After a week long hiatus, the Impact play of the week is back. In this series I recognize players who put the Las Vegas Raiders in a position to win. So far, the previous Impact Plays have gone to:
- KJ Wright (4th down stop)
- Carr to Ruggs (61 yard touchdown)
- Alec Ingold (Goal-line fumble recovery)
- Trevon Moehrig (Pass Break-up)
- None (Raiders lose, Gruden resigns)
Fresh off a division win that has to a certain extent, rinsed the bad taste of the Gruden departure from the mouths of the fanbase. Rich Bisaccia led the Raiders to an all-around team victory last Sunday against the Broncos.
There were plenty of plays on both sides of the ball to choose from in this match-up. From sacks and turnovers on defense, to a plethora of chunk plays on offense. There was one particular play that in this writer’s opinion tilted the tides permanently in favor of Silver and Black during the weekend’s contest.
The Raiders have driven the ball 51 yards in 4 plays, including a 33 yard pass from Derek Carr to Darren Waller, putting the Raiders on their opponent’s side of the field. With only 36 seconds left on the clock before halftime, the Raiders take a time-out and huddle up. The offense proceeds to come out with this double move by RB Kenyan Drake to get open down the sideline.
Drake is a rare option in the receiving game as a running back who can get vertical out of the backfield. The added subtlety however, Drake breaking towards the sidelines and getting his head around freezes the linebacker for a split second—that’s all both Drake and his Quarterback to need to see.
Carr shows off his burgeoning connection with the speedy tailback; the pass leaves Carr’s hand at the same exact moment Drake turn’s downfield. The throw is awesome, but so is Drake’s body control to adjust to the ball in the air, stay in bounds, and finish the play by hitting paydirt.
Simply put, runningbacks don’t make this play every Sunday. Drake looks like yet another player who can make huge gains in the passing game. If the Raiders continue to layer their vertical passing attack with routes out of the backfield maybe fans will begin to understand why the Raiders paid premium money for Drake’s services.