Despite all the talk of how encouraging the season opener was for the Raiders, or all the positive signs, they still lost. Ballers & Busters should do well to call attention to the positive signs while pointing to how it all went wrong.
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DE Maxx Crosby
No bags, sure. But a lot of that had to do with just how elusive Justin Herbert can be. Crosby still got plenty of pressure and was stout against the run as well.
His run-stopping prowess showed up on the first drive in which he made two stops and got in the backfield to help lead to a stop on a third play and the Chargers would end up settling for a field goal.
The second Chargers possession was a three-and-out with Crosby getting pressure on first down to force a short completion and then teamed up to make the stop on third and short for no gain.
On the next drive, he had a couple more tackles and another pressure and the drive after that ended when he teamed up to make the stop on fourth down for no gain and a turnover on downs.
The first drive of the third quarter had Crosby all over it, getting two pressures and a QB hit to force an incompletion, but despite his efforts, the Chargers still scored.
To begin the fourth quarter, he started off a three-and-out with a run stuff. And the next drive he made a tackle for loss and the Chargers would miss a 49-yard field goal attempt to keep the game within reach late.
The Raiders offense would get back in the end zone to pull it to a five-point game. All the defense needed to do was stop the Chargers quickly to give them a chance. They did just that, with Crosby making the tackle on a three-yard catch on second down of a three-and-out.
So, yeah, no sacks but Crosby finished second on the team in tackles (10) and added two QB hits and a tackle for loss.
WR Davante Adams
Quite the Silver & Black debut for the All-Pro receiver. He was every bit as advertised, making the first catch of the day and putting up 54 yards on three catches on the first drive alone.
The first pass of the third quarter went to Adams as well as the second pass with Adams breaking wide open and taking the catch for 41 yards and the Raiders scored their first TD three plays later.
With the fourth quarter winding down, the Raiders were in first and goal at the three. Carr went to Adams on the fade, but overthrew it. Then he threw for Adams along the goal on the right. The pass was wide right, but Adams showed off his insane reach to extend to pluck it out of the air for the touchdown.
Adams finished with 10 catches for 141 yards and a touchdown. Nice introduction to the Raider Nation.
CB Nate Hobbs
The final big play of the day for the Raiders to give them a chance to make the comeback came from Hobbs. In third-and-three, Hobbs swatted down a pass over the middle intended for Mike Williams and the Chargers went three-and-out.
That was just the final play for Hobbs, who was all over the place in this one. On a play on the first drive, he shot into the backfield to make a tackle for loss. He did it again early in the second quarter. And a few plays later, he put his helmet into the ball on a tackle to force the fumble that might have been a turnover had it not gone out of bounds.
The Chargers would score on that drive, with Hobbs giving them a first and goal because he hit Justin Herbert on his slide. But that was an extremely tough play to gauge because Herbert hesitated on his slide and Hobbs had already committed.
Hobbs would finish third on the team with nine tackles, adding two tackles for loss, a pass breakup and a forced fumble.
C Andre James, G Dylan Parham — The ground game for the Raiders picked up late in this game and these two had a good deal to do with that.