Guard Gabe Jackson
Prior to the Oakland Raiders Week 8 rumble with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium, we took a look at three matchups that would be critical in determining the outcome of the game.
The Raiders and Buccaneers went to overtime after being tied 24-24 at the end of regulation, but a 41-yard touchdown pass from Derek Carr to Seth Roberts secured yet another road victory for the Silver and Black.
Head Coach Jack Del Rio's group is now 6-2 at the halfway point of the regular season, so with Sunday's game now squarely in the rearview mirror, let's look at those matchups, and see how they played out.
Linebacker Perry Riley, Jr. vs. Running Back Jacquizz Rodgers
Rodgers entered Sunday's matchup with the Silver and Black coming off back-to-back 100-yard performances, and while he did find the end zone once in the Week 8 bout, for the most part, the Raiders defense was able to limit his effectiveness.
In total, Rodgers ran the ball 19 times for 69 yards and the aforementioned score, but defensively, the Raiders were able to keep him contained, as his longest run of the day was just 12 yards.
As has become par for the course his since he joined the Raiders, Riley played nearly every defensive snap for the Silver and Black, finishing the day with two total tackles. While No. 54's numbers might not jump off the page, he has provided a consistent, veteran presence for the Raiders linebacking corps over the past four games, and Sunday was no exception.
Since signing with the Raiders, Riley has tallied eight total tackles, and one sack.
Cornerback Sean Smith vs. Wide Receiver Mike Evans
Heading into Sunday's rumble at Raymond James Stadium, the battle between Smith and Evans was one of the more highly-anticipated matchups that we were looking forward to watching play out.
However, on the Bucs first offensive series of the afternoon, Smith injured his shoulder, prematurely ending his involvement in the Week 8 tilt.
Following the injury, the Raiders defense adjusted, and even with Smith in the locker room, the unit did an impressive job shutting down the physical wideout.
"I though D.A., [David Amerson], we matched D.A. on Mike Evans and he did a nice job," said Head Coach Jack Del Rio. "We doubled him [Evans] throughout the day. Those other guys were left one-on-one a lot, and I thought they did a nice job covering their guys."
Amerson was impressive as he squared off against Evans Sunday afternoon, limiting No. 13 to just four receptions for 50 total yards, and while he did haul in a critical two-point conversion, outside of that, Evans was largely a non-factor in the Week 8 win for the Silver and Black.
Guard Gabe Jackson vs. Defensive Tackle Gerald McCoy
Advantage here to not just Gabe Jackson, but the Raiders whole offensive line in general.
McCoy entered Sunday's tilt in Tampa Bay as the Buccaneers sack leader, but throughout the Raiders thrilling overtime win, McCoy was largely ineffective at imposing his will.
The All-Pro defensive tackle played 81 snaps in the Week 8 loss, but after all that time on the field, he finished the game with just one tackle, and one tackle for loss.
McCoy has made his bread throughout his career being stout against the run, but that wasn't really the case either in the matchup against the Raiders, as the Silver and Black totaled 128 yards on the ground.
Head Coach Del Rio continuously stresses the importance of controlling the line of scrimmage, and the team's ability to limit McCoy was a big reason why that was the case Sunday afternoon.