Sunday, September 11, 2016

Raiders Win Shootout In New Orleans

#30 Jalen Richard runs 75 yards up the middle to pay dirt!

The Oakland Raiders went to New Orleans in NFL week 1 and came away with a win. Drew Brees and the Saints made it as difficult a win as ever as they put up points almost at will. But the Silver & Black also have offensive weapons in QB Derek Carr and company. They also have a young un-drafted gem in #30, running back Jalen Richard, who's 75-yard rushing touchdown with 8:26 left in the game tied it up 27-27. To me that was the spark that re-ignited the Raiders confidence in themselves and their game plan. 

There were so many big plays throughout the afternoon for both teams; a 98-yard passing touchdown by the Saints, a Seth Roberts twisting touchdown for the Raiders, a Derek Carr first down flying act

But no play was as big as the one called by Raiders coach Jack Del Rio for the go ahead score. 

After the Seth Roberts touchdown catch, coach Del Rio opted to go for two points and the lead instead of tie it with a field goal. A fade pass from Derek Carr to Michael Crabtree was the call. Another fade pass in New Orleans haunted Crabtree. As a 49er, he couldn't get to a fade pass from QB Kaepernick in the waning minutes of Super Bowl XLII. The Baltimore Ravens took home the Lombardi Trophy and Crabtree the nightmares. Not today. Though Crabtree's winning fade catch in this game only gave the Raiders a win in week 1 of the regular season, it was as huge for him as it was for the Raiders organization. The Raiders hadn't won a week 1 game since 2011. The bar has now been set for the rest of the season; No Quit!

I agree with those that believe it was the right call; gutsy as heck, but the right call. Because you don't play for overtime with a hot, gun slinging quarterback like Drew Brews who spent all day slicing up your secondary. Brees threw for over 400-yards with 4 touchdowns and was, in the infamous words of the late, great sportscaster Stuart Scott, "as cool as the other side of the pillow" in the pocket. He made doubters of the experts who predicted a dominating Raiders defense this season. 

The Raiders will definitely need to clean up their act on defense if they want to contend for a championship. The pass defense was very shaky and having to replace cornerback Sean Smith, your $40 million dollar free agent acquisition, because he just couldn't hang with receivers was a telling sign. It says as much about the skills of Smith though as it does about the Raiders coaches and their will to win; Gutsy!

We Raider fans will chew hardy on this hard fought win. "We Believe" is back in the bay and this time they're dressing in Silver & Black.

Thanks to Ricky's Sports Bar in San Leandro, I was able to enjoy this win swarmed with love and brotherhood from Raider Nation. My voice is as hoarse as if I'd attended a Raiders game at the coliseum. But I'll take it as long as the Raiders just win baby!

Win, Lose or Tie

Final Score
Raiders 35
Saints 34

Quote of the Day:
Coach Del Rio on going for 2 pts.; "good thing espn isn't coaching the Raiders!"

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