Game Balls: Raiders vs Packers

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The Oakland Raiders’ Week 7 match-up against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field on Sunday left Raiders fans pretty upset.

 

Photo Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

They were upset at Derek Carr for his fumble out of the endzone with just over a minute left in the first half. They were upset at the referees for a pass interference call in the first quarter. They were upset at the Raiders for not being able to punch the ball into the endzone on 4th down in the 3rd quarter.

All of this considered, there is a lot to be optimistic about for Raider Nation, and there are players and positional groups who stood out on Sunday.

Carr had a great statistical game (22/28/293/2 TD’s) while getting the ball out quickly to his receivers and tight ends. Trevor Davis showed flashes as a returner as well as a receiver, and Keelan Doss continued to showcase the type of potential that should have had him drafted this year.

None of those men received a game ball this week from me. While they had good games, they either didn’t do enough or made critical mistakes that played a pivotal role in contributing to the Raiders’ 42-24 loss to the Packers.

Overall, the Raiders played a pretty good game on Sunday. If anything, it showed that they are indeed a team that will be competing for a Wild Card spot this year if they can stay healthy and limit turnovers.

Now it is time to honor the players I thought balled out and give out the ” Raiders vs Packers Game Balls.”

 

Photo courtesy of the Raiders

Josh Jacobs:

Once again, Josh Jacobs gets a game ball from me, his fourth this season. Jacobs set the tone early for the Raiders and finished with 124 yards on the ground on 21 carries. Jacobs’s first two carries of the game showed his vision, agility, and ability to cut back and run by Packers defenders. He also showed his power by running through Packers safety Adrian Amos. Aside from the failure to get in the endzone on 4th down, a play which Packers cornerback Jaire Alexander deserves credit for taking out Jacobs legs before the running back could leap over the pile; Jacobs again proved to be the Raiders best player. He gave the Packers fits all game and is quickly establishing himself as one of the NFL’s top running backs.

 

 

raiders vs packers
Photo Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Raiders Offensive Line:

The Raiders offensive line played an excellent game for the second straight game. The tackles, Kolton Miller and David Sharpe, who stepped in for Trent Brown, did a great job stopping Za’Darius Smith and Preston Smith, the Packers outside linebackers who had a combined 13 sacks heading into the game. They limited the Packers’ pressures and kept Carr clean most of the game while opening holes for Jacobs and the running backs. While it wasn’t a perfect game, the Raiders offensive line is showing that they are for real. If the Raiders get their big right tackle back this week against the Houston Texans, it will mark the first time this offensive line has played together all season, which could be a scary good thing for Raider Nation.

 

Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

The Riders Tight End Group:

Darren Waller caught seven balls for 126 yards and two touchdowns while rookie Foster Moreau had a touchdown on two receptions and 24 yards. Throw in Derek Carrier, who had two catches for 22 yards, and that group gave the Packers defense problems all game. Tough catches, big plays, and great blocking made this group the best in the NFL on Sunday, and they are all young and getting better.

 

 

One Last Game Ball…

Sadly, my final game ball goes to Raiders legend, Super Bowl Champion and NFL Hall of Famer Willie Brown, who passed away Tuesday at 74 years old. Brown played college football at HBCU powerhouse Grambling State University and in 1963 was not drafted by the NFL or AFL. He was signed by the AFL’s Houston Oilers but was cut from the team during training camp. He was then signed by the Denver Broncos and became a starter by the middle of his rookie season.

In 1967, Brown was traded to the Oakland Raiders and spent the remainder of his playing career there. He served as defensive captain for 10 of his 12 years with the team. He was named to five AFL All-Star games and four NFL Pro Bowls. He was also named All-AFL three times and All-NFL four times.

Brown retired after the 1978 season and finished his Raiders career with 39 interceptions, tied for first all-time on the team. He finished his 16 seasons with 54 interceptions, which he returned for 472 yards and two touchdowns. He also recovered three fumbles. Brown is a member of the AFL All-Time Team and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on July 28, 1984.

 

The Raiders released a statement Tuesday morning mourning the loss of the Silver and Black legend.

“Willie Brown will forever be cherished as a true Raider. He exemplified the Raider spirit…,” the statement read. “He remained an integral part of the organization over six decades. His legendary performance on the field changed the way the cornerback position was played, and his valued guidance as a coach, mentor, and administrator permeated the organization and touched countless individuals both on and off the field. Willie’s loss will leave a tremendous void, but his leadership and presence will always be a major part of the fabric of the Raiders Family,” the statement continued.

RIP Willie Brown. Our thoughts, prayers, and condolences go out to your family, friends, loved ones, former teammates, coaches, and the Raiders organization. 

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Joe Arrigo

Joe is the Co-Founder of Franchise Sports Media, former Los Angels sports talk host & producer, has covered Las Vegas sports for over five years and co-hosts The Q&A Raiders Podcast.

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