Raiders, Abram focus post-Chiefs anger on Falcons

While much of the fan base still hasn’t gotten over the sight of Travis Kelce being wide open in the end zone with 28 seconds to play, safety Johnathan Abram has let it go.
The Chiefs won. The Raiders lost. No use in anyone hanging their heads in shame, but there was a fair amount of anger about letting a potential sweep of the Super Bowl champions get away.
Ideally, the Raiders (6-4) use those emotions to their advantage Sunday when they visit the Atlanta Falcons (3-7).
“Of course, everybody’s pissed off,” Abram said Thursday in a teleconference. “It was a division game, it’s the Kansas City Chiefs. It’s one we all wanted, one we can’t get back. We look just look forward, we just have to go out this week and every week, make sure we do our part.
“That way we get a chance to face those guys again. That’s all we can hope for.”

Mahomes Magic #KCvsTB 11/29 on CBS
— Kansas City Chiefs (@Chiefs) November 23, 2020

While there’s six games to play, surely the Raiders have noticed that they’re currently the No. 7 seed in the AFC, which would mean a wild-card opener against the No. 2 seed. The Chiefs (9-1) are currently seeded No. 2 behind Pittsburgh (10-0).
Abram and several other defensive players missed practice all week on the COVID-19 reserve list for contract tracing after being in close contact with defensive end Clelin Ferrell.
“It was pretty difficult, a lot going on with the COVID protocols,” Abram said. “But it’s nothing that we haven’t seen. I’ve been on the contact list three times. I’m no stranger to it myself. But we persevered through it. We felt we had a really great game plan. We just didn’t execute everything the way it needed to be done.”
Coach Jon Gruden declined to throw anyone under the bus in terms of the blown coverage that allowed Kelce to be wide open after Mahomes broke outside of the pocket.
“The rush wasn’t as good as it was throughout the game and he was able to escape the pocket,” defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins said. “And then a mistake on the back end. Made us pay. He’s a great quarterback. He makes plays like that.”
The closest defender on the back end was Damon Arnette, who put his hands to his helmet. Abram’s own responsibilities on the play have not been detailed. He said corrections have been made but that the Raiders didn’t spend time obsessing over it the mistake and the loss.
Early in the fourth quarter, the Chiefs somehow neglected to cover Darren Waller and he caught a 3-yard touchdown pass all by his lonesome as the Raiders took a 24-21 lead. But the Kelce play, coming as it did on the final touchdown, is the one everyone will remember.
“We didn’t talk about it no more than any other play. It was just a correction, we came in on Monday, we fixed it,” Abram said. “The one thing I learned from it is you can do your job the entire game and the one play you don’t do your job, it shows up. It just so happened to show up at a critical moment in the game.”
Defensive coordinator Paul Guenther said he’s been encouraged by the week of practice.
“Guys have been great. I’m proud of our guys,” Guenther said.  “last week was a challenging week with the guys missing and all that stuff. I tell them, you’ve got to take lessons whether you win or lose. Especially when you lose . . . the guys are in good spirits, ready to go. I’d say they’re more pissed than anything.”
Gruden and Guenther, as well as Abram’s teammates, have cited the second-year safety as a source of fire and energy. His outward emotion occasionally spins out of control. Abram said he’s not putting on a show. It’s just the way he is.
“I don’t really think about any of that,” Abram said. “I just think about going out there and doing my job and playing the game the way it’s meant to be played. It shows with the passion. It just kind of pours out. We’ve got a lot of guys on this team who put in a lot of great effort and energy. I think we all feed off each other.”
Clelin Ferrell (96) came off the COVID-19 reserve list Thursday but may not be ready to face Atlanta. AP Photo
Ferrell returns, Brown gets closer
Ferrell came off the COVID-19 reserve list and was present at the facility, but did not practice. Trent Brown was in the house as well, but he did not practice either and he remains on the COVID-19 reserve list along with Lamarcus Joyner and practice squad running back Theo Riddick.
Gruden sounded skeptical Wednesday about the possibility of Ferrell facing Atlanta.
“I don’t know how he’s going to play, honestly. We’re going to do the right thing to ramp him up and make sure he’s OK,” Gruden said.
Olson: Mariota is improving
Here’s how offensive coordinator Greg Olson addressed the progress of Marcus Mariota, the quarterback the Raiders are paying $7.5 million per year to ostensibly be Derek Carr’s backup. Instead, Mariota was injured and has been unable to pass Nathan Peterman on the depth chart.
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“Derek takes every rep at practice for us, other than the show team against Paul’s defense, so we split reps between him and Nathan Paterman, and that’s what he’s been getting,” Olson said. “We had a little extra 7-on-7 today, specifically for Marcus and some young players both in the defensive secondary and young wide receivers. He’s getting stronger. He’s more balanced, and he’s improving. He’s getting better.”
— Arnette was a full participant in practice a day after sitting it out because of an illness. Amik Robertson, who is also ill, missed his second straight day.
— Safety Erik Harris missed practice with a calf injury. He was limited on Wednesday.

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