Three wins in a row? Not long ago, this Las Vegas Raiders team looked dead in the water. After a huge win over a divisional rival, the once empty souls of Raider Nation have been replenished with the most dangerous feeling there is: hope. It’s time for this week’s knee-jerk reactions.
The Rare Complete Game
Can anyone remember the last time the Raiders played a complete game like this? They showed up on both sides of the ball. Offensively, they were effective in both the run game and the passing game. Defensively, Las Vegas got great performances out of the whole front seven and the secondary.
These things didn’t just happen for a few seconds. Just about everyone brought their “A” game for four full quarters. There were no lulls or any horrible unforced errors. It was just an entire game of solid football. It has been a long time since we have been able to say that.
Chandler Jones Always Finds A Way To Get 10 Sacks In A Year
Death, taxes, and Chandler Jones getting sacks in bunches. Every year in which Jones has played at least 15 games, he has reached double digits in sacks. After recording just half a sack in the first 11 games, that streak seemed doomed. However, Jones erupted for three sacks on Justin Herbert this week. These multi-sack games have become a specialty for the veteran edge rusher.
We’ll have to wait and see if Jones can keep this up for the rest of the Raiders’ season. He has a lot of work to do if he is going to get 6.5 more in the next five games. That being said, there is a good chance he will, or at least get close. The reality is that while the lack of sacks has been frustrating, Jones hasn’t played badly. The numbers were always going to come eventually. They appear to have finally arrived. You’ll probably hear Jones’ name called a lot this month.
Raiders HC Josh McDaniels Could Be The Guy
While there was plenty of reason to be calling for McDaniels’ head a month ago, it could be time to do a complete 180. The Raiders look like a team that has completely bought into what their head coach is selling, and the end result has been fantastic. The offense looks creative and well-disciplined, and the execution has been great. The defense seems to have turned a corner as well. It didn’t look pretty for a while this season, but we were told to trust that something really positive was being built and that the results would come.
Despite a healthy level of skepticism from most of Raider Nation, it appears that the results are beginning to arrive. Of course, it may be too little, too late, at this point in the season, but the vibes are generally positive at this point. The team seems to be showing enough promise that there will not be any need for wholesale changes during this offseason. It looks like McDaniels, along with Raiders general manager Dave Ziegler, have put together the foundation to build something special.
*Top Photo: Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal