"Action" Jackson here, once again celebrating a Raiders victory. After 5 games, we stand at 4-1 and are tied for 1st place in the AFC West division. With a 34-31 victory over the San Diego Chargers, I'll break down each aspect of this past weekend's game as the team prepares to host the Kansas City Chiefs this weekend.
Derek. Dallas. Carr. That's all. He is our franchise quarterback and he reminds us of this every single weekend. He can read the defense pre-snap, he throws an excellent deep ball, he anticipates the throws into coverage, and he gets away from pressure to deliver the ball to his playmakers on the perimeter. Amari Cooper scored his first touchdown of the season (FINALLY), Michael Crabtree continues to make circus catches look normal, and the offense converted another 4th down play into a long first down. No Latavius Murray? That's ok, our offensive line got the young back-ups plenty of room to make plays in both the passing and running game. The offense looks good, ranking in the top 5 in the NFL.
Our defense ranks dead last in terms of yards allowed per game. That is not good. That is the opposite of good. That allows teams to force us to win by 3 points in a shootout every week. My heart can't continue to take these close wins. Although they gave up a lot of yards, the defense forced 4 turnovers against a pretty good Chargers offense, giving the offense more chances to score, as well as forcing crucial stops late in the game. Rookie Karl Joseph netted his first career interception, hopefully the first of many, and the Sean Smith experiment is looking like it's finally starting to pay off. A long NFL season will show if the defense can improve down the stretch. Can't win a playoff game without a good defense on your side.
Sebastian Janikowski made 4 long field goals in crunch time in a game where every single point counts. He's the leading scorer in Oakland Raiders history for a reason. Marquette King continues to impress; he's a top punter in this league, and it's not just my opinion. That's the consensus. Being able to pin the opponent deep in their territory helps this defense out.
Another week, another Del Rio miracle. Going for it on 4th and long when you're down by a touchdown? Del Rio, you dog. Way to pull the trigger, way to move the chains, way to trust your players to make a big play. Going for two in order to force the opponent to need a field goal just to tie? Del Rio, you mad genius. Way to involve your playmakers and get everyone involved in the game plan throughout the game. The young players in the line-up continue to make splashy plays while the veterans are showing on-field leadership. This is a well-coached team, but there is room for improvement. Kansas City coming to Oakland will be a big test; we haven't beaten Kansas City in years. Showing out against them in front of the home crowd would cement our status as playoff contenders.
Everything you need to know about the yay.