By Barbara Mason
The Oakland Raiders are on a roll but they have not been challenged to date. They beat a decent team in Tennessee and Sunday beat a Jets team that is frankly awful. They will have a little more on their plate next Sunday night when they take on the 1-1 Washington Redskins. We all saw what could happen when a team let’s their foot off the pedal for a quarter as the New York Jets threatened to tie up the game late in the first half of Sunday’s game.
The muffed kickoff recovered in the second quarter by Oakland’s Johnny Holton turned the game back into the Raiders favor as they controlled the entire second half. This turnaround taking place in the final two minutes of the first half got the Silver and Black back on track.
Again the defense looked consistent handling business, the offense was solid even throwing in a razzle dazzle play that had fans going crazy. The running game was a joy to watch, almost as much fun as the dance moves that Marshawn displayed after team mate Michael Crabtree tacked on his third touchdown of the day. Lynch himself celebrated a touchdown, his first as a Raider and coming in front of the home crowd. It was a well-executed game plan that sputtered for a minute in the second quarter. Strong performances came from every side of the team from safety Karl Joseph’s solid performance to Jalen Richard’s 52 yard touchdown romp. Khalil Mack recorded his first sack of the 2017 season. Highlight after highlight!! Cordarrelle Patterson had a 43 yard touchdown and it was a symphony of success. Giorgio Tavecchio was also spot on.
It was a happy Head Coach Jack Del Rio that met with the media after the game.
“Special team’s contributed and got that turnover on the muffed kick, good stuff there,” said Del Rio. ”A good way to end the half. Our defense holds them to less than 300 yards. Always stuff to correct but we’ll do it with a smile this week getting ready for Washington,” he said.
Del Rio was asked about Marshawn’s performance on the the sidelines. ”It was exceptional. I was actually very inspired, I was gonna go and join him but I though it was best that I just stay back and continue to coach; but it got me fired up and you could see the passion that he has. These are his people and he was happy to have his first game go like that (his first game at home). He’s rugged and our team played really well. It was a great day,” Del Rio said.
Del Rio also commended the way the team closed out the game methodically burning nearly eight minutes off the clock. ”That basically put the game away. To be able to expire the clock and take away any exposure of a comeback, we’ve seen crazy comebacks, and we got to keep the foot on the pedal.”
In conclusion Del Rio was highly pleased with the entire team. ”We’ve got a good group of men that are committed to be really good and work really hard. Every week is a new set of challenges. It’s a collective effort for coaches and players.
Next Sunday night the Oakland Raiders will take on the Washington Redskins as they take another step deeper into the 2017 season, looking for win number three. They will face the challenge of being on the road and playing a team that may present a different set of demands.