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Rich Bisaccia’s Las Vegas Raiders say their goals are all still alive — and they’re right

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Jon Gruden’s long, intolerant shadow will hang over the Las Vegas Raiders franchise for months, if not years. But the events and sordid revelations of the past week don’t necessarily have to blot out a once — and potentially still — promising season. That’s why the Raiders’ new power trio — owner Mark Davis, fully-empowered general manager Mike Mayock, and interim head coach Rich Bisaccia — were determined Wednesday to shift the focus from the recent past to the future.

Fresh message from interim head coach Rich Bisaccia

Good on the Raiders’ trifecta for moving forward. Gruden is gone in disgrace, but he didn’t make a single pass, run, block, or tackle in the season’s first five weeks. The players who did are still here. And Bisaccia is determined to not waste the potentially once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

But first, he had to hit the reset button. That came Wednesday morning when first Davis and then Bisaccia addressed the team. It was the first time Bisaccia did so as a head football coach at any level. A big part of his message?

“Their goals are still alive.”

Which is absolutely correct. The Raiders are 3-2 and currently the seventh seed in the AFC. Reminder — seven teams make the playoffs from each conference now. And the Raiders, with a talented roster and an experienced coaching staff, aren’t planning to merely play out the string over the next three months.

“We have a good team. We have high expectations, high standards,” Bisaccia said. The Raiders’ losses in each of the past two weeks were “a bump in the road, not the end of the road.”

Can the Raiders turn things around against the Broncos on Sunday?

In a weird way, Las Vegas might be better off without Gruden — at least in the short term. It would have been untenable for him to remain a leader of these men after his long history of racist, sexist, and homophobic private language became public. Not with dozens of Black players and Carl Nassib, the NFL’s first openly gay player, in the locker room.

It’s no coincidence that the Raiders came out flat and disinterested against the Bears in Week 5 — and that was after just one Gruden slur was leaked. His resignation was addition by subtraction.

But there’s no deficit in credibility atop the coaching staff now that Bisaccia is in charge. He’s a popular, respected coach with decades of experience.

Our guess is the Raiders will respond with emotion Sunday against the Denver Broncos.

Raiders’ coaching staff, roster remain in place

From an operational standpoint, not a ton will change. Longtime NFL offensive coordinator Greg Olson will take over play-calling duties, but it’s not like he’s going to trash Gruden’s system. Derek Carr is still under center. The defense didn’t suddenly purge a bunch of talent.

Plus the upcoming schedule isn’t exactly daunting. Las Vegas’ remaining opponents are .500.

“The common denominator from the players has been focus and professionalism and that’s what I’ve gotten back from them,” Mayock said Wednesday. “We’ve worked too hard, we’ve put too much into this, we believe in Rich and we’re going forward, we’re moving forward.”

Is that wishful thinking more than reality? Perhaps. But sometimes you can speak things into existence.

“I think the mood is good,” Bisaccia said. “.. My concern is, ‘what’s it going to be five days from now? What’s it going to be a week from now?’”

The calendar is an ally in that regard. After visiting Denver, the Raiders host the Eagles and then get a bye. It’s entirely conceivable that they get to that bye 5-2. And then, who knows?

“We’re all in,” Mayock said. “Every single one of our goals is still out there.”



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Saints vs. Seahawks prediction, pick, odds, and how to watch the Week 7 game

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This New Orleans Saints vs. Seattle Seahawks matchup is a little bit less intriguing than the NFL had originally planned, with Seattle rolling with Geno Smith under center while Russell Wilson is injured. With Seattle hanging onto a thread in the NFC West, will a home game against Jameis Winston be enough to save their season? Here are the TV channels and ways to listen, the current NFL odds, and our pick and prediction for the Saints vs. Seahawks game.

