The Oakland Raiders have looked like an entirely different team the past two weeks as they have managed to pull off impressive victories over the Indianapolis Colts and Chicago Bears.
The Raiders were considered underdogs in both games, but have rallied behind their improved offensive line and some timely plays from Derek Carr and the defense. At 3-2, Oakland should now be considered at least a threat to earn one of the two Wild Card spots in what is shaping up to be a competitive AFC.
Against the Bears, the Raiders dominated the battle upfront as the offensive line did an excellent job keeping a ferocious Chicago pass rush at bay while blocking enough running lanes for Josh Jacobs to get the ground game going. Defensively, they made life difficult for Chase Daniel as he simply could not get anything going in the first half.
While the victory is something to build upon, the Raiders were dealt a bit of a blow as second-year defensive end Arden Key was knocked out from the game after hurting his knee and later diagnosed with a strained patellar tendon.
According to Myles Simmons of Las Vegas Review Journal, head coach Jon Gruden said Key will miss some time:
On DE Arden Key, Gruden said there doesn't appear to be serious structural damage, but Key could be out a week or two. Gruden said #Raiders did work out four DEs but as of now, no signing is imminent.
— Myles Simmons (@MylesASimmons) October 8, 2019
Key has yet to really make his presence felt along the defensive line as he has yet to record a sack, and only has two quarterback hits on the year. The defensive end has shown flashes in his short career but it appears that his opportunity to really show what he can do will have to wait as he rehabs his knee.
Gruden mentioned that the team had already begun conducting workouts to replace Key, but it appears that no moves are imminent. Oakland will have to make do with the likes of Clelin Ferrell, Benson Mayowa and Maxx Crosby.
Despite the minor setback, the Raiders are still in a good position to continue building upon their momentum once they return from their bye week. It will be interesting to see how they come out in Week 7 when they have another road tilt with a solid Green Bay Packers squad.