Ballers & Busters for Raiders Week 7 vs Eagles

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For the second week in a row, the Raiders dominated their opponent and looked better than they have at just about any point over the past four years. This dominating performance had them outscore the Eagles 30-0 over two quarters. There are a lot of heroes in such a performance, so let’s get to it.

Ballers

QB Derek Carr

He went 31 of 34 (91.2%) for 323 yards and two touchdowns. The second-highest completion percentage on over 30 attempts in the modern era. Not much more needs to be said than that, honestly. He had a pick on the first drive, shook it off and lit up the Eagles with just two incompletions the rest of the way. Just a nice, easy game of pitch and catch for Carr and his receivers. Or at least that’s how he made it look.

TE Foster Moreau

Moreau stepped up big time in the absence of Darren Waller. Playing every snap, Moreau made huge contributions everywhere he played. He caught six passes for 60 yards and a touchdown — a new career-high. His fourth catch of the day was the Raiders’ first touchdown in which he made an incredible grab, reaching around the defender’s helmet to secure it.

He also was outstanding as a blocker including laying a big block on Josh Jacobs’s 20-yard screen play to set up their second touchdown near the end of the first half. He then began the third quarter with a 21-yard catch before making a key block on an 11-yard Kenyan Drake run to put the Raiders in first and goal. They scored on the next play to go up 24-7.

Moreau added a ten-yard catch on the next drive which also went for a touchdown and had key blocks on consecutive seven-yard runs on their final scoring drive to put the Raiders up by three scores midway through the fourth quarter.

If that score didn’t ice the game, Moreau recovering the onside kick with under four minutes remaining did. From there it was clock draining time.

DE Yannick Ngakoue

It was Yan’s turn to terrorize the opposing quarter. His cohort Maxx Crosby has had two multi-sack games, so Ngakoue was due for his second multi-sack day. And he didn’t just have a couple of sacks and that was it. He did a lot more.

Yannick ended the Eagles’ second drive with a QB hit that nearly led to a pick followed by rushing at Jalen Hurts and batting down his pass attempt. Yan ended the next drive with his first sack. He got his second sack on the second to last play of the game for the Eagles. He had two sacks, two tackles for loss, two QB hits, and two pass breakups. I’m sensing a pattern here.

RB Kenyan Drake, FB Alec Ingold, LG John Simpson, C Andre James, RG Alex Leatherwood

A few weeks ago, I never would’ve imagined this group all being named Ballers together. Especially not James and Leatherwood. But here we are. This dominating performance on the ground was undeniable and they earn heavy praise for it.

Leatherwood laid a key block on a 23-yard run by Drake on the Raiders’ first scoring drive. On the next play, James and Ingold helped open up a hole for Drake to run for another nine yards to put the Raiders in scoring range. Three plays later, they were in the end zone.

James had two big blocks on the Raiders’ second scoring drive, one on an eight-yard Josh Jacobs run and the other on Jacobs’s 20-yard screen play. Next play Jacobs scored the TD.

Ingold started the second half by recovering an onside kick attempt that started the Raiders’ possession at the Philadelphia 42-yard-line. A few plays later, Drake broke off 11 yards behind a group of blockers that featured James, Simpson, and Ingold. Then Drake finished it off with a four-yard touchdown run behind a wicked Leatherwood block along with Simpson and James leading the way into the end zone.

On the Raiders’ final scoring drive, the interior trio of Simpson, James, and Leatherwood opened up holes on consecutive seven-yard runs by Drake that put the Raiders in field goal range. Capping off unquestionably the best game for the Raiders interior offensive line this season. Not to mention Ingold on clean-up and Drake taking advantage of their efforts to run for 69 yards and a TD on 14 carries.

OC Greg Olson

Olson has cracked the code for this offense. He and Derek Carr work together better than Jon Gruden ever did. In fact, it’s looking like it was Gruden’s playcalling that was holding them back.

