In what was to be the last of the easy part of the Raiders’ schedule, they finally came through, taking down the Cardinals to join them as one of the NFL’s 2-win teams. It wasn’t a rousing success. There were plenty of bumps along the way and at times it looked like it was more about which teams was going to lose as opposed to which would win. But in the end, it was the Raiders who came out on top.
Rodney Hudson, Gabe Jackson, Brandon Parker
The right side of the Raiders line came to play. They were routinely opening up holes for whomever was running behind them as well as offering stellar protection in the pass game.
The first time the Raiders offense got the ball it was on a short field from an interception. With the first play, Carr handed it to Doug Martin who found a gap with blocks from Jackson and Parker to go for nine yards. A 1-yard run and the Raiders had first down well within scoring range. The next play, they scored that touchdown.
It wasn’t until the second quarter the Raiders would score again. Down 14-7, they went back to the ground and pound, including two consecutive 10-yard runs behind this trio. Three plays later, Derek Carr found Brandon LaFell for the 5-yard touchdown reception.
Carr was sacked four times in the game, but none were the fault of these three. That’s a credit especially to rookie right tackle Brandon Parker. They also were major factors in the Raiders running for 152 yards and 4.6 yards per carry as a team.
Seth Roberts, Marcell Ateman
They were not only the Raiders top two pass cathers, but they also did some great work as blockers and both played hero at the end.
On the Raiders’ second scoring drive early in the second quarter, Roberts showcased how valuable he is when the ball isn’t in his hands. The drive started with three straight runs, and Roberts laid a key block on all three plays to pick up 28 yards.
Later in the second quarter, Ateman – who was making his NFL debut – had his first career catch. It went for nine yards on a bubble screen. Unfortunately on third down Carr would miss Roberts wide and they would punt.
The first play of the third quarter, Jalen Richard went out left on a run, got around the left edge and had 24 yards of open field in front of him thanks in large part to Ateman blocking downfield. That drive would end in a field goal and a 17-14 Raiders lead.
Late in the fourth quarter, the two teams were going back and forth and going nowhere. With 1:53 remaining, the Raiders got the ball down 21-20 knowing this was their last chance to score. The first pass went to Ateman for 9 yards. A first down and a spike later, Carr again looked Ateman’s way who had gotten space behind his man and made an over-the-shoulder catch up the left sideline and went 32 yards before stepping out of bounds at the 37-yard-line. Three plays later, Roberts caught a ball in the left flat and thanks to another outstanding block by Ateman, Roberts was able to weave his way for 20 yards to set up the game-winning field goal.
P.J. Hall, Maurice Hurst
The rookie defensive interior duo was doing work in this game. Hurst had the Raiders’ only sack, giving him sole possession of the team lead (4.0). As for Hall, you wouldn’t know it by the stat line, but he was a force in this game.
Hall got a pressure on the Cardinals’ second possession and Hurst got one on the third possession to force an incompletion.
Hurst’s sack came on a series midway through the second quarter. And two plays later, Hall made the run stuff on third down to have the Cardinals punting out of the back of their own end zone.
Hall would get another pressure in the third quarter that flushed Rosen from the pocket and forced an incompletion on third down. The next possession, he started it out with another run stuff and the Cards went three-and-out.
Midway through the fourth quarter, with the Cardinals at the Oakland 17-yard-line, Hall would get pressure again. He may have had the sack or at least a QB hit, but he was held. He pleaded with the official, but no flag would come. That would likely have killed that drive for the Cardinals. Instead they scored the TD to take the lead 21-20.
In order to keep the game within one point and give the Raiders one more shot, Hurst would make the Raiders’ final defensive play of the game, making the run stop at the line on third and 26. That was Hurst’s fifth tackle in the game (all solo) giving him the second most. The Raiders could have something in these two.
On the second play of the game, he intercepted Josh Rosen to give the Raiders a short field for them to score their first touchdown. In 30 snaps in the game, Conley didn’t give up a catch.
Doug Martin, Jalen Richard
It didn’t matter which of them had the ball, they were finding space and breaking off chunk plays. Martin had a 9-yard run and a 1-yard first down run on the first scoring drive and added runs of 11, 7, and 10 yards on the Raiders second scoring drive.
He was banged up and didn’t return for the second half, leaving the primary run duties to Richard. His first carry of the third quarter he took for 24 yards.
Martin would have 52 yards rushing before the half. Richard finished with 61 yards rushing (5.5 ypc) and 32 yards on 3 catches to lead the team with 93 yards from scrimmage.
The rookie kicker was asked to make three field goals and he did. He hit from 49 yards out to give the Raiders a 17-14 lead in the third, added a 21-yarder to extend the lead to 20-14, and kicked the game winner from 35 yards out.
Karl Joseph -- He had the other interception for the Raiders. Also laid a couple hard hits.
Brandon LaFell – Made two great catches in the game. The second touchdown from five yards out at the right pylon, and an acrobatic 24-yard catch. For his efforts he tore his Achilles and is out for the year.