For most of the season, the Raiders have leaned on their offense. That changed Sunday when their defense forced the Broncos into five turnovers while leading the way in a 37-12 win over Denver at Allegiant Stadium.
Safety Jeff Heath had two of the Raiders’ four interceptions and the defense held the Broncos to just one touchdown in garbage time as Jon Gruden’s team improved to 6-3.
Nonetheless, the offense still flexed its muscles as bruising back Josh Jacobs ran for 112 of the Raiders’ 203 rushing yards.
Here’s what the Raiders were saying after third straight victory:
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – NOVEMBER 15: Head coach Jon Gruden of the Las Vegas Raiders talks with Johnathan Abram #24 during warm ups against the Denver Broncos at Allegiant Stadium on November 15, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Raiders coach Jon Gruden:
Proud of our team. It was a physical game today.
On their defense:
“I think Jeff Heath started it off. You know, Jeff Heath has made some big plays. He’s not playing 100 percent, but getting close to it. I think he got the fire started. Got some good overall play by a lot of guys on defense. Paul Guenther and his staff have tweaked the defense the last few weeks and we were opportunistic. (Carl) Nassib on a zone blitz got an interception. I thought we did a great job stripping the ball. We need to create turnovers. Again, we ran the football extremely well and that’s the recipes we’re looking for here.”
On winning while not playing their best:
“You don’t have much time to celebrate. We’ve gotta play the Chiefs. We had 87 punt return yards called back. We had a penalty on fourth-and-6 inches. We left some plays out there that our guys are capable of making, and we’ve gotta continue to raise the standards here, but it is satisfying to win. I’ve got a lot of respect for Coach Fangio and the Broncos. They’re a difficult secondary to maneuver against and (Bradley) Chubb doesn’t make it easy. Five turnovers, that was a big significant statement I think we made, that we’re getting better. That was good.”
On running the ball:
“I think offensively we’ve always kind of said at the beginning, we want to be able to adapt to who we’re playing and who we’re playing with. We try to play to our strengths and I think we try to feature our best players as much as possible. We’ve had some alternating players up front, we’ve had to switch gears and we’re able to survive. We’re gonna get better and better. Running the ball, no matter how you do it and when you do it, is a great accomplishment in this league, especially when the opponent knows you’re running it and everybody know you’re running it.”
On pass rush:
“They were one-dimensional, in fairness to them. They were throwing it a lot .. and Paul Guenther did a great job. He and his staff. We called some timely blitzes, we mixed some coverages …read more
Source:: The Mercury News – Sports