Raiders Defense Showed Perseverance in Gutty Monday Night Win

The Raiders defense was exhausted. It was drained from a hard night’s work that kept the Broncos out of the endzone through three and a half quarters. The defense had dominated the Denver Broncos in the first half. However, the second half, was a different story. The Broncos offense would test the mettle of this unit and push it to the brink.

The Broncos offense came out in the second half with renewed vigor. With their second half adjustments in hand, they attacked the young secondary by using the Raiders aggressive style against it. Over the course of the next 30 minutes, the Denver offense would have four drives over 50 yards. The beleaguered Raiders defense would only stop Denver without a first down on one drive.

Heroes Emerge.

Nearly every time the Raiders defense needed to make a play on defense, someone stepped up. Whether it was safety Karl Joseph, who played lights out in the second half, defensive ends Benson Mayowa or Clelin Ferrell, both of whom had drive stopping redzone sacks, or the ghost of Al Davis (Broncos receiver DaeSean Hamilton flat out dropped a sure touchdown pass), someone stepped up. The point is, it was not just one or two players. It was a team effort, and just about every Raiders defender made a key play at a crucial moment. Something else I observed was hustle. Not once did I see a player take a play off, or witness a half-hearted effort.

To Reiterate That Point.

The Oakland defense was obviously exhausted. It was close to the two-minute warning and the Raiders were nursing a 24-9 lead. Denver had moved the ball to the Oakland three yard-line and it was first and goal. Joe Flacco would attempt a QB Sneak that initially stalled, but the Broncos offensive line began to surge forward. Defensive tackle Maurice Hurst plugged the gap and rookie defensive end Maxx Crosby would loop around and wrap up Flacco short of the goal line. Denver would score on the next play, however that did not take away from the effort of Hurst and Crosby. Their final effort epitomized the level of perseverance shown by the Raiders defense all night, and especially in the second half.

Defensive Coordinator Paul Guenther had his guys playing at maximum output and aggression all night. His unit never once gave up on a play, nor did they take plays off. They played like men on fire from whistle to whistle, and if they consistently play with this level of guts, then the Raiders should very well be able to compete with about anyone for the remainder of the season.


NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported Tuesday morning that Gareon Conley has been released from the hospital. That, coupled with Coach Jon Gruden’s comment that Conley was ok, should mean that Conley and the Raiders dodged a major injury. There is no word yet on his status for next weeks game against the Chiefs, but what’s more important is that Conley himself stated in a tweet that he was good to go and thanked all those who had him in their thoughts and prayers.