Now that the proverbial “monkey” is off their backs, the goal for the Raiders is to begin stacking wins together. Already four games back of the division leading Kansas City Chiefs, the Raiders have very little room for error going forward.
The task at hand this week is the division and inter-state rival, Los Angeles Chargers. Historically, the Raiders lead the rivalry in wins with a 63-52-2 record, including four of the last six.
Let’s see what players and coaches from both teams are saying ahead of the week five match up.
Head Coach Jon Gruden, on the challenge Raiders linebackers will have with the Chargers running backs.
“It’ll be a big challenge. They have a great back there. [Melvin] Gordon doesn’t get enough credit. He has some Beastmode runs on tape. I mean he’s running through people, over people. Great receiver also out of the back field. They try to mismatch your linebackers in coverage. The young kid, I think he leads the league in yards per carry. All three levels will be challenged for sure.”
Quarterback Derek Carr, on playing against Casey Hayward and Derwin James.
“I’ve known Casey for a while now. He’s a great player. He’s really sticky in coverage. They’re very athletic, good ball skills. Derwin, he’s a rookie, he’s a new player, but he’s a good player. He doesn’t play like a rookie. Obviously, he has a few plays here and there that anybody would want back, but that’s anybody.”
Cornerback Daryl Worley, on facing Phillip Rivers.
“He’s a very high confidence guy. You can see it in his play, from the decisions he makes with the ball to after the play when he’s doing a little bit of chatting. That’s a guy that you like to have fun and play against.”
Defensive Coordinator Paul Guenther, on Melvin Gordon.
“Gordon is impressive. I’ve played him as a rookie. I watched the tape of that game. Just the impression on that guy, this guy is a hard runner. He gets to the sideline and (becomes) more violent on the sideline. There was a play the other day in the 49ers game where he’s running up the sideline and the defenders are pulling back on him. Then all of sudden he keeps going and you see the change of speed. I said, ‘We can’t have change of speed on this guy. We have to put a hat on this guy and get all 11 guys to him.
Chargers Head Coach Anthony Lynn, on what he see’s from Maurice Hurst.
“Coming out of Michigan we liked him a lot, man. We really did. I was really happy someone picked him up. I wasn’t really happy the Raiders picked him up. This guy he had the medical condition, but most people had a first round grade on him. He played to a first round grade as well. Very high motor, good pass rusher inside and plays the line better than people give him credit for. He is just a really good football player.”
Chargers Defensive End Melvin Ingram, on Derek Carr.
“Great quarterback, and it’s showing. He’s out there completing a high percentage of his balls. The offense is rolling and it just shows what type of player, what type of leader he is.”
Chargers Defensive Coordinator Gus Bradley, on the challenge of tackling Marshawn Lynch.
“I think that he runs so strong and his ability to use the stiff arm. So we go in each week and talk about the tackling plan, what’s effective and what doesn’t work with his style.”