Shortly before the start of the Las Vegas Raiders’ emotional game against the Denver Broncos, special teams captain Alec Ingold made a final, passionate statement to his teammates: “It’s time to decide who the the f- this team is.”
Raiders owner Mark Davis to Review-Journal following his team's win: “Listen, the Raiders stand for diversity, inclusion and social justice. We always have and we always will. The emails that came out are not what we stand for and so Jon Gruden is no longer head coach ...(cont)— Ed Graney (@edgraney) October 18, 2021
Led by interim coach Rich Bisaccia, in his first day as a head coach at any level in a 38-year coaching career. The team went on to the field and put all their emotions into playing and dominated the Denver Broncos 34-24 — ending a stunning week that began with Jon Gruden’s resignation with a major win to get their season back on track.
Let’s look at five things we learned from the game:
"We have a good team, we have a good team that competes...I think it was just fun to watch." @Raiders interim head coach Rich Bisaccia #Raiders #RaiderNation— Cassie Soto (@_CassieSoto) October 17, 2021
Bisaccia said the worst part for him was figuring out the head set "back in the day we didn't have all them buttons" pic.twitter.com/SOokAMJuSN
They started fast:
The Raiders scored a touchdown on their first series, after being turned back in their first series in the past 11 games, as quarterback Derek Carr hit Henry Ruggs for a 48-yard touchdown pass. Clearly, the Raiders came to play after the distraction of Gruden’s departure from the team. But the Raiders just didn’t start fast. They stayed hot all game. It was a dominant performance by a team that was determined to show they are united during this challenging time.
What is more beautiful in sports than a deep post for a TD? pic.twitter.com/VXgiU84M1G— Win City Silver & Black Pride (@SilverBlakPride) October 17, 2021
Crosby balled out:
Even though he has had a special start of this season and he is among the NFL pressure leaders, Raiders’ defensive end Maxx Crosby went sack-less after having two sacks of Lamar Jackson in a Week 1 win over the Baltimore Ravens. That changed in a hurry on Sunday. Crosby sacked Denver quarterback Teddy Bridgewater three times and led a pressure-filled day for the Las Vegas defensive front. Wednesday, Crosby said the situation with Gruden “affected” him personally. On Sunday, he channeled that energy into a long day for Bridgewater. Can you say “AFC Defensive Player of the Week?” Again.
Hello, Kenyan Drake:
It’s funny. Kenyan Drake is a Raider because Gruden wanted him badly and that’s why he gave him a surprise $11 million, two-year contract in free agency. Yet, Drake wasn’t used much in the first five games with Gruden as the head coach. He had three combined touches in the past two games. Offensive coordinator Greg Olson, who is now the Raiders’ play caller, dialed up Drake. The results paid off as he scored on a touchdown pass and ran for another score, playing a key role in the win. It will be interesting to see Drake’s role develop role the rest of the season.
Forcing turnovers a good thing:
The Raiders entered the game with three takeaways in five games. It was tied for the third lowest in the NFL. Sunday, the Raiders were ball hawks. It had three interceptions and a fumble recovery. That’s an easy road map to victory.
The Broncos are frauds:
Remember, when the Broncos were 3-0? You shouldn’t. This is a bad team. The Raiders are far superior and it showed. The Broncos were no match for the Raiders either physically or emotionally Sunday. Coach Vic Fangio made awful decisions from the sideline and Bridgewater wasn’t sharp, either. This could be a very nice jumping off game for the Raiders, who ended a two-game losing streak. They have a home game against the 2-4 Philadelphia Eagles, the bye week and then a game at the 1-5 New York Giants. A 6-2 start is likely for this now-Bisaccia led team.