Talk about a bounce-back win for the Las Vegas Raiders.
After a tumultuous week where Jon Gruden resigned as the head coach over disturbing emails, the Raiders turned the chapter Sunday and rolled to a 34-24 victory over the Denver Broncos at Empower Field at Mile High.
It was Rich Bisaccia’s first career win as the head coach — albeit on the interim basis, but perhaps if the Raiders continue to play strong for the rest of the season, maybe he’ll have the tag taken off.
“It’s emotional for everybody so I think they did a good job,” Bisaccia said. “It’s a bunch of grown men of handling their emotions throughout the week. Put them in perspective when it was time to go play the game. It is a job for all of us and again they seem to do a really good job with it. We’ll see what goes on from here. We’ll see the consistency that we can have going on. I think that’ll be the challenge for all of us.”
For now, the Raiders (4-2) are going to enjoy this win after a complete performance where the offense struck early and often and the defense created a nightmare for the Broncos.
Derek Carr is pleased how his teammates responded to the first days of the post-Gruden era.
“There will be a time to deal with the emotions of all that but now is not the time,” Carr said. “If anything, it brought us closer. I’m proud of where we are at and glad for our organization to get a win. We needed a win bad and sometimes, when you get punched in the gut, it’s hard to get back but we were able to do it. We definitely needed it and we got it and it feels good.”
Las Vegas needed this win after a dud performance against the Chicago Bears. The Raiders fell 20-9 to the Bears.
A day later, Gruden resigned Monday evening and Raiders owner Mark Davis named Bisaccia the interim coach.
Raiders defensive end Maxx Crosby said the players wanted to get the win for Bisaccia.
“We needed it,” he said. “At the end of the day, it’s a crazy league. You feel like you solved the world’s problems and you feel great when you’re winning, but all of the sudden you lose and you just got to stay in locked-in no matter what. We wanted to get the win for Coach Rich. We just wanted to go out there and play great football and I feel we did that. We still can be a lot better. We got to finish, but it was good to get the win.”
Carr completed 18 of 27 for 341 yards and two touchdowns with a quarterback rating 134.4.
Kenyan Drake was finally involved in the Raiders’ game plan. He finished with two touchdowns as a rusher and a receiver — his first touchdown as a Raider.
Henry Ruggs III and Bryan Edwards also had a big role. Ruggs’ longest reception went for 48 yards and Edwards’ 51. Ruggs finished the game with 97 yards and Edwards 67. Ruggs had a touchdown reception.
The Raiders made it miserable for Broncos quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. The defense had 17 quarterback hits and five sacks. Crosby led the way with three sacks and five quarterback hits.
Las Vegas scored a first quarter touchdown for the first time this season.
What they are saying
Bisaccia: “I’m part of the team just like everybody else. It’s a we-win. That’s all I feel personally.”
Ruggs III: “We’re a team. We pretty much just came together. As the team, it’s really not about anybody else but us. As long as we’re together. We’ve got to go on the field 11 at a time, so as long as everybody in our locker room is on the same page no matter what, we can make some things happen.”
Drake: “We haven’t really started off great all year, but at the end of the day we get paid to go out there and make those plays. Make those game-beginning drives, get in the end zone and get a touchdown and field goal, but that’s our mantra. We want to continue to start fast and finish strong.”
Raider Nation reacts
Fans reacted after a dominating performance against the Broncos.
Forget about close games. This was a blowout and fans were happy how their team played.
Crosby thanked Raider Nation.