The Las Vegas Raiders enter the bye at 3-2. From the monumental win in Kansas City, the mood around the team snd fan base feels a bit different. The Raiders gained a measure of confidence on Sunday. Funny, sixty game minutes can turn around the fortunes of an entire season. Yet, the bye gives the Raiders equal amounts of celebration, scheming, and rehabilitation. When they take the field against the Buccaneers, the team should look rather similar to what the lineup resembles for the rest of the season.
The media, the fanbase, and opponents counted the Raiders out on Sunday. The prevailing thought floated saw the team as entering the off-week at 2-3. As the axiom states ” this is why you play the game”. Las Vegas rolled up 490 total yards on a defense that looked lost for answers and grasping at proverbial straws. For all of the criticism, Derek Carr offered up a praiseworthy performance that he needed. For the longest minute, people questioned Carr. Leaving the field, you could sense the palpable emotion from a player that needed this not only for the record but for the team’s psyche.
“They had a heck of a game plan,” Jones said to Yahoo Sports. “.. came out with some formation we hadn’t seen on film and started to throw shots, especially out of the gun. They caught us off-guard a little bit. As a D-line, we harp on making sacks, affecting the quarterback, and we didn’t execute. We have to do a better job.”
While many anticipated that Derek Carr would checkdown and play conservatively, Vegas proved them wrong. Carr averaged 11.19 yards per attempt with a near 71-percent completion rate. That is to say that Gruden and Carr pragmatically picked their spots. From the two completions to Henry Ruggs or spotting Renfrow deep. At all three levels of the defense, Gruden attacked. According to Smith, Vegas caught the Chiefs off-guard. More of that, please.
Trent Brown played the entire game. Henry Ruggs looked crisp. Now, the team hopes that Damon Arnette and Maliek Collins can find their way back to the field. Like most teams, the Raiders struggled with injuries. In fact, Richie Incognito remains out. If players can get healthy, Vegas can use that depth. More importantly, the defense needs key pieces back. Arnette would solve issues at corner. Considering Mike Evans and Chris Godwin await the Raiders in Las Vegas.