The Las Vegas Raiders are riding high after a three-game winning streak, taking their explosive offense back home to Allegiant Stadium and allowing it to carry them to a win over the Los Angeles Chargers.
For the second consecutive week, this team looked very different than the one that struggled to move the football and couldn’t generate big stops defensively. Following Sunday’s win, Las Vegas has turned a 2-7 mark into a 5-7 record as they finally start playing like the team everyone expected before the season.
The Raiders made plays on offense, defense and special teams to earn themselves a home victory in front of Raider Nation.
Related: NFL power rankings Week 14
Here are five takeaways from Las Vegas’ fifth win of the season.
Josh Jacobs stays hot
For the second straight week, running back Josh Jacobs was listed on the injury report as questionable and still had a dominating performance, despite a rough start of 27 yards on the ground and a fumble.
Once the Silver and Black running game got going on Sunday, Jacobs recorded 26 carries for 144 yards and a touchdown.
With his 144-yard rushing performance, he recorded his sixth 100-yard rushing game of the season. Even with five games remaining, Jacobs is already tied for the second-most in team history for a single season.
“I thought Josh made a lot of hard yards today. It wasn’t like they were gaping holes and that he ran through and wasn’t touched. I thought he fought his way through the line of scrimmage and kept his legs going. He really had an opportunity to churn out a few hard yards.”Las Vegas Raiders HC Josh McDaniels on Josh Jacobs
Davante Adams is living up to high expectations
When the Raiders traded for Davante Adams, they knew he was the piece they needed to fortify the wide receiver room. Even with high expectations, Adams met them again on Sunday.
Adams recorded eight receptions for 177 yards and two touchdowns, becoming the first player in NFL history to record at least seven 100-yard games in three straight seasons.
- Davante Adams stats (2022): 79 receptions, 1,176 receiving yards, 12 touchdowns
The real takeaway from Sunday is regarding when Adams scored his touchdowns. They came on back-to-back possessions, opening the second half for 31 and 45 yards out, respectively.
With the Chargers fumbling the football and missing a field goal on its first two possessions coming out of the half, Adams’ two touchdowns (in three offensive plays) gave Las Vegas the momentum they needed to finish the game.
Las Vegas Raiders’ balance creates big plays
Since the beginning of the season, the Raiders have relied on Jacobs and Adams to carry them on offense. So, how would this team take the next step to get both of them the ball on the same play?
A week ago, Las Vegas ran a flea flicker that ended in a touchdown for Mack Hollins, who recorded five receptions for 35 yards on Sunday. On that play last week, Adams attracted three defenders leading to a wide-open Hollins. Fast forward to Sunday, same result only this time to Adamas.
The Raiders have found ways to highlight their key players to help this team in the grand scheme. As McDaniels said in his post-game press conference, having the high volume Jacobs and Adams are bringing right now is pivotal for everyone to have trust in them every snap.
Chandler Jones comes alive
Las Vegas’ defense showed up as the defensive line combined to record five sacks, highlighted by Chandler Jones’ three. It was a much-needed performance for a player who came into Week 13 with 0.5 sacks in 11 games.
As much as the defensive front was successful against the Chargers as a whole, Jones was all over the field as he totaled six tackles, three sacks, two tackles for loss, a pass deflection and five quarterback hits.
He recorded five of the team’s 14 hits on Justin Herbert, who, not when he was pressured, completed 28-of-47 passes for 335 yards and a touchdown.
The Raiders have found ways to be able to gets its interior defensive line over the last couple of weeks to attack the quarterback, in addition to the outside duo of Jones and Maxx Crosby.
McDaniels said the defensive coaching staff, led by coordinator Patrick Graham, was able to create a winning formula to defeat the Chargers.
Nate Hobbs shines in return
The revolving door in the Raiders secondary continued this week as cornerback Nate Hobbs made his return and cornerback Anthony Averett landed on injured reserve on Tuesday.
Hobbs, who had been sidelined due to a hand injury, made a difference in his first game back, recording a game-high eight tackles and a fumble recovery.
Related: Las Vegas Raiders schedule
When safety Duron Harmons knocked the ball out of Chargers running back Austin Ekeler’s hands, the 23-year-old Hobbs said he made the decision to get involved in the play and provide an extra body in the area to pick up the loose ball.