The Las Vegas Raiders reportedly agreed to terms with quarterback Nick Mullens on a one-year deal Friday.
He receives about $1 million guaranteed and can earn up to $2.5 million, according to ESPN.
Mullens, 27, will back up veteran starter Derek Carr, with Garrett Gilbert also on the roster.
Mullens is 5-12 as an NFL starter, completing 64.6 percent of his passes for 4,861 yards, 26 touchdowns and 22 interceptions in 20 games with the San Francisco 49ers (2018-20) and Cleveland Browns (2021).
–Field Level Media
The Las Vegas Raiders are interested in talking to former New York Giants head coach Joe Judge to be their special teams coordinator, ESPN reported Monday.
New Raiders coach Josh McDaniels and general manager Dave Ziegler worked with Judge in New England from 2012-19. Judge was promoted to ST coordinator in 2015.
Judge has also been linked to the Patriots in a return as special teams chief there.
Either way, Judge is expected to take his time after being fired by the Giants last month after a 10-23 record.
The Raiders hired Patrick Graham as defensive coordinator. Graham was the DC under Judge in New York.
–Field Level Media
The Las Vegas Raiders are reportedly considering former Chicago Bears defensive coordinator Sean Desai for the same position on new coach Josh McDaniels’ staff.
NFL Media reported that Desai will meet with the Raiders on Thursday.
Desai, 38, was a defensive quality control coach (2013-18) and safeties coach (2019-20) with Chicago before being promoted to defensive coordinator in 2021. The Bears finished No. 3 in passing defense and No. 6 in total defense in first season in charge.
Desai was not retained by the Bears when head coach Matt Nagy was fired after the season and replaced by Colts defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus.
The Raiders finished 14th in total defense and 26th in scoring defense in 2021 under defensive coordinator Gus Bradley
–Field Level Media
Joe Burrow passed for 244 yards and two first-half touchdowns as the Cincinnati Bengals ended a 31-year postseason losing streak with a 26-19 victory over the visiting Las Vegas Raiders on Saturday afternoon.
Evan McPherson kicked four field goals for the Bengals.
Cincinnati advanced out of the opening round of the playoffs for the first time since the 1990 season.
“It’s a great win for us, for the city and the organization, but, you know, we expected this. So, it’s not gonna be a big celebration like it was when we won the division,” Burrow said. “We took care of business, now it’s on to the next round.”
Cincinnati led by 10 points after McPherson’s fourth field goal, a 28-yarder, with 6:46 to play.
The Raiders pulled to within 26-19 on the ensuing drive on Daniel Carlson’s 28-yard FG – his fourth of the game as well — with 3:37 remaining. Las Vegas converted a huge fourth-and-5 from its own 44-yard line to keep alive the drive.
The Bengals could not run out the clock, giving Las Vegas the ball at its own 35 with 1:51 to play. The Raiders moved to the Cincinnati 9-yard line but failed to get the tying score on four snaps, the final one ending with an interception by the Bengals’ Germaine Pratt with 12 seconds to play.
Derek Carr threw for 310 yards and a touchdown in the loss for Las Vegas, completing passes to seven different receivers. Josh Jacobs rushed for 83 yards on 13 carries.
The Raiders, making their first playoff appearance since 2016, have not recorded a postseason victory since the 2002 season.
“The Bengals beat us today — we came up short today,” Carr said. “Honestly, I’m just trying to hold back emotion because I didn’t plan on that happening. You know, I didn’t expect it to have to go that way. I just felt so confident in the game plan. So, it’s just hard right now. But looking at the season, you definitely have some pieces there. It’ll be interesting to see what happens.”
Las Vegas got on the board on its opening drive, moving 47 yards to Carlson’s 47-yard field goal with 9:28 to play in the first quarter. Cincinnati answered with Burrow’s 7-yard touchdown pass to C.J. Uzomah and a 7-3 lead with 4:35 left in the quarter.
On the ensuing possession, Carr fumbled while being sacked from behind by the Bengals’ Trey Hendrickson, with the loose ball picked up by Larry Ogunjobi and returned to the Las Vegas 15-yard line. Cincinnati settled for a 31-yard FG by McPherson that expanded its advantage to 10-3.
The teams traded field goals early in the second quarter, with McPherson hitting from 30 yards at the 10:23 mark and Carlson converting from 28 yards out with 7:58 to play until halftime.
Burrow added to the Bengals’ lead with a scrambling, 10-yard TD pass to Tyler Boyd with 1:51 left in the half. That left plenty of time for Carr, who drove to a 14-yard scoring pass to Zay Jones to pull the Raiders to within 20-13 at the break.
The only scoring in the third quarter was a 43-yard field goal by McPherson on the Bengals’ opening drive of the half that pushed their lead to 23-13.
Carlson hit from 34 yards away on the second play of the fourth quarter to bring the Raiders within a touchdown, 23-16.
–Field Level Media
Derek Carr was 20-for-25 passing for 201 yards and a touchdown, Peyton Barber ran for a score, and the host Las Vegas Raiders beat the Denver Broncos 17-13 on Sunday.
