The Las Vegas Raiders escaped with a victory over their division rivals the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 9. The game came down to the final play when Justin Herbert found tight end Donald Parham in the corner of the end zone for what looked to be a touchdown before it was ultimately ruled incomplete.
The Raiders came away with a 31-26 victory that moved them to 5-3 on the 2020 season, a noteworthy accomplishment given all the team has had to endure so far. Injuries to key players like Trent Brown and Damon Arnette have hurt both sides of the ball, and the lack of training camp and preseason did not help either.
However, Las Vegas is still in the playoff hunt through the first half of the season and appear to be finding their stride. Derek Carr has looked markedly better in his third year under Jon Gruden and the young pieces on the roster appear to be finding their footing.
According to Levi Edwards of Raiders.com, Gruden has been pleased with how his team has come out each and every week:
“I think we’ve been competitive week in and week out,” said Coach Gruden, “We’ve adapted to a lot of different circumstances. Missing players, missing practice, different types of weather and obviously the COVID experience has really made things bizarre and different. But I compliment our team, our players, our coaches, for being able to concentrate, prepare hard and compete hard.
“That’s what I’m most proud of the most, but we still have a long way to go.”
To say this season has been difficult would be an understatement as the Raiders and the rest of the league have all been affected by the coronavirus in some way, shape, or form. Last-minute quarantining and missing players have forced coaches like Gruden to adjust on the fly and the players have had to deal with last-minute changes to the game plan.
To have a winning record at this point of the season is something the Silver and Black should be proud of but their work is not finished by any means. They can further establish themselves by winning another tough divisional matchup against the Denver Broncos in Week 10.