You see evidence of Olson playing to the defense’s assumptions about this offense in several key instances. First of all, a second week with a perfectly times and executed screen play. The second time was how they got their final score of the game.

The fourth quarter began with the Eagles getting their second touchdown to pull to within two scores. So, it was up to the Raiders to score one more time to put the game out of reach. This is also when you would have seen Gruden start trying to bleed the clock, even though it was too early for that.

Olson leaned into that assumption by the Eagles’ defense and gouged them. Carr handed it off to Drake on first down and it was clear the Eagles were ready for it, stopping him for a short gain.

On second down, the Raiders lined up as if it was another run up the middle. Ingold made like he was the lead blocker, Carr faked it to Drake, then Ingold kept running where he was wide open. Carr lofted a balloon right into his waiting arms for a 29-yard pickup. Then with the Eagles realizing the Raiders were not going conservative, and thus they would have to protect against the pass, the Raiders put it back on the ground to pick up a couple of chunk plays and put the game away. Masterful.

CB Brandon Facyson, CB Nate Hobbs

Facyson led the team in tackles (8) and pass breakups. He even had a special teams tackle. Not sure what else he would need to do. And Nate Hobbs simply didn’t give up a catch. Ballers.

LT Kolton Miller

Didn’t draw a flag. Didn’t give up a sack. Didn’t give up a hit. Didn’t give up a sniff on Derek Carr’s blindside. 91.2% completions. Any questions?

LB Denzel Perryman

Perryman tied for the team lead in tackles (8). He upended the Eagles’ second drive with a badass tackle for loss on a screen play. The next possession took the Eagles to have to go for it on fourth down with Perryman making the first tackle for a one-yard gain and the tackle short of the sticks on third down.

A three-and-out to start the third quarter started with Perryman’s man grabbing his facemask to try and keep him from making the tackle. Then Perryman made the stop on the next play.

DT Quinton Jefferson, DT Solomon Thomas, S Johnathan Abram

It was a game of you set ’em up, I knock ’em down with these three. Just after the Raiders scored near the end of the second quarter to go up 14-7, the Eagles’ possession lasted one play. Quinton Jefferson hit the running back on his way up the middle, knocking the ball out and Abram pounced on it to give the Raiders the ball right back and leading to another score before the half.

The Raiders would make it a three-for by driving for a second-half opening touchdown. The ensuing possession for the Eagles ended with Thomas laying a hit on Jalen Hurts as he threw and Abram nailing the receiver to break up up the pass and force a punt. The Raiders would then drive for another touchdown to take a commanding 30-7 lead.

These guys weren’t done, though. Thomas had a run stuff for no gain and Jefferson had a QB hit on third and ten on the next drive. On the final two drives of the game for the Eagles, Jefferson had two QB hits and Thomas had one as well. the second Jefferson QB hit came on fourth down to end the Eagles’ day officially.

Honorable Mention

Bryan Edwards — Three catches for 43 yards and a touchdown.

Hunter Renfrow — Seven catches for 58 yards.

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Buster

RT Brandon Parker

People really seem to like to point out Parker didn’t give up any sacks. Hey, cool, but just like sacks aren’t everything for a pass rusher, not giving up any isn’t everything for a pass protector.

The offense didn’t falter much in this game, and when they did, Parker’s name came up.

The first drive ended in an interception in the end zone with Carr throwing behind Jalen Richard. But the Raiders wouldn’t have been in third and five at the nine had Parker not been called for holding two plays earlier which meant Hunter Renfrow’s 16-yard catch wasn’t enough for a first down.

As the seconds ticked away to end the first half, the Raiders found themselves in third and one from the ten-yard-line. Then Parker gave up a hit on Carr that caused Carr’s second incompletion of the game. They settled for a field goal.

Just as the third quarter was coming to an end, the Raiders would punt for the first time in the game. On the third down play, it was a missed block by Parker that got Jalen Richard stuffed at the line.

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