Jon Gruden revelled in a "signature game" from Clelin Ferrell as the Oakland Raiders won a dramatic AFC West contest against the Los Angeles Chargers.

The Raiders' defense came to the fore in a 26-24 home win on Thursday, a second straight victory moving Gruden's squad to 5-4 for the season and keeping them in the playoff hunt.

Ferrell was a surprise selection at number four overall in the 2019 NFL Draft and had only registered one sack – in Week 1 – in his first seven games.

But he exploded for 2.5 sacks on Philip Rivers, who was taken down five times, fumbled once and threw three interceptions – two of which were made by Erik Harris - after being harassed all evening.

Gruden feels Ferrell's moment in the spotlight was long overdue based on his performances in the first half of the season.

"Sack totals are driving me nuts - he does a lot more than just rush the passer," Gruden said of Ferrell, who had five total pressures as well as eight combined tackles.

"He made some great plays against the run. It was a signature game for him, obviously, but it's great for him to get some sacks.

"Any time you play a great quarterback like Philip Rivers or [Matthew] Stafford or any of these guys, if you let 'em stand back there you're in trouble. I thought we had a good rush, great energy.

"We were short-handed, we didn't have [Josh] Mauro, Arden Key broke his foot, we only had seven D-linemen. I credit [defensive co-ordinator] Paul Guenther, he did a hell of a job with the scheme. Really good work.

"Cle Ferrell and the pass rush showed up and you can't say enough about Erik Harris and the secondary."

Maxx Crosby also shone as he racked up 10 pressures, the most of any Raiders defender since 2016, prompting Ferrell to give the duo a nickname.

"Salt and pepper, baby. Salt and pepper!" he shouted to reporters. "The game needed flavour, so we gave it to 'em."

And Crosby added: "A lot of people have been doubting us and we just have been working every single day. It was great, we just got to keep doing it every single week.

"Rivers is a great quarterback and the thing with him is you got to be in his face all game and try to get him flustered. We just kept coming all game until the final whistle blew – it was a big win."

The Oakland Raiders claimed a thrilling 26-24 win over the Los Angeles Chargers in the NFL on Thursday.

A fourth-quarter touchdown from Josh Jacobs helped the Raiders (5-4) edge the Chargers (4-6) in a clash between two AFC West rivals.

The Chargers had responded in the second quarter after a slow start, but they were unable to produce a late score as they suffered yet another narrow defeat.

All six of the Chargers' losses this season have been by seven points or less as they were left in third in the AFC West, behind the Kansas City Chiefs (6-3) and Raiders.

Philip Rivers went 17 of 31 for 207 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions in what was an ordinary performance at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum.

He was intercepted twice by Erik Harris, who took one of those 56 yards for the first touchdown of the game.

Rivers' pass to Austin Ekeler gave the Chargers a 24-20 lead in the fourth quarter, only for Jacobs to burst through from 18 yards with just over a minute remaining to give the Raiders their win.

Jacobs rushed for 71 yards on 16 carries, including the touchdown, while Melvin Gordon (108 yards) had earlier scored for the Chargers.

Raiders quarterback Derek Carr was solid, finishing with 218 yards and a TD on the back of completing 21 of 31 passes.

The Raiders will face the Cincinnati Bengals on November 17, while the Chargers meet the Chiefs the following day.

Russell Wilson led the way as the high-flying Seattle Seahawks rallied to beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 40-34 in overtime, while the Miami Dolphins ended their NFL drought.

Seattle quarterback Wilson continued his MVP-calibre season by tying a career high with five touchdown passes for the Seahawks on Sunday.

The Seahawks star hit Jacob Hollister on a 10-yard touchdown on the opening possession of overtime in Seattle, where the home side trailed 21-7 midway through the second quarter.

Seattle also overcame Jason Myers' missed 40-yard field-goal attempt on the final play of regulation as the Seahawks improved to 7-2.

Wilson – who posted his third career game with five TD passes – was 29 of 43 for 378 yards, while Tampa Bay quarterback Jameis Winston finished 29 of 44 passing.

After seven consecutive defeats, the Dolphins finally opened their 2019 account with a 26-18 victory against fellow strugglers the New York Jets.

Ryan Fitzpatrick inspired the Dolphins by throwing three touchdown passes as the Jets suffered their fourth successive loss to Miami.

