The Oakland Raiders defeated the Denver Broncos 24-16, in the second game of this Monday Night Football program, and started this season well. Jon Gruden’s boys recovered and bounced back after all the problems they have experienced with Antonio Brown and his recent situation.
And judging by the way one guy plays, Brown will be soon forgotten among the Raiders’ fans. Rookie running back, Josh Jacobs immediately showed that he has what it takes to be a superstar. The 21-year old who came from Alabama carried the ball into the endzone twice and recorded 85 rushing yards in 23 snaps. He also added one reception for 28 yards.
Derrek Carr had a nice night, throwing a touchdown pass in his opening drive of the night. Raiders’ QB ended the game with just four incompletions in 26 pass attempts, having 259 yards and that one TD.
The home team quickly seized the control of the match, and they were up 14-0 at the half, not allowing Joe Flacco and the Broncos to feel comfortable in any moment of the contest. Denver’s first points came with 5:38 into the third period, when Brandon McManus made a 26-yard field goal.
Shortly after that, the visitors had a golden opportunity to catch the momentum, but they didn’t use it. They were just seven yards away from the Raiders’ endzone, on a third-down, when DaeSean Hamilton dropped the ball in the scoring area after Flacco’s pass. Following that situation, Vic Fangio didn’t want to risk, but instead sent MacManus on the field again.
That forced the Raiders to wake up, Jacobs had another TD, and eventually, the Broncos didn’t have enough time to make a comeback.
Flacco threw for 268 yards, one TD to Emmanuel Sanders, but wasn’t that convincing in certain situations. Although, his protection wasn’t that shiny also. The veteran QB suffered three sacks.
Benson Mayowa became the first Raiders’ player with two sacks in one game since Khalil Mack, which indicates that the defensive part of their game improved a lot. Gruden was looking very satisfied with that and several other things at the press conference.
“I’m really proud of our team, a lot of first-time Raider contributors,” Gruden started his addressing to the media. “You know, some of the free agents we got in the offseason, a lot of rookies made huge contributions.”
He talked about Derrek Carr’s good performance, as the QB finished this game with 121.0 passing rating.
There was a lot of talk over the recent few days about Antonio Brown. The saga surrounding the controversial wide receiver had a bad ending for the Raiders, and the media representatives dedicated a huge portion of questions about that.
Carr answered one right after the game, during the on-field interview.
“I hope he goes off and has a great year,” stated Raiders’ QB. “Antonio is no longer with us. And we love Antonio; we wish him the best. But we knew, with the guys we had in our locker room, we already had a good football team.”
He also praised Darren Waller for his game and also because of the tight end’s commitment to fight all the adversities he faced with. Waller, who had problems with substance abuse in the past, shared his side of the story on Hard Knocks, which earned him respect at Carr.
“I think we all in here root for Darren Waller,” said Carr.
The Raiders will have a tough challenge next week, as they host Kansas City Chiefs and Patrick Mahomes on Sunday. The Chiefs-Raiders rivalry is huge, and this is the first serious challenge of the season for Gruden’s boys.
As for the Broncos, they too will have a very interesting matchup. Denver awaits the Chicago Bears at the Mile High. Their head coach Fangio, was the defensive coordinator for the Bears over the last four years, and Chicago’s fierce defense is in fact mostly his work.