5 highest-graded player for the Raiders in Week 5 vs. Chiefs

After a slow start against the Texans, the Raiders pulled away in the fourth quarter and enjoyed a blowout victory for the first time this season, winning 38-20 at Allegiant Stadium on Sunday.

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Running back Josh Jacobs scored three touchdowns for Las Vegas, leading the way for an offense that hit paydirt on all of its meaningful second-half drives. Safety Duron Harmon capped the scoring with a 73-yard interception return for a touchdown.

The win sustained Las Vegas’ hopes for a playoff birth after their 1-4 start. Here are the winners and losers for the now 2-4 Raiders.

Winner: RB Josh Jacobs

After the Raiders offense sputtered out of the gate this season, coach Josh McDaniels turned to the run game, and running back Josh Jacobs has responded in a significant way.

Jacobs ended his day with 143 yards on 20 carries and those three touchdowns. He added three catches for 12 yards. The game marked the third time in a row Jacobs had at least 100 yards rushing and a touchdown and put him ahead of Raiders legend Marcus Allen for most rushing yards by a Raider in his first 50 games.

Jacobs has been a savior for McDaniels’ offense. His success has allowed the offensive line to gain confidence and it’s granted quarterback Derek Carr more confidence as well, as defenses are more off-balance and can’t solely key on stopping Vegas’ passing attack.

Winner: QB Derek Carr

Quarterback Derek Carr had another solid day, finishing with 241 yards through the air on 21-for-27 passing and one touchdown. But Carr’s ability to show flexibility in the pocket and make plays is what lands him on the winner list.

Carr’s best play occurred as the Raiders threatened to score on their first drive of the second half. On 3rd-and-5, Carr stepped up in the pocket and found tight end Foster Moreau for a big first down. Carr’s scramble forced the defense to creep up toward the line of scrimmage, leaving Moreau wide open.

Carr showed great awareness all day, allowing McDaniels to call a couple of trick plays involving Carr, including one that culminated in a catch by wide receiver Mack Hollins.

Winner: WR Mack Hollins

The Raiders actually scored touchdowns on four consecutive drives to close this ballgame, starting just before halftime. Down 10-3, Carr found WR Mack Hollins down the middle of the defense for a 26-yard touchdown in traffic.

With tight end Darren Waller out with a hamstring injury, Hollins is serving well as a tall receiving threat downfield, in addition to his stellar special teams play. And he’s been an admirable compliment to WR Davante Adams, who finished his own day with eight catches for 95 yards.

Winner: S Duron Harmon

Any player who gets a pick-6 is a near-lock to land on the winner list. Especially on a Raiders defense in sore need of big plays and takeaways.

Safety Duron Harmon delivered, intercepting Texans QB Davis Mills as Houston was desperate to notch a touchdown and get back in the game late. After a 73-yard sprint to the end zone, the Raiders had all but sealed their victory.

Loser: Secondary

Though the Raiders and Harmon had the last laugh, Mills had a good day at the expense of the Las Vegas secondary. He tallied 302 yards passing and two touchdowns, including a pinpoint pass to Phillip Dorsett in the third quarter, just as it appeared the Raiders had taken control of the game.

On that play, cornerback Anthony Averett and safety Tre’von Moehrig allowed Dorsett to get between them and score. Moehrig and Averett had the roughest day of the group, as Averett was beaten soundly just before Dorsett’s touchdown grab and Moehrig allowed a 39-yard reception at the start of the second half.

Loser: Pass rush

The Texans passing game got going thanks to a lack of substantial pass rush from the Raiders. Though that was also due to a dominant first half from Texans RB Dameon Pierce that kept the Raiders’ rush off balance.

In a bit of good news for Las Vegas, defensive end Chandler Jones did get to the quarterback for the first time this season, notching a half sack to help close the first half. The sack was the Raiders’ only QB takedown of the game, though they did have an impressive nine QB hits.

If the Raiders’ defense wants to compete with teams more talented than the Texans, the pass rush still needs improvement, as it would help the secondary cover the back end. Defensive end Maxx Crosby can’t do it all, and he can’t have a monster game every week.

Overall, it was a disappointing day for the defense, but they got a big stop late, as Crosby helped stuff a 3rd-and-1 play for the Texans on their attempt to answer Jacobs’ second touchdown. After Las Vegas took the ball, Jacobs scored his third.

And speaking of Jacobs, he’s helped the Raiders form an identity on offense. Though it’s not the aerial attack that McDaniels likely had in mind during the preseason, his turn to the run game has relieved a lot of pressure on a group that had underachieved due to a lackluster offensive line, adjustment to McDaniels’ scheme, and injuries to Waller and WR Hunter Renfrow.

The Raiders’ next task will be to earn back-to-back wins for the first time this season and continue toward a legitimate playoff run. They’ll get their opportunity on Sunday in New Orleans against the 2-5 Saints.

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Mike McNamara

Mike McNamara

A Las Vegas Realtor since 2008. Mike has a wide range of knowledge around all things Las Vegas.

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