With just under 13 minutes left in the game, and tunes courtesy of Keak Da Sneak pumping through the Coliseum speakers, Oakland native Marshawn Lynch, in his first regular season home game, began feeling himself.
Shaking his dreads and swinging his hands, Lynch danced his way through a TV break, fanned by Donald Penn and egged on by the boisterous crowd of nearly 55,000 with chants of “Beast Mode.”
Just like that, what began as a football game had turned into a party the likes of which can only be incurred in the East Bay. And the packed house had all the reason in the world to cheer, the Raiders (2-0) were up 35-13, on their way to a 45-20 Week 2 drubbing of the New York Jets.
The Oakland offense piled it on, racking up 410 yards of total offense, including a 80 yards and a trio of touchdown catches from Michael Crabtree, while the defense’s pass rush showed up, sacking Josh McCown four times.
Head coach Jack Del Rio called it a complete-team win, adding:
“Looked like our crowd had some fun; good, solid day. … Obviously, always stuff to correct but we’ll do that with a smile this week.”
After being dominated through the first 17 minutes of play, the Jets appeared to begin reeling in the Raiders, scoring 10 unanswered points and were prepped to get the ball back with time expiring on the first half. But, suddenly, the worm turned.
Coming out of the two-minute warning, Marquette King absolutely crushed a punt 62 yards in the air sending New York return man Kalif Raymond retreating to his own 10. Though he was able to square his shoulders up in time, it didn’t help as he had the booming kick clang off his pads and trickle just inside the sideline where it was covered by gunner Johnny Holton at the 2-yard line.
It took three tries but eventually Lynch delivered the points, powering into the end zone on a run up the gut for his first touchdown in silver and black, giving the Raiders a 21-10 lead with 23 seconds left in the half.
Del Rio called the effort “rugged”:
“That was a case of us deciding we were going to feed him the ball and play some power football.”
A similar play call yielded a similar result in Oakland’s first possession following the intermission.
Responding to a New York field goal, Cordarrelle Patterson took the motion handoff out a shotgun set and sprinted up the gut for a 43-yard touchdown run, untouched until he was dragged down at the goal line. And, again, Oakland unleashed its four-headed rushing attack on the New York defense.
Taking an option-like flip from Carr, Jalen Richard burst toward the middle of the field from the right hash mark. Deploying two cuts and a high step for the final 10 yards, the backup runner broke loose for a 52-yard touchdown run. Then, Lynch turned the area near Oakland’s bench into a dance floor.
— Las Vegas Raiders (@Raiders) September 17, 2017
Said Del Rio:
“It was exceptional. I was actually very inspired. I was going to go join him, but I thought it was best if I just stayed back and continued to coach. It got me fired up, you can see the passion that he has. These are his people; these are my people.”
“I told him, next time I got you man. I told him I’m going to grow my hair out too, so we can have more fun.”
Penn said he was happy the fans got to see the excitement that Lynch brings to the Raiders, adding that he wanted to join in as well. Patterson echoed the sentiment, saying that no one wanted to steal the shine from Oakland’s favorite (football) son:
“I feel like 100,000 fans were just bumping up and down with him. He’s the hometown guy, everybody loves him — we love him, we know what he means here. … I just sat back and watched him, smiling the whole time.”
The energy inserted fueled a finishing blow — if it had not already been delivered.
New York’s first play out of the break ended in a sack-fumble and recovery by Raider safety Karl Joseph, once again pinning the flummoxed Jets defense deep in its own territory.
Two plays later, Carr connected with Crabtree for the sixth and final time for the duo’s third touchdown.
Joseph, who said he needs to finish plays better after getting one sack when he felt he should have had three:
“It was (a) great (job) by our D-line putting pressure on (McCown) all game, we had good coverage for the most part. It was good, it was just us working together all day.”
The New York quarterback finished 17-of-25 for 166 yards to Carr’s 23-of-28 for 230. Carr also went un-sacked. Penn said the effort of the offensive line, and entire team, was solid, adding that there is a long way to go but he’ll take the 2-0 start:
“It’s still early. You’ve got to sustain it, it ain’t about doing it in the beginning, you’ve got to sustain it; you’ve got to go 16 weeks with it, hopefully we’re going into 17-18 weeks with it, 19 weeks with it.”
The Raiders head back on the road for a Week 3 matchup with Washington (2-0), who scored a 27-20 win over the Philadelphia Eagles in Sunday.
First-round pick Gareon Conley made his NFL debut, recording three tackles and making an excellent recovery to break up a potential touchdown in the first quarter. Del Rio said, without the benefit of breaking down the performance further through examination of the game film, that the rookie looked very good. … The Raiders gave carries to all three running backs, as well as Cordarrelle Patterson, compiling 180 total rushing yards. Jalen Richard led the way, with 58. Both Richard and DeAndre Washington joined Lynch, with arms interlocked, taking the field as the starting lineup was announced. With his touchdown run, Lynch has now run for 75 in his career, tying him with Clinton Portis for 23rd on the NFL all-time list in the category. … With one sack on the day, Khalil Mack now has 31 in his career tying him with Lance Johnstone and Sean Jones for ninth all-time by a Raider through the first 50 games.