Grant’s Slants: Raiders In Control

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Oakland Raiders QB Derek Carr

On Thursday, the Oakland Raiders played their final primetime game in Oakland, and what a game it was. The Raiders would defeat the Los Angeles Chargers 26-24 where, like usual in Raiders victories, the game was close all night. 

Due to Philip Rivers’ initial struggles, the game should have been won easily, but the Raiders allowed the Chargers to stick around. 

Positive Outcome

Regardless of how the game went, the end result is the same: a win. The Raiders move to 5-4 on the season, and with the rest of Week 10 wrapping up, the Raiders find themselves 7th in the AFC, due to a tiebreaker rule the Pittsburgh Steelers hold over them.

This game almost felt more like a practice from how many things we learned or noticed, and here are a few of them:

Consistency is everything.

The thing the raiders have been the most consistent at this season is leading at the half, just to lose the lead in the second half but saving the day with a fourth quarter comeback. That, or the team will not show up and get blown out by double digits. All of the Raiders’ victories were one possession games, while all but one of their losses have been double digit losses. The team is 5-4 but their point differential is -32. This level of consistency grants the Raiders the cardiac tag as there are no easy games.

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Derek Carr has not had a 300+ yard game all season, but silences the critics.

Its pretty weird how a team trending upwards can turn doubters in to. Following the loss to the Packers (and every other loss), Carr received criticism and contempt from fans. Now, the Raiders have made somewhat of a name for themselves, and preseason doubters are switching sides. 

Erik Harris and DJ Swearinger are going to be an interesting combination.

I have already claimed the nickname Thunder and Lightning for the pair. Swearinger as Thunder, because to his punishing open field hits. Harris as Lightning, due to his now nationally televised quickness and explosiveness.

The AFC West is WIDE open.

With the Chiefs losing to the Titans, the Raiders find themselves .5 games behind Kansas City. Not only that, but the combined record of the Raiders’ next two opponents (Bengals and Jets) is 2-16. These are both very winnable games for the team and facing Kansas City at with a potential record of 7-4, could have major implications in the AFC West. 

The offense appeared stale Thursday night.

Something didn’t feel right, like the Raiders adjusted their playcalling to make up for the Chargers’ powerful defensive line. Whatever happened, hopefully the team can capitalize on their long week before their get-right game at home against the Bengals.

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