New Orleans Saints vs. Seattle Seahawks prediction and odds | Week 7

  • Spread: Saints -5
  • Moneyline: Saints -226, Seahawks +188
  • Over/Under: 43.5 (Over -110, Under -110)

Odds from DraftKings sportsbook

Saints vs. Seahawks prediction

For the past several years, a Saints vs. Seahawks game would have been a marquee matchup of future Hall of Fame quarterbacks Drew Brees and Russell Wilson. That is far from what we are going to get in this one. Brees retired this offseason, and Wilson is out until at least Week 10 with a finger injury. So instead, we will be getting Geno Smith and Jameis Winston.

After stepping in for Wilson after the injury, Smith looked good and almost led the team to a comeback victory against the Rams. Unfortunately, the next week they lost to the Steelers in overtime. It was a good effort, but the Seahawks are now below .500.

The Saints, meanwhile, have been up and down all year. During their tour of the NFC East, they lost to the lowly New York Giants but then followed that up with a win against the Washington Football Team. You just never know which version of Winston you are going to get.

Injuries clouding the picture for both Seattle and New Orleans

It’s not only Wilson out for Seattle — there are also question marks surrounding their running back corps. Chris Carson is on IR with a neck injury, and his replacement Alex Collins, who played well last week, will also miss this matchup. That means Rashaad Penny will likely get the bulk of the carries for the Seahawks.

Things are not much better for New Orleans. Their injury report includes offensive linemen Erik McCoy and Terron Armstead, defensive end Marcus Davenport, linebacker Kwon Alexander, and others.

With both teams beat up, I think the play is to the under 43.5. Both offenses will struggle, and I have little faith that Smith will be able to accomplish much this time around.

Saints vs. Seahawks Prediction: Saints 17, Seattle 10

How to watch and listen to Saints vs. Seahawks this week

  • Start time: 8:15 PM ET
  • Channel: ESPN
  • Live stream:
    • Hulu + Live TV
    • fuboTV
    • YouTube TV
    • DirecTV NFL Sunday Ticket
    • NFL Mobile App
    • NFL GamePass
  • Listen:
    • Local Seattle: 710 ESPN Seattle, KIRO Radio 97.3, & Westwood One
    • Local New Orleans: WWL 870 AM/105.3 FM
    • TuneIn Radio
    • Sirius XM Radio



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Colts vs. 49ers prediction, pick, odds, and how to watch the Week 7 game

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The Colts vs. 49ers is a battle between two very different teams. On one side, you have the Colts, who are coming off a dominant performance against the Texans. On the other, you have the 49ers, who still have questions at the QB position and are now coming off a bye. Here’s the channel for the Week 7 contest, the current NFL odds, and a pick and prediction.

Indianapolis Colts vs. San Francisco 49ers prediction and odds | Week 7

  • Spread: San Francisco 49ers -3.5
  • Moneyline: 49ers -210, Colts +175
  • Over/Under: 45 (Over -110, Under -110)
  • Odds from DraftKings sportsbook.

The Indianapolis Colts come into this game looking to build off their 31-3 win over the Houston Texans last week. They are still a long way from the top of the AFC South at 2-4, but a somewhat easy schedule in the coming weeks could put them back in contention.

Carson Wentz has thrown for 1,545 yards, 9 touchdowns, and an interception on 64.2% passing so far this year, and he looks more and more comfortable in the Indianapolis’ offense as the season progresses. Meanwhile, Jonathan Taylor has rushed for a team-high 472 yards and 4 touchdowns. His game against Houston was his best of the year, and he is finally falling into the RB1 role that everyone imagined for him.

The 49ers are coming off a bye but suffered a tough 17-10 loss to the Cardinals the week before. They played Arizona well, and in hindsight, a one-TD loss to the only undefeated team in the NFL is not a bad thing. The bigger problem is that they’re dealing with two banged-up QBs in Jimmy Garoppolo and Trey Lance and a mess at the RB position. It still isn’t clear who their lead back will be in this contest.

Colts vs. 49ers prediction

If you had asked me this question at the beginning of the season, I never would have thought of predicting a possible upset for the Colts on the road against San Francisco. However, here we are. Indianapolis is 7-2 ATS in their last nine road games and 4-1 ATS in their last five contests overall. Wentz is playing like the best QB in this matchup, and as great as the 49ers’ coaching staff is, they have their hands tied behind their backs due to injuries.

Colts vs. 49ers prediction: Colts 24, 49ers 21

How to watch and listen to Colts vs. 49ers this week

  • Start time: 8:20 PM ET
  • Channel: NBC
  • Live stream: 
    • Sling
    • NBC App
    • Hulu + Live TV
    • fuboTV
    • YouTube TV
    • DirecTV NFL Sunday Ticket
  • Listen:
    • Local Indianapolis: Indianapolis on 93.5 & 107.5 The Fan and 97.1 HANK FM.
    • Local San Francisco: KGO 810 AM and KSAN 107.7 FM The Bone
    • TuneIn Radio
    • Sirius XM Radio

Ryan Gosling is the Chief Written Content Officer for Pro Football Network. Follow him on Twitter @ryangoslingPFN.





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Do the Carolina Panthers favor Deshaun Watson over Sam Darnold?

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The Carolina Panthers are sitting at 3-3 on the season, fresh off of three straight losses. A key factor in those games? Sam Darnold throwing 6 interceptions. After starting the year on fire with his new team, he has cooled off. Do the Panthers have buyer’s remorse? According to what sources tell PFN Insider Tony Pauline, the Panthers may be eyeing Deshaun Watson as a potential replacement if things don’t turn around.

Could the Panthers be in on a trade for Deshaun Watson?

After defeating the Jets, Saints, and Texans in the first three weeks of the season, the Panthers have since lost to the Cowboys, Eagles, and Vikings. Darnold has looked particularly bad in the last two games. At home against the Eagles, he completed 56.8% of his passes for 177 yards, 1 touchdown, and 3 interceptions. He wasn’t any better when the Vikings traveled to Carolina the very next week. Darnold connected on just 41.5% of his attempts for 207 yards, 1 TD, and 1 INT.

Carolina’s next two games before the November 2 trade deadline are road trips against the Atlanta Falcons (2-3) and New York Giants (1-5). If Darnold cannot right the ship against two flailing franchises, the Panthers might move on.

Although the Houston Texans finished 4-12 in 2020, Watson was lights out. He led the league in passing yards (4,823) and yards per attempt (8.9), was third in completion rate (70.2%), and threw 33 TDs to just 7 INTs.

Are the Panthers sold on Sam Darnold as their future?

Pauline was the first to break the news that Carolina owner David Tepper wanted to pursue Watson via trade prior to the allegations against the Texans QB coming to the forefront. At the time, Pauline stated:

“Now, the big noise I have heard over the past 24 hours comes from the Carolina Panthers. I spoke with someone last night, and we spoke about Deshaun Watson. This is a person in the know, and they told me that the Panthers will do anything they can to acquire Watson, and they will pay any price to acquire Deshaun Watson.”

Sources tell Pauline that if Darnold continues his poor play of the past three weeks, the Panthers could make a move for Watson. Tepper bought the team in 2018, and he is not one to sit around while his team underperforms. In fact, while everyone expected Matt Rhule to be the next head coach of the New York Giants in 2020, Tepper had other ideas.

Sources also tell Pauline that if Carolina were to get involved in the Watson sweepstakes, it would likely be just before the trade deadline.

Understanding this, Houston Texans general manager Nick Caserio may opt to wait another week or two to see if the Panthers do enter the bidding war in order to drive up compensation. This, of course, makes sense, considering the Dolphins may be looking at a trade for Watson as well.

According to reports throughout the offseason, the Texans are looking for around three first-round picks for Watson, if not more. A three-time Pro Bowler at the most important position in sports may just be worth such compensation.

Still, his 22 sexual assault lawsuits weigh heavily. Nevertheless, the Panthers don’t have an excess of draft capital to make a move. In fact, in 2022, they are without their second and third-round picks due to prior trades. Other than that, they have the usual allotment of picks in future years.



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