 

Allen impresses in first start

Brandon Allen was the star of the show for the Denver Broncos. Allen – a fourth-year quarterback – capped his maiden NFL start by leading the Broncos to a 24-19 win over the Cleveland Browns. The 27-year-old, who was claimed off waivers from the Los Angeles Rams two months ago, threw for 193 yards on 12-of-20 passing.

Melvin Gordon had a pair of touchdowns as the Los Angeles Chargers snapped a three-game losing streak courtesy of a 26-11 win against the Green Bay Packers. Michael Badgley also kicked four field goals.

 

Bears lack bite against Eagles

It was a forgettable outing for the Chicago Bears, who went down 22-14 to the Philadelphia Eagles. Chicago had just nine yards in the first half and trailed 19-0 before the Bears got on the board in the third quarter. Mitchell Trubisky was 10 of 21 for 125 yards and was sacked three times as the Bears crashed to a fourth straight loss.

Sunday's results

Houston Texans 26-3 Jacksonville Jaguars
Buffalo Bills 24-9 Washington Redskins
Carolina Panthers 30-20 Tennessee Titans
Kansas City Chiefs 26-23 Minnesota Vikings
Miami Dolphins 26-18 New York Jets
Philadelphia Eagles 22-14 Chicago Bears
Pittsburgh Steelers 26-24 Indianapolis Colts
Oakland Raiders 31-24 Detroit Lions
Denver Broncos 24-19 Cleveland Browns
Los Angeles Chargers 26-11 Green Bay Packers
Seattle Seahawks 40-34 Tampa Bay Buccaneers (OT)

Cowboys at Giants

The New York Giants (2-6) welcome the Dallas Cowboys (4-3) to MetLife Stadium on Monday. Dallas will be looking to post back-to-back wins after last month's victory over rivals the Eagles ended a three-game losing run.

J.J. Watt was ruled out of the Houston Texans' game against the Oakland Raiders after sustaining a shoulder injury in the second quarter on Sunday.

The defensive end left the game under his own power with just over five minutes remaining in the first half and headed to the medical tent.

Watt then went to the locker room for further examination and was branded questionable to return within minutes. It was later announced he would not feature in the remainder of the match.

The three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year had three tackles before exiting the game.

Trades were all the talk around the NFL on Tuesday.

We look at those transactions and more in this edition of NFL news and notes.

 

Three things that matter

Broncos trade Sanders to 49ers

It was reported that the Denver Broncos dealt two-time Pro-Bowl wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders tand a fifth-round pick to the San Francisco 49ers, with NFL Media noting the latter were in on Mohamed Sanu before he went to the New England Patriots. In return, the Broncos received third- and fourth-round picks in 2020 from the Niners.

Sanders, who should welcome the change of scenery joining a playoff contender, has 565 catches for 7,391 and 39 touchdowns over 134 career games with the Pittsburgh Steelers and Broncos.

Patriots acquire Sanu from Falcons

Super Bowl champions New England acquired the wide receiver from the Atlanta Falcons for a second-round pick. Sanu farewelled the Falcons and their fans on Twitter.

Sanu played at Rutgers with the McCourty brothers and Patriots assistant Steve Belichick before being drafted in 2012 by the Cincinnati Bengals, where he remained until he signed with Atlanta in 2016. He has 33 catches for 313 yards and a touchdown this season.

Hall of Fame cornerback Brown dies aged 78

No cause of death has been made public, but support has been overflowing on social media.

Willie Brown will be best remembered on the field for his interception of the Minnesota Vikings' Fran Tarkenton in Super Bowl 11 in 1977 that became an iconic moment in the game's history.

He later served as a defensive backfield coach for the Oakland Raiders from 1979 to 1988 and also was the head coach at Long Beach State in 1991.

Two things that don't matter

Peterson says he's 'ready to go'

Washington Redskins running back Adrian Peterson insisted he will play against his former team in Minnesota on Thursday despite an MRI revealing a Grade 1 high ankle sprain and a Grade 2 low ankle sprain. Peterson initially injured his ankle during Sunday's game against the 49ers after fumbling, finishing with 20 carries for 81 yards. 

The 34-year-old, who has a long history of injuries, has rushed for 307 yards and one touchdown on 83 carries in six games this season. 

XFL reveals schedule for 2020 season

The league is set to open play February 8 when the D.C. Defenders visit the Seattle Dragons. The XFL's eight teams, which have been divided into two divisions, will have 10 games from February 8 to April 12 before the playoffs begin later that month and the championship game takes place April 26.

"It's a big moment for us,'' XFL commissioner Oliver Luck said. "We've got great time slots on the weekends. We think it's a well-designed schedule in terms of competitive balance.''

One video you have to see

Dion Jordan looks ready to get to work.

Tuesday's tweet of the day

Le'Veon Bell held nothing back as he bashed the NFL and defended his quarterback on Twitter after Sam Darnold was heard on "Monday Night Football" saying he was "seeing ghosts."

From post-game news conferences to next-day media availabilities, here are the 10 best Week 7 quotes from players and coaches around the NFL:

 

— Chicago Bears head coach Matt Nagy admitted his team should have had more balance: "I know we need to run the ball more. I'm not an idiot," Nagy told reporters. "I never go into a game saying, 'I want to throw the ball 54 times.' I'd love to go into a game saying, 'I'd like to run the ball 54 times,' but that hasn't happened."

— New Orleans Saints cornerback Eli Apple on Teddy Bridgewater's performance this season: "He's a real great quarterback. To me, he was making all the right passes and all the right decisions. He's our leader out there, and he was picking them apart. I'm just really proud of him, his story and where he came from."

— Buffalo Bills coach Sean McDermott when asked if he thinks the Bills are running the ball enough: "Well, we're going to do whatever it takes to win by game plan. I know when we've run it, we’ve had some good runs and I like some of the things we're doing."

— Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott did not care for the Philadelphia Eagles' comments last week: "Honestly, we don't give a f-*** what Doug Pederson says," Elliott told reporters, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.

— The Eagles slumped to back-to-back losses with a dismal showing against the Cowboys, to the embarrassment of quarterback Carson Wentz: "Frustrated, a little embarrassed, they beat the crap out of us, we didn't show up and we've got to be better but I'm confident in this group," he told reporters.

— Despite getting a win on Sunday, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones still has mixed feelings about coach Jason Garrett's hot-and-cold season: "I am looking for reasons. I'm looking for reasons to keep him," Jones said, via ProFootballTalk. "It's merited here. It's hard to get an effective coach."

— New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold set the Internet on fire with his off-the-cuff comment during "Monday Night Football" against the New England Patriots: "Seeing ghosts."

— Cleveland Browns receiver Odell Beckham Jr. was fined more than $14,000 for violating the NFL's uniform policy, and he was not happy about it: "$14k for some pants that are NOT gonna protect me from anything … this s*** is ridiculous," Beckham wrote via Instagram.

— Baltimore Ravens tight end Mark Andrews was disappointed by his performance in Week 7: "Obviously, didn't play great myself. I've got to be better, I will be better. Everyone has bad games. I'm looking forward to getting back out there and showing my true colours. I think everybody knows that last game wasn't my true colours."

— Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis issued a statement on the passing of Hall of Famer Willie Brown: "It's a very sad day for the Raider Nation as a whole. … and for my family in particular. … Willie Brown was one of the greatest to ever play the game … but it was off the field and how he treated my mom for which I will forever be indebted to him … it was Willie who was her best friend … we loved and will miss you Willie…"

Aaron Rodgers is a cheat code after the Green Bay Packers quarterback put up Madden-like numbers in Sunday's 42-24 NFL win over the Oakland Raiders.

Rodgers finished 25-for-31 passing for 429 yards, five touchdowns and a perfect 158.3 rating, while the Packers star also had one rushing touchdown.

His performance, which helped push Green Bay to 6-1 for the season, put him in elite company. Rodgers registered his fifth career game with five-plus scoring passes, joining just six other quarterbacks to perform that feat, including Drew Brees (10), Peyton Manning (nine) and Tom Brady (six).

It was arguably the best game of his career.

Meanwhile, the San Francisco 49ers remain undefeated thanks to a 9-0 win over the lowly Washington Redskins. 

It was messy and wet, very wet, but San Francisco were able to go on the road and keep their perfect streak alive. It is the first time the 49ers have started 6-0 since 1990 and while they did not put up many points, it was another good defensive outing. They have allowed just three, seven and zero points in their last three respective games.

