Rich Bisaccia entered Sunday’s contest against the Denver Broncos as rookie head coach for the Las Vegas Raiders. Having come into his position through less than desirable circumstances. As a leader of men, he utilized his number one skill, belief in his people.
Congratulations #RaiderNation today you get to find out the makeup of your football team.
Today you get to find out who has heart and who doesn’t.
Today marks the first day of the dream of Rich Bisaccia. https://t.co/mv2TbUObOj
— Phil Robinson (@PhilRobinsonIII) October 17, 2021
The dream comes true
The Raiders’ freshly minted head coach Rich Bisaccia has traveled a long road to reach this point. For 13 of the last 14 years, he has been employed as an assistant head coach, but never awarded the head coaching position of an NFL football team.
Nevertheless, taking over a franchise midseason as an interim coach is far from ideal. Usually, it signifies that a team is not very good, underperforming, or flat out losing. Bisaccia and the Raiders find themselves existing outside of those circumstances.
In his first action as head coach, Bisaccia and his team earned a clean hard fought victory. Proving that headed into Week 7, the team has rallied behind him. From the front office to the field, nobody is feeling sorry for themselves, everyone is focused on moving forward and winning.
Guided by the direction of the coordinators and overseen by Bisaccia, the Raiders played a complete 60 minutes of football. As a team, the Raiders committed only six penalties for 54 yards and took care of the football by not committing turnovers. Defensively, getting off the field on third downs on defense and holding the Broncos to 1-3 on fourth downs was key to their success.
Greg Olson’s tweaks
Offensive coordinator Greg Olson called plays for the first time in roughly five years. For the first time since Week 11 of last year, the Raiders scored a touchdown on their opening drive. The 34 points scored was the highest point total for this offense since the Raiders dropped 37 on the Vic Fangio’s Denver Bronco defense in Week 10 of last season.
Olson masterfully mixed the run and pass and kept the Broncos defense on their heels all game long. Absent was the sound of Derek Carr yelling “kill kill kill,” at the line of scrimmage to signify an audible. There were plays which haven’t been seen before, a screen pass to Josh Jacobs in a blitzing situation, an RPO involving Hunter Renfrow and Henry Ruggs III. The Raiders also maximized Kenyan Drake’s pass catching ability out of the backfield providing a change of pace on the ground.
The offensive flow started strong, producing points on the first two possessions of the game, giving the Raiders a lead they would never relinquish and providing the defense with all the added ammunition to perform.
Defense to the rescue
Despite being on the field for 34:33, when the clock hit :00, Gus Bradley’s defense had produced four turnovers and five sacks. Four Raiders defenders recorded at least half a sack, Maxx Crosby produced three on his own. Solomon Thomas executed a picture perfect peanut-punch on Bronco quarterback Teddy Bridgewater causing a fumble recovered by Denzel Perryman.
Three members of Ron Milus’s secondary recorded interceptions. Brandon Facyson, signed off the Los Angeles Chargers practice squad, recorded his first career interception. Trevon Moehrig was having a truly unremarkable game, until he plucked a pass out of the air while ranging in centerfield. Johnathan Abram finished the game as the final recipient of Bridgewater’s turnover generosity.
Bradley continues to have this team poised and ready to play, week in and week out. A solid effort closely resembling the game of football is what we have come to expect from a Bradley-coached defense.
2021 lives on…
*Top Photo: AP Photo/David Becker