In today's NFL, it's popular to break down the 16-game regular season into four, four-game quarters.
The Oakland Raiders completed the first of these quarters Sunday in Chicago, falling 22-20 to the Bears at Soldier Field.
The Silver and Black now sit at 2-2 heading into their Week 5 matchup with the Denver Broncos, so as the team enters their first quarter turn of 2015, Jerry Knaak and Eddie Paskal of Raiders.com take a look at what has transpired and answer questions about the first four games of the regular season.
Your First Quarter MVP Is…
JK:Charles Woodson. The ageless wonder has no business playing safety at this level at his age. He preserved the victory against the Cleveland Browns and he gave the Raiders a shot to beat the Bears in Chicago with a late interception. With the struggles on defense, Woodson is the glue that keeps this unit together and helps give them a chance. He also gives great pregame speeches and doesn't mince words postgame.
EP:Donald Penn. It's no secret that in 2015, the Oakland Raiders are going to go as second-year quarterback Derek Carr goes, and Penn is the man charged with protecting the young gunslinger's blind side. Through the first quarter of 2015, the offensive line has been arguably been the most consistent unit on either side of the ball for the Silver and Black, and Penn has been a big reason for that, as he's one of just six tackles in the NFL to not allow a sack or a hit this yet this season, according to Pro Football Focus.
The Young Guy, Not Named Carr, Cooper or Murray, You've Been Impressed With Is…
JK:Khalil Mack. He is disruptive on just about every play despite being held, double-teamed, keyed on…he has three sacks in two games. He is a game-wrecker who is just getting started.
EP:Seth Roberts. The second-year man from West Alabama has been nothing short of impressive through the first quarter of 2015. Roberts entered training camp as a longshot to make the final 53-man roster, but through four games, he has hauled in 7 receptions for 80 yards and is tied for the team lead with 2 touchdowns, and was just inches away from capturing a third Sunday.
The Biggest Area Of Improvement In The Second Quarter Is…
JK:Stop the other team's flippin' tight end. Four weeks and four Fantasy Hall of Fame worthy tight end performances. Tyler Eifert, Crockett Gillmore, Gary Barnidge and Martellus Bennett combined for 31 catches for 380 yards and 6 TDs.
EP: **Yes, the Raiders defense needs to figure out a way to stop the tight end, but in general the secondary is a unit to keep an eye on as the team begins its second quarter. The Silver and Black have dates with Peyton Manning and Philip Rivers in the next few weeks – veteran quarterbacks who will be sure to test the young Raiders cornerbacks.
Play of the First Quarter…
JK:It has to be Woodson's interception to preserve the victory at Cleveland. He was the last line of defense as the safety on that side in a Cover 2. Browns wide receiver Travis Benjamin was wide open in the window and Woodson took his lunch money.
EP:Seth Roberts' touchdown reception from Derek Carr in the final seconds of the Week 2 win over the Baltimore Ravens. The play was the cherry on top of an impressive drive engineered by Carr and the Raiders offense that in essence gave them their first win under Head Coach Jack Del Rio.
Describe The First Quarter In One Word…