The Las Vegas Raiders managed to escape New York with a win thanks in part to an odd play call and a last-minute Hail Mary attempt. In a game responsible for a myriad of heart attacks, some of the positives were overshadowed by the near last-minute implosion, primarily how Clelin Ferrell managed to find his stride.
Taking it down to the wire with a winless team didn’t have fans focusing on the positives. Be that as it may, there were actually several things to be happy about. Offensively, tight end Darren Waller had a career day, hauling in 13 catches, 200 yards, and two touchdowns. Quarterback Derek Carr threw for over 300 yards and was responsible for all four touchdowns, three throwing and one running.
Has Ferrell Finally Arrived For The Raiders?
Possibly no other Raiders player, outside of possibly Carr, has faced more scrutiny than Ferrell this season. ‘Cle’ will always be under the proverbial microscope by fans and national media alike. This is simply due to the conditions of his draft situation. Being taken fourth overall a year after the trade of Khalil Mack meant he was going to be held to his standard. After a rocky and fairly silent rookie season, the sophomore defensive end took some big steps forward in his game this year becoming more of a force upfront not only in the run game but also in the passing game.
Ferrell has found himself in the backfield more and more this season creating uneasy pockets for opposing quarterbacks. Where he had been falling short was in the ability to bring down the quarterback after generating pressure. ’96’ finished the game with two sacks and two forced fumbles while also racking up another quarterback hit. He also managed six total tackles and even knocked down a pass from Sam Darnold. He will look to build off his performance and stay within the groove he started to carve out for himself.
Will It Be More Than Just One Game For Ferrell?
This one game and performance could be a big turning point for Ferrell and the Raiders’ defense. His running mate on the other end of the line, Maxx Crosby, hasn’t had the same impact he did in his rookie season. Perhaps, opposing offensive coordinators are looking to shut him down. Having another defensive lineman who’s a constant disrupting force could make offensive coordinators lose sleep the night before facing the Raiders.
Ferrell will be under the biggest spotlight by everyone for the entirety of his career. While he may never be in the upper echelon of pass rushers, he can hold his own as a pass-rusher. It’ll be imperative for him to build upon this performance going forward if he wants to start shaking off some of the negative narratives surrounding him.
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*Top Photo: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports