Quick Slants: Raiders Get Well-Deserved Belly Rub

The post halftime report during Sunday’s broadcast of the Raiders-Beats tilt was thoroughly intriguing. FOX’s sideline reporter noted Chicago head coach Matt Nagy said it was nothing Oakland was doing and it was all about what his team was not doing as a reason for the 17-0 deficit. 

There’s a lot of truth in those words. 

Because, when it mattered, Nagy’s Bears did nothing. The Bears’ vaunted run defense was nowhere to be found. Neither was a domineering pass rush. When they needed it most, Chicago did nothing. Nada. Zip. Zilch. 

Khalil Mack, where art thou?

Oakland’s victorious 24-21 outing in London culminated in a great scene: Defensive tackle Maurice Hurst doing the Mack/LeBron celebration after he ended the game with a sack.

Exquisite. 

Hurst didn’t do his patented belly rub sack celebration to end the game, yet the team as a whole, should get a well-deserved belly rub. 

Powered by an unheralded offensive line and a scintillating rookie running back, the Raiders ran through and around the Bears’ defense in London. It was a cup o’ tea bagging for most of the game — sans a 21-point third-quarter outburst by Chicago, of course. 

And perhaps, most fitting, all-world defender Mack had nothing to say to the media after the game dubbed the “Mack Bowl” or “Mack Revenge Game”. Dude basically Thanos finger snap disintegrated from Chicago and the Bay Area (even London) media folk like how he disappeared during the game (3 tackles, 0 sacks, 1 fumble recovery). 

I’m having trouble trying to discern which is a worse look: Mack not talking to the media after the loss or Mark Davis’ haircut. You decide. 

Here’s something too: Jacobs, acquired with the first rounder the Raiders got from the Bears for Mack, galloped for 123 yards and 2 touchdowns. 

Let’s hit those quick slants as fast as Mack’s disappearing act: 

  • Rookie fullback Alec Ingold is a big reason why Gruden’s 1998 smashmouth run game is clicking. An absolute battering ram and hammer head of a blocker, the Wisconsin product is erasing defenders allowing Jacobs and other running backs follow the path of terror. 
  • Rookie tight end Foster Moreau is showing he’s as capable as a receiver as he is a blocker. Defenders are surely taken aback by the LSU product’s speed and route running and it’s showing. 
  • Nicholas Morrow provides something other linebackers on the roster don’t: Pure speed and cover ability. The do-it-all in college blends safety wheels with the hitting power of a linebacker and Morrow’s confidence is growing week by week. 
  • Rookie defensive end Maxx Crosby registered his first career sack in Sunday’s win. On pure effort alone, there’s few in Crosby’s class. His frenetic energy is exactly what the Raiders defense needs. 
  • The Raiders snagged four sacks while the Bears had a big fat donut in the stat column. Tom Cable and Oakland’s offensive line need some serious kudos.
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