After back-to-back road wins – in Indianapolis and London respectively – the Oakland Raiders flew to Wisconsin to take on Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers where they ultimately fell 42-24.
While Head Coach Jon Gruden’s team actually led at times through the first half – and looked poised to re-claim said lead headed into halftime – a costly turnover changed the tides of the Week 7 matchup.
Next up for the Raiders is another road trip – shocker – this time to Houston, where the Silver and Black will finally conclude this mammoth stretch of their season. However, before we officially turn the page to a very talented Texans team, here are five observations from the game in Green Bay.
1. Josh Jacobs is undoubtedly That Dude
Look, I said it last week, and I’ll say it again this week, Josh Jacobs is going to be your Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2019.
When all was said and done, the dynamic rookie finished his afternoon with 124 rushing yards, but not only was Jacobs’ statistical output impressive, it was the way in which he carried the rock.
Starting with an absolute truck stick hit on his first carry of the afternoon, Jacobs was the catalyst for nearly everything that the Raiders did offensively, and while his day wasn’t perfect, it was about as close to perfect as one could hope.
Josh, once again, I apologize for ever questioning whether picking a running back in the first round of the NFL was a good idea.
You sir, were very much worth it.
2. David Sharpe got the start
Officially deemed “doubtful” Friday afternoon, starting right tackle Trent Brown was among the team’s seven inactives against the Packers, and in his stead, David Sharpe got the nod.
Sunday’s effort at Lambeau proved to be a mixed bag for the former Florida Gator; while he and the rest of the offensive line by and large kept Derek Carr upright in the pocket, No. 72 did have two holding calls that negated sizable gains for the Silver and Black, most noticeably taking a gorgeous Darren Waller touchdown off the board.
Now, it’s important to note that the Raiders ultimately scored on the drive where Waller’s touchdown was wiped away, but nevertheless, holding penalties – and penalties in general – were a constant theme of the Week 7 tilt.
While Brown was unable to go at Lambeau Field, the Raiders’ offensive line did get a big boost in the form of right guard Gabe Jackson who missed the first six games of the regular season dealing with an injury suffered in training camp.
Yes, the Raiders flew home with an “L” Sunday evening, but the play of the team’s offensive line wasn’t the reason why.
3. Aaron Rodgers got his
Well, nothing breaking here, but Aaron Rodgers is still Aaron Rodgers.
Regardless of who he has – or doesn’t have – at his disposal out wide, the Packers’ franchise quarterback is simply put, one of the best quarterbacks in NFL history, and he showed as much Sunday afternoon against the Silver and Black.
Starting with an opening drive that featured a pair of stunning throws, Rodgers was – as expected – a problem for Paul Guenther’s defense.
By game’s end, the future Hall of Famer had thrown for north of 400 yards, including 201 yards in the first half alone.
No. 12 was in particularly fine form on the final drive of the first half which ballooned the Packers lead to 11, and then once again on the first drive after the half where he pushed the Packers lead to 18; a mountain the Raiders simply couldn’t climb.
Sometimes you just have to tip your hat to a real one.
4. Mad Maxx got home again
While the Raiders’ pass rush didn’t get home as much as they would have liked against the Packers, credit Maxx Crosby for tallying his second sack of the season.
Crosby’s second quarterback takedown in as many games came on a critical third down, and ultimately forced a Green Bay punt, and to top it all off, young Mr. Crosby hit Rodgers’ with his signature celebration.
Now, Crosby’s takedown of Rogers was the only one the Raiders tallied all afternoon, but as we approach the halfway point of the season, we know for certain that No. 98 has the ability to be a consistent producer in this league.
The fact that Mike Mayock and Gruden stole Crosby on the third day of the Draft keeps looking better and better.
5. The penalties were…. an issue
Say what you want about the validity of some of the penalties the Raiders picked up at Lambeau Field, but the fact remains that the group didn’t help themselves much in that aspect of the ball game Sunday afternoon.
In the first half alone, the Silver and Black committed seven penalties for 87 yards, and by the end of regulation, that number had grown to eight.
While the Packers record headed into Sunday’s game might have been a bit misrepresentative of how well they had actually been playing, what was undebatable was that Green Bay was a quality football team.
And against a good team – especially on the road – you can’t shoot yourselves in the foot, and the penalties the Silver and Black incurred didn’t help their case in the least.
I realize some of the calls were suspect at best, but regardless, there were just too many penalties in the mix for the Raiders at Lambeau Field.
6. Darren Waller earned his paycheck
What a week for Darren Waller; he signed a multi-year extension with the Raiders on Wednesday, and then just a few days later, he scored his first touchdowns (plural) in Silver and Black.
Waller’s big day at the office was ultimately in a losing effort, but nevertheless, he was a riddle that Matt LeFleur and the Packers just couldn’t solve.
Not only did Waller record the aforementioned touchdowns, but he eclipsed the century mark as well, hauling in seven catches for 126 yards.
Props to all parties involved for keeping No. 83 in a Raiders uniform for the foreseeable future.
Head over to Green Bay, Wis. and check out photos from the Raiders' Week 7 game against the Packers at Lambeau Field.