Game Balls: Raiders vs Chiefs

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The Oakland Raiders’ week 2 match-up against their bitter rivals, the Kansas City Chiefs, started off perfectly with the Silver and Black jumping out to a 10-0 lead. But in the second quarter the wheels came off, the Chiefs scored 28 unanswered points (mostly through the air), and put the game away. But not all was bad for the Raiders. They shut the Chiefs out the rest of the game and upon reviewing the game film, the score wasn’t as bad as some think. Were there breakdowns (especially in the 2nd quarter)? Absolutely. Not having Jonathan Abram hurt the backend of the defense was a bigger blow than some would admit and that showed up on film, but to the Raiders credit, Head Coach Jon Gruden and the Raiders defensive coordinator Paul Guenther got things cleaned up in the 2nd half.

The Raiders did some good things in the Black Hole on Sunday, so it’s time to give out my Raiders vs Chiefs “Game Balls.”

 

Photo courtesy of maviansports.io

Josh Jacobs:

The rookie gets his second game ball in consecutive weeks after rushing for 99 yards on just 12 carries (8.2 YPC). But his second-quarter run (for 51 yards) during a time where the Raiders were in distress was a thing of beauty to me. He showed vision, burst, power, and speed, but more importantly, he showed that he wasn’t giving up despite being down by more than two scores at that point. Jacobs has quickly established himself as the Raiders best running back and arguably their best player on offense. He has given Gruden everything the head coach wanted from him so far including effort and an identity they have been searching for in the running game for over a decade.

 

 

Photo courtesy of yumpkin.com

Darren Waller:

The Raiders think they have an ascending star in their tight end, Waller. He has the size, speed, and athletic ability NFL teams covet while being able to block as well. While he is far from the finished product, his production the first 2 weeks of the season has to have his coaches and teammates happy. Waller had a very good game against the Chiefs, catching a team-high 6 passes for 63 yards. He also did a very good job in the run game, springing the Raiders running backs for positive yards. Waller is also becoming Derek Carr‘s security blanket and is quickly earning the quarterback’s trust in critical situations.

 

 

 

Joe Arrigo

 

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