Oakland Raiders maintain order with important Week 1 win

Oakland Raiders

The Oakland Raiders could have easily let the season slip away before it even began. Instead, the team picked up a huge Week 1 victory at home.

Nothing is coming easy for the Oakland Raiders in 2019.

First came the news of the schedule, which features the Raiders out of Oakland for half of September and all of October. But that is obviously not the main distraction surrounding this team.

Antonio Brown seemingly engineered his departure from Oakland without ever playing a game for the team. He showed up acting like he was happy to be in Oakland and playing with Derek Carr. Then came the frost-bitten feet. Followed by the helmet debacle.

Both issues appeared to be worked through and he was set to play in Monday night’s game, only for him to get into an altercation with Raiders general manager Mike Mayock. Fines ensued, guaranteed money was voided, and Brown is now a member of the New England Patriots.

The Raiders could have easily folded and come out discouraged against the Denver Broncos on the late night edition of Monday Night Football. I personally switched my pick ’em pick from the Raiders to the Broncos after the Brown news.

That was not the case as the Raiders led for the entire game. A 14-0 halftime lead finished as a 24-16 final score as Jon Gruden went up to fans and exchanged high-fives and hugs after perhaps the most bizarre week of his life as a coach in the NFL.

Derek Carr went 22-of-26 for 259 yards and a touchdown. Rookie Josh Jacobs ran for 85 yards and two touchdowns. And most importantly, Tyrell Williams and Darren Waller stepped up in the receiving game with a combined 175 yards on 13 receptions.

Week 1 is not a “must win” for most NFL teams. Opening losses happen and they are moved past. But that is different for this Raiders team. The entire group had to move past an incredibly distracting situation involving a top player on offense.

The only thing in the Raiders’ favor is that Brown barely practiced so the rest of the offense had time to gel and play without him throughout the summer.

Gruden needed this win as well. He has traded away the likes of Khalil Mack and Amari Cooper. He has wasted a draft pick on a trade for Martavis Bryant. Then he wasted two more to get Brown. He needed a positive and for his team to prove that they are more than one player.

The Raiders faithful needed this one too. I can’t imagine rooting for a team with such passion when the team is on the way out of the city. The move isn’t across the country, but it is still out of the state.

Everyone needed it and the Raiders came through as a group. I didn’t believe in them and plenty of others felt the same. Or so I tell myself to feel better about missing the pick and winning my pool.

Next: NFL power rankings, Week 1: Ravens soar, Browns sink

Brown is now a Patriot and the entire Raiders organization can rally around each other for actually wanting to be on the team and compete for one another. So in a weird, twisted way, Brown actually helped out the Raiders after all.

Products You May Like

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *