It is true that the Las Vegas Raiders probably would have lost to the winless New York Jets on Sunday if Gregg Williams — who ultimately lost his job for the decision — didn’t call a cover zero (maximum) blitz on a play where QB Derek Carr hit rookie wide receiver Henry Ruggs III for a 46-yard touchdown pass with five seconds remaining to give them a 31-28 win.
NFL analysts have focused on the Jets’ side of the play and how they blew the game. However, the Raiders still had to finish the deal.
Completing a 46-yard pass is never easy and the Raiders had to adjust to the blitz, with Carr keeping in seven players to block, including tight end Darren Waller.
Raiders coach Jon Gruden downplayed Williams’ decision, saying he’s seen it before at the end of games. However, Gruden, was impressed by his team’s effort on the memorable play.
“I think a lot of people [ask] ‘what about that call that the Jets made?’” Gruden said on Monday. “What about that pick-up Darren Waller made on the edge? What about the blitz pick up from Jalen Richard, are you kidding me? What about the throw under intense fire? And what about the route? That to me was as exciting and as amazing as any call made by me. There was some great execution there.”
Gruden is right. It takes two sides to complete a play and the Raiders definitely did their part even though the national focus is on the Jets screwup.