The Las Vegas Raiders’ offense has been incredibly diverse through the first two weeks.
The Las Vegas Raiders shocked the football world on Monday night when they surged to a 34-24 victory over the heavily-favored New Orleans Saints to welcome Allegiant Stadium to the NFL in style.
The Raiders outscored the Saints 27-7 from the five-minute mark in the second quarter on and they did so on the heels of a strong defensive performance and, more importantly, a diverse offensive attack.
Jon Gruden’s team didn’t just beat the Saints in one way on offense. They showed off their full arsenal indicating that they can score in a bunch of different ways when they have the football in their possession.
And they’ve been doing that since Week 1.
In the season opener, it was Josh Jacobs who led the way scoring three touchdowns en route to a 34-30 victory over the Carolina Panthers. The defense struggled at points, but it did enough to shut the door in the end.
The same was true this past Sunday where, if not for a disastrous Drew Brees interception thrown right into the hands of Nicholas Morrow and if not for the Saints committing 10 penalties for a whopping 129 yards, the Raiders’ defensive output may have looked a little different.
But in the end, they did enough to get the job done while the offense flourished.
This time it was Derek Carr who silenced his doubters putting forth a great effort under the lights on Monday Night Football. Carr finished 28-of-38 for 282 yards, three touchdowns, and no interceptions.
It was a near picture-perfect day for Carr, only hindered by a fumble that was accredited to him on a toss that was dropped by running back Jalen Richard.
Carr led the way on offense, but the Raiders showed that they can score in a variety of ways.
The Raiders’ offense is far from one-dimensional.
Fullback Alec Ingold picked up the team’s first touchdown in Las Vegas. Zay Jones hauled in a 15-yard touchdown reception in the second quarter. Richard’s 20-yard scramble in the fourth quarter proved to be the dagger.
And let’s not forget tight end Darren Waller who had a monster day hauling in 12 catches for 103 yards and a touchdown. Waller was Carr’s favorite target on offense, but he wasn’t their only option.
This Raiders offense can beat you in so many ways and that’s what makes them such a strong unit. They can ground-and-pound you with Jacobs. They can stretch the field with guys like Henry Ruggs and Nelson Agholor. And they can attack the seam with Darren Waller.
Throw in an offensive line that’s still excelling despite injuries and you have a pretty complete offensive unit.
Are they going to keep winning games this way? Perhaps not. The defense needs to show that it can form a reliable pass-rush while the linebackers and secondary need to play better in pass defense.
But this Raiders team is better than last year. This is the best offense we’ve seen from them since 2016.
And it could be enough to carry the Raiders to their first postseason berth since that very year.