As always, it’s a great day to be a Raider! The Raiders took care of business tonight against a sorry-ass Broncos team, stomped on their face and cut out their hearts. Everything we thought about the Raiders- an efficient passing attack, a dangerous volume running game, and an improved pass rush- came to fruition.
So who flew high and who fell from grace?
1) Josh Jacobs
Welcome to the NFL, young fella. Jacobs had over 100 yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns in his debut game, a feat not accomplished since the rookie season of LaDainian Tomlinson. Jacobs diced his way through the Denver defense and scored on two mansome short-yardage touchdowns. If Jacobs is his own goal-line relief, there’s no reason he can’t be the top fantasy RB this season and beyond. His game reminds me a ton of Tomlinson, coming out of TCU. Let’s hope he has a similar impact in the long run.
Jacobs energized the offense and showed he could carry the full load. He totally justified his first-round draft selection and answered a lot of the questions people had about him. If anything, he was underutilized!
2) Derek Carr
This is one of the most efficient games Carr has ever had, going 22/26 for 259 yards and a touchdown strike to Tyrell Williams. He stood tall in the pocket, delivering the ball confidently, and showed off his wheels with a short run in the first quarter. This team goes as Carr goes, and I can’t say enough about the job he did against a Vic Fangio defense tonight. The team is in good hands with #4.
3) Raiders offensive line
The Broncos go as their pass rush goes, and they had NONE in this game. No sacks, no hits, no pressures, nothing. Jack fucking shit. Von Miller and Bradley Chubb were stonewalled by Trent Brown and Kolton Miller, who was an absolute monster in this game and sprung a massive block that helped Tyrell Williams get free on the game-sealing screen pass late in the fourth quarter. The pass blocking was perfection and the run blocking was more than adequate. If Miller keeps up this level of play, hoo boy. This will be one beast of a line.
4) Raiders pass rush
No Bronco winners today! All Raiders. Remember when the Raiders got 13 sacks in an entire season? Well, they got three tonight, and one other that was wiped out by penalty. Benson Mayowa had two of them, and Clelin Ferrell got the other. If the Raiders can continually get to the quarterback it will make life a lot easier for them. The Raider defense played out of their minds and this unit led the way.
1) Joe Flacco
‘Whacko’ Flacco is a step up from Case Keenum, but he’s still Joe Flacco. He was 21/31 tonight for 268 yards, a lot of which came in garbage time when Raiders top corner Gareon Conley was out of the game. His immobility certainly aided the Raiders with their three sacks. A better QB may have been able to solve the Raiders D, but Flacco couldn’t.
2) Noah Fant
It was an inauspicious start for the rookie tight end from Iowa, who lost five yards on the first play of the game. He caught a couple passes, but was generally not great and sure didn’t look the part of a first-round pick. He will certainly improve, but tonight wasn’t a great night.
3) Vic Fangio
Denver’s offense was a serious problem last season, and so naturally they hire a defensive head coach. Cue the Broncos scoring ZERO points in the first half and never really looking in sync in this game, on defense or otherwise. The entire game plan was a disaster for Denver, who ran into an emotional Oakland buzzsaw ready to kill on sight. Back to the drawing board for Fangio.
4) Broncos front seven
The Denver front seven has been a feared unit for years, yet it was toothless in this game. They never sniffed Derek Carr and had trouble bringing down Josh Jacobs. Did you hear Von Miller or Bradley Chubb get their names called once? I didn’t. They disappeared. The Broncos were missing their starting inside linebackers, both of them, and they run a 3-4. Bad times!