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2023 NFL season, Week 5: What We Learned from Raiders' win over Packers on Monday night

Las Vegas Raiders
2023 · 2-3-0
Green Bay Packers
2023 · 2-3-0


  1. Raiders find a way to win an ugly one. The stats accurately tell the story of this game, one that certainly wasn't a display of offensive prowess. Neither team broke 300 yards of offense. Neither lead running back reached four yards per carry, and none of the receivers who recorded receptions exceeded 100 yards. Both quarterbacks threw an ugly interception (or three). And yet, Las Vegas grinded out a win it desperately needed. Josh Jacobs finally built a little bit of positive momentum on the ground, Davante Adams reemerged from the abyss in a key sequence in the second half, and a too-safe coaching decision (more on that later) didn't end up sinking the Raiders. A win is a win, and while it wasn't pretty, it counts the same.
  2. The Jordan Love Experience is moving backward. The fun parts of Love's first season as Packers starter are beginning to feel as if they happened six months ago. For a second straight week, Love looked overmatched and flat-out lost for most of the game, so much so that the final 35 yards that remained between the Packers and a go-ahead touchdown felt like miles. He had a chance to pick up a first down with his legs, and instead heaved a jump ball into the end zone with 44 seconds left on the clock, resulting in a game-deciding interception, the latest example of a young quarterback trying too hard to make a spectacular play. The signs of this stretch of struggles can actually be found back in Week 3, when a skittish Love struggled mightily in the first half before he was able to settle down in time to lead the Packers back to victory over the Saints. Since then, he's been the version that couldn't string together productive drives in that game, unnecessarily throwing into traffic (producing two of his three Monday night interceptions) and leaving the Packers with limited options offensively. He has to be better if the Packers hope to finish near or above .500 in 2023.
  3. Raiders' defense comes through in big spot. A game ball should end up in linebacker Robert Spillane's locker for this performance, and if there are any extras lying around, why not slide one into Marcus Peters' cubby, too? Spillane became the first Raiders linebacker to record multiple interceptions (two) in a game since 2001, stepping in front of an ill-advised Love pass for his first pick, and catching the second off a deflection caused by -- you guessed it -- Peters. The veteran defensive back also saved a touchdown by grabbing Packers receiver Christian Watson by the collar, producing a horse-collar tackle penalty that was worth the four points saved. Those four points proved decisive. Maxx Crosby was his usual harassing self, forcing Love into uncomfortable throws throughout the night, once again setting the tone for a Raiders defense that needs every positive contribution it can get. Holding these Packers to 13 points isn't a Herculean achievement, but it was important for a Las Vegas defense that gave up 23 points to the Steelers in its last prime-time affair.
  4. Packers fans might have to accept this is a transition year. Green Bay is 2-3, and very well could be 1-4 right now, had Love and Co. not furiously stormed back to beat the Saints a couple of weeks ago. David Bakhtiari is out for the foreseeable future. Aaron Jones has only been able to play in two of the first five games. Love is clearly far from being a complete player, and in the one game in which the Packers' defense played well enough to win, the offense couldn't hold up its end of the bargain. Coach Matt LaFleur grew visibly frustrated with his young players Monday night, scolding tight end Luke Musgrave after a promising drive stalled. He has to feel somewhat helpless in his first season without Aaron Rodgers, especially in must-have scenarios like the Packers' final drive Monday night. The road back to serious contention won't be as smooth as some might have thought after Green Bay's Week 1 bludgeoning of the Bears, and that's OK -- it's all part of the transformation.
  5. Josh McDaniels needs to take off the training wheels. In life, everyone has to take a risk or three to reach their dreams. McDaniels took such a risk by accepting the Raiders' job, but five weeks into his second season, he's coaching not to lose instead of coaching to win. He's already received enough criticism for his decision to kick a field goal while trailing the Steelers by eight points late in their Week 3 loss, but what he did Monday night was arguably worse. We'll start in the second quarter, when the Raiders forced a Packers punt thanks to a third-down stop with roughly 1:40 left on the clock. McDaniels declined to burn one of his two remaining timeouts in this moment, instead allowing the clock to tick down inside a minute by the time the Raiders' punt return was over. McDaniels ended up using both timeouts, but ran out of time to direct a legitimately aggressive drive, instead settling for a 53-yard field goal that was partially blocked by Yosh Nijman. He doubled down on the safe approach late in this game, electing to attempt another long field goal (this time, from 52 yards out) on fourth-and-2, which appropriately doinked off the right upright, giving the Packers the ball near midfield with 1:56 left to play. His defense (5-foot-9 Amik Robertson, specifically) bailed him out, but a better team makes McDaniels pay for these types of decisions. It's time to coach to win, Josh. It might end up being the difference between unemployment and a third year with the Raiders.

Next Gen stat of the game: The Raiders held a 93% chance of victory in win probability prior to their decision to attempt a 52-yard field goal in the fourth quarter. Next Gen Stats suggested going for it was the optimal decision on fourth-and-2 (by a margin of 7.7%). Instead, Daniel Carlson's missed attempt dropped their win probability to 75%, which improved to 99% only after Amik Robertson intercepted Jordan Love in the end zone.

NFL Research: Maxx Crosby recorded three run stuffs and multiple tackles for loss, marking his 19th career game with two-plus tackles for loss, the second-most in the NFL since 2019, trailing only Pittsburgh's T.J. Watt (20).

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