Carved-up Oakland Raiders defense makes play when it matters

Paul Guenther explains why he believes Raiders sack totals are on upswing

Paul Guenther explains why he believes Raiders sack totals are on upswing

The Lions (3-3-1) are heading in the right direction after a 31-26 win over the New York Giants last weekend. They're now 3-4-1 as they head into the second half of the season, and rank 31st in total team defense, the biggest reason why Detroit's playoff hopes are already on life support. There were at least three low snaps on shotgun plays, and Carr adeptly averted disaster on one of them by picking up the ball and running out of the pocket far enough to avoid the sack and a grounding penalty with a throwaway.

After what seems like forever - or Week 3 to be exact - the Oakland Raiders return from a long and winding road that included consecutive stops in Minnesota, Indianapolis, London, Green Bay and Houston. "He made the play".

Both teams are in the middle of the pack when it comes to the playoff race and every game counts with the season hitting the back stretch. It's also the first of four November games wiener the Raiders will face a string of average quarterbacks that includes an aging Philip Rivers, a rookie in Ryan Finley and second-year man Sam Darnold. On the Lions final play, he threw the ball up for tight end Logan Thomas but Joseph was there to prevent the catch, sealing the victory for the Raiders. They've now allowed at least 430 yards in four of their last five games, and lost each of them.

At 5'8, Richard is one of the shortest players in the NFL.

That could bode well for wide receiver Kenny Golladay, who is coming off his best game of the season. Golladay continued to add to his career-high touchdown mark, with his seventh score coming on his 26th birthday.

The Lions will most likely continue to run their offense through Stafford as their rushing attack has been abysmal all year.

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Jacobs had another strong performance and broke Marcus Allen's franchise rookie record for rushing on a 16-yard run late in the first half. With Carson on injured reserve, Ty Johnson becomes more attractive as a flex play in Oakland this week. The Lions, however, did activate Paul Perkins from the practice squad, but Johnson is the clear favorite for touches. Detroit also placed Tra Carson on IR after he was the starting running back against the Giants last week. Maurice Hurst recovered a botched handoff from Stafford to McKissic on Detroit's opening drive and Oakland turned that into a 68-yard TD drive capped by Jacobs' 2-yard run.

Derek Carr's 289 yards and two touchdowns aren't going to stand out in the box score, but he was simply fantastic.

Rookie running back Josh Jacobs was just named the NFL's Offensive Rookie of the Month, and for good reason, as he had two games where he almost eclipsed 125 yards. He is sixth in the National Football League in rushing yards with 620 and is averaging five yards per carry.

Injuries could be a big factor in this contest.

Also questionable (because of illness) is safety Erik Harris, who had a pick-6 in a 31-24 win over the Indianapolis Colts on September 29.

But now time for the prediction. Last week, like any good reliever, I vowed to bounce back, and I did, for the most part. While the Raiders are 3-4 and trying to get back to.500, the Lions are 3-3-1 and trying to go above.500 on the year. I think our fans miss us, and I think we miss them.

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