The impressive hangtime Amik Robertson displayed on his leaping game-saving interception for the Las Vegas Raiders on Monday night was matched only by Raider Nation holding it’s collective breath as the heave into the end zone found the mitts of the Silver & Black cornerback.
On an evening where it looked like Josh McDaniels’ decision to go for the three points — kicker Daniel Carlson banged the field goal off the upright, by the way — instead of putting the game away by going for it on 4th-and-2 with two minutes remaining, it was Patrick Graham’s defense rising to the occasion and slamming the door on the visiting Green Bay Packers.
The Raiders defense stood tall and closed out a ball game. How many times have we been able to say that?
Robertson’s heroics sure didn’t look promising to start. The 3rd-and-10 play from the Raider’s 35-yard line saw Packers quarterback Jordan Love leave the pocket with green grass ahead of him. But he, like head coach Matt LaFleur on the sideline, saw wide receiver Christian Watson break free and raise his arm indicating he was wide open. Robertson hustled to catch up and put forth teach tape for every cornerback. The 5-foot-8 cornerback caught up, saw Watson’s head and eyes look up, turned to locate the ball and jumped — hanging in the air — to take the ball away. That was a diminutive defensive back telling a 6-foot-4 wideout “not tonight”.
Not bad for a player whose snap count read a meager “three” before playing in 59 snaps (91 percent) on defense in Week 4.
#Raiders CB Amik Robertson after coming down with the game sealing interception— Jesse Merrick (@JesseNews3LV) October 10, 2023
"I knew they was gonna test me, I'm the smallest guy on the field...I just wanted to - not just get a PBU, I was tired of those, I wanted the ball, I wanted them to feel it." pic.twitter.com/yiWk5RF3sA
Robertson’s interception was one of three picks the Raiders defense racked up against the Packers. Linebacker Robert Spillane — who had one career interception heading into Monday’s matchup — intercepted two of Love’s passes. The first was when he drifted back in coverage and the ball was thrown right to him. The second was off a perfectly timed pass break up by veteran cornerback Marcus Peters. The tipped ball hung in the air and right into the awaiting arms of Spillane.
When both McDaniels and Graham spoke about takeaways coming in waves, it wasn’t malarkey. Safety Tre’Von Moehrig came up with the team’s first interception last week against the Los Angeles Chargers and under the primetime lights, Las Vegas added three more in that category.
With the 17-13 victory, the Raiders not only snapped a three-game losing skid, the team finally bested the Packers — something the team hadn’t done since Sept. 13, 1987.
Let’s hit the quick slants as quickly as Raiders edge rusher Maxx Crosby gets off the snap:
—Hearing Troy Aikman and Joe Buck marvel at Crosby’s prowess on the broadcast was odd in that it seemed the duo never watched the Raiders elite rusher before. Crosby was his usual disruptive self racking up a sack, five total tackles, and four tackles for loss.
—Crosby’s consistent unrelenting pressure contributed heavily to Love’s awful 16 of 30 for 182 yards and three interception evening. Love was sacked twice — once by Crosby, once by Moehrig — and had a difficult time connecting with his targets.
—Spillane not only led the team with two interceptions, he was also second in total tackles with nine. Divine Deablo led the team with 10 total tackles.
—Raiders quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo went 22 of 31 for 208 yards with one touchdown, one interception, and was sacked three times. The pick was a bad read and throw and there were several times where the signal caller displayed happy feet in the pocket.
—Josh Jacobs paced the Raiders run game, per usual, with 20 carries for 69 yards and a touchdown. He showed off excellent burst and vision for a 24-yard gallop (longest of the night) and showed what he can do when he’s not touched behind the line of scrimmage.
—Here’s an odd stat for Jacobs, however: He as sacked once. That was a play where hit looked like he was going to throw the ball back to Garoppolo on a double pass but the Packers had things well defended.
—Wide receiver Jakobi Meyers continues to be a favorite target in the Raiders offense. He was thrown to 10 times hauling in seven of those passes for 75 yards and a touchdown. Fellow wideout Davante Adams finished with four catches for 45 yards.
Quote of Note:
This one’s a video, check out what Crosby said about the Raiders defense:
Play of the Game: