My hat and Julio Jones jersey are off to the offense! They did everything they could to win us this game! 528 yard of offense, 389 passing, 139 rushing, and a total of 35 points! Oakland was burned all day long! Whether it was by the rushing attacks of both Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman, or no less than three guys in our receiving corps. The amazing thing is, we limited Julio and Sanu to give their ankles time to heal and Matt Ryan still found targets to have a career day with!
Most encouraging: the offensive line. Oakland’s defensive line looked pathetic! It looked worse than ours! Vic Beasley got a sack but Khalil Mack didn’t. Let that sink in.
Other than that red zone interception thrown by Matt Ryan, you really can’t ask anymore of your offense. It did everything a great unit is supposed to do! Was part of it because Oakland’s defense is overrated? Sure. But 528 yards and 35 points is amazing pretty much no matter what! It blows away what Green Bay’s “O” put up on the Jaguars last week. Yes, the Jaguars.
I just wish I could say these nice things about our defense. The best you can say is that they didn’t screw things up for our offense. But lack of pass rush and penalties that directly led to at least two touchdowns kept this close. Could part of this be that Derek Carr is proving to be an excellent quarterback? Again, the performance of the opposition is a very limited factor because not everyone will make Carr look so good. We could have, nay, should have, blown them out, straight up!
(Oh, yeah, I almost forgot about the special teams penalty that kept the Raiders’ “O” on the field, leading to another touchdown. But I’m inclined to dismiss this as a freak event because our kicking and punting units performed very well overall.)
But there were indications of improvement. We did get a sack this time and Carr had to throw on the run a lot. Also, we stood firm on a 4th and inches play.
Which reminds me. Some Oakland fans are blaming that decision to go for it on fourth down, but I don’t think it’s why we won. In the first place, Oakland’s ballsy coach, Jack Del Rio called a great game, making two pivotal challenges and another good fourth down call that cost them 7 points but granted them at least 11 (+4 on balance). Besides, if your defense is getting bullied but your offense is producing, why not go for it?
Anyway, we really needed this win. But the magnificent performance of the offense is extremely encouraging, as is the fact that, as indicated, the defense, while by no means good, does seem to be incrementally progressing. RISE UP!!! (yeah, I should have started ending these posts with that before, but what are ya gonna do?)