The Las Vegas Raiders are cooking. But do they have enough time?
The rest of the AFC may want to take notice, but this team looked dangerous in a 27-20 win over the Los Angeles Chargers.
Let’s look at some keys to the win:
The next five weeks:
The Raiders are either going to fight their way back into the playoff mix or they going to screw up a top draft pick. Las Vegas has won three straight games since falling to 2-7 and being in line for the No. 2 overall draft pick. Now, all bets are off. The Raiders still have a deep hill to climb in the AFC playoff picture, but they are currently in 10th place in the AFC playoff chase and are two games out of the seventh and final playoff spot. So, it’s not out of the question and their remaining schedule isn’t bad as the Raiders will face, at least, two backup quarterbacks down the stretch. Things are, at the very least, interesting as we enter the heart of December football.
Adams and Jacobs have monster game again:
Davante Adams are two elite players and they have simply been carrying Las Vegas’ offense.
RB Josh Jacobs has now notched his 6th 100-yard rushing performance of the season, tied for the second most games in a single season in franchise history. It is also only the fourth time in franchise history a player has recorded four or more 100-yard rushing games in a season.— Raiders PR (@RAIDERS_PR) December 4, 2022
They did it again Sunday. Adams had a season-high 177 receiving yards on eight catches and he had two touchdown. Jacobs chimed in with 144 rushing yards and a touchdown.
WR Davante Adams has now become the seventh player in NFL history with 12 touchdowns in five of his first nine seasons, joining Jerry Rice (six seasons), Terrell Owens (five), Calvin Johnson (four), Randy Moss (four), Marvin Harrison (four) and Mike Evans (four).— Raiders PR (@RAIDERS_PR) December 4, 2022
The Raiders are 5-1 this season when Jacobs, who is leading the NFL in rushing with 1,303 yards, goes over 100 yards and are 0-6 when he doesn’t. Thee guys are just so good and have a chance to carry the Raiders for the rest of the season.
WR Davante Adams posted seven 100-yard games in 2020, eight 100-yard games in 2021 and now seven 100-yard games in 2022.— Raiders PR (@RAIDERS_PR) December 4, 2022
He is the first player in NFL history to record seven plus 100-yard games in three consecutive seasons.
Flipped game in second half:
The Chargers have been brutal in the second half in the second half this season and the Raiders took advantage of it. The Chargers led 13-10 at halftime, but they lost the ball deep in their own territory on the first drive of the second half and the Raiders quickly scored and then scored again. The Raiders outscored the Chargers 33-14 in the second half this season as they split the season series with their AFC West foe.
Chandler Jones sighting:
Finally, the big-money veteran had a big game for the Raiders. The free-agent addition had three sacks Sunday and terrorized a battered Chargers’ offensive line. Jones, who signed for $34 million in guaranteed money, had a half sack going into the game. But he was special Sunday. The entire Raiders’ pass-rush was strong against the beat-up Chargers’ front and it had 11 sacks in the past three games after getting just 10 sacks in the first nine games. It’s a a key to the rest of the season.
“We got to the quarterback well today,” Las Vegas coach Josh McDaniels said. “And it paid off.”
With his second sack of the day on the last drive, DE Chandler Jones has now reached 500 career tackles and 110.0 career sacks.— Raiders PR (@RAIDERS_PR) December 4, 2022
He is only the 13th player in NFL history to reach 500+ tackles and 100.0+ sacks.
Overcoming early turnovers:
For the second straight game, the Raiders overcame two early turnovers and an early hole. Early in the season, the Raiders were blowing big leads (they lost three games after taking a 17-0 lead or more). Now, they are turning the script. That’s huge.
“The character was on full display,” Las Vegas quarterback Derek Carr said.
Tipped ball and a pick-6 for Derek Carr.pic.twitter.com/DI9Nt0naoK— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) December 4, 2022
Hobbs on outside:
In his first game since breaking his hand in Week 5 at Kansas City, Raiders’ standout cornerback Nate Hobbs started on the outside. Safety Roderic Teamer was the big nickel. While they can still mix it up, it’s a strong likelihood Hobbs, who had a huge fumble recovery in the third quarter, will continue to play on outside for the rest of the season.
The Raiders have a chance to win Thursday at the Los Angeles Rams on a short week. The Rams are without quarterback Matthew Stafford, superstar defensive tackle Aaron Donald and wide receivers Cooper Kupp and Allen Robinson. This is a real opportinity for the Raiders, who will be very likely playing in front of a friendly crowd at SoFi Stadium. Key Raiders’ offensive pieces, tight end Darren Waller and slot receiver Hunter Renfrow, are both eligible to return from the injured reserve this week. it will be interesting to see if they have a chance to get back on a short week.
What a place:
This was my first experience at Allegiant Stadium, covering the game. What a tremendous experience. The joint is beautiful and this great fan base so much deserves this beauty. Sitting here, it reminded me of being in (then Pac Bell Park) watching my beloved San Francisco Giants there for the first time. I kept thinking about all those days at Candlestick Park. What a difference. The same goes for the Raiders and this place after all those years at the Oakland Coliseum. It was a dump, but lovable. This place, though, is sweet. And, yes, Raiders fans can get pretty loud in the joint.