Raiders RB Jalen Richard Altered the Course of Sunday’s Game, But it Won’t Show in the Box Score

The Raiders 37-12 victory over the Broncos on Sunday was the most dominant win of Jon Gruden’s second tenure with the Raiders. In fact, the 25-point win was the most lopsided win for “Chucky” since returning to the Raiders in 2018. A 13-point win over the Broncos in 2018 was Gruden’s previous best.

Sunday’s victory featured a lot “Gruden Grinders” but a running back that barely appeared in the box score quietly made one of the biggest plays of the game.

The storylines this week will talk about Josh Jacobs and Devontae Booker, both of whom scored twice, but it was Jalen Richard’s ball security that kept the Broncos from a major momentum shift in the second quarter.

After a Denver field goal trimmed the Raiders lead to one point (7-6), Richard fielded the ensuing kickoff at around the 8-minute mark in the second quarter. After a short return, unblocked Denver linebacker Josh Watson slipped through and put 240 pounds squarely into Richard’s chest.

Richard, you might remember, has a spotty history with ball security over his career, particularly on special teams.

But just before Watson connected with Richard, the fifth-year running back protected the ball and absorbed the brunt of the hit with his ribs. The ball started to move, but Richard was able to maintain possession.

It would be his final play of the day.

Had Richard fumbled, the Broncos would have most likely scored on the play and gone up 13-7. Instead, the Raiders kept possession and the Broncos didn’t score again until 6:10 remaining in the game, when the Raiders were already comfortably in the lead 30-6.

Now we wait to see how serious the chest injury really is.

But make no mistake… Richard made one of the pivotal plays of the game, even though it won’t make Sportscenter.

twitter: @raidersbeat


10 thoughts on “Raiders RB Jalen Richard Altered the Course of Sunday’s Game, But it Won’t Show in the Box Score

  1. Watson lowered his head to initiate contact yet was not penalized. Why does this jeep happening?

  2. I saw that hit. Was a nasty one. Still as I have said before, I don’t think Devontae Booker is getting enough credit for what he is doing. Besides getting Nelson Agholor, Booker has been a real find to back up Jacobs. Now if we can start to get our health back and the O- Line back together, we might have something. The Defense is not great and also I think we should start using Jeff Heath more at safety. He always comes up big when you need it

  3. Jalen has been a Raider for 4.5 seasons now and has been with us threw good times and bad. He isn’t a big name player that every football fan will know but a true Raider fan knows he has always given us his all.

  4. Love how my Raiders have grown into a team while growing up as players right in front of us….

  5. Speaking of taking a shot to the head with the tackler leading with his head! Watson should’ve been flagged for this particular tackle on Richard! Later in the game they flagged Abram for a very similar tackle.. this type of shot shouldn’t be happening to anyone! Come on New York…

  6. Football is a very dangerous game played by elite athletes. This play is a great example of two professionals doing their jobs at the highest level.

  7. He is the man for holding onto the ball. That was a blast to the chest. Great job JR! Probably did save the team from a huge momentum shift.

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