Photo credit: kansascity.com
By Joe Hawkes
Fresh off an emotional win on opening night against the Denver Broncos, the Raiders look to continue their winning ways within the AFC West as they host reigning NFL MVP in quarterback Patrick Mahomes and the visiting Kansas City Chiefs this Sunday.
Kickoff from the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum for this Week 2 matchup is at 1:05 p.m. PDT.
Raiders quarterback Derek Carr was in midseason form, throwing a touchdown on the game’s first drive of the season, while rookie running back Josh Jacobs scored two touchdowns to help the Raiders defeat the Denver Broncos, 24-16 to cap off ESPN’s Monday Night Football doubleheader.
The Raiders (1-0) simply outplayed the Broncos (0-1) for most of the night, as Carr surgically dissected Denver by completing 22-of-26 passes for 256 yards and one touchdown while posting a 121.0 passer rating for the game. For the entire night, the Broncos’ pass rush (most notably linebackers Von Miller and Bradley Chubb), didn’t lay a hand on Carr as he was just pressured just four times on 27 dropbacks according to ESPN Next Gen Stats.
Carr led Oakland on a 10-play, 72-yard drive that ended with a 8-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Tyrell Williams to give Oakland an early 7-0 lead on the game’s first drive.
Williams, who signed four-year, $44.3 million ($22 million guaranteed) deal with the Raiders in the offseason after spending three seasons with the San Diego/Los Angeles Chargers, caught six passes (on seven targets) for 105 yards and a touchdown.
Tight end Darren Waller established himself as a dependable pass catcher for Carr, hauling in a game-high seven passes for 70 yards on (eight targets.) Last season, Waller caught just six passes the entire year.
Jacobs, who got the start at running back had himself a debut to remember. Not only was the former Alabama Crimson Tide in the starting lineup, he recorded 23 carries for 85 yards and two touchdowns, but also caught one pass for 28 yards totaling 113 yards from scrimmage.
The rookie was the first player since LaDainian Tomlinson in 2001 to record 100+ yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns in their first game of their career. In Tomlinson’s first game as a San Diego Charger, he had 125 yards from scrimmage (113 rushing and 12 receiving) on 36 carries and one catch, respectively.
Oakland’s offense racked up 357 yards and converted 10-of-14 third down opportunities. The Raiders did commit nine penalties for 62 yards in the game.
But the play of Oakland’s defense was greatly a surprise, making life difficult for Broncos’ starting quarterback Joe Flacco and Denver offense for much of the night as he was sacked three times. Oakland mustered an NFL-low 13 sacks last season.
Flacco completed 21-of-31 passes for 268 yards and a touchdown, but wasn’t able to get the Broncos into the end zone until 2:15 left in the fourth quarter when he threw a 1-yard touchdown to wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders to make the score 26-14, which would be the game’s final score.
It was Sanders’ first game back since rupturing his Achilles tendon last season.
And now, Carr (who is just 2-8 lifetime against Kansas City) and the Raiders will face a Chiefs team that destroyed the Jaguars, 40-26 down in Jacksonville on Sunday. Kansas City has won eight of the last nine meetings with the Raiders, including sweeping the season-series against Oakland in 2018 by a combined score of 75-36.
Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes was blistering hot against a tough Jaguars defense, completing 25-of-33 passes for 378 yards and three touchdowns with a passer rating of 143.2 despite losing explosive wide receiver Tyreek Hill with a collarbone injury early in the game.
Hill, who won’t be available in Sunday’s game, will be sidelined with the injury for “weeks” according to reports, but won’t require surgery.
Mahomes did suffer a left ankle sprain in the game, but is expected to be ready for his encounter with the Raiders. In both wins against Oakland last season, Mahomes threw for 576 yards, six touchdowns and one interception with a 116.1 passer rating.
Jacksonville’s defense had no answers for wide receiver Sammy Watkins, who destroyed the Jaguars the entire day. Watkins exploded for nine catches for a career-high 198 yards and three touchdowns.
On Kansas City’s third play from scrimmage on their opening drive, Watkins slipped through the middle of Jacksonville’s defense for a 68-yard score, and added a 49-yard touchdown catch late in the first quarter. On both touchdowns, Watkins made Jacksonville’s defenders look foolish trying to catch him.
On his third score, Watkins beat Pro Bowl cornerback Jalen Ramsey for a 3-yard touchdown early in the fourth quarter to make the score 37-13, further putting the game away for Kansas City.
Running back LeSean McCoy, who reunites with Chiefs head coach Andy Reid, rushed for 81 yards on 10 carries in his debut for Kansas City. Reid coached McCoy in his first four seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles — in which he earned the first of six Pro Bowl bids and the initial of two All-Pro selections — with Reid calling the plays.
McCoy, a 10-year veteran, signed a one-year, $3 million deal with Kansas City on Sept. 1 after being cut by the Buffalo Bills following a four-year stint in Western New York. The deal could be worth as much as $4 million with incentives. In 2018, McCoy established career-lows of 514 yards rushing and 3.2 yards per carry.
Following Sunday’s game against Kansas City, the Raiders will begin a 49-day stretch in which they will be away from the Oakland-Alameda Coliseum; with road games in Minnesota and Indianapolis in Weeks 3 and 4; to go along with a “home” game against the Chicago Bears in London in Week 5 before returning to Oakland for their bye week in Week 6.
After road games in Green Bay (Week 7) and Houston (Week 8), the Raiders will finally play in front of Raider Nation in Week 9 against the Detroit Lions on Nov. 3.