There is truly no place like home. After a five-game, six-week road trip, the Oakland Raiders finally played another home game in Oakland. The members of the Black Hole appeared starved for a home game, and rightfully so. Recognizing the importance of the game, the Coliseum came out rocking, giving the Raiders extra life to a 31-24 victory over the Detroit Lions.
This win was a huge victory for the future of the season and the Raiders will move to 4-4 and keep the team 1.5 games behind Kansas City for first place in the AFC West.
Even following a colossal win, there are many takeaways from the game, and some of them are not pretty.
The Raiders have allowed two 400-yard games in their last three.
It is fairly simple: The Raiders get sliced and diced by good quarterbacks. Matthew Stafford, Aaron Rodgers, and Patrick Mahomes have all logged 400+ yard games against them this season. Perhaps the fans had been fleeced by the defense locking down Joe Flacco, Kirk Cousins, and Chase Daniel, but the defense needs significant help. On the other hand, the defensive line has been rocking, and has recorded five sacks in their last two games.
The Raiders’ future is beaming. Rookies Josh Jacobs, Hunter Renfrow, Foster Moreau, Maxx Crosby, and even Alec Ingold are all constantly standing out during games. Jacobs has been physically and statistically dominating, making a great case for not only Rookie of the Year, but Offensive Player of the Year as well. Renfrow has been the team’s go-to receiver on third down but has now scored two touchdowns in his last two games. Not trying to be overshadowed by Darren Waller, Moreau has been stepping up for the Raiders, especially in the red zone. Crosby steadily blows up backfields all season, while Ingold has been blowing up potential threats to Josh Jacobs in the red zone. Enjoy them while their rookie contracts last and hope for all of them to resign.
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This is the Derek Carr we are going to get. Since his breakout year in 2016, Carr has been struggling with a bit of an identity crisis. He has had his fair share of both good and bad games, but now he appears to be settling in. Over his last three games, Carr threw for 289, 285, and 293 yards and a total of seven touchdowns and one interception. Carr also leads the league in completion percentage (71.2) and is eighth in the league in yards per attempt (7.9). Thanks to Josh Jacobs establishing a running game for the team, Carr did not need to make risky throws. Maybe this is not the best Carr can be, but he looks comfortable.
The running back committee worked perfectly. Throughout the game, Jacobs was targeted twice and dropped both passes. Yes, one pass angled with the sun, leading to a difficult catch, but both passes hit him in the hands. Seeing this struggle, the Raiders broke out their underutilized backs, Jalen Richard and DeAndre Washington. The pair would combine for 77 receiving yards, while Richard led the team in receiving yards.
This defense is nowhere close to great but have the ability to show up when it really counts. Daryl Worley had an incredible one-handed interception of Stafford while the entire defense locked the Lions out of the endzone on four straight plays to seal the game. I did not agree with Oakland taking a time out with the clock running on the Lions’ fourth down. Yet, in the end, the Raiders came out on top.