After last week's debacle against the Minnesota Vikings, Jon Gruden and the Raiders knew they needed to script a different start Sunday when they visited the Indianapolis Colts.
The Raiders trailed 21-0 before they blinked against the Vikings, but Gruden and quarterback Derek Carr had the offense cooking early in Indianapolis. The Raiders opened the game with a 10-play, 75-yard drive that Carr capped with a touchdown pass to rookie tight end Foster Moreau.
After the defense forced a punt, Gruden called a reverse to new wide receiver Trevor Davis, who took it 60 yards to the house, and it was 14-0 just like that. The Colts then trimmed the Raiders' lead to 21-10 at halftime.
Coming out of the locker room, the Raiders' defense again forced a punt, and Gruden and the offense went to work, going on a 16-play, 82-yard drive that soaked up 9 minutes, 12 seconds and ended in a field goal. The Raiders walked away with a 31-24 win to improve their record to 2-2.
The Raiders owned the start of each half -- something Gruden learned was important from another legendary head coach.
"That's just great coaching," Gruden said with a chuckle. "It's a credit to our coaches, and our players and our preparation. We travel first class, stay in great hotels and take great pride in our performance
"I learned from Bobby Knight way back when I was a ball boy at Indiana [that the] first five minutes of each half usually set the tone for the entire game. So I felt we did a good job the first five minutes of each half, and it's a big reason we were able to win."
The Raiders showed great resolve in not letting their Week 3 blowout loss to the Vikings derail their season. Now, they'll have to take that momentum to London, where they'll face the Bears in Week 5.