By HCR Staff | Nov. 8, 2019
The Oakland Raiders notched an impressive short week home win against the Los Angeles Chargers to move to 5-4 on the season. Here’s what we saw:
Raiders saw a return on their money invested in the offensive line. Raiders head coach Jon Gruden spent a high draft pick and a lot of money on high-priced veterans to create one of the best offensive lines in the league, and in their winning drive last night, the line performed up to their salaries. Right tackle Trent Brown neutralized Chargers star defensive end Joey Bosa for most of the night, and Raiders quarterback Derek Carr never had to see any pressure directly into his face from the middle of the line. Carr was flawless on the winning drive, and much of the credit goes to the line.
New Chargers offensive coordinator Shane Steichen did not perform well on the Chargers last possession. Down 26-24, the Chargers received the ball with just over a minute left to go in the game, and they also possessed all three of their timeouts. Generally speaking, this is plenty of time for a veteran QB such as Philip Rivers to move into field goal position. However, new OC Shane Steichen–if he was making the play calls–did not perform well. The early play calls in the series were far too ambitious given that the Chargers were playing with two backup offensive tackles. Rivers, unfortunately for the Chargers, saw tremendous pressure on each drop back. We felt a number of potentially big run plays were there, particularly since the Raiders were playing man and dropping deep into coverage on the back end. And with three timeouts left, the Chargers could have run the ball and stopped the clock. It’s not often that a team has a chance to win the game on the final drive, but leave all three timeouts in their back pocket.
This Raiders team will be dangerous in 2020. Outside of the offensive line, most of this Raiders team is young and relatively inexperienced. But in 2020, if the Raiders can add a few more pieces on defense, this team will be a force in the division. It’s very clear that head coach Jon Gruden is making good progress cultivating an identity for his team, and now the players are beginning to execute to that identity.