Raiders Shrink Giants, 24-17

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In a less than thrilling matchup, the Oakland Raiders defeated the New York Giants, 24-17. In front of the home fans at O.co the Raiders, RaiderNation witness an ugly, sloppy affair. By virtue of this win, Oakland improves its record to 6-6, while Giants fall to 2-10. If the Raiders actually make the playoffs, this game marks a turning point in the process.

Most Valuable
If you watched a moment of the game, you would notice Cordarrelle Patterson everywhere. Snaring four passes for 97, the wideout use his speed to accelerate past defenders on a tunnel screen. In addition, Patterson streak downfield on punt coverage. With Cooper and Crabtree out, Patterson literally did all he possibly could to ensure a Raiders victory. Somehow, the team lists him as a third receiver. We will never know why Seth Roberts locked that job down.

Least Valuable
All of a sudden, the normally reliable Jalen Richard lost confidence or concentration in his abilities. First, he all but vanished from the offense (two touches, nine yards). Next, his continuous punt muffing almost cost the Raiders dearly. Lastly, when he did secure punt, his paltry 5.8 yards per runt signify a problem. With special teams often the ignored facet, yards exist for aggressive teams. Yet, Richard seems to lack that burst he displayed in 2016. Maybe the change in blocking scheme started to take a toll. Richard’s ypa dropped over a half-yard. Whatever the reason, Del Rio cannot afford to field a player in a key spot with shaky hands.

Stat to Know
For the first time in two seasons, Marshawn Lynch notched one hundred yards. During the course of the season, fans of opposing teams seemed more excited about Lynch’s return than RaiderNation. From the anthem to Marcus Peters to Aqib Talib, fans loved to complain about Lynch. Yet, these same diehards changed their turn when Lynch burst up the middle for a 51-yard touchdown. Football remains fickle. Yet, Marshawn Lynch plays hard, converts short yardage and keeps it moving.

Meaning
With the win, the Raiders draw into a three-way tie for first in the AFC West. Although the Chargers and Chiefs play lesser teams this month, the Raiders control their own destiny. Keep winning and the postseason once again features a Raiders flair. They could not afford to lose this game.

Next Up:
Next Sunday, the Raiders travel to Arrowhead and face the Chiefs. A Raiders victory locks up a tiebreaker and pushes Kansas City further into the abyss. Nevertheless, the Chiefs’ offense gives Oakland fits with speed and precision. The Raiders may need to win out. Derek Carr will need to throw Oakland to victory again.

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