The Las Vegas Raiders needed every second and every player at their disposal in order to pull out a 31-28 thriller over the New York Jets in Week 13.
Of course, it was the return of defensive end Clelin Ferrell that ultimately helped prove to be the deciding factor after registering two sacks, two forced fumbles, six tackles and six quarterback pressures.
Perhaps even more impressive is the fact that Ferrell did it in his first game back off the Reserve/COVID-19 list after a battle with coronavirus. His absence left a notable void on defense during their back-to-back losses to the Kansas City Chiefs and Atlanta Falcons.
It is safe to say that Ferrell came back with a vengeance against the Jets and quarterback Sam Darnold. He was admittedly happy to provide a much-needed boost, via Levi Edwards of the team’s website:
“Obviously (when) you have the game taken away from you, anytime you have the chance to step back on the field it’s really happy,” said Ferrell. “I could contribute; I could help my teammates out on plays. I did not want to lose when I came out here, especially in my first game back, because I felt like a part of the reason we lost those two games because I wasn’t playing.”
Ferrell added that the time has come for the Raiders to find a way to click on all cylinders:
“Offense, defense and special teams, we have to complement each other,” said Ferrell. “It’s time to really put this thing together.
“There’s still a long way to go, but during this last stretch we really have to focus in on putting it all together as a team and really realizing that we have the ability to go really, really deep into the playoffs.”
There is certainly plenty of truth to Ferrell’s comments. While Las Vegas managed to avoid falling behind in the Wild Card race with a clutch victory this time around, they will need to keep it going now that they are in the final stretch of the 2020 NFL season.
Things will not get any easier for the Raiders as they prepare to host the Indianapolis Colts in Week 14. With AFC Playoff implications on the line, a win this week is imperative for both sides to keep their hopes alive.
They then have a quick turnaround to face the Los Angeles Chargers on Thursday Night. The onus will fall on Ferrell to show that he is capable of making an impact on a consistent basis.