Which position groups for the Las Vegas Raiders offense fared the best during last week’s game against the Indianapolis Colts?
The Raiders’ victory over the Colts was a combined effort on all fronts. The defense kept it close and the offense eventually pulled through. With that being said, how did each group on offense contribute?
Derek Carr got off to a good start with the game’s opening drive. Carr was five for five for 40 yards. Marcus Mariota provided help on this drive as well, coming in for a snap and running for nine yards to the Indianapolis two-yard line, which set up a Josh Jacobs touchdown. On the next drive, Carr threw an interception on a deep pass to DeSean Jackson. Things got pretty messy from there. Carr took a couple of sacks, and when the Raiders were down 13-17 in the third quarter, he threw a back-breaking interception to Darius Leonard.
Luckily, the defense held off the Colts on their next two drives. Carr made the most of this opportunity. He drove the offense on back-to-back scoring drives. In these drives, Carr was making good decisions and using his legs to buy time. His plays on fourth down and third and 10 on those two drives were pivotal to the Raiders’ victory. Carr finished with 255 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. Carr’s stat line isn’t pretty but he made the plays that counted the most. Mariota deserves some credit with a couple of runs that contributed to scoring drives as well.Â
Running Backs: C+
Josh Jacobs got off to a good start in Sunday’s game. Jacobs’ first six carries went for 31 yards and he scored a touchdown on the opening drive. He suffered an injury later in the first quarter and took some time off. Peyton Barber filled in and only got three yards on six carries. Jacobs eventually returned, but didn’t look the same. His final 10 carries only went for 32 yards.
Jacobs also caught four passes for 17 yards, his longest going for 11 yards. If Jacobs hadn’t gotten hurt, he could’ve been heading towards a big game, but that simply wasn’t the case. Jalen Richard had a carry for four yards and caught a pass for 19 yards. The running backs were effective early, but it was clear that passing the ball became the priority as the game went on.
Wide Receivers: A-
Hunter Renfrow was easily the MVP of the game but Zay Jones deserves some credit as well. Jones has been struggling as a starter but came through last week. He finished with eight catches for 120 yards, which led the team. Jones did a great job of getting open on intermediate to deep routes, and six of his receptions resulted in a first down. Renfrow caught seven passes for 76 yards and scored a touchdown. Aside from his fourth quarter touchdown, Renfrow caught a pivotal pass on third down with under a minute to go. A replay review ruled him down by contact, which negated a touchdown. Nonetheless, his catch put the Raiders in field goal range and set up Daniel Carlson’s game-winning kick.
Bryan Edwards and DeSean Jackson were ineffective last week. Both receivers saw a combined five targets, and Jackson caught one for five yards. Jackson was targeted on a deep pass, but it was intercepted (not that he should be blamed for it). In the end, Renfrow and Jones were big factors in the Raiders’ win.
Tight Ends: C
There really wasn’t a whole lot of influence from this position. Foster Moreau didn’t have much involvement in the passing game. He wasn’t targeted until the game’s final drive, where he caught a nine-yard pass on the first play. In the second quarter, Moreau was responsible for a false start on third down, which the offense couldn’t convert. Moreau had been playing better in the two weeks prior, but Darren Waller will be a huge addition as he is expected to return Sunday.
Offensive Line: C+
The offensive line was good in the beginning of the game. They provided room for Jacobs but their efficiency in the run was short-lived. When Barber temporarily took over, he was hit and stuffed at the line on three of his six carries. Jacobs was hit at the line five times in 16 carries.Â
In the passing game, Carr was pressured 11 times and sacked twice. Andre James and Kolton Miller were the ones that did the best at keeping the pocket clean. Alex Leatherwood was responsible for a false start on third and short on the Colts’ 10-yard line. The Raiders couldn’t convert and settled for a field goal. Brandon Parker was responsible for one of Carr’s sacks and was beat on a blitz that nearly led to Darius Leonard ending what eventually became the game-winning drive. Overall, the unit was decent, but some mistakes could’ve been more consequential than they ended up being.
*Top Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images