Across the league, Earl Thomas returned to Seattle for the first time as a Baltimore Ravens player and helped the defense make a big stand in a hostile environment. They went on to beat the Seahawks 30-16 after two defensive scores.

The Atlanta Falcons continue to sputter after a 37-10 loss to the Los Angeles Rams that saw Devonta Freeman ejected for picking a fight with Aaron Donald and quarterback Matt Ryan limp off the field after taking his fifth sack in the fourth quarter.

Injury report

Houston Texans wide receiver Will Fuller was ruled out against the Indianapolis Colts with a hamstring injury.

Ito Smith was carted off the field with both head and neck injuries. The Falcons running back did not return to the game versus the Rams.

Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker Najee Goode exited the game against the Cincinnati Bengals with a foot injury. Left tackle Cam Robinson sustained a toe injury and never returned.

Adam Thielen left the Minnesota Vikings matchup with the Detroit Lions. The receiver suffered a hamstring injury. He said after the game he will get an MRI but is optimistic he will play Thursday against the Redskins.

Detroit running back Kerryon Johnson (knee) and cornerback Darius Slay (hamstring) also left the game and never returned.

By the numbers

Deshaun Watson joined Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton as the only other player in the Super Bowl era to record 7,500-plus pass yards and 1,000-plus rush yards in their first 30 career games. 

Marvin Jones Jr. had a day. He entered Sunday with just one touchdown reception all season. He came out of it with four total touchdowns. Jones Jr. also became the first Lions player to have three touchdown receptions in a half since Herman Moore in 1995.

Marcus Peters had a great debut for the Ravens, posting his fifth career interception return for a touchdown, which is the most in the NFL since his rookie season in 2015. It was also his 25th career interception, the most in the NFL during that time.

Quotables

There seems to be no immediate coaching change in Atlanta's future. Falcons owner Arthur Blank discussed the matter during half-time of the eventual loss to push the team to 1-6: "I don't have any specific timetable, just looking at each game one at a time. It's the bye week, yes, but it's not a trigger for making any changes. We'll just continue to look at what we see developing."

The Bengals have yet to win a game this season. They also have yet to see receiver A.J. Green on the field after he sustained an ankle injury during the team's first practice. The 0-7 skid, however, will not affect his return: "Everybody knows what type of guy I am. I'm not going to fake anything. I'm not going to milk anything. When I'm ready to play, you know it's time for me to go. It doesn't matter what the record [is]. Nobody can hold me back when it's time to play." 

Watson has provided some incredible insight at the podium as of late. After the Texans' 30-23 loss to the Colts, he talked about a questionable call. Watson was sacked and ruled down on what would have been a touchdown: "He said that I was down. I don't — If you watch the tape of all the plays that I extend and make plays, especially in the red zone. I mean. He said he was trying to protect my health, so, it goes back and forth. But hey, that's the call he made. We have to live with it."

Week 7 NFL scores

Teams on bye week

Panthers, Browns, Steelers, Buccaneers

Thursday's game

Chiefs 30, Broncos 6

Sunday's games

Rams 37, Falcons 10 Bills 31, Dolphins 21 Jaguars 27, Bengals 17 Vikings 42, Lions 30 Packers 42, Raiders 24 Colts 30, Texans 23 Cardinals 27, Giants 21 49ers 9, Redskins 0 Titans 23, Chargers 20 Saints 36, Bears 25 Ravens 30, Seahawks 16

Darren Waller, one of the breakout stars for the Oakland Raiders in 2019, has signed a multi-year contract extension with the franchise.

The tight end, who was set to be a restricted free agent this offseason, is expected to make around $9million a year, according to NFL Network.

His new deal was confirmed by the Raiders in an official statement.

"Raider Nation, I'm going to give you all I got," said Waller in a video on Oakland's official website.

"I'm just appreciative to be here for a few more years. I really can't put it into words."

The 27-year-old is in the midst of a career year this season, with 37 catches and 359 yards. In his previous three seasons with Oakland and the Baltimore Ravens, the Georgia Tech product had a combined total of 18 catches, 178 yards and two touchdowns.

Waller was originally drafted by the Ravens in the sixth round (204th overall) of the 2015 NFL Draft. Oakland signed him from Baltimore's practice squad ahead of Week 13 in 2018.

The Raiders (3-2) head north to take on the Green Bay Packers (5-1) on Sunday.

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