FanPost

THE DARK SIDE: THIS IS THE WAY

How about that damn win, Nation?!??!?!?!
You feeling good this Week?!? I BET YOU ARE!!!!

Hello, I’m Darth Raider, Lord of the Sith, Master of all evil and this is my blog for you new LV Padawans and Jedi Knights of Oakland!

Great Victory, ey kids? It really warms the Heart that we grabbed the dub after a weak start by Derek Carr and the Offense. Even misfire, every mishap and I’m shouting "THAT’S WHY YOU PLAY PRE-SEASON!!" The game was truly a roller coaster ride!

"I felt like I died and woke up. And then died again," Raiders coach Jon Gruden said of the pulsating final few sequences.
Said Carr: "It always feels great to win that way."
The Captain passed for FOUR HUNDRED THIRTY FIVE yards w/ 2 TDS. He went from Jawa to Jedi after playing 5 Quarters. For all of you STILL not happy with our current QB, please know he was the passing Leader of the ENTIRE NFL for Week 1. Eat it, Trolls….
"I hope this is a sign of things to come," Carr said. "Who cares how we do it? Let’s just win. I do not care. We won the game. I’m celebrating that. It’s the only thing that matters."

Jon Gruden was also elated we won a tough Monday Night Football game.

"There was a time if we weren’t perfect, we weren’t going to win the game," he said. "Tonight, we weren’t perfect. The defense was able to keep us in the game and put us in a position where we had a chance to make a play to win the game."
He added:
"I thought Derek Carr was awesome under some really tough circumstances tonight," coach Jon Gruden said.
The rally marked the 22nd time Carr has led a fourth-quarter comeback win.
"I don’t even know the exact number, but it’s my favorite stat," Carr said. "Those are earned wins. Some wins, you just hand the ball off and get the credit."
"We started out rough, but nothing in my heart or in my mind changed," he said. "You just think this next play is the one that’s going to win the game. It’s just a mindset."
Darren Waller (The other MVP) chose the same words..
"I think it’s more of a mindset," said Waller, whose scoring catch with 3:44 left in regulation helped the LV Raiders tie the game 24-24. "We can move the ball at will and our tempo can dictate whenever we really want. Things just started clicking. Our infamous Tight End ended with 10 catches for 105 yards with 1 TD. Not too shabby for a Practice Squad Ravens player. I believe it was a great Birthday for the All Star.

Zay Jones also came up big in Overtime. That 31 yard Touchdown was a play of magic. It appeared to be a running play as the Offense bunched up while the Defense thought the Raiders would just rush until they got into Field Goal range. Luckily, that wasn’t the case…
"I think I lead the league in Zay Jones cheers and chants," Gruden said. "He’s just such a great kid and such a hard-working player. I have to get him on the field more. It’s a competitive group of receivers, but he’s such an energy source for us. He finishes everything. He’s the first guy in and the last guy to leave. He’s always upbeat and positive.
"I wish I was Zay Jones."

The Bad news? The Offensive Line was not as good as previously advertised. I witnessed all of the following after 5 Quarters:
-Tackle Alex Leatherwood got beat by a swim move in the 1st Quarter
-The ENTIRE weak side caving in on a Josh Jacobs lost of yards rushing play (1st Q)
-Tackle Kolton Miller could not maintain his block in 2nd Quarter (Defender hand swiped/ went around him)
-New Center Andre James getting beat a few times.
-Holding Calls on critical possessions
-In the 4th quarter; James, Kolton Miller and Josh Simpson got beat w/ 4 mins to go on a passing play - Derek rushed his pass
- Alex grabbing on off sides penalty on a SUPER CRITICAL Overtime 2nd and Goal play.

Alex…. much to learn you still have!

Pro Football focus also ranked Leatherwood 68th out of 68 eligible offensive tackles in Week 1. Center Andre James was No. 32 out of 32 centers whose performance was ranked by the site’s graders.

I also saw a few great plays as well of course..
-Andre James SUPERB block on Patrick Queen to open up a Josh Jacobs TD.
-Above Average Pass protection
-True Grit from the squad to get an injured Josh Jacobs 34 yards.

I’m concerned abut our O Line power rushing ability. If they don’t get it together, Jacobs becomes obsolete.
Despite mistakes, Coach thought the Line did ok..
"We were pleased," Gruden said. "We have watched the Ravens all through the summer and for the last few weeks, and they have their way with a lot of teams. We’re happy with the initial game of our players."


On Defense? We’re still bending and not breaking….but effective!
Maxx Crosby was the shining star; sacking the quickest Quarterback the NFL has ever seen…TWICE!
He also hit the 2019 NFL MVP four other times. Crosby pressured Jackson 10 times and earned a grade of 93.3 from Pro Football Focus, tied for the best among pass rushers in Week 1.
Maxx recently earned AFC Defensive Player of the Week honors for his performance.
"We’ve been working together, and we really take this job seriously," Crosby said. "You see all these guys making plays. We’ve been emphasizing the little details in practice, and you saw it tonight. It was a good start, and now we have to carry it over on a short week in Pittsburgh."
He added:
"We just gotta keep it rolling,"
You all see Lamar Jackson giving him repect? I sure did!!!!

