Without top wideouts Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper, Seth Roberts and Cordarrelle Patterson stepped up, combining for nine receptions and 143 yards. No player contributed more though than running back Marshawn Lynch. Lynch carried the ball 17 times for 101 yards and one touchdown. He set the tone early with a 51-yard touchdown run on the team’s opening drive.
”He’s still got it,” said Raiders linebacker Navorro Bowman after the game. “Just to see him running the way that he’s run for so many years. I know exactly what that defense is facing, and he’s a hard tackle.”
This was Lynch’s first 100-yard rushing game since coming out of retirement. He also added 20 yards receiving.
The defense stepped up again, giving new defensive coordinator John Pagano his second win since taking over the defense. Two games in a row now the defense has held the opposing team to under 20 points and under 300 total yards, albeit against backup quarterbacks Paxton Lynch and Geno Smith. The defense forced two early turnovers, keeping the team in the game while the offense was struggling.
“(They were) huge, especially the one at the end of the half there where Khalil (Mack) takes the ball from their quarterback in the red zone,” head coach Jack Del Rio emphasized. “They’re knocking on the door right there. They’re certain to get points or have a high likelihood of getting some kind of points. To snuff it out right like that, take the ball off him, that was huge.”
The Raiders are now tied atop the AFC West with both the Kansas City Chiefs and the Los Angeles Chargers. Oakland visits the Chiefs and Chargers in the coming weeks, so they do control their own destiny. Running the table might be difficult though as they also play the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles.
”You have to stay the course,” quarterback Derek Carr said. ”There’s a lot of adversity that happens every season. You wish you could just go out and win them all and do it in a good way. That just hasn’t been our road this year. It’s been a little bit more difficult, a lot of it because of ourselves. But we’re in a situation where all of our goals are right in front of us.”
The Raiders have been an up and down team this year. Hopefully they can gain some consistency and make a final push to the playoffs. Teams that play well in December often advance far into the playoffs. This didn’t happen last year with Carr going down with a broken leg on Christmas Eve. They have a chance to rewrite last year’s ending, and bring playoffs to Oakland for the second consecutive year.
Raider Nation sure hopes so.
View the original article on Last Word On Pro Football: Oakland Raiders: Marshawn Lynch Comes Up Big in Win Over New York Giants