64 degrees and clear
Key Coaching Decision #1: (Pre-game)
• The Rams won the coin toss and elected to defer to the second half. In 2017, the Rams were an excellent second half team and consistently made the adjustments necessary to win games. This trend appears it will continue in 2018. Deferring here allowed the Rams to weather any momentum spike that the Raiders might have had in Jon Gruden’s first half back as Raiders head coach.
Key Coaching Decision #2 (No score / second-and-1 LAR 11 / 12:03 Q1)
• The Raiders used a timeout in their first series after a 9-yard end around to Amari Cooper. This was a timeout that the team could have used at the end of the first half when they started a drive at their own 25 with 2:36 left and kicked a field goal. Oakland didn’t have the full use of timeouts needed to be aggressive to try to score a touchdown.
Key Coaching Decision #3: (Rams ball, game tied 13-13 / second-and-7 LAR 45/ 1:12 Q3)
• The Rams had gone no-huddle a few times during the game up to this point and had used it with mixed results. They struck here when they went no-huddle and Jared Goff connected with wide receiver Brandin Cooks for a 17-yard gain. The game changed here as the Rams had the Raiders reeling after this. This slowed down the Raiders defense. Two plays later, the Rams would take a lead they would never relinquish. They would go no huddle at various times during the next drive and would also score points.
• It came as no surprise that the Rams would make adjustments after halftime. The Rams shut out the Raiders in the second half of the game while scoring 23 unanswered points of their own.
• The Raiders played with pace at various times in the game. They would go no-huddle at times in the first half and it worked with some success scoring 13 points and generating 254 yards of total offense in the first half. In the second half, the Rams defense came together to shut down the Raiders offense and intercepted Derek Carr three times including once for a score. This is a talented squad that didn’t play together in the preseason. They needed just one of half football to gel.
• Oakland’s defense was aggressive throughout the night with some blitzes meant to slow the Rams passing game. The Raiders only had one sack all game. They missed Khalil Mack’s pass rush.
• The Raiders were penalized 11 times for 155 yards.