Takeaways from the Raiders’ win over the Lions

Photo credit: freep.com

By Joe Hawkes
SRS Contributor

OAKLAND, Calif. — The Raiders returned home from their whirlwind tour in which they logged over 20,000 miles with a gutsy, 31-24 victory over the visiting Detroit Lions on Sunday that pulled the team to the .500 mark at 4-4.

Quarterback Derek Carr threw a 9-yard touchdown pass to rookie wide receiver Hunter Renfrow with 2:05 left in the game, cementing Oakland’s win in the team’s first game at home in seven weeks.

Carr’s clutch throw to Renfrow for the win got the Raiders off on the right foot, as they enter a critical three-game homestand that will be key in Oakland’s playoff chances this season. The Raiders face the Los Angeles Chargers on Thursday Night Football on a short week, then host the Cincinnati Bengals at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on Nov. 11.

Check out my takeaways from the Silver and Black’s win against the Lions:

Josh Jacobs is the NFL’s Offensive Rookie of the Year without question

As much as Oakland’s win can be credited to its signal-caller (Carr completed 20-of-31 passes for 289 yards and 2 TDs), Jacobs’ performance was instrumental.

The rookie running back found gaping holes in Detroit’s defense, rushing for 120 yards and two scores on 28 carries. It was Jacobs’ third game this season in which he’s rushed for 120+ yards with 20+ carries.

With a 16-yard rush late in the first-half, Jacobs broke Marcus Allen’s franchise rookie record for rushing. Jacobs now has rushed for 740 yards and through eight games, breaking Allen’s mark of 697 set in the nine-game, strike-shortened 1982 season per Elias Sports Bureau.

Not only does Jacobs leads all rookies in rushing, but his six touchdowns and runs of 20+ yards (5) and 40+ yards (2) are tops among the group.

Raiders’ defense is opportunistic

Lions quarterback did have a big day against the Raiders’ suspect secondary, throwing for 406 yards and three touchdowns, but Oakland did capitalize on two Detroit turnovers in the first half to take a 17-14 lead.

Defensive tackle Maurice Hurst recovered a fumble deep inside Oakland’s territory after Stafford botched a handoff to running back JD McKissic on Detroit’s opening drive of the game. The Raiders would turn that into an 11-play, 68-yard drive in 5:32 that culminated in Jacobs’ first score of the game, a 2-yard run that put Oakland ahead 7-0.

After the Lions took a 14-10 lead following a 59-yard touchdown pass from Stafford to wide receiver Kenny Golladay, Stafford tried to hookup with Golladay again, but Raiders cornerback Daryl Worley made a terrific play on the football by intercepting Stafford in the end zone.

The Raiders would turn that takeaway into points, with Jacobs capping off a 12-play, 80-yard drive in 5:14 with his second score of the game from 3-yards out to put Oakland ahead 17-14 going into halftime.

For as much as the takeaways led to 14 points for Oakland, those weren’t the biggest plays in my book by the defense in the game.

With Detroit inches away from scoring and facing a fourth down, the Raiders defense looking to preserve a 31-24 lead, Karl Joseph’s pass breakup of the potential game-tying touchdown in the back of the end zone was the biggest play made by the defense on the day.

Quote of the game

“I love this place. It’s special. To come home in front of them and get a win, especially the way we did it. It would be nice to win something 40-0 some time. But when you win one like this, it does so many good things for a team.” – Derek Carr talking about the feeling he gets playing in Oakland in front of Raider Nation.

The Raiders are playing their final season in Oakland this year, before moving to their new 65,000-seat home, Allegiant Stadium, in Las Vegas in 2020.

Thursday night’s matchup against the Chargers (4-5) should make for an enticing game.

The Chargers will enter the game fresh off the heels of a 26-11 victory over the visiting Green Bay Packers at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif.

Running back Melvin Gordon scored two touchdowns, and kicker Michael Badgely booted four field goals for the Chargers, who snapped a three-game home losing streak and handed the Packers (7-2) their second loss of the year.

Raiders return home for matchup against the Lions

Photo credit: @Raiders

By Joe Hawkes
SRS Contributor

After being away from the Oakland-Alameda Coliseum for a five-game stretch in which they finished 2-3, the Oakland Raiders return home to begin a three-game homestand starting with a in Week 9 matchup as they host the visiting Detroit Lions this Sunday, Nov. 3.

Kickoff is set for 1:05 p.m. PT on FOX.

Oakland is looking to snap a four-game losing streak to the Lions, and finish off with a .500 record against the NFC North this season in which the Raiders are 1-2 with a win over the Chicago Bears in London in a “home game,” and road losses in Minnesota and Green Bay.

In Week 8, the Raiders lost to the Houston Texans, 27-24, that saw their record fall to 3-4. Oakland’s offense had success against a very tough Houston defense, with quarterback Derek Carr tossing three touchdowns in a game for the first time in 2019. Carr finished 18-of-30 with 285 yards and a blistering passer rating of 125.0

Tight end Darren Waller and wide receivers Hunter Renfrow and Tyrell Williams each caught a touchdown in the game. For Waller, it was the first time he’s scored a touchdown in consecutive games in his career after scoring a pair of touchdowns in Week 7 at Green Bay.

Renfrow’s touchdown, a 65-yard score, was his first-career score.

Defensively for the Raiders, linebacker Tahir Whitehead led all defenders with a season-high 11 tackles, while defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins and defensive ends Arden Key and Benson Mayowa each recorded a sack.

Entering Week 9, Oakland is second in the NFL with with eight sacks surrendered on offense. Only in 1970 and 2016 have the Raiders surrendered fewer sacks (seven) through the club’s first seven games of the season.

Additionally, the Raiders also rank second in the NFL with sacks allowed per pass play percentage of 3.5 percent on the season.

The Lions (3-3-1) enter Week 9 coming off a 31-26 victory over the NFC East’s New York Giants at Ford Field in Detroit that snapped the team’s three-game losing streak.

Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford completed 25-of-32 passes for 325 yards, three touchdowns and one interception.

Wide receiver Kenny Golladay finished with six catches for 123 yards and two touchdowns, while fellow wide receiver Danny Amendola chipped in 95 yards for a team-high eight catches.

Following Sunday’s game, the Raiders will host their AFC West rival the Los Angeles Chargers on a short week on Thursday Night Football. The Lions will remain on the road as they head to Chicago to take on their NFC North rivals, the Bears.