Put another one in the win column and move forward. That’s what the Raiders did this week. It wasn’t pretty and it was against another struggling team starting the wrong QB, but you take these wins, learn what you can from them, and live to fight another day.
Khalil Mack, Bruce Irvin
Don’t call these two Batman & Robin anymore. Irvin told me that was last year. He’s just Bruce now. Whatever you want to call them. they were holy terrors in this game. Each had a strip sack and both of those plays were monumental in the outcome of this game.
Irvin got his first and it came in the second quarter with the score tied at 7-7 and the Giants in field goal range. The Raiders would take over and drive for a field goal of their own so instead of a 10-7 Giants lead, it was a 10-7 Raiders lead.
Mack’s strip sack came a bit later in the quarter, after a blocked punt put the Giants inside the ten-yard line. He sacked Geno Smith and ripped the ball out of his hands to once again keep the Giants from scoring. This time they were closer to a touchdown. And still it was a 10-7 Raiders lead heading into the half – a score that would remain until the fourth quarter.
Those strip sacks were merely the culmination of a whole game of outstanding play by Mack and Irvin. They were a major factor in holding the Giants to three-straight three-and-out possessions to start the game. Irvin had a tackle for loss and Mack had a run stuff for no gain and two pressures, one on third down.
Even on their first scoring drive, Smith had to get things done with Mack coming after him on nearly every snap. Irvin had a run stuff for no gain as well.
In the third quarter, with neither team scoring, Irvin had three tackles with two run stops and Mack had another pressure. Mack finished with 11 pressures and Irvin with 7. And of course a strip sack apiece. That’s insane.
Finally, the Raiders got a 100-yard rusher this season. Lynch went for 101 yard in the game on 17 carries along with 20 yards receiving. Most of his yards on the ground and through the air came on two spectacular plays.
The first was his 51-yard touchdown run on the first series. He went through the right guard gap, made one move and was gone for the score. His second play was about a third of the yards but was even more impressive. Catching the short dump pass on third and 7, he juked a man in the open field, then broke a second tackle broke a third tackle, and drove through the fourth to go for 21 yards to the 25-yard-line. Two plays later, the Raiders added their second touchdown of the game to go up 17-7 early in the 4th quarter.
He also had a 10-yard run on 4th and one in the second quarter that put the Raiders at the 20, setting up a the go-ahead field goal.
I can’t mention that 51-yard touchdown run without giving credit to big KO. He pulled from left to right and laid a vicious block to open up the enormous hole Marshawn ran through. He also didn’t give up any pressures in the game and just one run stop.
For the second game in a row, with Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree out of the lineup, it was Patterson who led the team in receiving (97 yards) with most of his yards coming after the catch.
In the second quarter, he caugt a 12-yard pass on third and 6. With the drive still alive, the Raiders drove into field goal range to take a 10-7 lead. His next catch started out the Raiders next scoring drive on the first play of the 4th quarter. He caught a zero route and weaved his way for 19 yards. That drive went for a touchdown and a 17-7 lead.
The final scoring drive was almost all CP. He caught a quick pass on a tunnel screen and was gone 59 yards, caught just shy of the score at the 9-yard-line. The Raiders scored their final touchdown and a 24-14 lead with just over three minutes remaining.
Patterson also made a fantastic ankle tackle on a punt return in the first quarter and had containment on another punt return that was stopped at the 15. Quite a weapon he is.
Once again, I can’t mention the big play of an offensive skill position player without giving credit to the big man who helped make it happen. On both of Patterson’s big catches, there was Penn running downfield to lay crucial blocks. On the 59-yarder, he was WAY downfield and took out two guys. He also didn’t give up any pressures on Derek Carr that I saw.
NaVorro Bowman, Nicholas Morrow
Two linebackers who look like each others’ names are the same, but with the letters mixed around a little bit. They tied for the team lead, each with 9 combined tackles. And they made several crucial plays that kept the Raiders ahead for most of the game.
No two players were more responsible for the Giants starting the game with three straight three-and-outs. Morrow made the first tackle of the game on a short run and Bowman knocked down a pass to tight end Evan Engram on the second play.
The second series, Bowman stuffed a run for a 3-yard loss. Then on third and 17, Geno Smith tried to dump it off to his running back and Morrow and Bowman teamed up to dump that back for a short gain to force a second punt. The Giants had a total of negative one net yards at that point.
The next series was not great for either of them, but they shook it off and got back on track after that. The next series, Bowman pounced on Irvin’s strip sack to give the Raiders the ball and keep the Giants from scoring. Then after the Raiders went ahead 10-7, Bowman got into the backfield to lead the back into a tackle for loss which in turn led to a three-and-out.
He allowed just 3 catches for 14 yards in the game and led the team with 2 passes defended. Both his passes defended came on third down late in the game, to stop consecutive series to end the third quarter.
His performance kind of went under the radar in this game. But he led the team in receptions with a couple of key plays late. His longest catch went for 18 yards to start out the Raiders second scoring drive in the second quarter. Later he made a 7-yard catch on third and 6. And he laid a key block on Patterson’s 59-yard screen catch and run to set up the Raiders’ final touchdown.
Denico Autry – His sack forced the Giants to settle for a field goal late. He also has one of his signature batted passes at the line.
Clive Walford – At the end of the third quarter, it was Walford who led the Raiders in receiving with 4 catches for 57 yards including a 26-yarder and a 10-yard catch on third and 11 to set up a successful 4th and one conversion on the team’s field goal drive.
Keith McGill – Two of Jalen Richard’s three fumbles on kick returns were recovered by McGill. Great awareness, hands, and hustle.
DeAndre Washington – His 9-yard touchdown run put the Raiders up by two scores early in the 4th quarter. Then he closed it out by recovering the onside kick and running it three times for 11 yards to pick up the first down and end the game.