After dispatching the Browns in wintry Cleveland, the Raiders headed to LA to battle the Chargers. With a mix of late-game luck and Chargers’ ineptitude, Vegas emerged victorious, 31-26. In what many will consider a pulse-pounding, the Raiders held on at the end. With that win, they run their record to 5-3. At the halfway point, the team looks to a favorable part of their schedule.
Derek Carr did not tally exceptional stats. Yet, the last two games showed the world more than gaudy statistics ever could. Despite throwing for only 160 yards, Carr took chances. On a third-and-two, where the checkdown looked like the right play, he decided on a deep shot. Granted, the pass fell incomplete, but the intention stood. Derek Carr does not seem, at least lately, to be the same passive pocket passer. Carr, of late, extends plays with his legs. More importantly, he finds a way to connect vertically with receivers.
If you take away anything from the running game, focus on one fact: fourteen carries for Josh Jacobs. For weeks, he looked rather sluggish with the high volume of carries. Devontae Booker’s eight carries for 68 yards and a touchdown, allowed Jacobs to rest. As a result, Jacobs looked fresher and quicker with less use. Booker, like Jacobs, heads upfield and gets to speed rather quickly. The best backs for this offense are those that get downhill and won’t dance in the hole.
Forty-Four Through the Door
When Tyrod Taylor spelled Justin Herbert after the latter sat for a play, LA needed to attempt a two-point conversion. Taylor evaded a couple of tackles. However, the full-on met Nick Kwiatkoski, who soundly stood him up and made the stop. Additionally, Kwiatkoski totaled thirteen stops, including ten solos.
While many will say they lucked out, via two dropped touchdowns, the Las Vegas Raiders handled business. Good teams find a way to win these. You can see confidence starting to bubble to the surface. From the aggressive Carr to the emergence of Isaiah Johnson, for a game, this team begins to click, Granted, nothing is easy, and won’t be. Meanwhile, the Raiders continue to stack victories. They welcome the Denver Broncos next.