Winners and losers for Raiders in Week 1 vs. Panthers

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="After a long offseason that felt like it went on forever, we finally got Las Vegas Raiders football. The Raiders did not disappoint the nation going into Carolina and defeating the Carolina Panthers 34-30 in a nail biter that went down to the final minutes.” data-reactid=”13″>After a long offseason that felt like it went on forever, we finally got Las Vegas Raiders football. The Raiders did not disappoint the nation going into Carolina and defeating the Carolina Panthers 34-30 in a nail biter that went down to the final minutes.

The Raiders offense showed up in a big way, putting up 34 points on the board, which is more than they scored all last season. After their first three and out, they achieved five straight scoring drives, helping build a 12 point lead. Raiders averaged 6.09 yards per play and converted 54% of their third downs. That outlook looks great for the rest of the season.

The defense didn’t shine as much as they looked leaky in the backend and didn’t generate much pressure. The Panthers offense was able to move the ball well, allowing 5.96 yards per play, and injuries started to let Christen McCaffery get going late. However, it made the big stop on the fourth down to help secure the win.

Who were the winners and losers for Week 1?

<h3 class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Winner: RB Josh Jacobs” data-reactid=”21″>Winner: RB Josh Jacobs

The easiest one for the day was Josh Jacobs. Coming into the season with a ton of hype, Jacobs exceeded the hype with a huge opening day helping the Raiders with their red-zone woes for now with a three-touchdown day.

Jacobs set the tone for the offense and was able to display his vision and decisiveness. While he didn’t have the best yards per carry mark at 3.7, he was able to help out in the passing game adding four catches for 46 yards and able to make Carr look good when he checked down late in the game.

If this is the Jacobs the Raiders are getting all year, he could be a player the offense can ride to wins late in the game. The Raiders were able to make big plays off the play-action as well and give Carr lanes when teams sucked up to stop Jacobs. Jacobs is ready to take his game to the next level.

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<h3 class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Winner: SS Johnathan Abram” data-reactid=”34″>Winner: SS Johnathan Abram

Jonathan Abram notably missed all of last season with an injury that left him on the injured reserve. There were questions on how he would perform on the field, and on Sunday, we got a great idea of what tone he is going to bring to the defense for the season.

Abram was everywhere on the field, finishing with 13 total tackles with 11 solo. His one tackle for loss was an outstanding hit on McCaffery, who did not forget it for the rest of the game. He is a heat-seeking missile coming downhill and will help tremendously in the run game.

Abram looked decent in coverage as well, but that is still an up and down area for him and may never be a strength. But he was able to have Mccaffery wondering where he was every play, and that might be worth the first-round pick in itself.

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Winner: Offensive line

The importance of depth is a big deal, and the Raiders’ offensive line depth showed its head on Sunday when Trent Brown went down on the first drive. They were able to keep Carr clean and allow him to manage the game and open holes for the running backs.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Carr was not hit all game and barely under pressure on his dropbacks against a young and fast defensive line. Denzelle Good came in and played right tackle after injures to Brown and Young and didn’t allow a pressure. They were able to open up holes on the goal line to help Jacobs achieve his three touchdowns and were pretty dominant up front.” data-reactid=”49″>Carr was not hit all game and barely under pressure on his dropbacks against a young and fast defensive line. Denzelle Good came in and played right tackle after injures to Brown and Young and didn’t allow a pressure. They were able to open up holes on the goal line to help Jacobs achieve his three touchdowns and were pretty dominant up front.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Gabe Jackson also had a good day with a couple of mauling blocks in the power run game. Overall, the depth of the line is essential as we advance with Brown continually going down, and we don’t know the status of Young. The Raiders held on today, but it could be thin later on.” data-reactid=”50″>Gabe Jackson also had a good day with a couple of mauling blocks in the power run game. Overall, the depth of the line is essential as we advance with Brown continually going down, and we don’t know the status of Young. The Raiders held on today, but it could be thin later on.

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Loser: Defensive line

While the defensive line made the big play to end the game on fourth down, overall, it was a bad showing. The Raiders’ defense could not generate any pressure and gave Bridgewater all day to throw and allowed open lanes for McCaffery.

The Raiders did have one sack, but that was by Maurice Hurst, who barely played in the game. Instead, they went with Clelin Ferrell inside on passing down to no avail while Crosby was silent for most of the game. Key was quiet as well, while Carl Nassib displayed decent play at times.

The Raiders have to take a look at their personnel and see what works. The Ferrell inside experiment didn’t fit the year before. Why would it work now? If Hurst generates pressure, why not give him more snaps on passing downs? A lot of questions for the line that is important for a defensive coordinator who doesn’t like to blitz.

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Loser: Raiders’ Health

After a month of training camp, the Raiders were primarily healthy across the board. However, we started to play the games, and players began dropping like flies. The Raiders’ depth will be tested as this season goes along, especially on defense.

First, it was Brown who went down after the first drive. After a few big plays to Henry Ruggs, he then went down with a knee injury. He was able to come back into the game but did not receive another target. Next up was starting linebacker Nick Kwaitkoski who went down with a pectoral injury, and he is key to the Raiders defense in the future.

The injuries to crucial players could come back to hurt the Raiders as the season goes along and force players like Tanner Muse onto the field quicker than expected. Hopefully, these are not too serious, and the Raiders can be up and ready for the New Orleans Saints.

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