The Oakland Raiders secured a huge victory over the San Diego Chargers, on Oct. 25. Not only did they win on the road versus a division opponent, but they dominated from the beginning.
What was the biggest reason? The Raiders finally got development from their young players.
D.J. Hayden caught an interception of Philip Rivers, that electrified Raider fans across the country. Hayden has been one of our biggest liabilities on defense, but the team needed him to perform. Hayden also racked 10 tackles during the contest. If he can continue creating turnovers, Hayden might become a legit starting corner.
Clive Walford finally caught his first touchdown pass. After being hyped through mini-camp, Walford sat out almost all of training camp. Derek Carr missed a tight end target in the middle of the field all season. He found one in this contest as Walford caught his first touchdown pass. Look for that connection to continue getting stronger. Walford brings blocking and catching skills. He should secure most of the reps at tight end moving forward.
Running back Taiwan Jones also made a contribution. The special teams player and former corner back finally showed the running ability he had at Eastern Carolina, before the Raiders drafted him as a running back in the fourth round. Jones missed 17 of the last 22 games with different injuries. Now that he is healthy, he is the perfect compliment to Latavius’ Murray’s physical running style. Jones converted a key first down and racked up more than thirty yards on 3 plays.
Of course, Amari Cooper balled out too. He took a screen play 52 yards to the house, in the first half. Cooper finished with another 100 yard game. He once again showed he is one of the best receivers in the league.
Lastly, Derek Carr made the whole team go. Once again, Carr displayed the poise and confidence that the Raiders need as a Leader. He threw three touchdown passes to three different receivers. Best of all, he did not throw any interceptions. Look out, Carr might be the best quarterback in California after defeating Philip Rivers.
The Raiders need continued development from their young players moving forward. Nonetheless, some of the crop made strides versus the Chargers. See what they can do next against the New York Jets Nov. 1.