Raiders

Raiders snap count: Offensive line vital to victory over Chargers

Raiders snap count: Offensive line vital to victory over Chargers

OAKLAND –The Raiders offensive line finally joined forces. The presumptive starting five had played 10 snaps together entering Thursday night, but finally, after nine weeks, they played an entire game together.

Kolton Miller, Richie Incognito, Rodney Hudson, Gabe Jackson and Trent Brown worked all 58 offensive snaps together in a 26-24 victory over the LA Chargers at Oakland Raiders.

They weren’t 100 percent healthy with Hudson battling through an ankle sprain and Brown dealing with a knee issue. They still were good enough to beat a talented Chargers front featuring Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram. They allowed three sacks and 12 total pressures, a survivable sum that allowed quarterback Derek Carr to get work done.

They kept him upright on a fourth-quarter comeback drive, which ended with Josh Jacobs’ 18-yard touchdown run. While the run game struggled throughout the night, that play was expertly blocked.

Rodney Hudson sealed the right side, combining with Richie Incognito to take out the defensive tackle. Then Hudson and fullback Alec Ingold took out a linebacker and Jacobs was able to glide right through for a touchdown.

“We've been able to have some success, but we can do any of that stuff without the guys in front of us,” Carr said. “…The Chargers won some plays, we won some plays, but when it mattered, our offensive line created this gaping hole. And Josh is able to do what he's, you know God blessed him to do, which is make people miss and win the football game.”

The Raiders line will see imperfections in this performance but great potential in the front line working together as originally assembled.

“We just have to keep rolling,” Brown said. “It’s going to be real nice real soon.”

Thin D-Line creates havoc

The Raiders were lacking up front with two injuries at defensive end. No matter. They were able to create pressure nonetheless. Rookie pass rusher Maxx Crosby is proving a three-down commodity, playing the run and pass well off the edge.

Crosby played 70 snaps, and had a sack , a tackle for loss and seven quarterback pressures, according to Pro Football Focus stats. Clelin Ferrell had an excellent day, with eight tackles, 2.5 sacks, two other tackles for loss and a pass defensed in 56 snaps. PFF tallied Ferrell with three total pressures and six(!) run stops near the line of scrimmage.

The edge rushers were productive despite playing a ton and were effective down the stretch.

“It was a lot of heart,” Crosby said. “It was hard, especially with the quick turnaround, but we just had to keep going and keep coming after him. Their offensive line was out there a ton, too, but we feel like we’re in better shape. We just kept bringing it until the game was over.”

[RELATED: Raiders' resiliency becoming theme of surprising season]

Here’s the full Raiders snap count:

Offense

Total offensive snaps: 58

Quarterback – Derek Carr 58
Running back –Josh Jacobs 30, Jalen Richard 22, Alec Ingold 12, DeAndre Washington 6
Wide receiver – Tyrell Williams 49, Zay Jones 39, Hunter Renfrow 31, Marcell Ateman 6
Tight end – Darren Waller 56, Foster Moreau 26, Derek Carrier 12
Offensive line – Richie Incognito 58, Kolton Miller 58, Trent Brown 58, Gabe Jackson 58, Rodney Hudson 58, Andre James 1

Defense

Total defensive snaps: 77

Defensive line – Maxx Crosby 70, Clelin Ferrell 56, Johnathan Hankins 47, P.J. Hall 40, Maurice Hurst 36, Benson Mayowa 33, Terrell McClain 12
Linebacker –Tahir Whitehead 77, Nicholas Morrow 76, Kyle Wilber 16, Will Compton 5
Defensive back – Karl Joseph 77, Erik Harris 77, Daryl Worley 75, Trayvon Mullen 75, Lamarcus Joyner 70, Nevin Lawson 3, Curtis Riley 1, Isaiah Johnson 1

Special teams

Total special teams plays: 25
Carrier 25, Dallin Leavitt 23, Lawson 23, Wilber 23, Riley 19, Moreau 19, Compton 16, Ingold 13, Daniel Carlson 12, A.J. Cole 11, Trent Sieg 11, Johnson 9, Harris 9, Trevor Davis 8, Crosby 7, David Sharpe 6, Denzelle Good 6, Mullen 6, Incognito 6, Brown 6, Jackson 6, Miller 6, Quentin Polling 5, Washington 5, Hurst 4, Hankins 4, Ferrell 4, Worley 4, Whitehead 4

NFL rumors: Raiders rookie Josh Jacobs expected to play vs. Jaguars

NFL rumors: Raiders rookie Josh Jacobs expected to play vs. Jaguars

The Raiders should receive a big boost this Sunday when they suit up for their final game in Oakland. 

NFL Media's Ian Rapoport reported Wednesday morning that Raiders' rookie running back Josh Jacobs is expected to return against the Jaguars after missing last week's loss to the Titans with a shoulder injury. 