Hunter Renfrow caught a touchdown pass and Josh Jacobs rushed for 129 yards for Las Vegas (8-7), which overcame three turnovers.
Drew Lock was 15-for-22 passing for 153 yards, and Javonte Williams had a rushing touchdown for the Broncos (7-8), who had just eight first downs and 158 total yards and saw their slim playoff hopes take another hit.
After a scoreless first quarter, both teams broke through in the second. The Raiders struck first when Carr found Renfrow in the back corner of the end zone for a 10-yard touchdown and a 7-0 lead.
Denver answered on the ensuing drive on a 49-yard field goal by Brandon McManus to make the score 7-3.
The teams traded punts and Las Vegas had the ball at its 33. Jacobs fumbled on second down, giving the Broncos the ball at the Raiders’ 41. They couldn’t get a first down, and McManus kicked a 55-yard field goal to cut the deficit to 7-6 with 32 seconds left in the half.
On the next snap, Bradley Chubb intercepted Carr at the Las Vegas 22 and returned it to the 1. Williams ran it in on first down to give Denver a 13-7 halftime lead.
The Raiders took the opening drive of the second half 75 yards on nine plays, capped by a 5-yard touchdown run by Barber and a 14-13 Las Vegas lead.
The Broncos had a chance to take the lead again when Carr fumbled, but McManus missed a 55-yard field goal try near the end of the third quarter. Las Vegas then used 13 plays to go just 32 yards but ate 7:38 of the clock and increased its lead to 17-13 on Dan Carlson’s 41-yard field goal.
Denver was forced to punt with about four minutes left and couldn’t stop the Raiders from running out the clock.
–Field Level Media
The Denver Broncos have slim hopes of reaching the playoffs after a home loss to Cincinnati last week. They likely have to win their final three games and get some help to slip into the postseason for the first time in six years.
And they will have to do their part with a backup quarterback starting at the Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday.
Head coach Vic Fangio announced Wednesday that Drew Lock will get the start for Teddy Bridgewater, who left the loss to the Bengals with a concussion. Lock, the Broncos’ No. 1 quarterback last year, lost the job to Bridgewater in preseason and has seen limited action in 2021.
He led Denver (7-7) on its only touchdown drive of the game in the 15-10 loss to Cincinnati but also had a costly fumble in the red zone. He will have a full week of reps with the first-team offense ahead of the game at Las Vegas.
“The only thing that’s really going to change this week is that I’m actually going to be out there taking the reps,” Lock said Wednesday. “My prep that I’ve done throughout the week as a backup — I’m still going to take it to the next level with being the starter, but most of my planning throughout the week and what I’ve done prepping-wise is probably going to stay the same. I may even amp it up a little bit with now being able to take real practice reps.”
Fangio said Bridgewater will be the starter when he is healthy. Bridgewater, along with defensive lineman Shamar Stephen (knee) and Dre’Mont Jones (foot), linebacker Kenny Young (concussion), running back Melvin Gordon III (thumb/hip) and safety Kareem Jackson (back) didn’t practice Wednesday while Mike Boone, PJ Locke and Malik Reed were activated from the COVID-19/reserve list.
The Raiders are coming off a last-second win at Cleveland on Monday, a game that was moved back two days because of COVID-19 issues with the Browns. The victory was tempered with the shoulder injury to safety Johnathan Abram, who was scheduled to undergo season-ending surgery. Then on Wednesday cornerback Brandon Facyson was placed on the COVID-19/reserve list, eroding the secondary depth.
Las Vegas receiver Zay Jones (toe), linebacker Denzel Perryman (ankle), tight end Darren Waller (knee/back), defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins (back) and running back Josh Jacobs (illness) didn’t take part in the walk through on Wednesday.
Although the teams have the same record, Las Vegas is in a better position to reach the playoffs after the 16-14 win at Cleveland. The Raiders play two of their last three games at home and have a better conference record.
“We’re 7-7. We are what our record is. We just have to take it one at a time,” defensive end Maxx Crosby said after Monday’s win. “This was a big step on the road, no matter what it is. We had some guys out. They had some guys out, and we got a win. We found a way. So we got Denver next week. We need to lock back in. We’ve only got six days to recover. We’re excited about the challenge.”
–Field Level Media
Las Vegas Raiders safety Jonathan Abram is done for the season, it was determined Wednesday, and will have surgery Thursday to repair a shoulder injury.
Abram dislocated his shoulder during Monday night’s win against the Cleveland Browns and underwent an MRI exam one day later. NFL Network reported that the third-year pro considered playing through the pain but was advised by doctors to have the season-ending surgery.
Abram was ruled out of Monday’s game after getting hurt in the fourth quarter, missing his first defensive snaps of the 2021 season and finishing with nine tackles (two for losses).
The 25-year-old ranks second on the team with 116 tackles and has one interception and one fumble recovery through 14 starts for the Raiders (7-7).
A first-round pick in 2019, Abram is no stranger to shoulder injuries. He tore his rotator cuff and labrum during the first quarter of his NFL debut in the 2019 season opener and missed the rest of the campaign.
The Raiders host the Denver Broncos (7-7) on Sunday.
–Field Level Media