FPC Raiders Forum: Positivity to Build On

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Raiders Head Coach Jon Gruden

Fresh off their 31-24 victory, The Oakland Raiders look to build upon the positives. Granted, in a tumultuous start of the season, the team sits 2-2. Not great, but at least they do not have a losing record. Moving forward, the team needed to play a more consistent style of football. With that said, FPC Raiders writers Ray Aspuria and Terrance Biggs discuss with the positives.

Realistically, what three things did this game prove to you?

Aspuria

1. Surprisingly, the Raiders can win without getting sacks. 

Oakland’s defensive line didn’t get home on the Colts, but they did enough to disrupt the pocket and force throws. 

2. If the offense can consistently move the chains and score, this depleted defense can hold.

When given ample time to rest, the run defense is quite good. The anchor linemen — Corey Liuget and Johnathan Hankins — along with the linebackers and safeties are aggressive and close up lanes surprisingly well. 

3. Derek Carr will go deep — even when targets are double- and triple-covered. 

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When given proper protection by his offensive line, Carr will take deep shots. While they didn’t connect as often as you’d like, the Raiders did challenge the Colts defense vertically. 

Biggs

1. Jon Gruden actually opened up the playbook. Using Trevor Davis’ speed in the run game gave the Colts fits. Scoring on a 60-yard burst, Davis’ explosion will allow the Raiders many more options and looks.

2. Josh Jacobs continues to justify his draft selection. In all honesty, when the Raiders selected him, I didn’t think a back should go in the first round. With that said, Jacobs’ blend of power and speed give Derek Carr yet another weapon. Teams need to acount for him.

3. Jon Gruden deserves credit for finding Darren Waller. Stuck on the sidelines in Baltimore, after multiple suspensions, Gruden saw something in Waller. The Raiders actually employ a matchup nightmare at tight end. Waller’s speed and agility make it difficult for linebackers to stay with.

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