The winless Redskins came to Oakland Sunday and walked out winless no more. They fell behind 14-0 early to the Raider but rode out the storm and let the Raiders shoot themselves in the foot the rest of the game to pull out the win.
The Raiders offense had a total of one scoring drive in the game. The first touchdown was courtesy of a blocked punt recovered for a touchdown. The Redskins offense wasn't exactly prolific. They too scored a non-offensive touchdown by returning an interception for a score.
It was not a good looking game to be honest. There were few if any real highlights. There were many mistakes made and most of them were made by the Raiders as they missed a real opportunity and fall to 1-3 on the season.
Here are the solid performances as well as those who collapsed.
Jennings came in for Darren McFadden and played very well. Though he had just 3.0 yards per carry behind this suspect interior line, he consistently made something from nothing and positive yardage from negative. As evidenced by his being stopped behind the line just once in the game on 23 touches. But that's not what makes him top Baller this week.
Jennings makes top Baller first of all for the play he made to block the Redskins punt that was recovered for the Raiders' first touchdown. It was a great start to spot the offense a touchdown early on. The Redskins punted a total of seven times in the game and Jennings was close to blocking nearly every one of them. There was a second punt which he said he grazed as it left the punter's foot.
Also helping him earn the best performance was his being the Raiders' leading receiver. He had 8 catches on 8 targets for 71 yards to lead all receivers for both teams. This included a key reception on the Raiders' only touchdown drive that went for 12 yards on third and 8 to keep the drive alive.
This performance helps give the Raiders some comfort with Darren McFadden looking like he will miss some time with a hamstring strain.
Making the Baller list twice in a row is quite an accomplishment for Denarius, who is known for being on again, off again. He had a four catches in this game on six targets. Two of those catches were outstanding. His first catch was the biggest play on the Raiders touchdown drive. Matt Flynn put the ball out in front of Denarius which was well away from the defender and Denarius made an incredible catch. He laid out on a dive and slid across the turf to catch the ball from the ground for a 34-yard completion. Three plays later, the Raiders scored the touchdown. The next drive, he caught a 12-yard pass on third down. Then late in the game with the Raiders desperate to score, he dug out a low pass from Flynn to an unlikely 13-yard catch. He finished the day with 66 yards on four catches which were by far the best number among the wide receivers.
Sanford started this game as an injury replacement for the Jason Hunter and Sanford came out on fire. He had tackles on the first two plays of the game. Two drives later, he had a tackle for loss and then disrupted a run play that was stopped for a short gain. Not bad for a guy who played just 24 snaps (36%) in this game.
Also seeing some work with Hunter out was Jack Crawford. His plays came in bunches as well. On a drive in the second quarter, he got in the backfield to pressure Robert Griffin III into an incompletion. Then on the very next play stuffed a run for a short gain. On a drive in the third quarter, he began it with a tackle for no gain that was negated by an offsides penalty, and later in the drive teamed up for a tackle for a loss of two. He had another run stuff later on. Not bad for a guy who played just 22 snaps (33%).
Both Sanford and Crawford each had four combined tackles (2 solo). Crawford added a QB hurry.
Burnett is usually good for a couple missed tackles per game but this was a very good game for him. On a series in the second quarter, he had a tackle on a short catch and a pass defended on consecutive plays to help force a three and preserve the Raiders 14-10 lead into halftime. He also made key tackles on each of the next two failed drive attempts by the Redskins to start the third quarter. Then following the second tackle, Nick Roach forced a fumble on a reception and Burnett recovered it. The Raiders have three forced fumbles on the season and Burnett has recovered two of them.
Lamarr Houston - Houston made a lot of plays in this game. He had a pressure resulting in an intentional grounding penalty on RGIII, a run stuff for no gain, another pressure to force RGIII to throw the ball away, and cut off the edge on a run to force a tackle for loss. Those plays were plenty Baller worthy, but as my mom used to say; "One ‘oh, shit' ruins a hundred ‘attaboys'." Houston had a critical offsides penalty on a play that resulted in a forced fumble that would have given the Raiders the ball in scoring position. They would have at very least tied the game at 17 with a field goal. Instead, Matt Flynn fumbled on the long drive and the Raiders give up a touchdown to go down 14-24. Lamarr Houston must not make mistakes like that. The Raiders are not good enough to overcome them.
Nick Roach - He led the team in tackles, which is what the middle linebacker is supposed to do. He also had a forced fumble on the day. But most of his tackles were not very close to the line of scrimmage, he was responsible for a 16-yard catch that put the Redskins in position for their first field goal, gave up another 15-yard catch on third and ten on a long drive, and was blocked on the Redskins final touchdown from 14 yards out. In this case a couple ‘attaboys', was drowned out by a lot of ‘oh, shits'.