A second exciting Sunday of the newly born NFL season has come to a close. The Oakland Raiders’ fans were among those excited this weekend. Hosting the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Raiders were the favorites heading into this game, something that may not happen again for the rest of the season.
Their 19-9 win confirmed beliefs the Raiders would win the game. It wasn’t always pretty. It wasn’t perfect. Yet, the win put their record at 1-1, which is the currently the same as the high-powered Green Bay Packers and their cross-bay rivals. Of course, it’s only week two, there is still a long way to go, as both and good and bad signs for the Raiders were evident in week two.
Terrelle Pryor: Pryor got his first career NFL win. He wasn’t amazing but he did make some plays with his legs and his arm while leading them on some productive drives.
Darren McFadden: McFadden finally had a good game and was not constantly slowed by an injury. He broke off multiple big runs in a day that saw him rack up 129 yards on 19 carries. It was a promising game for McFadden, who seems more comfortable in the power running scheme.
The Defense: The defense was stellar throughout the game. Tracy Porter, DJ Hayden, and Mike Jenkins manned a secondary that was very solid with the exception of the last few minutes of the game. Charles Woodson looked like he had gone through a time machine, making a touchdown saving tackle on Maurice Jones-Drew by flying over and around blockers (It was also the tackle that injured Jones-Drew). The rush defense was comparable to a brick wall, allowing Jones-Drew almost no room even before his injury.
The pass rush kept Chad Henne uncomfortable throughout the game, dropping him five times and pressuring him much more. It was an impressive overall showing from this defense, who at held the Jaguars to seven yards of total offense in the third quarter and part of the fourth quarter.
Terrelle Pryor (yes, again): Things were not so easy for Pryor in this game. He didn’t finish drives well as evidenced by the Raiders total points scored. Pryor was very lucky not to have turned the ball over this game. Between bad snap exchanges and a couple questionable throws, Pryor made some mistakes, however, luck was on his side today. He was able to recover the lost snaps and was bailed out by his wide receivers (one throw in particular comes to mind) who made tough catches all game.
The Opponent: A message to all Raiders fans — don’t get too excited.
Yes, it was a good performance. The game was against the Jacksonville Jaguars, arguably the worst team in the NFL. At home. This was a must-win game. Everything positive that the Raiders did today has to be put in perspective.
The AFC West: All of a sudden, the AFC West looks like one of the best divisions in the NFL. Denver is a Super Bowl favorite. The new coach- quarterback combination in Kansas City has made the Chiefs playoff relevant. Even Philip Rivers and the Chargers have looked dangerous so far this year. Week 2 showed us the strength in the AFC West.
Yes, the Raiders won a game. Yes, the Raiders have hope for the future.
But they still don’t have the firepower to keep up in the division.