Raiders’ Jalen Richard upbeat despite ‘rough day at work’

OAKLAND, Calif. — The first Jalen Richard fumble on a punt return Sunday came on a 19-yard runback, nearly negating a three-and-out the Raiders forced on the game’s opening series. The second was a muff that Richard scooped and salvaged for a 2-yard gain later in the first quarter. The third was a muff to end the third.

Three strikes.

Maybe, not out.

The Raiders fended off the New York Giants in a 24-17 win Sunday in part because New York did not capitalize on a handful of miscues. A few involved Richard, as the running back had trouble keeping the football secure. He did maintain his confidence.

“Just a rough day at work,” Richard said. “I’ll be back. It ain’t like I lost any talent. I’ll be back next week doing the same thing I’ve been doing.”

New York did not punt in the fourth quarter, so it’s unclear if special teams coordinator Brad Seely intended to turn to someone else. Richard said after the game he did not anticipate such recourse from coaches.

“Oh, nah, nah, nah,” Richard said. “That’s one thing about them, man. I ain’t gonna lie. They really trust me. I told Coach after the game, I appreciate the trust. Even after the second one, Jack (Del Rio) told me he trusted me. I’ve got a lot of love and a lot of trust from my teammates. Nobody was getting mad at me. They’ve seen me catch the ball all the time. They understand the job, too. …

“At the end of the day, we got the (win). We’re still in it, and we’ve got a chance for these playoffs. That’s the main goal.”

Safety Keith McGill II recovered two of Richard’s fumbles.

Elsewhere in the turnover department, defensive end Khalil Mack and outside linebacker Bruce Irvin both strip-sacked quarterback Geno Smith with the Raiders recovering. Two Giants defensive backs dropped easy interceptions. Wide receiver Johnny Holton lost a fumble late in the third quarter.

That left the Raiders with a plus-one turnover differential.

Despite Richard’s trouble fielding punts from Brad Wing, the team avoided a negative turnover margin for the second straight week and just third tough this season.

“He mis-hits a lot of balls,” Richard said of Wing. “His balls come out funky all the time. He’ll kick a spiral. He’ll kick ducks. I don’t know if it’s purposefully, but sometimes, he mis-hits them. That with the wind, a lot of them curved on me today. Some I probably should have fair caught, just to look the ball in a little more. …

“But no excuses. (Shoot), I’ve got to catch the ball. I’m in the National Football League. I’ve got to catch the ball.”

This Sunday, he expects to have that chance against the Chiefs in Kansas City.

Notable

— Mack and Irvin recorded 11 and seven quarterback pressures, respectively. Mack’s total led all NFL defenders for Week 13, according to Pro Football Focus.

— Cornerback David Amerson (foot) missed his fifth straight game. He was listed Friday as questionable to face the Giants after practicing throughout the week as a limited participant. Linebacker Cory James (knee) and wide receiver Amari Cooper (concussion, ankle) were also inactive because of injuries.

— Left tackle Donald Penn missed three snaps in the third quarter to an undisclosed injury. Rookie fourth-round pick David Sharpe filled in for him. It was Sharpe’s first offensive action, although he struggled in the small sample size.

Contact reporter Michael Gehlken at mgehlken@reviewjournal.com. Follow @GehlkenNFL on Twitter.

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