The Raiders won another close game Sunday, a ridiculous 40-34 game in overtime in Seattle. That’s two straight road wins for a team that had none. That’s two straight one-score wins for a team that was 0-6 in those under first-year coach Josh McDaniels.
The Raiders are 4-7 and … maybe headed in the right direction after all.
“I never doubted that it was,” McDaniels said after Josh Jacobs — the non-home run hitter — hit a walk-off 86-yard touchdown run. “There are a lot of close games every week in the NFL. Sometimes it takes a little while to learn how to get over the hump on some of those things, and that’s what we attributed it to.
“It doesn’t guarantee us anything going forward, but we’re going to stick with our process and we think we have a real close-knit group that works hard. We believe in what we’re doing.”
Nobody — not the Seahawks or a calf injury — was slowing down Raiders’ Josh Jacobs
Handing the ball to Jacobs and throwing it to Davante Adams are things to believe in for sure. The Raiders host the Chargers next Sunday, followed by a Thursday night game against the horn-less Rams. Finishing with a winning record would be nearly impossible, but having Derek Carr gain comfort in McDaniels’ scheme would be a huge step.
One can question why it took so long, but how about a more fun question: How good could the offense be when it gets Hunter Renfrow and Darren Waller back in a few weeks?
Carr and the Raiders, with the Seahawks locked in on stopping Adams, put up 40 points without Renfrow and Waller on Sunday.
Tip of the cap to Jacobs and McDaniels.
And Carr. He overcame a wicked hit to his ribs and a couple of interceptions to throw three touchdowns, including the game-tying 5-yarder to Foster Moreau in the corner of the end zone with 1:54 left.
What a throw and catch!!!@fhmoreau with the TD
— Las Vegas Raiders (@Raiders) November 28, 2022
“They were playing quarters to (Adams’) side and they ended up trying to double Tae and they let Foster get behind them, and I just tried to give him a ball to where he could just make a play on the ball and get his feet down, and he came up huge for us in that moment,” Carr said.
Carr is now 9-1 in overtime in his career … and 2-0 since breaking down in the postgame news conference two weeks ago after losing to Indianapolis. As shown in the postgame celebration in Denver last week, his teammates respect Carr and his message, because it comes from a place of caring, hard work and a desire to win.
Carr, like McDaniels, has preached patience with the process of implementing new offensive and defensive systems and yeah, they’re only 4-7 — but that’s a lot better than 2-7.
“It reaffirms the things that we have been talking about, the things that Josh has been talking about,” Carr said.
There are still some glitches, but in a win, glitches are funny things to talk about.
“I messed something up,” Carr said, “where I was like, (McDaniels) got mad, and I was like, ‘What are you talking about? I was right.’ And then I had to think, oh, that’s a couple systems ago. I’m still processing through some of that and certain things, but it’s just growth, and we’re all just trying to do things the right way and do them his way.”
Carr added that this win “shows that everyone is believing in that and trying to do them that way. For me, I’m trying to execute the reads and everything exactly how he wants it. So is the whole team. You can tell everyone is believing and buying into that because of the success we’re starting to have.”
On defense, Maxx Crosby, Andrew Billings, Denzel Perryman and Duron Harmon all made timely plays in the high-scoring game. Crosby’s near-sack of Geno Smith in overtime got the Raiders the ball back after Daniel Carlson missed a 56-yard field goal wide right.
“It was a great football game,” Carr said. “They made some plays, we made some plays to bounce back. … It was tough, it was hard and it was a little cold, too.”
Sometimes, though, all it takes is the sound of your fans in hostile territory to warm you up.
“That was loud, it was unbelievable,” Carr said. “That place is loud already but when we were making plays, it was pretty impressive to hear how many of our fans were here. The support … we had a whole bunch of Raiders fans behind our bench and after bad plays they were like, ‘You guys are good! We’re going to win the game!’ That means something and we appreciate everybody that traveled.”
Maybe … the Raiders are good?
Maybe … they will win more games?
It’s too late for this season, but the Raiders appear to be getting some momentum — especially on offense — for next season.
“We’re headed in the right direction,” Carr said.
“Our team is learning to be resilient,” McDaniels added.
(Photo: Joe Nicholson / USA Today)
Published by: theathletic.com