In their last game against the Los Angeles Chargers back in Week 4, the Las Vegas Raiders offensive line struggled in a big way to protect rookie quarterback Aidan O'Connell. In fact, Khalil Mack had a game for the ages, racking up six of the Chargers seven sacks in the game, a game that ended with the Raiders on the losing end of a 24-17 decision.
On Thursday night, in front of the home fans, the Raiders were looking to get their revenge, and they did so in a big way. Getting out to a 42-0 halftime lead, the Raiders dominated the Chargers on both sides of the ball, and had a legitimate chance to become the second NFL team to put up a 70-spot in a game this season.
In the end, the Raiders beat the Chargers 63-21, a masterful display that could end up earning interim head coach Antonio Pierce a full time job. To make matters even more impressive, they did so despite not having key offensive players in the lineup, as left tackle Kolton Miller, center Andre James, and running back Josh Jacobs all missed the game due to injury.
In Miller's place, Thayer Munford Jr. drew the left tackle assignment, and a chance to go up against Mack. Not only did Munford take care of business, he likely put himself on the map to be the team's starting right tackle once Miller returns, as well as for the 2024 NFL season.
Raiders found a gem in seventh-round pick Thayer Munford Jr.
Being a seventh-round pick likely leads to being cut, or spending most of your NFL career on the practice squad, but that won't be the case for Munford. He has the size and power to be a starting NFL offensive tackle, and on Thursday, you could see why the Raiders have kept him around the last two seasons.
With Jermaine Eluemunor the starter at right tackle when Kolton Miller is in the lineup, you could see the Raiders making a permanent shift to Munford going forward. He gives the Raiders the best chance to win at the position, and even against an elite player like Mack, he was able to hold his own.
The Raiders really made a statement on Thursday night, and outside of Aidan O'Connell, no player proved his worth more than Munford.