TAKEAWAY STREAK TOPS IN NFL: After rookie DE Matt Shaughnessy recovered a fumble in the first quarter of the October 4 contest versus the Texans in Houston and CB Chris Johnson intercepted a pass in the end zone just before halftime, The Oakland Raiders defense has now forced at least one turnover in 15 consecutive games, the longest streak in the NFL.
ELLIS THE ILLEST: DE Greg Ellis collected his team-high fourth sack during the October 4 contest versus the Texans in Houston. Ellis got his second and third sacks of the 2009 regular season during the September 20 win over the Chiefs in Kansas City. Ellis posted a sack in his first game as a Raider, dropping the Chargers QB for a five yard loss on September 14. Ellis, who totaled eight sacks for the Dallas Cowboys in 2008, now has 81 career sacks. He ranks eighth among active players in sacks.
KELLY POSTS DOUBLE DIGITS: DT Tommy Kelly posted double-digit tackles (13, 9 unassisted, 4 assisted) while leading the Silver and Black in stops during the October 4 contest versus the Texans in Houston. The tackle total marked a career-high for Kelly.
LECHLER STARTS ANOTHER STREAK: Pro Bowl P Shane Lechler has picked up where he left off in 2008, having recorded at least one punt of over 50 yards in every game so far in 2009 after booming four punts of over 50 yards during the October 4 contest versus the Texans in Houston. He had two punts of over 60 yards versus Houston. Lechler connected on a 53-yarder during the September 27 contest versus the Denver Broncos at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. Six of his seven punts traveled 50 yards or longer during the September 20 win over the Chiefs in Kansas City, including a 70-yarder, the seventh time in his pro career that a Lechler punt has traveled 70 yards or longer. He averaged almost 60 yards per punt versus Kansas City. Lechler recorded punts of 55 and 54 yards during the September 14 contest against the San Diego Chargers at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. Lechler recorded punts of more than 50 yards in every game in 2008 and had at least one punt of 50 yards or longer in 13 games in 2007.
JANIKOWSKI?S TBs: Sebastian Janikowski?s kickoff in the second half of the September 27 contest against Denver went into the end zone for a touchback, giving the kicker his fifth touchback of the season and moving him into a tie for fifth in the NFL in that category. The 10-year veteran, who has recorded 134 career touchbacks, tied for second in the NFL by matching a career-high with 22 touchbacks on kickoffs during the 2008 season.
BRANCH BREAKS ?EM OFF?AGAIN:S Tyvon Branch racked up a career-high 10 total tackles against the Broncos on September 27 at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. The second-year player snapped his previous career-high of nine tackles set in his first career start in the 2009 regular season opener against the San Diego Chargers on September 14 at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum.
HUFF PD:S Michael Huff made his first start of the season against the Broncos on September 27 and contributed a pass defensed, breaking up an attempt in the end zone.
FIRST FOR HOLLAND:CB Jonathan Holland was signed to the active roster prior to the game against the Broncos on September 27 and contributed immediately, returning three kickoffs for 66 yards including a long return of 31 yards. The returns were the first of Holland?s NFL career.
IT?S MINE:Rookie S Mike Mitchell recovered his second career fumble, pouncing on a third quarter fumble that was forced by LB Ricky Brown. Mitchell is tied for second in the NFL with two fumble recoveries, having recorded his first on special teams at Kansas City on September 20.
HUFF TAKES AWAY?THE SEQUEL: S Michael Huff intercepted two passes during the September 20 win over the Chiefs in Kansas City, upping his total to a league-leading three and adding to his turnover count of four. Huff had a hand in both turnovers produced by the Raider defense during the September 14 contest against the San Diego Chargers at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. Huff recovered a first quarter fumble in Raiders territory to halt a potential scoring drive and added an interception in the third quarter. Three of Huff?s four career interceptions have come versus the Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium.
