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The Friday morning reflection

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NFL: Los Angeles Chargers at Oakland Raiders Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

I’m not going to lie, as a Raider fan living on the east coast, primetime games are not my favorite. By the time the game ended and the nerves and anxiety had subsided, it was after midnight before I finally got to sleep.

When my alarm went off this morning at 5:30 am, the first thought that went through my mind was, “What was I thinking staying up for that game?”

But then the images of Clelin Ferrell sacking Phillip Rivers, Erik Harris’s pick six, and of course Josh Jacobs busting through the line for the game-winning touchdown immediately popped into my head.

And although I know my Friday workday is going to be long, it was all worth it to see the Raiders pull off the 26-24 victory over divisional rival, Los Angeles Chargers.

It’s time for our Friday morning reflection of Week 10.

Clelin Ferrell breakout game

Raiders fans have been waiting for this for a long time, and Ferrell finally delivered when the defense needed it most.

Earlier on Thursday, Arden Key was placed on season-ending IR and Josh Mauro was ruled as inactive for the game. It was a great opportunity for Ferrell to step up and make his presence felt.

Ferrell not only stepped up, but had himself a career day. Although his career has only spanned nine games, he had a game that even 12 year vets would be proud of. The rookie finished the night with 8 tackles and 2.5 sacks.

The performance by Ferrell was historic, as he became just the fourth rookie ever to record 8 tackles and 2.5f sacks in a game.

Derek Carr engineers his 18th fourth quarter comeback

The offense had it’s struggles in the second half, but they got it done when the game was on the line.

Following Austin Ekeler’s 6-yard touchdown reception from Phillip Rivers, the Chargers took a 24-20 advantage with 4:02 remaining in the game. No problem. Carr has been there, done that. Needing to go 75-yards for the win, that’s exactly what the offense did.

On the drive, Carr was 5-of-7 passing for 53 yards. Jalen Richard caught three balls and Hunter Renfrow reeled in two.

Calm, cool, and collected, there was never a doubt inside the Raiders huddle. After the game, Trent Brown had this to say about his quarterback on the game-winning drive.

“When he came to the huddle, he was calm,” said Brown. “He was just like, ‘If you guys hold up up front, we will win this game.’ And I was like, ‘I got you.’ Gave him a little wink, and that was it.”

The drive culminated with Josh Jacobs busting through the line on third-and-1 for an 18 yard touchdown.

Defense steps up with 5 sacks and 3 turnovers

Over the past 10 weeks, Paul Guenther and his defense have taken it’s fair share of criticism from the fan base and media.

Not this week.

It was a collaborative effort on defense. Four different players were credited with at least half a sack and two different players recorded interceptions.

The pass rush was exceptional on Thursday night. Even when Rivers wasn’t getting sacked, the combination of Ferrell, Crosby, and Mayowa generated constant pressure on the quarterback.

The biggest play by the defense came in the first quarter, when safety Erik Harris intercepted his second pass of the game and took it to the house.

Tahir Whitehead was a man possessed, leading the team with 14 tackles (8 solo and 1 TFL). On the Chargers final possession, the defense did not allow a completed pass. Rivers was 0-for-7 with an interception from Karl Joseph clinching the win.

The Raiders improved their record to 5-4 to stay in the conversation for a playoff berth. They’ll will have some extended time off to rest and recover before welcoming in the winless Bengals in Week 11.