The Las Vegas Raiders got a big win on Monday Night Football this week, taking down the Green Bay Packers 17-13. That bumps the Raiders’ record up to 2-3 and gives them life for the rest of the season as the defense put the team on their backs and is the focus of this week’s winners and losers column.
WINNER: Maxx Crosby
It’s become a weekly occurrence that Maxx Crosby dominates a game but there was just something special about last night. It seemed like he was virtually unblockable and lived in the Packers’ backfield with five total tackles, four for loss and a sack.
Crosby also tallied seven pressures on the evening, which is tied for the fifth-most among edge rushers in Week 5 and brings his season total up to 34, one behind Aidan Hutchinson for the league lead.
Madd Maxx was disruptive even when he didn’t pop up on the stat sheet, consistently getting penetration and forcing Green Bay’s running backs to cut back. That resulted in an 80.8 run defense grade from Pro Football Focus which was second-best at his position for the week.
It was one of the five-year pro’s best performances of his career and that’s saying something given how well he’s played in the past.
LOSER: Josh McDaniels
Josh McDaniels should be thanking Patrick Graham and the defense for bailing him out. Not only did the offense fail to score more than 20 points for the fifth time in five games, but he also made some flat-out terrible decisions.
With two timeouts at his disposal and less than two minutes before halftime, Las Vegas forced a punt and instead of using one of those timeouts, McDaniels opted to let more time off the clock and forced the offense into a hurry-up situation.
Later in the game, the Raiders were on a four-minute drive to potentially put the game away and he called a draw on first down when everyone in the stadium knew they were running the ball. The next play was a pass which luckily was completed, and he followed that up with another draw but to Ameer Abdullah instead of Josh Jacobs.
To top it all off, the offense had a fourth and two from Green Bay’s 34-yard line and McDaniels decided to kick the field goal to make a touchdown game a touchdown game instead of going for it and sealing the win.
Between another bad offensive performance from McDaniels’ unit and questionable clock management, the head coach was playing with fire and nearly cost the team the game.
WINNER: Robert Spillane
Coming into the night, Robert Spillane had one career interception in five seasons. However, he managed to come down with two on Monday night and now leads the team in the metric.
But Spillane did more than just capitalize on a couple of mistakes from the Packers. He was targeted twice and allowed one completion for eight yards while preventing a first down to come up with a defensive stop. Also, he was active against the run with total tackles and an 82.6 PFF run defense grade that ranked third among linebackers for the week.
According to PFF, Spillane didn’t miss a tackle for the first time this season which is a good step in the right direction as that’s been one of his biggest issues so far.
He ended up posting an 87.5 overall grade from PFF, which is the second-highest mark of his career and the sixth-best among all linebackers for the week. Monday was truly a special night for the veteran linebacker as he played one of the best games of his career.
LOSER: Jimmy Garoppolo
A big reason why the offense has been struggling is Jimmy Garoppolo has not been playing well. He threw another interception and is now up to seven on the year, and one during every game he’s played in so far, and only has six touchdowns. Even worse, PFF has credited him with just two “big-time throws” to five “turnover-worthy plays”.
Garoppolo’s inability to push the ball down the field is becoming a big issue as well. For example, while he completed 22 of 31 passes (71.0 percent) against the Packers, that only amounted to 208 yards as he recorded an average depth of target (ADOT) of 5.7 yards. The latter is the third-lowest of any Week 5 quarterback who had at least 13 dropbacks.
All season defenses have been loading the box against the Raiders and forcing Garoppolo to beat them, and he hasn’t been able to which is part of the reason why the running game struggles get going.
WINNER: Divine Deablo
I’ve been hard on the Raiders’ linebackers lately, especially Divine Deablo, so I have to give him his flowers when he plays well.
Deablo ended up leading the team in tackles with 10 and made several impactful plays throughout the game. He racked up five defensive stops which was tied for the fifth-most at his position for the week. Also, he was stingy in coverage, allowing three completions on five targets for just 15 yards, and finished in the top 10 among backers with an 80.2 coverage grade.
Hopefully, this is a sign of what’s to come for the Raiders’ linebackers.
WINNER: Amik Robertson
With Nate Hobbs and Jakorian Bennett out, Las Vegas really needed someone to step up in their secondary. Amik Robertson didn’t have a perfect game by any means, but he came through when the team needed him most with a game-winning interception in the end zone. He also earned a solid 65.8 PFF run defense grade and made a decent case to keep the starting spot when Bennett gets healthy.
WINNER: Marcus Peters
While Marcus Peters had far from a perfect game, giving up a few receptions and missing a tackle, similar to Robertson, Peters came through with a few clutch plays. He recorded a pass breakup in the fourth quarter that led to one of Spillane’s interceptions, and the veteran corner made a heady play that ended up being the difference in the game.
Packers’ wide receiver Christian Watson broke free for a long reception, but Peters got wideout on the ground by any means necessary via a horse-collar tackle to keep Watson out of the end zone. That cost Green Bay four points as they ended up having to settle for a field goal and Las Vegas ended up winning by four.
Long story short, the Raiders wouldn’t win if it wasn’t for Peters’ efforts.