When it comes to the AFC West, no matter what the records are, these games seem to set a different type of tone than any other regular NFL matchup. This was no different as the Las Vegas raiders hosted the Los Angeles Chargers for Thursday Night Football on Amazon Prime.
The tone was set with an early by the Raiders defense after a three-and-out from Los Angeles which included a fair catch interference from LA.
Aidan O’Connell looked completely different in his second matchup against the Los Angeles Chargers, as he looked very common collected, and looked poised, and all the decision making that he was making throughout the game. As the game progressed, he was able to completely take control of the game as he threw for 248 yards in the air that led to four touchdowns with touchdowns to Tre Tucker (2), Jakobi Mayer (1) and Michael Mayer (1). The offensive line that showcase Dylan Parham at center allowed Aidan to be clear throughout the game, and only allowed one LA sack in a play where O’Connell was attempting to run past the offensive line to gain yardage. Through it all you can see where he is continuing to make smart plays though his journey as the starting quarterback for the Raiders.
Antonio Pierce has been making immediate adjustments, and he seems very intent to change the culture throughout the organization. With only four days to prepare after a 3-0 loss vs. the Vikings, he brought in other head coaches to speak to the team in order to try to get the team back on track. I guess you can say it work as it resulted in a game that featured the most points in Raiders history. I think that’s a pretty good turn around. It was also the second game in NFL history where a team score the highest amount of points after scoring 0 the previous week. Although the Raiders have lost a few games recently, the way that they are responding to this culture that Pierce is creating deserves a lot of praise, attention, and credit. The one thing that is for sure is that the Raiders have a defense that should not be overlooked throughout the entire NFL. Although they have some losses under Pierce, I truly do believe that what is being built right here should be retained.
The biggest thing that the Raiders have been missing has been their identity, as it seems like Mark Davis was just trying to look for promising head, coach stars, and even bringing back a blast from the past in Jon Gruden. We did see a glimpse in 2021, but I believe that the we are seeing something in Las Vegas that the Raiders haven’t had since the time with Jack del Rio as head coach, and maybe throw in Hue Jackson.
The Raiders are still in the playoff on as of this moment, and if they went out, they can make things very interesting for other people in the division, and other people in the conference. The truth is that this Raiders team is completely different, and it resembles bits and pieces from some of their more successful teams. but where this team is different than some of the teams that have been successful post 2002 is that the Raiders have identity, and in the words of their current head coach “the Raiders are back” and they are doing it with “Raider Pride.”
The Raiders take on the Chiefs, Colts, and Broncos to end the season. These games are all crucial to determine who they will showcase themselves to be, and where they could be in the 2024 season.
With Kansas City having an off year are we seeing their run? Starting to slow down?
The Colts have gotten injection of new life with quarterback, Minshew leading, but how will he respond to this new look Raiders?
The Raiders were able to defeat the Denver Broncos earlier in the season and a close game, but with Russell Wilson, seeming to have a complete new identity will they be able to come to Las Vegas and invade with Broncos country?