The Oakland Raiders won a game for the first time in over 365 days, snapping a 16-game losing streak that spanned two seasons. The victory also assured the Raiders they would avoided a historically bad losing streak as well.
But the victory also has many pundits wondering if the moribound franchise may have finally turned the corner for greener pastrures. Bleacher Report certainly thinks so, noting that “the Raiders have a franchise quarterback and young talent on defense—and the push for a stadium is coming to a head. The Silver and Black are back from the dead.”
The franchise quarterback in question is rookie Derek Carr, who has impressed many this year with his solid decision making. Thursday night, however, saw Carr making even greater strides in his maturity.
“Although he actually struggled in the game, Carr’s growth and development is a positive sign for things to come in Oakland,” the article states. “Carr has too often tried to do too much to will his team to victory, but learned to lean on others Thursday night.”
Thursday night also the emergence of new running back Latavius Murray.
“No one was laughing when running back Latavius Murray got the Raiders off to a fast start with two touchdown runs—one for 90 yards—before leaving the game in the second quarter with a concussion. Murray finished with 112 yards on four carries but helped the Raiders build a 14-0 lead.”
And while the San Jose Mercury News argues that Murray could have helped the Raiders out weeks ago, the fact that they have such depth at a key position is promising. Another area of promise includes Oakland’s young talented defense that wreaked havoc on Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith all night. Linebacker Sio Moore finished with 12 tackles and had a sack, while linebacker Khalil Mack terrorized left tackle Eric Fisher all night.
Still, not everything was bright and shiny for the Raiders on Thursday. After all, they did blow the aforementioned 14-0 lead, almost handing the Chiefs the win when Moore and Mack celebrated a sack of quarterback Alex Smith too long on the final drive, forcing the Raiders to take a timeout. As Sports Illustrated points out, it’s been that “kind of mistake this team has been notorious for during its streak of ineptitude.”
But a win is a win, leaving everyone in the locker room with smiles all around, including interim coach Tony Sparano, who replaced the fired Dennis Allen mid-way through this year. Now, at least, fans can say the arrow may be pointed up for the Oakland Raiders.
[Image via Bleacher Report]