The Oakland Raiders begin a stretch of back-to-back games in Oakland this weekend as they host the Carolina Panthers at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on Sunday, Nov. 27 at 1:25 p.m. PT. Including the Silver and Black's contest in Mexico City last week, the game marks the third of four consecutive home games for the team. The game also marks the final game of the year for the Raiders against NFC opponents, as the team has beaten the New Orleans Saints and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, while losing to the Atlanta Falcons. Last week, the Raiders made an international trip to play the Houston Texans in Mexico City on Monday Night Football and pulled out a 27-20, comeback victory. The Panthers played on Thursday Night Football last week, beating the New Orleans Saints, 23-20.
Here is the Game Preview, presented by 95.7 The Game.
Date:Sunday, Nov. 27Kickoff:1:25 p.m. PTSite:Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum (1966)Capacity/Surface:56,055/Overseeded BermudaRegular Season:Panthers lead, 3-2
Playing in the first Monday Night Football game outside of the United States, the Raiders overcame a seven-point, fourth-quarter deficit to earn the win over Houston. QB Derek Carr led the way in the final frame, throwing for 186 yards and two touchdowns in the fourth quarter. FB/RB Jamize Olawale led all receivers with 90 yards, including a 75-yard touchdown reception to level the game in the fourth. WR Amari Cooper recorded the game-winning score with 4:43 remaining on a 35-yard catch-and-run. On defense, LB Malcolm Smith had a big game, tying for the team lead with 10 tackles (nine solo), one interception and a key stop on a fourth-and-1 play late in the fourth quarter, giving the ball back to the Oakland offense. DE Khalil Mack and LB Bruce Irvin each recorded a sack in the game, and S Karl Joseph was active all night, racking up 10 tackles. The Raiders will host the Buffalo Bills next Sunday before getting ready for the division-rival Kansas City Chiefs on Thursday Night Football on Dec. 8. The Panthers will play another game on the West Coast next week, making a visit to the Seattle Seahawks.
CARR IN THE CLUTCH
This season, QB Derek Carr has orchestrated four fourth-quarter/ overtime comeback victories, earning wins over New Orleans, Baltimore, Tampa Bay and Houston. In the fourth quarter and overtime in 2016, Carr has thrown for 993 yards on 72-of-107 passing (67.3 percent) with nine touchdowns and just one interception for a league-leading passer rating of 121.0.
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Overview:The Panthers entered their 2016 campaign as the reigning NFC champions and appeared in their first Super Bowl since 2003 last season. The team, led by two-time NFL Coach of the Year Head Coach Ron Rivera, got off to a 1-6 start in 2016. Since then, the Panthers have won three of their last four and are coming off a divisional victory against the Saints.
Offense: Arguably the NFL's most dynamic quarterback, QB Cam Newton, a three-time Pro Bowler and the 2015 Most Valuable Player, leads his 15th ranked offense (352.3 yards per game) while recording 11 passing touchdowns and scoring four more on the ground. Although missing three games with an injury, RB Jonathan Stewart leads the team in rushing scores (five), attempts (110) and yards (365). Newton's weapons in the passing game consist of the franchise record holder in yards by a tight end, TE Greg Olsen, and third-year WR Kelvin Benjamin. Olsen, a Pro Bowler the last two seasons, leads the Panthers in both receptions (54) and receiving yards (745), while Benjamin owns the team's lead in receiving touchdowns (four).
Defense: The unquestioned leader of the Panthers' defense, LB Luke Kuechly leads both his team and the NFL in solo tackles this season with 71. Kuechly, manning the middle for the Carolina ball club, has contributed to the league's number two ranked rush defense, holding opponents to just 81.8 yards per game on the ground through 10 games. Twelve-year veteran LB Thomas Davis leads the team and is tied for an NFC South best in takeaways (three) with two interceptions and one fumble recovery on the year. Getting to the quarterback has been a theme for their club this season, posting 30.0 sacks in 10 games, tied for third most in the NFL, with DE Mario Addison's 6.5 leading the way.
• Raiders Head Coach Jack Del Rio (defensive coordinator) spent one season with the Panthers as defensive coordinator in 2002. During his lone season, he led the Panthers' defense to an NFL best in rushing average against (3.7 yard avg.). That same year, Raiders linebackers coach Sal Sunseri served as a defensive assistant to Coach Del Rio.
• Raiders offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave served as quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator during his two seasons with Carolina (1999-2000). The Panthers ranked second in the NFL in passing yards per game (260.1 yard avg.) and fourth in scoring in 1999. Musgrave (offensive coordinator) also mentored Panthers QB Joe Webb during their three seasons (2011-2013) together with the Minnesota Vikings.
• Raiders special teams coordinator Brad Seely spent four seasons coaching the special teams unit of the Panthers, earning Special Teams Coach of the Year honors in 1996 for his efforts. That year, Seely's unit led the NFL in opponents average punt return (5.4 yard avg.) and fifth in opponents average kickoff return (20.1).
• Panthers Head Coach Ron Rivera is a native of Fort Ord, Calif., before his family settled in Marina, Calif. He attended Seaside High School in Seaside, Calif., and was a three-sport star in football, basketball and baseball. Coach Rivera is also just the third Latino head coach in NFL history, joining Tom Flores with the Raiders (1979-1987) and Seattle Seahawks (1992-1994) and Tom Fears with the New Orleans Saints (1967-1970).
• Panthers assistant defensive backs/nickels coach Curtis Fuller began his coaching career as a special teams assistant with the Raiders in 2007.
• Panthers assistant defensive backs coach Richard Rodgers participated in the NFL's Minority Internship Program with the Raiders during the 1996 training camp.
• Panthers college scout Joel Patten was a former player for the Los Angeles Raiders from 1991-1992.
An exclusive look at the past matchups between the Oakland Raiders and Carolina Panthers. The two teams have met 5 times previously with the last matchup having occurred in 2012.
• Raiders first-round pick S Karl Joseph and Panthers third-round pick CB Daryl Worley patrolled the secondary for West Virginia's defense from 2013-2015 before entering the 2016 NFL Draft together.
• Raiders seventh-round draft pick G Vadal Alexander blocked on the same offensive line at LSU as Panthers G Trai Turner from 2012-2013. The two helped the team rush for a 2,630 yards and a school-record 37 touchdowns on the ground.
• Raiders starting C Rodney Hudson played two seasons (2007- 2008) with Panthers K Graham Gano during their time with the Seminoles of Florida State. Additionally, Raiders T Menelik Watson and Panthers WR Kelvin Benjamin spent the 2012 season together on the Seminoles' offense.
• Raiders LB Daren Bates and Panthers QB Cam Newton spent one season together (2010) with the Auburn Tigers, winning the BCS National Championship that year.
• Raiders CB David Amerson is a native of Greensboro, N.C., where he grew up and played for Dudley High School. Amerson went on to attend North Carolina State.
• Raiders DL Denico Autry is a native of Albemarle, N.C., and attended Albemarle High School.
• Panthers T Jordan Rigsbee is a native of Chico, Calif. where he attended Pleasant Valley High School and later attended Cal (2011- 2015) for his college ball.
• Panthers LB Shaq Thompson is a native of Sacramento, Calif., and attended Grant Union High School.