Despite all the drama, the Oakland Raiders are 1-0 to begin the 2019 season.
No AB, huh? No issue as the Raiders got a wire to wire in a victory of 24-16 over the touring Denver Broncos. It was a great game with lots to speak about, but let’s begin by looking at the three greatest stories.
Derek Carr responds
For much of the offseason, there have been constant rumors that the Raiders are planning to attempt and trade Carr. Or attempt to draft another QB and find out what to do with Carr after that.
As it turns out, Carr took note of it.
But instead of responding to the speaking heads, he paused until he could demonstrate it on the ground. And that’s precisely what he did on Monday Night. Carr has finished 22 of 26 for 259 yards and a touchdown. Not too bad for a guy that Jon Gruden isn’t supposed to like.
Josh Jacobs isn’t hiding anymore
Jacobs spent the duration of Hard Knocks working on his elusiveness rating on Madden by managing to avoid the Hard Knocks cameras by any means necessary.
On Monday, Jacobs was on full display. He’s the workhorse back Jon Gruden has always wanted but never had. He carried the ball 22 times averaging 3.7 yards per carry and tallied 2 touchdowns.
The result? Something no back has done since LaDanian Tomlinson.
Defense might be half way decent
When your team fielded a historically bad defense last year, you don’t expect a ton of improvement in just one offseason. But that’s exactly what we saw from the Raiders defense.
Sure, they still don’t have a great pass rush. And sure, in the second half Denver made some adjustments and was able to run the ball. But the fact of the matter is, that was a FAR better defense than what we saw in 2018.
No, it’s not going to be one of the better defenses in the league. It might not even be a top 15 defense. But it’s a defense that’s good enough to win some games if the offense continues to roll.