Raiders roll past Eagles to AFC West lead with second straight blowout since Jon Gruden’s departure

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Off the field, 2021 has been disastrous for the Las Vegas Raiders.

On the field? They just keep rolling.

The Raiders dominated the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday en route to a 33-22 win. It was their second straight by double digits since Jon Gruden abruptly resigned on Oct. 11 amid his and the NFL’s email scandal.

With the Kansas City Chiefs sputtering in a suddenly up-for-grabs AFC West, the Raiders improved to 5-2 to take a half-game lead in the division over the Los Angeles Chargers.

Raiders reel off 30 straight points

The Eagles scored first on Sunday. But once the Raiders tied the game early in the second quarter with a Derek Carr touchdown to tight end Foster Moreau, they were in control. Las Vegas scored 30 unanswered points to take a 30-7 lead late in the third quarter. The Eagles tacked on late scores to close the gap, but never threatened once the Raiders took the lead.

Near-history for Derek Carr

Like he’s done throughout the season, Carr led the charge, this time with his most accurate game of the season. He completed 31 of 34 pass attempts for 323 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. He did so without the benefit of top target Darren Waller, who was ruled out before the game after reportedly suffering an ankle injury in practice on Friday.

The 91.2% completion rate ranks as the second-highest in NFL history for a player who attempted 30 or more passes, trailing only Drew Brees, who connected on 29 of 30 attempts in a New Orleans Saints win over the Indianapolis Colts in 2019.

Can Raiders keep it up as schedule gets tougher?

While the Eagles and Denver Broncos, the teams the Raiders beat last week, won’t be confused with the NFL’s best, the Raiders have soundly beaten two straight opponents since losing their head coach. Rich Bisaccia runs the team now and appears intent on having the interim prefix removed from his title. While the season is long from over, he’s off to a good start.

The Raiders have a bye before facing the New York Giants in Week 9. From there, the sledding gets significantly tougher. In a span of six weeks, they’ll take on the first-place Cincinnati Bengals, first-place Dallas Cowboys and a Chiefs team desperate to reassert its division dominance twice. They’ll also face a road test against a Cleveland Browns team with playoff aspirations of its own.

That run will provide a truer gauge of how good the Raiders are post-Gruden. For now, they’re handily beating the opponents — and that’s all Raiders fans can ask for.

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