By Barbara Mason
Despite Oakland’s win over the New York Giants, their second win in a row, the Silver and Blacks most daunting challenges lie in front of them beginning with the rival Kansas City Chiefs this coming Sunday. in regards to the situation that they currently find themselves in; they have no one to blame but themselves dropping earlier games this season that they had no business losing. They have the talent to actually win their division but do they have the discipline? Flying off the handle and getting suspensions do nothing but hurt the team and injuries to key players add to the dilemma they are currently facing. Another concern is Derek Carr. He just does not look a hundred percent and it is completely understandable in light of the injury he suffered earlier this season. We all know how long it takes to just function after a minor muscle pull in our backs so it’s almost incomprehensible how Carr is playing at all. I believe he is in considerable pain.
The brightest spot on this team right now is the defense and it’s refreshing. The past two weeks they have been the glue that has held this team together. If the offense can get their mojo back, we will have a formidable team that is capable of winning out. Before we get too far ahead of ourselves let’s just sit back and celebrate last Sunday’s victory for another day before it’s on to KC. Oakland will have their hands full against the Chiefs be it the thunderous crowd or a hot, angry Chief team that has all but collapsed after a season start that had made them one of the best teams in the NFL.
If Oakland can get their offense going coupled with their vastly improved defense they could make life uncomfortable for the Chiefs.
Let’s look back to last Sunday and hear what Head Coach Jack Del Rio had to say after this teams second win in a row. ”It was a hard fought victory here at home. Obviously the goals that we set are right there in front of us. I am very proud of our guys who continue to stick together and continue to work,’ said Del Rio after the game. ”Cordarrelle (Patterson) played a heck of a game, he was impactful. He was impactful on special teams, as a receiver, a blocker and a ball carrier. He did really well for us today,” he said.
“We talk about protect and produce; we want to protect the football, protect the quarterback and produce points,” Del Rio said. He felt that the team has done just that the past two weeks. He talked about the defense with pride. ”Two weeks in a row we played very well and held our opponent under three hundred yards. They kept us in the game early when we were not firing on all cylinders offensively. We hit our stride in the second half and made some tremendous drives to put the game away.”
The play of the game early in the first quarter by Marshawn Lynch for 51 yards and the first touchdown o9f the game really set the tone for this victory. ”It was an explosive play. I think that was the long run of the year he had with us and it was a great job executing the play and then hitting it and taking it to the house. It was awesome to get that start,” said Del Rio.
Media asked Del Rio about the fumbling and drops that Richard had a number of times in the game, 4 to be exact. ”I hope it is one of those things that comes and goes and we don’t see it again,” he said. ”He’s been really reliable for us, we count on him to do a lot of different things and securing the ball is really important. He was really loose with it today,”
All in all coach Del Rio was very pleased with the team however continues to stress that they are working every day to improve. They will have to work very hard this week as the first of 4 major games is rapidly approaching. Oakland will play three division rivals before this season is all said and done and it won’t be easy. We will find out next Sunday if the Oakland Raiders are truly up for the challenge.