quarter against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium on October 2, 2016 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Larry French/Getty Images)

Week 5: vs. Baltimore Ravens

Oakland has defeated the Baltimore Ravens two seasons in a row. Moreover, quarterback Joe Flacco might not even be ready or healthy for this game in Oakland.

As a result, the outcome will be no different from the last two meetings.

Raiders 20 Ravens 13

Week 6: vs. Los Angeles Chargers

Upset alert!

Quarterback Philip Rivers is going to have a field day against the porous Raiders secondary. The Los Angeles Chargers are a much-improved team, maybe the most in the NFL, and will sneak up on Oakland a few days before they have to play the Kansas City Chiefs on national television.

Chargers 31 Raiders 27

Week 7: vs. Kansas City Chiefs (TNF)

A game under the lights at home will help Carr turn around his poor history against the Chiefs (lost five straight games to KC) since there is no team Carr and company will want to beat more than Kansas City.

The game also becomes a must-win after the previous week’s loss to the Chargers.

Lynch has a beast quake type game as the Coliseum erupts on Thursday Night Football during the team’s first victory over the Chiefs since Carr’s first NFL win.

Raiders 27 Chiefs 20

Week 8: at Buffalo Bills

As long as Tyrod Taylor is the quarterback of the Buffalo Bills, they won’t stand any chance against Carr and the Raiders.

Oakland would need a major off-day to lose to Buffalo, especially as the Bills subtly begin their rebuild, which they should until Tom Brady exits the division.

Raiders 24 Bills 13

For second half of season click here


Ryan Lipton is the founder of The JR Report. For more news and The JR Report updates follow him on twitter @rytime98.

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers kicker Roberto Aguayo deserves second chance

Photo via Orlando Ramirez / USA Today Sports

By now, many people have heard of Tampa Bay Buccaneers kicker Roberto Aguayo’s troubles on the field. Last season, Aguayo only made 22 of his 31 field goal attempts, putting him at a 71 percent conversion rate.

Many fans in Tampa Bay took this as enough to write Aguayo off. Many felt as if he had failed them by his consistently poor performances.

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Aguayo is regarded as one of the best kickers in FSU history. Photo via the Associated Press

Aguayo was a standout kicker during his tenure at FSU, making 88 percent of his attempts.

So why the drop-off in performance?

Some just chalked it up to the difference between the NFL and college football. However, back in 2014, Aguayo made this 53-yard field goal against Miami, clearly, distance was not his issue.

Others blame it on nerves, saying that Aguayo just can’t take the heat of the NFL. Because of this, a large percentage of Bucs fans decided it was time for Aguayo to go, and it seemed like the Bucs leadership agreed. As such, they picked up former New York Jets kicker Nick Folk as a potential replacement.

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The Bucs picked up Jets’ kicker Nick Folk as a potential replacement for Aguayo. Photo via Saed Hindash / the Star-Ledger

There is now an intense kicking battle between Folk and Aguayo doing what general manager Jason Licht hoped it would do, kick Aguayo into gear.

A couple of weeks ago, it looked like Aguayo was shaping up in the Bucs’ minicamp. “Roberto is actually getting better,” Licht said via CBS Sports.

The kicker has been making progress in practice and Licht is “excited that he actually has progressed from where he was from last year.”

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The point is, Bucs fans and the NFL media need to give Aguayo a break. A disappointing rookie season for a kicker isn’t unprecedented.

Oakland Raiders kicker Sebastian Janikowski, who has made over 80 percent of his field goals over his 17-year career, had a similar rookie season. Janikowski, also out of FSU, made 68.8 percent of his kicks in his rookie season.

If Aguayo doesn’t shape up for next season, then, by all means, the Buccaneers should replace him with a different kicker. But given his previous excellence in college, he needs a chance to settle into the NFL.

Hopefully, Aguayo can continue his improvement and become a consistent kicker so the Bucs can live with themselves after taking him in the second round of the 2016 NFL draft.

Raiders must go after former Jets LB David Harris

Photo via Joe Robbins / Getty Images Sport / Getty

The article can also be found on the Raiders Wire!


The Oakland Raiders have a cavernous hole at the inside linebacker position. Fortunately for Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie the New York Jets just released the perfect fit in 11-year veteran David Harris, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Harris isn’t going to be a long-term solution in Oakland at 33-years old, however, he does plug the hole in the middle of the team’s defense with a competent, productive and trustworthy player as Oakland looks to make a Super Bowl run in 2017.

Moreover, Harris is still an adequate player as evidenced by his Pro Football Focus player grades of over 75 in three of his last four seasons.

The former Jets LB has been a stalwart in the middle, having missed just one game since 2009 while recording over 100 tackles in four out his last five seasons.

Harris would not only bolster the defense in the short-term, but would provide invaluable leadership to the litany of young inside linebackers McKenzie & Co. has assembled.