Jacobs made an impassioned plea to play against Tennessee and teared up when he learned the Raiders wouldn't let him go. He even took a painkilling injection to prepare for play, but the medical staff ruled the rookie out. 

Coach Jon Gruden hinted Monday that Jacobs could return this week after missing just one game. 

“We’re never going to put a guy out there that can’t play, but we’re going into the last game in the history of the Oakland Raiders and it’s an emotional time," Gruden told reporters. "We’re going to try to win the game. We’re not eliminated from the playoffs and we’re going to try to win every single time we strap it on.”

[RELATED: Sunday marks end of an era for longtime Black Hole residents]

Jacobs, the No. 24 pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, has been a star as a rookie this season. He became the first rookie in Raiders history to rush for at least 1,000 yards, and is up to 1,061 on 218 carries. The 21-year-old is averaging 4.9 yards per carry, 88.4 yards rushing per game and has scored seven touchdowns. 

Despite missing last Sunday's game, Jacobs still ranks sixth among the NFL's rushing leaders -- just 10 yards behind Cowboys star Ezekiel Elliott.

Why jumping into Black Hole is so unforgettable for Raiders players

Why jumping into Black Hole is so unforgettable for Raiders players

Raiders running back Jalen Richard drifted into the left flat and caught a screen pass from quarterback Derek Carr a few yards from pay dirt. Three receivers were engaged and blocking well before him, allowing Richard to squiggle through traffic and into Oakland Coliseum’s southern end zone.

It was a big moment for the 2016 Raiders, looking to enhance playoff positioning with a Week 16 home win over Indianapolis. It was a big moment for Richard, an undrafted rookie who found himself a major contributor in a playoff push. He didn’t stop to celebrate with his teammates. No way, not after his first touchdown in the East Bay.

There was tradition to uphold. Richard made a beeline for the Black Hole.

“It was definitely planned,” Richard said. “I thought they looked like they were turnt up. Everybody was faded and having a blast. I knew I had to do it.”

It’s a rite of passage for Raiders skill players fortunate enough to score near a notoriously rabid fan section.

“Sometimes I plan on it, and other times it just happens,” Raiders running back DeAndre Washington said. “Once you get in the end zone, your adrenaline is going and you’ve got 60,000 people screaming for you to come get that love. They always embrace you. It’s one hell of a feeling. I would advise anybody who scores to try it at least once."

Jumping into the Black Hole isn’t new. Running back Napoleon Kaufman was first to do it in the mid-1990s -- the Raiders moved back to Oakland in 1995 -- as the Black Hole was established and growing in size and notoriety.

The tradition grew from there and has become commonplace when the Raiders break into the southern end zone. There’s one more guaranteed chance to do so Sunday against Jacksonville, the final Raiders game at Oakland Coliseum and maybe the Black Hole's last hurrah.

It’s not just rushers and receivers who can get in on the act.

Quarterback Jeff George took the leap in 1997. Edge rusher Khalil Mack and linebacker Sio Moore have partied in the crowd. Even 340-pound left tackle Donald Penn jumped into the Black Hole after scoring a big-man touchdown.

Former All-Pro fullback Marcel Reece never missed a chance to party with the fans who unwaveringly supported the Raiders during some lean years.

“Jumping in the Black Hole and celebrating with those fans, those loyalists, those people who bleed silver and black just like you do, it’s like being at Thanksgiving dinner with your family,” Reece said. “It’s that feeling where, no matter what else is going on, nothing else matters but that moment right there.

"The fact that you scored and gave them a reason to cheer is a feeling that’s like nothing else.”

There is some technique to it. You need a head of steam and decent hops to get over the stadium wall and into the crowd. It’s decently low, but folks have tried to get into the Black Hole and missed. It’s also important to jump up, turn around and go in backwards. The leap of faith will be rewarded by fans ready to catch you.

“You need a little bounce or you’ll get embarrassed,” Raiders running back DeAndre Washington said. “I’ve seen a few guys miss the leap, so you’ve got to be ready to get vertical. Even if you don’t make it, the fans will pull you up. You might get a little beer on you, but that’s part of the experience.”

There’s another aspect of the experience first-timers don’t expect. Getting in is easy. Getting out is another matter.

“Sometimes they don’t like to let you go,” Washington said. “And, if you get in there with the ball, it’s going to be a fight for sure. You have to protect it like you were still running.”

[RELATED: Sunday marks end of an era for longtime Black Hole residents]

The experience doesn’t last long. Teammates come running up quick, with offensive linemen ready to pull scorers out of the abyss. Beer stains come with it, but it’s a unique part of the Raiders playing experience.

“It’s like you’re a part of the Black Hole for a split second,” Richard said. “You jump up there and you just feed off of their energy. It’s pretty awesome.”