The Las Vegas Raiders found themselves spread thin along their offensive line this past Sunday versus the Carolina Panthers. Could this translate into a golden opportunity for Denzelle Good?
While the Silver and Black came out of Week 1 victorious, it might have come at a huge cost. Just a few plays into last Sunday’s game, all-world tackle Trent Brown went down with a calf injury. To make matters worse, backup tackle Sam Young went down literally five plays later. This could’ve turned into a disaster for the Raiders. Instead, this turn of events led to Denzelle Good, who played his collegiate ball at Mars Hill University, saving the day for the Raiders.
Such an occurrence where back-to-back players at the same position are lost consecutively rarely occurs. Even Raiders head coach Jon Gruden was at a loss. He said, “I’ve never been in a game where you lose two players at one position in the first 10 snaps”. What makes Good’s heroics even more impressive is the fact he was listed as a guard going into the game, having not taken a practice rep at tackle in more than one year. Funny enough, Good had joked on the sidelines as he saw Brown go down that he himself might have to play tackle. Surely enough, after Young also went down, Good got the look from his offensive line coach, “When I saw Tom Cable look back, I knew I was going into the game.”
Good Saves The Day For The Raiders…
Once Good made sure he had his helmet and was able to “slow down“ his game, the Raiders offense rolled on. Running back Josh Jacobs powered his way to three touchdowns on the ground while totaling 93 rushing yards. And in the fourth quarter, needing a come-from-behind score to help seal the game, the Raiders marched 75 yards down the field. What makes this truly impressive is that the Silver and Black did this with essentially a third-stringer at right tackle. Perhaps no one was more grateful for Good’s performance than Gruden himself.
“He did some good things in pass protection. He did some good things in the running game. When Derek Carr switched the play late, he was able to pick it up and get his assignments. I’m really proud of him.”
While Good’s game was a great opening week story, the NFL is dictated by what you bring the next week. So right now all signs point to him possibly playing at tackle again. If this indeed is the case, can Good replicate last week’s performance against the New Orleans Saints? As of right now, the Raiders will need him to.
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*Top Photo: Associated Press/Jack Dempsey