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Raiders-Jets: Winners and losers; Robert Spillane, defense come up clutch

LB sealed the ‘W’ as the defense held NYJ out of end zone

New York Jets v Las Vegas Raiders
Antonio Pierce
Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

The Las Vegas Raiders are now 2-0 under interim head coach Antonio Pierce after their 16-12 win in Week 10 on Sunday Night Football against the New York Jets. As the score would indicate, the Raiders’ defense came up clutch to get the ‘W’ and is the focus of this week’s winners and losers.

WINNER: Robert Spillane

Robert Spillane certainly earned a game ball for yesterday’s performance. Not only did he tie for the team lead with seven total tackles, but he also logged his third interception of the year which pretty much sealed the win for Las Vegas. That pick pulls him into a tie for the sixth-most in the entire league and into a tie with Fred Warner and Logan Wilson for the most among linebackers this season.

Spillane was also responsible for a sack, two pressures and three defensive stops, according to Pro Football Focus, to earn an elite 90.8 overall grade from PFF which is currently the highest mark among linebackers for the week.

But what might be even more significant is he has cut down on the missed tackles that plagued him at the beginning of the year with zero misses on Sunday, continuing his hot streak with just one failed tackle attempt in the last four games.

LOSER: Andre James

Andre James drew a tough matchup this week against Quinnen Williams, who is one of the best defensive tackles in the NFL. Williams certainly got the better of James, winning at least a couple of reps that led to either a tackle for loss or a short gain against the run. That resulted in a sub-par 59.8 PFF run-blocking grade for the center, and he wasn’t much better in pass protection.

James allowed three pressures and two resulted in hits on Aidan O’Connell; a sack and a QB hit, to also earn a below-average mark in pass protection (54.7). Again, the Jets’ defensive line, and specifically Williams, is a tough matchup for any interior offensive lineman, but it’s not like these next two weeks will get much easier with Christian Wilkins and Chris Jones awaiting.

WINNER: John Jenkins

New York Giants v Las Vegas Raiders
John Jenkins
Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Somewhat quietly, John Jenkins is putting together a good stretch of performances. Sunday was his fifth game in a row with an overall PFF grade in the 70s (73.6), and he added two more defensive stops to bring his total to 10 during that timeframe.

Jenkins has always been a quality run defender and that continued to be true against the Jets as that’s where those two defensive stops mentioned above came from, and he also picked up an additional assisted tackle against the run. But what is most surprising is he’s found a way to impact the passing game by picking up his third batted pass of the year, which ranks tied for fifth among defensive tackles this season.

The veteran has been a steady presence in the middle of the Raiders’ defense in 2023.

LOSER: Dylan Parham

In a similar vein as James, Dylan Parham struggled to hold up against New York’s strong defensive line.

Parham finished as the Raiders’ lowest-graded offensive player with a mark of 44.3 that also ranks third-to-last among guards heading into Monday Night Football. Run blocking is ultimately what did him in as his 38.0 PFF grade in that department is dead last at his position, and the team had just seven yards on three rushing attempts to the left A- and B-gaps.

Granted, Parham did have a good outing in pass protection with zero pressures allowed, but he certainly has some work to do in the ground game.

WINNER: Josh Jacobs

Sunday’s game makes it back-to-back weeks that Josh Jacobs has set a season-high in rushing yards as he logged triple-digits for the first time in 2023 with 27 carries for 116 yards. That also makes Sunday his most efficient performance of the campaign with 4.3 yards per carry, and his six missed tackles forced were also a season-best.

Granted, he’ll want those two fumbles back but those were pretty much the only negatives for Jacobs this week.

WINNER: Malcolm Koonce

Even with Maxx Crosby on the field, Malcolm Koonce was arguably Las Vegas’ best pass-rusher on Sunday Night. Crosby finished with five pressures to Koonce’s four, but the latter had 27 fewer opportunities. Also, Koonce was responsible for one of the team’s two sacks—his second on the year and in as many weeks—and forced a fumble on the play to create a turnover opportunity.

The third-year pro ended with an elite 91.0 grade from PFF thank ranks second behind Nick Bosa for the highest mark among edges this week, which is also the highest single-game grade of his career.