The Raiders opened their season with a 24-16 win over the Denver Broncos Monday night in a game that’s attracting the attention of many.
The Raiders-Broncos game was the second in a Monday Night Football doubleheader, following the New Orleans Saints’ 30-28 win over the Houston Texans.
According to ESPN, the doubleheader was the highest-rated opening Monday night since 2015. Ratings for the Raiders-Broncos game were up 10 percent over last year’s Raiders’ opener against the Rams.
Monday’s game featured many stars, none of which were Antonio Brown, who was released by the team Saturday.
“For all the heat he’s taken, Raiders GM Mike Mayock’s first-round picks looked pretty good last night,” NFL reporter Albert Breer said on Twitter.
For all the heat he's taken, Raiders GM Mike Mayock's first-round picks looked pretty good last night.
DE Clelin Ferrell: 47/64 snaps, sack, 2 hurries.
S Johnathan Abram: 49/64 snaps, 5 tackles, 1 PBU.
RB Josh Jacobs: 43/58 snaps, 24 touches, 113 yards.
— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) September 10, 2019
Clelin Ferrell, Johnathan Abram and Josh Jacobs all had memorable nights, in what Breer said is a “good amount of promise in a very important class for the Raiders.”
“The Raiders offense played like no one notable was missing Monday night against the Broncos,” Josh Schrock from NBC Sports said. “Because to them, no one was.
“With Brown gone, strapped to a social-media-powered rocket with a one-way ticket to New England, the Raiders had to lean on some of the ‘other’ acquisitions in their 24-16 season-opening win over the Denver Broncos on Monday night,” Schrock said.
Fans on social media are already asking for the Raiders to pick up a 5th year option on Jacobs, after ending his debut with 113 yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns on 24 touches. According to Sports Center, Jacobs is the first player since LaDainian Tomlinson in 2001 with 100 yards from scrimmage and two rushing touchdowns in his NFL debut.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) September 10, 2019
Schrock was impressed with him too.
“Jacobs reminded people why he was so highly coveted Monday night,” he said in an article about Monday night’s game. “Jacobs’ numbers don’t do his running justice. He was quick, powerful, showed great vision and rewarded the Raiders and Gruden for putting faith in him to be the Silver and Black’s franchise back.”
Ferrell recorded his first career NFL sack Monday, and fans were quick to point out that Ferrell is already producing more than his predecessor Khalil Mack. Mack didn’t record a sack Thursday night in the Chicago Bears’ loss to the Green Bay Packers.
“Raiders had 13 sacks last year, easily the worst in the NFL,” Phil Barber of the Santa Rosa Press Democrat said. “ … Big pressure on rookie Clelin Ferrell to help raise the bar.”
Raiders had 13 sacks last year, easily worst in the NFL. Eight of those sacks remain on the roster. Big pressure on rookie Clelin Ferrell to help raise the bar.
— Phil Barber (@Skinny_Post) September 9, 2019
Quarterback Derek Carr also received some attention Monday night.
“Really like what I’m seeing with Derek Carr and his feet so far tonight,” NFL analyst Rich Gannon tweeted. “Great movement and lateral quickness in the pocket and willingness to pull the ball down and run. Hard work pays off!”
“Derek Carr was himself on the field Monday night,” NBC Sports’ Scott Bair said. “But an updated version that is fiery, relentless and in complete control.”
Carr led touchdown drives of 72, 95 and 60 yards, completing 22 of 26 passes for 259 yards and a score.
This season, he’s expected to break the Raiders all-time passing record, currently held by Ken Stabler with 19,078 passing yards. Carr currently has 18,998.