The Oakland Raiders began their 10-day stay in Florida with a complete win over the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday. Many are saying the Raiders 33-16 win was the best performance of the season for the Raiders. While, the Raiders were dominant on both sides of the ball for the better part of four quarters, there were still some issues.
I’ll admit, prior to the game, I even believed the Raiders would let the lowly Jaguars hang around, but the team proved me wrong (mostly) as it took a 20-6 lead into the half after another brilliant two-minute drill by Derek Carr and the Raiders offense put Oakland in the end zone with seconds to spare. It was the 18th time since 2014 that Carr threw for a TD inside of two minutes to go (in the first half or second), which is the most of any QB during that time.
The Raiders offense couldn’t quite finish the job on their first two drives, which allowed Sebastian Janikowski to do what he does best and kick a pair of chip shots, from 26 and 32 yards.
After the Jags responded with a field goal of their own, the Raiders finally finished a drive in the end zone. Latavius Murray, who had missed the previous two games, punched the ball in for the score.
To start the second half, the Raiders defense bent but didn’t break as they allowed an opening-drive field goal from 44 yards out. That would make the score 20-9. The Raiders matched Jacksonville’s field goal and raised them one after Jano kicked a 44-yarder to end the third quarter and a 52-yarder to start the fourth.
After the Jags scored a touchdown of their own with four minutes left, the Raiders responded with another TD of their own. Murray ran to the right and made a defender miss on his way to a nine-yard score.
Murray returned and had 59 hard-fought yards on 18 carries, which isn’t very impressive, but the Raiders sticking with the run helped them keep the Jags off-balance which opened up some targets for Carr, who didn’t have that great of a game. Carr went 23 for 37 but only threw for 200 yards (5.4 yards per attempt).
This will be a pretty big game for the Raiders due to the fact that in week nine, they’ll face the Denver Broncos, who are tied for first with Oakland in the AFC West.
Player of the Game:
Quite possibly, only on the Raiders will you see this, but the player of the game this week is punter Marquette King. King has continued to excel this season, following up a promising season last year. His 50.6-yard per punt average is good for second best this year and his 15 punts inside the 20 are tied for third-best in the league. But this week, King practically sealed Oakland's victory when a bad snap led him to take off and run. King picked up the ball and scrambled right for a first down on a 4th and 20, as he picked up 27 yards on the play. The Raiders would finish that drive off with their final score of the game, as mentioned above. King has also made sure to let everyone know just how special he is on his Twitter.
Word of the day... Punthlete pic.twitter.com/srXgCE2gDy
— Marquette King (@MarquetteKing) October 25, 2016
Room to Grow:
The Raiders run game has been problematic, but an issue I’ve seen has been the Raiders inability to get Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper involved in the same game. This season, there’s only been two weeks where both have had 50 yards in the same game and the Raiders won both of those. I know Cooper is a bullseye for number one corners, but there must be a way to get him more involved even on days where Crabtree is balling out of his mind. If the Raiders can find a way to get both to have big games on the same day, it will alleviate some of the pressure the Raiders run has been under.