SPREADING THE WEALTH: Six different players caught at least one pass during the September 20 win over the Chiefs in Kansas City. Five different players caught at least one caught pass for the Raiders during the 2009 season opener against San Diego at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on September 14. TE Zach Miller paced the Silver and Black with six catches while rookie WR Louis Murphy recorded four receptions against San Diego. RB Darren McFadden hauled in two passes?one from JaMarcus Russell and one from Bruce Gradkowski.
FIRST CAREER NFL CATCH FOR 12, 19: Raiders rookie Darrius Heyward-Bey posted his first reception as a pro, an 18-yard pass from QB JaMarcus Russell in the second quarter of the September 20 win over the Chiefs in Kansas City. Todd Watkins also recorded his first catch as a Raider and as a pro, a 28-yarder from Russell during the game-winning drive on September 20 at Kansas City.
TOUCHDOWN McFADDEN!: Raiders RB Darren McFadden, who led the Raiders in rushing touchdowns as a rookie with four, scored the game-winning touchdown on a 5-yard run in the waning moments of the September 20 win over the Chiefs in Kansas City. He scored his first NFL career touchdown on a 19-yard run last season in the Raiders? win over the Chiefs in Kansas City.
DOUBLE DIGITS FOR MORRISON: LB Kirk Morrison led the Raiders in tackles with 13 during the September 20 win over the Chiefs in Kansas City. Morrison established a career high in tackles last year (135) and has led the Silver and Black in tackles the past three seasons after finishing second as a rookie in 2005.
YOUTH IS SERVED: JaMarcus Russell, at age 24 and entering his third pro season, is the third-youngest starting quarterback in the NFL in 2009, behind two rookies?Matthew Stafford (21)of the Detroit Lions and Mark Sanchez (22) of the New York Jets.
YOUTH IS SERVED, PART II: The Oakland Raiders started two rookies at wide receiver?first round pick Darrius Heyward-Bey and fourth round selection Louis Murphy?for the September 14 contest against the San Diego Chargers, marking only the third time since 1977 that an NFL team started two rookie wide receivers in a season opener. In 1988, the San Diego Chargers started rookies Anthony Miller and Quinn Early at wide receiver while in 2000, the Cincinnati Bengals opened at wide receiver with Peter Warrick and Ron Dugans.
BIG PLAY: QB JaMarcus Russell and rookie WR Louis Murphy connected on a 57-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter against the Chargers at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on September 14. It was the first career touchdown for Murphy, who totaled four receptions for 87 yards in his regular season debut.
MILLER GAINS: TE Zach Miller led all receivers with six catches for 96 yards against the Chargers at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on September 14. His 96 receiving yards set a personal single-game high, eclipsing his 95-yard performance against the Chargers last season.
SEYMOUR ARRIVES: DE Richard Seymour collected two sacks for losses totaling seven yards in his Raiders debut against the Chargers. Seymour was one of just eight players in the league to produce two sacks on NFL Kickoff Weekend and is tied for the league lead in that category.
DYNAMIC DUO: RB?s Darren McFadden and Michael Bush combined for 123 yards on the ground on 29 attempts against the Chargers at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on September 14. McFadden paced the team with 68 yards rushing, while Bush contributed 55 yards including a four-yard touchdown run in the first quarter. McFadden also hauled in four passes for 25 yards.
BRANCH BREAKS ?EM OFF: Tyvon Branch made his first career start at SS against the Chargers and
established a career-high with nine total tackles including eight solo stops. The second-year player also added a pass defensed and a tackle for a loss.
HIGGINS MOVING THE CHARTS: Johnnie Lee Higgins? 70 career returns rank 10th on the Silver and Black?s all-time list while his and 712 career yards rank ninth.
T-HOW TIED FOR TOPS: Since 2007, LB Thomas Howard is tied for first in the NFL with Chicago?s Brian Urlacher for most interceptions by a linebacker with seven. Howard led the Raiders in interceptions in 2007 with six.