In 2016 after 2 weeks, the team was 1-1 with a heart-stopping fantastic finish over New Orleans and the back-and-forth battle with eventual Superbowl Runner-ups Atlanta Falcons. It was a mixed feeling, because the defense was maddeningly porous over the first two weeks with instances of difficulty simply lining up and multiple 12 man ont he field penalties. And while the offense was striking quick and hard, they too had these odd, frustrating moments of mediocrity.
Where were we as a team? Were we an 0-2 team that got lucky? Or was this team ready to turn a corner and take off? It was too early to tell but it could really go either way.
As we found out, this team's nucleus had a tremendous ability to pull out the close wins and for the rest of the season, the entire RaiderNation enjoyed a season where games were going to be decided in the 4th quarter and many times in the final 2 minutes. The team would have 8 more wins decided by 1 score.
In 2017 so far, we've been able to enjoy two wins that were both by more than 1 score and where we could at least breathe easy towards the end. After last year, I’m happy to be able to enjoy a 10 point win, so a 25-point win is a like having a House Party !
It's still to early to make definitive statements that this team is going to be a dominant team, but the indications are there. And there's a lot to love.
As Charles Woodson said, "This team is going to get so much better really really soon."
Here are a few quick thoughts on what I saw Sunday :
- On Mack's sack, Justin Ellis had inside pressure so McCown could not step up. Give him an Attaboy.
- Raiders' base was playing Run D well, then Jets went to 3 wides. Raiders went to subpackage taking Justin Ellis out and the Jets were able to run inside against an interior of Vanderdoes + Hester
- Later, Raiders adjusted by bringing Ellis in for Hester to play in subpackages and also Nick Morrow
- Rush lane discipline hurt several times
- Khalil Mack is starting to line up in different places. Sometimes lining up at a standup position inside
- That was a nice pushoff by the Jets receiver on Amerson for that one TD
- Amerson also had a nice split and strip on the 2nd TD. Jets WR did a great job of catching and securing in his outside arm
- Saw Denico Autry sub in when Mack took a rest.
- Vanderdoes had a great 1st game, but showed he still has work to do against double teams.
- Treyvon Hester really struggled against double teams.
- Saw Jihad Ward do a few nice things
- Johnny Holton's punt recovery was a great hustle play. He never gave up, never relaxed, and didn't interfere with the returner. Was perhaps the play of the game and totally changed the texture of the game.
- I think Karl Joseph should do the Carlton dance as his celebration (and I think he'll have quite a few more sacks)
- Karl Joseph and Reggie Nelson each were playing either Strong Safety or Free Safety. This is exciting
- I think the officials saw Bruce Irvin's slam from the previous week and were primed to call the Personal Foul, but it was a terrible call.
- But no excuse for those other calls, including a few on the Jets, that were unacceptable.
- 17 4th quarter points
- Don't overreact to a nice game with one highlight play by Gareon Conley. But, yeah, so far so good.
- WRs were running wide open at times
- It seemed like the Jets were scheming to take Amari away.
- The great thing about this offense (so far) is that they are team focused so no one is chirping when they don't get the ball. Of course, if the team scores 6 TDs every week, there's lots of touches for everyone!
- Karl Joseph's strip move was Baby Mack-ish
- Jalen Richard can make defenders look silly out there sometimes. His offseason speed/quickness work is really helping
- BeastMode's attitude combined with Osemele's attitude is really making this a tough-minded, bad-ass attitude offense.
- Seth Roberts plays his butt off every play
- Nick Morrow made about 3-4 really nice instinct plays. He still seems like a Safety playing LB, but he's looking like he belongs
- By the end of the year, if these young guys grow with their seasoning, it could be pretty pretty good.
- Jon Feliciano should not line up as FB anymore, maybe get Vanderdoes in there for some reps
- I don't think this is the last 40-point game of the year