Happy Saturday, true believers!
It was one for the ages, Raider Nation! WOW!! A 36-33 OT WIN!
Our team won on Thanksgiving Day for the first time since 1968!
The battle between the Cowboys was also the most watched regular Season Football game in THIRTY years. Thanks you, 38 Million! We can always use new members to the Raider Nation! If you were on the other side? Soooooooo sorry! (:
If you’re like me? You’re smiling everywhere you’re going right now. I’m practically floating to the Grocery store.
Last Week, there were MANY haters out here that wanted Derek Carr on the bench. Others claimed they were even done with watching Raider games for the rest of the Season. I told many fans "As long as Derek gets help from his team? ..Anything is possible". They continued to complain.
This Week? They’re not complaining anymore. As a matter of fact? They’re pretty damn silent.
It may of taken an improved running game, better production from the Receivers, critical Field Goals and some penalties, but we got the job done!!
You kind of wonder how difficult it might of been for the team to move forward after last Weeks crushing loss.
"It’s easy to win games and go to the next week," Carr said. "But it’s hard when you lose and nobody likes you or cares about you or texts you before the game. So you battle through it."
I’ll text you, Derek! Just give me the digits sir! Here’s mine: 510- DRK-SIDE!!!
"We were up against a wall, no doubt."
Maybe it was just the right time to "let go" of the intensity and for once? ...have a good time.
Maybe that’s why Derek Carr smiled at star Cornerback Trevon Diggs while lining up at Wide Receiver.
"Let’s just go have fun today" Hunter Renfrow mentioned. Who had 8 receptions for 134 yards.
"You don’t want to say it’s a must win, but I think we felt it a little bit," Renfrow said. "You know, 5-6 is a whole lot worse than 6-5. To beat a good Cowboys team on Thanksgiving in prime time, it gives us a lot of confidence. Being at 6-5, we have a long road ahead of us, but we took a step in the right direction today."
DeSean Jackson was also brilliant with three catches for 102 yards and a touchdown. His production was exceptional. I knew if the Raiders played their cards right he could be just like Nelson Agholar in 2020: REBORN! I also knew he had some of that turbo left; even at age 34.
"One thing he can still do is run," Coach Rich Bisaccia cracked after the game. "It was fun watching him. You can see him getting more and more comfortable with what we’re asking him to do."
Derek Carr is also glad #1 is getting more comfy.
"It’s fun to get creative with ways to get him down the field and use his speed," quarterback Derek Carr said of the newly acquired receiver. "That threat is always there. I don’t even know how old he is, but he can still fly. It sure is fun to throw him the ball. I’m glad he had a big day. I felt it was coming."
Jackson also drew a pass interference call on Anthony Brown that kept alive a drive that would end with a field goal to extend the Raiders lead.
"We hit that big play. It’s exciting for us and for him. But he came up big for us on some very crucial down and distances," Carr said.
Our Quarterback could not say enough about his WR unit.
"I’m so proud of them," Carr said. "I rudely joked last week that I just decided to throw it to (Darren) Waller just because I didn’t want to answer questions, if I’m being honest. I just wanted to watch the film and move on."
Most great QBs do..
"But for all of those guys to step up, one they have two outstanding coaches in there, but the way they keep their head down and just keep working extra with me is why they have days like today."
Zay Jones was also involved in some big plays while grabbing 5 receptions for 59 yards. These 3 WRs made such a huge impact in Thursdays game.
Another grunt that was essential in the win was RB Josh Jacobs. That's right, we FINALLY got the running game going!!
The Offense averaged 4.1 yards on 24 attempts, including 87 yards and a touchdown from #28 on 22 carries. That helped open things up downfield for the Receivers to attack.
"It makes everything easier, I promise you," Carr said. "Whenever you can run the ball like that with the play-action, the shots, the big plays, the run after catch are there. For us to have that kind of run game, we’re gonna need it, especially as the weather gets worse … we’re gonna have to be tough and run the football and have that threat."
I must of rewinded that Jacobs 20 yard run in OT like 10 times. TE Daniel Helm made such a great block to make a big hole. Kolton Miller, Foster Moreau and John Simpson also pinned their guys very well.
We might need more Tight End blocking to get the running game going in the future. Great blocking will always help matters!
..Just like the Defensive Penalties!
Cowboys cornerback Anthony Brown accounted for FOUR yellow flags and killed a lot of the Dallas Cowboy's momentum.