The Raiders earlier got a forced fumble by Quinton Jefferson against Jackson to set up Josh Jacobs’ 15-yard TD run, tying the game at 17.
"That ticked me off. I hate fumbling. I hate any type of turnover," Lamar Jackson said. "I could have just taken a sack, if anything. It happens in football."
Jackson added:
"I’d seen the (pocket) breaking down. I tried to push the lineman, tried to get out of the pocket, and (Nassib) hit me while I was doing it," Jackson said. "I’ll try to hold onto the ball next time. … It happens."
Denzel Perryman/ Cory Littleton lead the defense in tackles, both grabbed. 5 solos and 5 assists. KJ Wright had a wicked stunt tackle in the 1st Quarter.

Coach Gruden also had some great things to say about Johnathan Abram.
"He showed up big time with some range plays and open-field tackling," Gruden said. "He was in the right spot. He was in a good place emotionally. I liked where his concentration was from a down-to-down standpoint. I think he’s really starting to understand this defense and know what his role is in the defense and unleashing his talent. I thought a lot of things came together for him against a very difficult and unorthodox style of offense. You’re not going to see a lot of teams play offense like that in this league."

Even our Special Teams guys made some great plays down the stretch. Daniel Carlson kicked a NICEEEE 55 yarder to send the game to Overtime in the 4th Quarter.
"I do have a lot of confidence in him," Gruden said. "We knew if we got the ball at the 40-yard line, he could make that kick and send it to overtime. He did it o New Orleans last year in similar fashion to make it a two-score game. His kickoffs have been great. His field-goal accuracy has been great. I think he’s a Pro Bowl kicker. He broke (Sebastian) Janikowski’s scoring record last year for a reason. He’s a reliable, clutch kicker, and he’s off to another great start."

MORE bad news: Gerald McCoy is out for the Season. Yannick Ngakoue maybe missing time in the future.

"We’re still trying to get some determination on who’s going to be available for us this week," Raiders head coach Jon Gruden said as the Raiders prepared for Sunday’s game in Pittsburgh against the Steelers. "So our preparation right now is a little bit cloudy."


ESPN Summary: LAS VEGAS -- As slow, clunky and ugly as the Las Vegas Raiders' offense was early Monday night, it was just as efficient late. And as terrible as their defense was last season, it did just enough against the Baltimore Ravens.

In front of a delirious Allegiant Stadium crowd of 61,756 -- and in the first regular-season NFL game played in front of fans in the city's history -- the Raiders came back from an early, two-touchdown deficit to pull out a 33-27 winin overtime on Monday Night Football.

"I felt like I died and woke up," Raiders coach Jon Gruden said. "And died again. I was like a cat: I had multiple lives tonight. I don't like playing like that. It was tough but, again, we did a lot of good things to win that football game tonight.

"Our defense made a signature play at the end of that game, and I thought Derek Carr was awesome playing under some really tough circumstances today against a really good defense."

On the ensuing Ravens drive, Carl Nassib's strip sack of Lamar Jackson and Darius Philon's recovery at Baltimore's 27-yard line set up Carr's game-winning 31-yard pass to Zay Joneswith 3:38 remaining in the extra period.

Carr said the game was a microcosm of his eight-year NFL career with the Raiders: "Yes! Crap! Gosh! Dang!"

After a slow start, Carr finished with 435 yards passing and two TDs with the interception in completing 34 of 56 attempts, tied for the third-most passes in a game in his career.

"I hope this is a sign of things to come for us," said Carr, who has now won a franchise-best five openers for the Raiders, including three straight. "Who cares how we do it; let's just win, right?"

It was a show unlike anything the glitz and glamour of Las Vegas had ever seen before. Gladys Knight performed the national anthem, rappers Ice Cube and Too $hort staged a halftime concert and, well, Monday Night Football delivered in Sin City. And while the crowd had its hiccups -- doing the wave while Raiders defensive tackle Gerald McCoy was carted off the field -- it erupted on Jones' walk-off TD.

"Las Vegas, I tip my hat; you showed up," said Carr, who said it was the loudest environment he could remember and thanked the fans for being quieter when the offense was on the field. "It got really loud. Las Vegas did their thing, and they helped us pull out that win."

Indeed, it propelled the Raiders' reconfigured defense, as edge rushers Maxx Crosby had two sacks, Yannick Ngakoue tipped a pass and Nassib -- the first openly gay active player in NFL history -- stopped Jackson on a key third-down play in regulation, before his game-altering strip sack.

"Lot of firsts today," Nassib said. "No one blinked. It was awesome. It was a great team win, for sure."

As Crosby added, "For me, the thing that stood out was so many guys making big plays ... everybody flying around."

And this from Carr: "Please, someone praise the defense."

Daniel Carlson kicked a 55-yard field goal with two seconds remaining in regulation to force overtime.

Gruden did a victory lap, of sorts, slapping hands with fans in Las Vegas' reimagined Black Hole southern end zone.

With the Raiders' victory, every team in the AFC West and the NFC West is 1-0. According to ESPN Stats & Information research, there has never been a week since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger when multiple divisions saw all of its teams win.


Well, that all. For this Week, Raider Nation! Let’s continue to celebrate victory in Pittsburgh! They’re going to be tough with Juju, Diontae and Claypool leading the strike! Hope you enjoyed my blog just as much as I did! (: Oh..before I forget..SHUT THE HELL UP WHILE OUR TEAM IS ON OFFENSE! Whew! Got it out of my system.. Don’t make me FORCE CHOKE YOU! Damn LV Padawans make me lose my voice sometimes.. (: THANK YOU BRO LEONARD for the bday present! Best one of my life!

May the Force be withy yas! Excelsior!

Lord of the Sith, Master of all Evil

DARTH RAIDER