There was a party going on in Oakland last Sunday. Touchdowns were a plenty, “Beast Mode” was dancing like no one is watching and everyone was having a blast, except maybe the guys they call “Gang Green”. In week 2, the Oakland Raiders overpowered the N.Y. Jets to the tune of 45-20. The offense was dominant, the defense was solid again and special teams made the defining play to blow the game wide open. Myself, along with most people, expected a one sided affair and the silver and black did not disappoint. I present to you the games three stars.
Karl Joseph- 5 tackles, 1 sack, 1 Forced Fumble, 1 Fumble Recovery
For two weeks in a row now the second year product from Virginia Tech was flying around the field. That all culminated with a defensive triple play when ‘The Hitman” sacked QB Josh McCown, stripped him of the ball and then recovered the fumble. For his efforts Karl Joseph was the highest rated safety, according to pro football focus’s rating system, scoring a 90.4 for week 2. Last year’s first round pick is finally healthy and proving he was worth the early draft selection.
Derek Carr- 23-28, 230 yards, 3 TD’s, 0 Int’s, 136.6 QBR
Once again Derek Carr proved to be the heart and soul of the Raiders. Oakland will go as far as their talented young QB will take them, and on this day he was sharp. He only missed on 5 passes for the entire game and was once again stellar in the red zone. If Carr can keep up this level of play there is no one in the league Oakland can’t beat. I’m looking at you New England Patriots, be afraid, be very afraid….
Michael Crabtree- 6 receptions, 80 yards 3 TD’s
Michael Crabtree got the NFL version of a hat trick last Sunday when he caught three touchdowns against the Jets. It is his second time in as many seasons turning the trick, as he caught 3 TDs against the Baltimore Ravens in September of 2016. Crabtree’s impact has been underrated since signing two years ago from across the bay. In fact since joining the boys in Oakland, Crabtree has caught 20 touchdown passes, 4th in the league in that time. When in the red zone, you know Carr will be looking for number 15.
This evening, the Raiders play under the big lights on Sunday night football, while they will be traveling to Washington for the first time in nearly twelve years. Can the Raiders pull off a victory and improve to 3-0 for the first time since 2002? We’ll look at a couple of keys to victory in tonight’s matchup.
The most important key to a win tonight for the silver and black, and I can’t stress this enough, is scoring more points than the Redskins, if they are able to do that, I think they’ll win.
All kidding aside, if the Raiders are able to establish the running game it will go a long way towards a ‘W’. Last week, three different runners scored TD’s for the Silver and Black. Marshawn Lynch scored on a 2 yard plunge for his first TD for his favorite team. Jalen Richard also scored on a 52 yard scamper that helped seal the victory and led to Lynch dancing on the sidelines like he was in “da club”. Also, a new wrinkle was added to the offense as WR/kick returner Cordarrelle Patterson took a handoff from Carr and ran straight up the gut for a 43 dash to pay dirt.
The Raiders have so many ways to beat you and new OC Todd Downing is utilizing every weapon at his disposal. If Washington crowds the line daring Oakland to beat them through the air, you better believe the ‘White Mamba’ will take that bet. Carr is in the zone right now, connecting on 75% of his throws to date and amassing an absurd 126.5 quarterback rating in the process. Will Washington and its 21st ranked Defense be able to stop the Oakland Raider offensive juggernaut? I guess we will find out when the lights go on. The Raiders travel well and won’t be looking past this game to a key matchup next week in Denver. My prediction is Raiders cruise to a 27-18 victory.