Oakland Raiders: Thoughts on the Week 2 upset win

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September 20, 2015; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders wide receiver Seth Roberts (10) is congratulated by tight end Mychal Rivera (81) and running back Latavius Murray (28) after a 12-yard touchdown catch during the fourth quarter against the Baltimore Ravens at O.co Coliseum. The Raiders defeated the Ravens 37-33. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The Offense

The offense as a whole was spot on in the game. Two receivers had over 100 yards, and a touchdown. Ten different players had at least one catch, and in the clutch moment a young player on the rise was able to step up and win the game. While Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree combined for 27 targets, 16 receptions, 220 yards and 2 touchdowns, the other receivers were right on point when their numbers’ were called and showed up big time.

Andre Holmes had 3 catches for 50 yards, and was inches away from having a touchdown reception of his own. Marcel Reece showed up with a diving catch and Seth Roberts emerged as the clutch player of the day with one reception for a 12 yard touchdown that capped off Carr’s game winning drive.

Latavius Murray wasn’t used nearly as much as many people expected him to be, but he had a great game in limited touches. Murray racked up 65 yards on 15 carries with a TD thanks to Andre Holmes’ spectacular catch on the goal line. Murray also added 22 yards out of the backfield in the passing game. Giving him 87 all purpose yards, 4.3 yards per rush and 7.3 yards per reception. Murray may not have been called upon very often in this game, but when he was, he delivered. Murray came on as a breath of fresh air late last season, and while he didn’t rip off a 90 yard run like he did in his prime time debut last year, he proved to everyone that he can be an efficient, powerful running back with incredible vision.

One particular play comes to mind with Murray. It was a doomed run from the beginning, it looked like Baltimore was sending a linebacker blitz up the middle, Murray took the handoff from Carr, avoided the blitzing linebacker, took a step to his right to avoid another defender, went to his left and avoided yet another defender (all behind the line of scrimmage) and scampered ahead through a hole for positive gain.

I was watching this play, and all I could think of was Marcus Allen running like a mad man behind the line of scrimmage before running 74 yards for touchdown against the Redskins in Super Bowl XVIII.  Now, Latavius Murray isn’t Marcus Allen, but it has been a long time since a Raider running back gave me that sense of confidence.

The offensive line had a very solid game as well. According to the ESPN box score, the Ravens were able to get one quarterback sack (but I must have missed that while watching the game) and recorded zero tackles for a loss. Granted, the Ravens were missing one of their defensive captains in Terrell Suggs, but Elvis Dumervil is no slouch and he ended up with only two tackles on the day. Throughout the offseason and the preseason the offensive line, particularly the right side, has been a bit of a concern for many people, but on the initial review of the game it looks like they had a great day protecting Carr, and blocking for Murray. I can’t complain about that.

Next: Week 2 Thoughts: The Defense