Good vibes currently abound from 1220 Harbor Bay Parkway.
Yes, I know that the Oakland Raiders still boast a 2-8 record, but all the same, it’s hard to win in the NFL, and each win deserves to be celebrated.
The Silver and Black’s offensive line established a rhythm at the line of scrimmage in Sunday’s 23-21 win over the Arizona Cardinals, and give credit to rookie kicker Daniel Carlson – he took full advantage of his chance to win the game.
Up next for Head Coach Jon Gruden and his squad is a cross-country flight to Baltimore to take on the Ravens, who with a little bit of quarterback uncertainty, now present a unique challenge to the Raiders.
Here we go though; bring on your questions.
From Erich Chiesa: So who’s getting the call for the Ravens this week, Flacco or Jackson?
EP: Well, as to be expected, John Harbaugh is playing coy, saying that there’s “a chance” that Joe Flacco is able to strap on the pads and give it a go against the Raiders Sunday.
However, if his hip isn’t back to where it needs to be, the Ravens will ride the hot hand and send out Lamar Jackson once again. In his first NFL start, Jackson was a force to be reckoned with, as he threw for a modest 150 yards, but really made an impact on the ground, adding 117 with his legs against a tough Cincinnati Bengals defense.
Now, I know this is stating the obvious, but Flacco and Jackson are two very different dudes that have their own unique skillsets.
Without a firm starter cemented for Sunday’s game at M&T Bank Stadium, Coach Gruden and Co., will have to prepare for both signal-callers, but fear not, there will be a plan for whoever lines up under center.
From Chris Pehrson: With Lafell out why not get a veteran in there that can mentor these younger WRs there’s a few FA’s out there?
EP: First things first; man, you have to feel for Brandon LaFell. While the veteran receiver didn’t really get rolling until recently, he was a consummate professional, and really established himself as a one of Derek Carr’s go-to receivers as of late.
But, with LaFell now on IR, the bus must keep rolling, and the Raiders will look to the guys currently on the roster – including old/new friend Keon Hatcher – to step up and carry the wide receiving corps over these final six weeks.
I’m looking at you Seth Roberts and Marcell Ateman, and I think we’ll see an uptick in production from tight end Jared Cook as well.
In terms of that veteran presence you speak of, let’s not forget that Jordy Nelson is still in the mix, and likely to make his return in the coming weeks. When you’re talking about true pros on the Raiders roster, that conversation has to start with Nelson, and even if he’s not on the field, his impact is felt throughout the Raiders roster – the wide receivers in particular.
From Andrew Best: Will we see more DeAndré Washington over the next couple of weeks?
EP: I think we will. Coach Gruden said earlier this week that he has to find a way to get both Washington and Jalen Richard involved in the offense, and considering how well both of them ran Sunday afternoon against the Cardinals, I can understand his sentiment.
The reality is that there’s only so many offensive snaps to go around, but you find a way to get your best playmakers involved, and I think Gruden and offensive coordinator Greg Olson will find a way to do just that.
Getting the run game rocking and rolling is always important, but as the calendar turns to December and winter says what’s up, it’ll be even more important.
From Steven Wilson: What’s your favorite Thanksgiving food?
EP: Ah yes, a topical question, thank you very much, Steven. For me though, it has to be pumpkin pie. Turkey and all that stuff are good, but pumpkin pie reigns supreme in my dojo.
Happy Thanksgiving, Raider Nation, enjoy the day and we’ll see you in Baltimore.
Take a look through the top images from the Raiders' game against the Arizona Cardinals in Week 11 at State Farm Stadium.