Merriam-Webster defines graupel as a granular snow pellet that can also be called soft hail. What they forgot to mention is that graupel is not enough to stop the Las Vegas Raiders. This was a relatively low-stress win even with the autumn wind swirling in Cleveland. Raider Nation isn’t used to a low-stress win, but we could sure get used to it.
The Raiders win in one sentence
“After the Review…”
There were three major, game-defining calls that went to booth review in this one. The third-and-10 pass to wide receiver Henry Ruggs III in the corner, the diving attempt by Browns wideout Jarvis Landry, and the game-breaker to wide receiver Hunter Renfrow were all in the hands of the referees. Two of them went to the Silver and Black. The Ruggs call was very questionable and was not overturned.
On the other hand, the booth reversed a possible touchdown from TV commercial actor Baker Mayfield to former LSU Tiger Jarvis Landry. Had that been a touchdown, the Browns would’ve had a second-half lead and the game would’ve been much different. Later on, ‘third-and-Renfrow’ broke the Browns’ back with a third-down goal-line touchdown to give the Raiders a lead. It went to the booth again, this time going the Raiders way, much to the chagrin of Browns fans. All three calls were game-changers.
What’s the game’s name again?
“The Graupel Game”
Chris Speilman said “graupel” about 20-25 times on the TV broadcast. He wouldn’t shut up about it, that’s how I’ll remember this game, for better or worse.
Stat of the game
Josh Jacobs: 31 Rushing Attempts
With the weather, throwing the ball wasn’t much of an option for either side and Josh Jacobs ended up pounding the ball 31 times with authority. The rushing game as a whole was the defining factor in this one and giving Jacobs the ball as much made sense. They couldn’t stop him, it allowed them to control the flow of the game, and it shortened the time the defense was on the field. The Browns only had six offensive drives, and if you are going to spend premier draft capital on a running back you need to use him as much as possible. Jacobs was fantastic versus the Browns.
The ugly stat line was a result of the insane weather. Carr had no turnovers and made enough plays to win. Moreover, he ran the ball five times for 42 yards (not counting the end of game kneel down), so Raider Nation can’t complain. Well, they shouldn’t complain, they’ll find something for sure.
The Good News for the Raiders
The Raiders are in the thick of the playoff race and should be favored next week against a rookie signal-caller.
…. and the bad news
That rookie quarterback, Justin Herbert, is an absolute problem. The Chargers are a very good 2-5 team.
Random thoughts about the Raiders’ Week 8 performance
- The Browns only scoring six points had more to do with the weather than Las Vegas defense.
- The Raiders can’t generate any no pass rush yet.
- Marcus Mariota is the highest-paid third-stringer in football.
- Cornerback Nevin Lawson does something every week that makes you want to rip your eyes out.
- Running back Devontae Booker isn’t running the ball like a backup.
- Offensive tackle Brandon Parker has been forced into action too much for my comfort.
Apology of the Week
Dear Over Bettors,
I know the “over” was a very intriguing bet this week. Every Raiders game this year had hit the over before this one. And this week it got as low as 47.5. But you’ve got to check the weather. Even the Raider defense couldn’t collapse in that mess. Hop back on the horse next week, ‘Raiders @ Chargers’ will be a shootout.
One Prediction for Next Week
Shall we get bold? Let’s be, the Raiders block a kick. The Chargers always find weird ways to lose. The Silver and Black have gotten close on a few punts this year. Of course, it is quite bold to assume the defense will force the Chargers to punt at any point in Week 9.
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Top Photo: Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images