They really had to show something on Sunday. And they did.
Judging by the post-game write-ups, this game officially earned Derek Carr "good" status in the eyes of league observers. Contrary to some, his last pass wasn't his only mistake, and was far from his worst decision for the day, but he is undoubtedly The Man for this franchise now. We still probably have more talent on defense than offense. But sitting in the Oakland Coliseum on Sunday it was clear that the offense was the only unit capable of winning that game for us, and that's 100% Carr.
Carr was not sacked once. Andre Holmes had a huge game. Denarius Moore's "clean slate" was apparently just a nice comfy seat on the bench where he could watch Brice Butler take his job. I read a few articles criticizing the Raiders for not unleashing Holmes earlier, which is ignorant. He made news when he was elevated ahead of James Jones to the #1 WR spot in camp, but then played horribly in the exhibition games. Enough happened to make Dennis Allen look bad on Sunday, but he doesn't deserve any blame for not trusting Holmes until he got his shit a little more together.
The running game also showed up, although at some point in the near future Latavius Murray needs to be getting more work. If the team still thinks he has something to offer, we need to find out exactly how much before the draft. But if the offense as a whole can play like that on a regular basis the rest of the year, they will probably win a game or two. The defense still looks pretty much hopeless though. They can't cover anybody. Nick Roach, Reggie's single success in free agency, has been put on season-ending IR with his concussion issues, although as of now it is not being considered career-threatening. DJ Hayden will be making his return shortly, but it's not like he looked like much of a solution to these issues the brief moments he's seen the field.
So this season is still hopeless. But there is indeed starting to be some light at the end of the tunnel. Derek Carr, a top pick in a solid draft, $70 million in cap space next year and a chance to be a fucking hero should interest some competent head coach and general manager candidates. And if recent waiver acquisition Kenbrell Thompkins steps up and joins Holmes and Butler in following Carr's lead, there may even be some excitement in store for us this year. I'll take whatever I can get.