There’s nothing like home cooking.
After a road trip for the ages, the Oakland Raiders finally returned home, and they took full advantage of not getting on airplane, taking down the Detroit Lions 31-24 at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum.
With the win, the Silver and Black are back to .500 with a Thursday Night Football tilt against the Los Angeles Chargers coming up in a few days.
That said, let’s focus on Sunday for just a little bit longer; here are five observations from the Week 9 action at the OACC.
1. The Man in the Middle
Raider Nation’s fears officially came to fruition 90 minutes before kickoff, as starting center Rodney Hudson was ruled out as one of the team’s seven inactive players.
While Hudson’s absence wasn’t entirely shocking – he didn’t practice all week – it was nevertheless a blow to the Raiders’ starting offensive line, and in his stead, undrafted rookie Andre James was designated the man in the middle for Week 9.
While James’ afternoon certainly had room for improvement – he had a handful of low snaps – give him and the rest of the big fellas up front credit, they not only kept Derek Carr upright for much of the day, but they once again spring boarded Josh Jacobs to another big afternoon.
James wasn’t the only reserve linemen forced in to action, as David Sharpe went almost the whole way at right tackle after Trent Brown left the game in the first quarter with a knee injury.
It seems like we’re reminded each week that the offensive line is the strength of the 2019 Raiders, and after what Tom Cable’s did against the Lions, that fact was reaffirmed.
2. Matthew Stafford – he’s good
Matthew Stafford has been a beast in 2019, no doubt about that.
While the Lions’ record isn’t overly impressive, make no mistake, Stafford is still a top-tier quarterback in the NFL.
The veteran signal-caller showed off his much-discussed arm strength early in Sunday’s clash against the Raiders, finding Marvin Jones Jr. on a 47-yard connection that ultimately set up the Lions first score of the game.
While you probably wouldn’t refer to Sunday’s game between the Raider and Lions as a conventional shootout, there were certainly points to be had out at the OACC, and Stafford made sure to take advantage of his opportunities.
With 239 passing yards at halftime, Stafford finished his day with north of 400 yards, and was a problem for the Silver and Black from whistle to whistle.
The veteran quarterback’s day wasn’t without error – more on that in a bit – but boy, did No. 9 leave his imprint on the game.
3. Josh Jacobs ate early and often
Color me shocked, but Josh Jacobs was an absolute machine (again) against the Lions Sunday afternoon.
Entering Week 9 action, Detroit surrendered, on average, just over 130 yards per game, and Jacobs and the Silver and Black’s ground attack made sure to take advantage.
On the first series of the day – which culminated with a Jacobs’ touchdown – the dynamic rookie ran for 46 yards, and by game’s end that number had ballooned to 120 yards.
While a look at Jacob’s afternoon purely by the number is impressive on its own, when you throw in the fact that the Raiders were without two of their five starting offensive linemen, his big day becomes even more grandiose.
Coming off being named the AFC Offensive Rookie of the Month, Jacobs delivered yet another signature game, and I feel comfortable saying that No. 28 absolutely has to be on the short list for Offensive Rookie of the Year.
4. Renfrow stayed efficient
It wasn’t the flashiest day, but Hunter Renfrow was a key cog in what the Silver and Black did offensively Sunday afternoon at the OACC.
In total, the rookie wideout recorded six catches for 54 yards and a touchdown, but what was really impressive is just when those catches came, as three of his receptions for the day directly resulted in first downs for the Silver and Black.
The former Clemson Tiger has demonstrated week in and week out that he has some of the best mitts on the team, and that consistency was certainly apparent against the Lions.
And how could I forget? Renfrow had the game-winning score with just over two minutes left in regulation.
5. Daryl Worley had, maybe, the play of the year
In addition to all the other good things that came out of Sunday’s matchup at the OACC, Daryl Worley delivered arguably the best, individual play we’ve seen from a Raider at any point in 2019.
Midway through the second quarter, with the Lions threatening to put points on the board, Worley rose up and essentially stole the ball away from Marvin Jones Jr. in the end zone.
Oh, and he did it with just one hand too.
Not only did Worley’s big pick take away points for the Lions, but it gave the Raiders’ defense a much-needed boost of confidence.
I’m really not doing the play justice by describing it, just do yourself a favor and watch the replay.
We’ll see ya on SportsCenter, D. Worley.
Check out photos from the Raiders' Week 9 matchup with the Detroit Lions at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum.