What We Saw: Week 4

The What We Saw team recaps everything you missed from Sunday's NFL action

Broncos @ Raiders

Final Score: Raiders 32, Broncos 23

Writer: Ben Brown (@BenBrownPL on Twitter)

 

This was a weird game. In the first half alone, we had:

  • An injury to an official
  • A fumble recovery for a TD
  • An onside kick
  • A missed XP
  • A Blocked XP

Josh Jacobs ran all over the Broncos from beginning to end. Russ cooked, though it was still more of an appetizer than a full-course meal. This game was close most of the way through, but it never really felt like either team truly had the ability to take control and run away with it. While the Raiders led for the entire second half, they didn’t put their foot on the gas and cruise away with a victory until very late in the 4th quarter.

#72 on the Broncos pretty much sums up how I felt about this game:

 

 

Denver Broncos

 

Quarterback

 

Russell Wilson: 17/25, 237 Yards, 2 TD | 4 Carries, 29 Yards, TD

 

Russell Wilson played his best game as a Bronco on Sunday, though most of his success came in the first half.

 

 

Early on, Russ was absolutely cooking. After starting their second drive at the Raiders’ 34 yard line, Wilson threw a dart up the middle to Eric Saubert for 25 yards and then threw another dart to Courtland Sutton for a touchdown just a few plays later.

On their last drive of the first half, Wilson connected with Jerry Jeudy for his second touchdown of the half. It was a bit of a low throw, causing Jeudy to go to the groud to get it, but it was the right spot for the throw. If it were any higher, he would have led Jeudy right into a defender and likely a big hit, but because it was down near the ground, Jeudy was able to grab it and slide in for the score. I’m going to give Wilson the benefit of the doubt and assume that this was by design.

The second half was a much different story for Wilson and the Broncos’ offense. The Raiders must have made some adjustments at halftime, because their front seven was getting all kinds of pressure on Wilson and the Broncos in the second half. Maxx Crosby had two sacks of his own and seemed to be all over the place, forcing Wilson to escape the pocket and throw on the run.

And that’s where I think Wilson’s abilities have taken the biggest hit. Wilson is really bad when he throws on the run these days. Multiple throws were short or wildly off target while Wilson was rolling out and away from pressure, which is an area where he used to be much better. The game completely changed once Las Vegas dialed up the pressure and Wilson simply couldn’t keep up.

So it was really a tale of two halves for Wilson. He showed in the first half that he can still be an elite QB, but in the second half his weaknesses were on full display. The Broncos may soon regret their decision to commit to Wilson long term.

 

Running Back

 

Javonte Williams: 10 Carries, 28 Yards | 1 Target, 1 Reception, -1 Yards

Mike Boone: 3 Carries, 20 Yards | 3 Targets, 1 Reception, 9 Yards

Melvin Gordon III: 3 Carries, 8 Yards | 1 Target | 1 Fumble (Lost)

 

The story of this game for Denver is the injury to Javonte Williams and what that means for the rest of this backfield. Williams hurt his knee early in the 2nd half and was helped off the field to the medical tent. He was then shown on the sideline walking very gingerly and ruled out for the remainder of the game shortly after that. This is a tough blow for Williams, who has looked like a budding star at times while splitting carries with Melvin Gordon in the Broncos’ backfield.

So with Williams potentially missing time, Gordon is the next man up, right?

Right?

Well, in the words of Lee Corso, not so fast my friend! Gordon coughed up the football earlier in the game, his fourth fumble of the day, and it was picked up and returned for a Raiders touchdown.

 

 

After this, Mike Boone was the next man up to spell Javonte when he needed a breather, and also the main guy in the backfield once Williams left the game. Boone will be a popular waiver wire add this week, but he didn’t do anything special that made me think he’s a must-add. Yes, he saw the majority of the snaps while Gordon was in the doghouse. I don’t recall seeing Gordon on the field in the 2nd half, but I could have missed it. Denver was more pass-heavy in the 2nd half while trailing the entirety of the time, but Boone only received three targets. He dropped one at the end of the game, on 4th down, while wide open with plenty of room to run. On the ground, he’s shifty but didn’t display any top-end speed or an above-average burst. He’s just a guy who may see added opportunities in the next few weeks – it’s up to you how much FAAB that’s worth.

 

 

Wide Receiver/Tight End

 

Courtland Sutton: 7 Targets, 5 Receptions, 52 Yards, TD

KJ Hamler: 1 Target, 1 Reception, 55 Yards

Jerry Jeudy: 5 Targets, 4 Receptions, 53 Yards, TD

Kendall Hinton: 3 Targets, 2 Receptions, 39 Yards

Eric Saubert: 2 Targets, 1 Reception, 25 Yards

Montrell Washington: 1 Target, 1 Reception, 4 Yards

 

Mike Boone may just be a guy, but Courtland Sutton is a dude. He’s tough, physical, and fast, and he is easily the best WR on this team. He and Jerry Jeudy had nearly identical lines in this game, but I was most impressed with Sutton. He appears to be a leader on this team, and that’s the sort of guy who ends up being a WR1 in fantasy. He had a nice touchdown catch in the back of the end zone.

 

 

Jerry Jeudy is also a dude, and he caught nearly everything thrown his way on Sunday. His touchdown was an interesting one, as he caught the ball three yards short of the end zone and was able to slide all the way in without being touched.

 

 

Jeudy also had another long catch down the sideline but got tripped up as he caught it and went right to the ground. It wasn’t clear if he was tripped by the defender or if he tripped over himself – either way, there were another 5-10 yards that he left on the table as a result.

A good Russell Wilson should be able to support both Sutton and Jeudy as fantasy-relevant players.

K.J. Hamler made his first catch of the season, a bomb down the seam for 55 yards that he was nearly able to punch into the end zone for a score.

 

 

This offense desperately needs a third reliable option, especially with Javonte Williams poised to miss time. Maybe Hamler can be that guy.

 

Las Vegas Raiders

 

Quarterback

 

Derek Carr: 21/34, 188 Yards | 7 Carries, 40 Yards

 

Derek Carr is a frustrating player to watch. The arm talent is there, and so is the football IQ. However, I watched him throw flatfooted with his body facing the receiver far too often today. One throw in particular was to Davante Adams on 3rd and five at the goal line on their first posession. Instead of stepping into his throw and firing it to Adams, Carr tried relying solely on his arm to get it there and he misfired, allowing the defender to knock it away. It’s just a matter of fundamentals, something that should be coached out of him, but for whatever reason, it still has not happened as of yet.

Carr wasn’t scrambling for his life all day by any means, but Denver was able to get constant pressure on him to keep him on his toes. Carr didn’t look comfortable in the pocket for much of the game, and without time to set himself and make an accurate throw downfield he often settled for the short throws.

With Josh Jacobs running as well as he was, Carr didn’t need to be a star for this team to win. The Raiders desperately needed a win, and I’m sure Josh McDaniels didn’t want to risk a fourth straight loss just to let Carr try to play hero ball. Carr’s best play was a long run right before halftime to put the Raiders in field goal position. Otherwise – there honestly wasn’t much noteworthy about his performance.

 

Running Back

 

Josh Jacobs: 28 Carries, 144 Yards, 2 TD | 6 Targets, 5 Receptions, 31 Yards

Zamir White:
2 Carries, 24 Yards

 

Josh Jacobs is really good. He’s arguably the second-best player on this offense behind Davante Adams and he showed it on Sunday. Jacobs touched the ball on the first three plays from scrimmage and never looked back. He has the rare ability to make guys miss over and over on the same play, as he showed here:

 

 

He can also run guys over.

 

 

His second touchdown of the day came late in the game when the Raiders needed someone to step up and make a play to clinch their first win of the season.

 

 

It seemed that the ball was put in Jacobs’ hands anytime the Raiders needed a chunk of yards, and he delivered. This was a really impressive performance by Jacobs.

 

Wide Receiver/Tight End

 

Davante Adams: 13 Targets, 9 Receptions, 101 Yards | 1 carry, 4 yards

Mack Hollins: 5 Targets, 3 Receptions, 33 Yards

Darren Waller: 5 Targets, 3 Receptions, 24 Yards

Brandon Bolden: 1 Target, 1 Reception, -1 Yard

 

With Hunter Renfroe still hurt, this passing game continued to be mediocre at best. Davante Adams was blanketed by Patrick Surtain all day, but he still delivered a great day for PPR purposes. There wasn’t a lot of room to do anything once he had the ball in his hands, but he at least managed to get enough separation to haul in most of his targets. Surtain is one of the better young corners in the league, so the fact that he was able to keep Adams in check and prevent him from converting any big plays was pretty impressive. Either way, fantasy managers are still happy with Adams’ output.

Someone who fantasy managers aren’t happy with is Darren Waller. He did have a catch down near the goal line where he was tackled at the one, but five targets in what was essentially a must-win game is a huge disappointment for the uber-talented TE. The touchdown would have been nice, but still not enough. On the positive side, Waller did have a really nice block to help spring Zamir White for a big gain that essentially iced the game. That doesn’t mean jack for fantasy, however.

Mack Hollins took a big step back after his career day last week, as many folks expected he would. He did almost make a touchdown grab on a free play, but he couldn’t get both feet down in bounds. At this point, I’m not sure I trust anyone in this passing game not named Adams.

 

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