Tue, 24 Nov 2020

Why Coach Gruden hopes Raiders' loss can 'motivate a lot of people'

Las Vegas Raiders
26 Oct 2020, 21:05 GMT+10

Levi Edwards

The game time was moved up. The starting safety and right tackle landed on the COVID reserve list. The starting offensive line was not able to practice with the team.

It would be hard for the Raiders to have had the odds more stacked against them coming into Allegiant Stadium on Sunday.

And yet, the Silver and Black were able to fight through all of the given circumstances and give an incredibly valiant effort against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who came out on top against the Raiders 45-20, led by a dominating performance by Tom Brady.

The score is a little misleading - the Raiders were down only four with seven minutes and change to go in the fourth - and Coach Gruden said he was proud of how the team fought until the end.

"I thought even until the very end they played their hearts out," said Coach Gruden. "We have to play better in all phases, but it was a tough week certainly. It will make us better in the long run. Hopefully it motivates a lot of people out there that you can go out and accomplish great things in adversity."

The offensive line came into Sunday without their starting Pro Bowl right tackle Trent Brown for COVID-related reasons. This caused four other offensive linemen to quarantine and miss most of a week of practice. All four were cleared to play before kickoff after multiple negative tests.

The situation was exacerbated when right tackle Sam Young sustained a knee injury and guard Gabe Jackson was ejected from the game in the third quarter.

"We did the best we could," said left tackle Kolton Miller regarding the circumstances coming into the game. "Weird time, anyone can go down at anytime ... we just have to find a way to gel together and get the job done."

Derek Carr also credited the offensive line for being able to prepare for this game. Carr threw for 284 yards and two touchdowns, adding 19 yards on the ground. With the lack of preparation the offensive line had, a couple of miscues resulted in the top-ranked Buccaneers defense sacking Derek Carr three times.

"I want to say how proud I am of that offensive line, not just the starters, but the backups also for the week they had," said Carr after his 100th career start. "Football is a game that needs to be practiced, football is a game of team, and when you don't have all your guys out there, it's tough throughout the week.

"Very proud of them for how they played coming in against multiple fronts, multiple blitz operation that (the Buccaneers) are and being able to play the way they played. They did a fantastic job."

The Silver and Black will be looking to bounce back next week as they travel to FirstEnergy Stadium to play a 5-2 Cleveland Browns team coming off a win to their cross-state rival Cincinnati Bengals.

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