Another game, another heart-stopping win for the Oakland Raiders, who are now tied atop the division at 6-6. This one wasn’t easy, as the Giants’ defense played with a lot of pride, but were hung out to dry but the gutless and soon-to-be-unemployed Ben McAdoo. There was plenty that went well and went bad in this game, so let’s call a spade a spade.
1) Marshawn Lynch
For the second week in a row, Lynch tops the Good list. This was his first 100-yard rushing effort as a Raider, and he set the tone in the game with a 51-yard rushing touchdown on the Raiders’ first drive, essentially telling the Giants to give up for their own good. Lynch fought for the tough yards today and added 20 more receiving yards, including a key third-down conversion late in the game.
2) Raiders defense
The difference in the Raiders defense these last two games has been striking. Their effort against Denver last week and New York today was nothing less than stellar, even considering the garbage-time points allowed in both games. The defensive line made Geno Smith’s life a living hell, flushing him from the pocket on a regular basis and sacking him three times, forcing two fumbles on drives the Giants really needed to score on and were in position to do so.
One cannot say enough about the linebackers in this game. Khalil Mack had about as great a performance as you will see from an edge rusher and NaVorro Bowman once again led the Raiders in tackles with nine. Bruce Irvin was also a terror around the edge, and Denico Autry had his customary batted pass. The line lived in the Giants backfield today.
3) Raiders receivers
Yes, Oakland was missing its top two wideouts as Michael Crabtree was suspended for fighting with Aqib Talib and Amari Cooper was out with a concussion, but Derek Carr still threw for 287 yards on 22/36 passing. A big part of that was the efforts of Cordarrelle Patterson, who caught four passes for 97 yards, including a 59-yard bubble screen that almost went the distance.
Seth Roberts didn’t drop a pass today, and caught five passes for 46 yards. Usually he has to drop one before he gets going, but not in this game. Clive Walford saw a lot of time at tight end with Jared Cook leaving the game with injury, and he caught some clutch passes in traffic, finishing with 57 yards on four catches. Johnny Holton lost a fumble, but redeemed himself with an insanely difficult tiptoe catch on the sideline and later had a touchdown of his own to seal the game for the Raiders.
Derek Carr threw passes to nine different receivers today and made them all look pretty good.
4) Evan Engram
I realize the Raiders often have trouble covering tight ends, but Engram usually had good coverage today and simply outplayed it. He caught seven passes for 99 yards and a touchdown for the Giants, including a one-handed grab that will surely be pointed out by Randy Moss on Monday Night Countdown tomorrow evening. He will be a stud for a long time in this league. What a terrific effort by Engram today.
1) Jalen Richard
The Raiders, for the moment, have Richard as their primary punt returner, but after today’s effort that may change. Of the four punts fielded by Richard, he fumbled three of them. One he recovered himself, but the other two were thankfully recovered by Keith McGill. The Raiders didn’t lose any of the fumbles, but they easily might have. Richard is a good player and is useful in the running and passing game, but if he can’t field a punt his value takes a hit.
2) Giants offensive line
Today was an abject disaster for this much-maligned unit. First they play so poorly all year that they get Eli Manning benched, and then they act like human sieves in front of the Raiders’ defensive line. They fared no better in the running game, allowing New York to rush for a mere 65 yards on 24 carries. They should all be jettisoned into deep space.
3) Ben McAdoo
Ben McAdoo is the type of guy who would make an escort pay for dinner.
4) Marcus Peters
The Chefs lost again today in hilarious fashion to the Jets, and Peters was a big part of the reason why. The offense, which has sucked for two months in KC, was on fire today but the Kansas City defense posed no resistance to the Jets offense. Peters spent the entire game in full Deion mode, refusing to tackle, and then on a pivotal fourth-quarter red zone stand the defense was called for a penalty. Instead of being a man and accepting the consequences for his team’s foolishness, he chucked the penalty flag into the stands where it was promptly devoured by ravenous Jets fans.
Peters was, in fact, NOT ejected from the game. He left on his own. He went back to the locker room and apparently took off his shoes and socks before being retrieved by a KC teammate. Peters re-emerged, WITHOUT SOCKS, in case the Chiefs took the game to overtime. They did not.
Peters is about as useless a prima donna as you will find in the NFL, and the quicker the Chefs are rid of his dumb ass the better off they will be. For this reason, I hope they sign him to a ten-year extension in the offseason.