The Oakland Raiders did indeed take the field Monday night, but unfortunately, the Silver and Black did not have a very merry Christmas, as they fell to the Philadelphia Eagles 19-10 Monday night at Lincoln Financial Field.
With the loss, Head Coach Jack Del Rio’s team falls to 6-9, and will wrap up the 2017 campaign Sunday afternoon in Southern California against the Los Angeles Chargers.
The Silver and Black will get back to work later this week, but before we put this one officially behind us; here are four, quick observations from tonight’s game.
1. David Sharpe got the nod
After Donald Penn was placed on the Reserve/Injured list Friday, there was understandably some intrigue of who would fill No. 72’s spot on the left side of the line.
Head Coach Del Rio remained purposely vague all week about who would step in for Penn on Derek Carr’s blindside, and he kept that information close to the chest until game time, when David Sharpe trotted out for the first play of the evening.
The rookie lineman went the distance Monday night, helping spring Marshawn Lynch for another big evening, while also helping keep Carr upright for a majority of the night.
It’s hard to replace a Pro Bowl tackle like Penn, but give the rookie credit for stepping in at performing well on a big stage.
2. The Raiders won the ground battle
Look, there aren’t many teams in the NFL that run the ball better than the Eagles, and Monday night, the Silver and Black went toe to toe with them, and were arguably more effective.
While the Eagles did manage to get a little something going on the ground, the combination of Marshawn Lynch and Jalen Richard not only went over the century mark, they did so against the top rushing defense in the NFL.
I’ve said it the past couple weeks that Lynch has been one of the best Raiders on the offensive side of the ball, and I’ll maintain that stance, as No. 24 nearly hit the 100-yard mark in the primetime clash at Lincoln Fian.
Now, Lynch did have a costly fumble in the third quarter of Monday night’s game, but even with that loss of possession, “Beast Mode” put together a very nice night.
3. AC/DC struck again
It seems like it’s been a while, but the band got back together in the second quarter, as Carr hit Amari Cooper on a beautiful, 63-yard touchdown pass.
Poor Jalen Mills was Cooper’s victim en route to the touchdown, No. 89’s sixth of the season, and you’ll be hard pressed to find a prettier touchdown this season.
It’s no secret that the Carr-Cooper connection hasn’t been as explosive as it was in 2016, but Monday night we saw just how dynamic the pair can be when they’re rocking and rolling.
When No. 89 is out on the field, and making an impact, it opens up a ton of things for the Raiders offense, and that was indeed the case Monday night.
Cooper finished the night with two catches for 69 yards, and that doesn’t even include the 45-yard reception that was wiped out because of a penalty.
Welcome back, Mr. Cooper; it was nice to see you.
4. Zach Ertz was a problem
It’s no secret that in years past, the Silver and Black have had their fair share of issues stopping the tight end, and once again, that issue came to the forefront Monday evening at Lincoln Financial Field.
At the end of the first half, Ertz had six catches for 72 yards, and when all was said and done, the athletic tight end had hauled in nine passes.
Give the Raiders secondary credit, outside of Ertz, they did a really good job of limiting the Eagles weapons, but make no mistake about it, No. 86 had a nice day at the office.
Photos of the game action during the Raiders' Week 16 matchup with the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday Night Football.