Five games into the 2016 season there are still plenty of questions that come up when people mention the Oakland Raiders. I’ve heard plenty of inaccurate statements and questionable questions from plenty of people & the one thing I ask myself after listening to critics is; “Are we watching the same games or are you living in the past when referring to the Raiders?” There has been a buzz around the Oakland Raiders organization since the arrival of Head Coach Jack Del Rio & his staff. The look of the team, the demeanor & attitude is something that has spread from the top to the bottom. Us as fans can be bias but now the league is starting to take notice & with our first home win this past Sunday against the San Diego Chargers; we have every intention to keep our winning ways going + silencing the doubters with solid play.
The Coliseum was definitely filled with people biting their nails this past Sunday due to yet another down to the wire game. The Raiders are learning how to win close games and that’s huge because we have yet to put all the pieces together. You can never rule out a rivalry game as an easy game but our young leader/captain Derek Carr guided us to a come from behind victory yet again. After his initial interception on the first drive of the game, he settled in and delivered a solid performance as he usually does. Completing 25/40 passes for 317 yards and two TD’s +plenty of clutch throws. He showed passion and grit by consistently yelling on the sidelines in attempt to gather the troops and fire them up to win this game & I couldn’t ask for a better person to run this team going forward. Collectively on the ground we gained 89 yards on 25 carries which if this was all by one individual it wouldn’t be considered a bad game by any means but the ball was spread around amongst multiple players. Rookie RB’s Deandre Washington & Jalen Richard carried the bulk of the task with Fullback Jamize Olawale getting a few carries & Carr having a couple of carries as well. With starter Latavius Murray out with turf toe, who knows when he will comeback but with this level of production; the Raiders aren’t pressing to rush him back. WR Amari Cooper finally reached the end zone this weekend which was a site to see. If you Let him tell it; he will tell you that he isn’t worried about the end zone because that time will come. Although being true; Raider Nation loves seeing #89 get in there. He torched single coverage all game long boasting a 6 catches for 138 yards + 1 TD.
On the defensive side of the ball we still have things to work out. It’s clear that the defense is still getting used to playing with each other & trying to gel as a unit but; in this game we played a tale of two halves. We were able to create four turnovers which is a great thing but we also let Philip Rivers sling the ball all over the field. Bend but don’t break is a coined term that comes to mind but we can’t surrender only 10 points by halftime just to come out and give up enough to have the game end 34-31. A few bright spots to mention are Rookie Karl Joseph having another great game. 1 pass defended, multiple solo tackles plus his 1st career interception. Rookie LB Cory James doesn’t look like he will give up the position at all following another solid performance. Newly signed free agent LB Perry Riley Jr. who was only with the team for a few days before Sunday started and forced a fumble + leading the team in tackles. He played lights out all game and didn’t look like he was just out of football.
All in all, were 4-1 and with another divisional opponent against the KANSAS City Chiefs looming; I can’t wait until Sunday. LET’S GO RAIDERS