Week 10 of the JBB Mailbag, answering questions from Twitter ahead of the Oakland Raiders vs. Houston Texas Monday Night matchup in Mexico City.
It seems like a lifetime since we last got together.
I concluded our previous column with the imagery of the offense coming out, firing on all cylinders against Denver, and that is exactly what took place. Engineered by offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave, Derek Carr and the offense set the tone from the very first snap.
But do not be mistaken, even in victory, the score, 30-20, did not tell the story. The reigning Super Bowl champions, the Denver Broncos, were dominated from start to finish. The Oakland Raiders put the world on notice: silver and black is back.
Note: Some of the questions were duplicates or similar to other questions that had already been asked. If you don’t see your question specifically responded to, that is likely the reason why.
The question calls for three, although two immediately come to mind: Karl Joseph and Jalen Richard. The Joseph selection may come as a surprise to no one, as the safety’s insertion — the ultimate better late than never — came at a time when the defense needed him most. And he has accepted the challenge with his tenacious play, as he is tied for second on the team in tackles (43).
As for Richard, something about his play gives me the confidence that he has the ability to make something special happen each time he touches the ball — how did every team miss on him! And for what it’s worth, my selection of Richard is by no means a knock against his co-rookie, DeAndré Washington.
Kickers, this season more than ever, are playing a crushing role in the outcomes of games. Across the league, games are being decided by wide-sailing balls, both left and right. And we’re seeing players like former Vikings kicker Blair Walsh out of work because of it.
For Janikowski, he’s perfect (9/9) on kicks less than 40 yards, and has only missed one less than 49 yards away. However, it’s Janikowski’s claim to fame area, 50+ yards out, where he’s struggling this season — 3/8 — and they may contribute to his eventual downfall.
As of this moment, this week, no. With that being said, there’s a lot of football left to be played — we hope. But it was a few weeks ago where I pleaded that everyone take a deep breath, give KNJ and Del Rio an opportunity to correct this defense, and I believe that’s paying off.
The defense is trending in the right direction, and this is a matter that will, or will not, have to be addressed at the conclusion of the season.
I haven’t picked up on this at all. Are more cameras around these days, absolutely; but interestingly enough, I feel the mood of the team is actually opposite. I see a team, young and hungry, still bringing that lunch pail mentality to the field. A team that is striving towards something substantial: excellence.
This is a team that has adopted the attitude of their quarterback, as Derek Carr’s poised leadership is unquestionable.
His play, thus far, has made it near impossible to argue this, and I won’t. Latham has been a bully on the defensive line. He, along with much of the rest of the front, had his way with the Broncos offensive line. And looking ahead to this Azteca Stadium showdown with the Texans offensive line, Latham might have a day, or night.
Multiple outlets are reporting that Aldon Smith is expected to be reinstated no later than this Friday. And although Smith has been praised for his physique, of late, is he in football shape? Whether or not Aldon Smith’s body is ready for 60 minutes of football action his more of the focus, now, as is return from suspension is essentially here.
For Mario Edwards, Jr., this is a situation that has certainly proven to be unpredictable. Just Blog Baby, I assure everyone, will provide an update once there is a development to update.
Until then, Just Win, Baby.