"The penalties obviously helped," Carr said. "And they were legitimate things that happened."
Each flag was for pass interference, and all 4 came on third downs to give the Raiders a fresh set of lucky downs.
"It’s just one of them days," Brown said. "I’ve just got to watch the film, see what we can improve and get better. I feel like I was in position for all of them. I’ll just try to turn my head."
Thank you Anthony, from the bottom of my mechanical, black Heart.
I’d also like to thank OC Greg Olson for mixing up some good plays to get our Raiders back on track.
"Certainly, (Carr and Gruden) had a wonderful relationship," Coach Rich Bisaccia said, "But I think Oly (Olson) has always been the buffer between Jon calling plays and then what’s going on now. We’ve hit some bumps in the road, but I think they’ve really done a good job over the past few years of overcoming the bumps in the road and then playing well again."
Even despite the criticism of our QB..
"Derek is his biggest critic," Bisaccia said. "He wants to do well all the time — in practice, in the meetings, in games. Again, he has been out of sync some. We have all been out of sync. When it’s bad, it’s easy to point the finger at one guy."
Many fans did..while few stood up for #4.
"He’s the trigger guy. Plays probably the hardest position in all of sports. Today, he was Derek Carr. The point guard. Really fun to watch."
Derek also used. his feet to grab multiple first downs. One went for 10 plus!
"After I ran it, I looked over at Marcus and I gave him one of these," Carr said, (making the hang-loose hand signal) "I always call myself Carr-iota, and he gets a kick out of that one.
"I’d say, over the last couple years, I’ve run for a few first downs here and there," Carr said. "But that’s probably one of the longer ones I’ve had in a while."
I’m glad there are still a few continue to have faith and support him no matter there outcome. Sometimes, you have seen enough from his resume to know you have a great Quarterback.
We also have a great Kicker!!!! My current MVS! ( Most Valuable Sith Lord)
Daniel Carlson was perfect on a career-high FIVE field goals, including a 56-yard kick that helped keep the Raiders ahead late in the fourth quarter and the overtime winner.
He also was effective after a vicious Week of food poisoning!
"I told them I’ll find a way to play if I need to," Carlson said. "Find some adult diapers, whatever. That or a trash can on the sidelines. But I was good to go."
Said Bisaccia: "He’s just having one of those years. He’s really worked hard in the offseason. He’s gotten a lot stronger individually. But I can’t say enough about the protection unit in front of him."
On the last kick, Carlson withstood penalties on three successive plays, two by the Cowboys and one by the Raiders, that continually altered his starting point. But he never wavered while calmly staying focused to boot the Raiders to a must-have win.
"For me it’s just blocking it out, taking it one rep at a time," Carlson said. "It felt like an eternity out there … just trying to take them one at a time and seal the deal. Great game. Great day for the Raiders."
Dan also mentioned the spectacular play of Punter, AJ Cole.
"A lot of people don’t realize how big that field position battle is," Carlson said. "He’s been doing a great job for us all season, especially today. Flipping the field, pinning inside the 20 time after time after time."
On Defense, we could of used a little more discipline. We had way too many penalties. Dak Prescott torched our Secondary for 375 yards with two TDs. Michael Gallup racked up 106 yards and also burned Dallin Leavitt and Casey Hayward on a critical catch in the 4th Quarter.
We did hold Ezekiel Elliott to 25 yards. Tony Pollard was also held to 36 yards. Maybe they were still sore form the previous game?
Maxx Crosby was blocked well and was held to a half of a tackle.
Yannick Ngakoue had another big sack. That brings him to EIGHT on the year. I think he may be going for his career best record of 12 set in 2017.
Denzel Perryman had only 2 tackles with 5 assists but I’m sure he’ll bounce back next Week. Perryman is currently the leader in Pro Bowl votes as Middle Linebacker. He is the only Raiders player currently leading at any position.
STAY ON TARGET RAIDER NATION! Join me after next Week for my summary on the hated Washington Redskins! Taylor Heinicke must be pressured or we’re going to have a long day! Antonio Gibson and JD McKissic are also effective RBs that have to be stopped at all costs. Terry Mclaurin is clearly their MVP and must be covered well. The force is strong with him…but we’re STRONGER!!! The Defensive Backs get better every game. Don’t prove me wrong, D!
Thanks for reading, Nation! I’m hoping you have a great Week and have much love in your Heart today! God Bless!
Lord of the Sith, Master of all Evil