After a wild few days for the Silver and Black, Derek Carr and Co., hit the field Monday night, and, boy, I can’t imagine how good it felt to get back to work – sans distractions.
After jumping out to an early lead, the Raiders kept their foot on the proverbial gas, eventually felling their AFC west foe 24-16.
Next up for Head Coach Jon Gruden and Co., is a Sunday matchup against Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, but before we shift
1. The Raiders started fast
Considering the events of the past couple days, there was a little curiosity about how the Silver and Black would open up the game Monday night against the Broncos.
Well, Derek Carr and the Raiders offense put those questions to bed – in a hurry – taking the opening kickoff the length of the field, slicing and dicing through the Denver defense en route to scoring their first points of the young season.
Speaking of those points, the drive culminated with an eight-yard pass from Carr to Tyrell Williams, who showed Monday night that he’s worthy of being a No. 1 wideout – in every sense of the word.
So often, football is a game of momentum, and the Raiders made sure to steal momentum early, and to be honest, they never really gave it back.
Yes, the Broncos made things interesting for a bit in the third quarter, but Carr and the Raiders rode that positive wave all the way to their first win of 2019.
2. Darren Waller feasted
I know some of you guys were smart enough to pick up Darren Waller in fantasy.
We’ve heard all offseason about how dynamic tight end was going to be in this Raiders’ offense in 2019, and after getting just a little taste last year, Waller didn’t disappoint Week One in front of the hometown fans.
No. 83 ate early and often in the first frame, totaling seven catches for 70 yards in the Silver and Black’s matchup against the Broncos, including a gorgeous 25-yard reception on the opening drive of the game.
We saw in Monday night’s win just how multidimensional Jon Gruden’s offense can be, and Waller is poised to play a big role in what the team does on that side of the ball.
Let’s not forget either that Waller is relatively new to playing tight end; I can’t wait to see what No. 83 has in store over the next 15 games.
3. Welcome to the party, Josh Jacobs
So much for Josh Jacobs showing any rust after playing very sparingly in the preseason.
Not only did the rookie running back handle the vast majority of the work Monday night against the Broncos – Jalen Richard and DeAndré Washington tallied just three runs between them – but No. 28 was ultra-efficient with his chances as well, finishing his debut with 85 yards and two touchdowns.
I know it’s a small sample size, but, man, I think the Raiders have found themselves a feature back.
4. Tyrell Williams showed he’s “That Dude”
Tyrell Williams sure looked like a No. 1 wide receiver to me, Monday night.
The soft-spoken wideout looked every bit a legitimate top option against the Broncos, hauling in six catches for 105 yards and one trip to the end zone.
Considering the events of the past few days, all eyes were understandably locked in on the Silver and Black’s wide receivers, and Williams didn’t disappoint.
Now, I know that the stats might not be overly impressive, but make no mistake about it, No. 16 showed just how valuable he can be when he gets his looks.
He may not be overly boisterous, but Williams has quietly gone about his business since he put on the Silver and Black, and for those of us who watched him throughout training camp, it was no surprise he played the way he did Monday night.
I expect 2019 to be a banner year for the Western Oregon-product, and Monday night’s effort was a great place to start.
5. The offensive line held up
With 26.5 sacks between them, stopping Von Miller and Bradley Chubb was absolutely vital for a Raiders win Monday night, and give credit to Tom Cable’s group, because the big fellas up front did just that.
All told, Miller and Chubb were rendered complete non-factors in Monday night’s affair, not registering a sack between them.
In fact, by the time the clock hit triple zeroes, the stout Broncos defensive line hadn’t registered a single sack of Carr all night.
Give credit where it’s due, not only did Miller and Chubb not get home Monday night, Carr wasn’t taken down once behind the line of scrimmage.
Talk about a season debut for Kolton Miller, Trent Brown and the big bosses on the line.