When the Raiders game came to an end on Sunday, it was difficult to find much positive to take away from it. Probably the biggest positive was that Connor Cook, the fourth round rookie quarterback who was forced into action due to injury, looked better than most expected he would. But at the same time, he also looked like a rookie who needs a good amount of time before he will be ready for the big stage on a regular basis.
It took a few days, but after reflecting on the game and studying the stat sheets, there were two bright spots in an other wise ugly day for the Raiders: DeAndre Washington and Brynden Trawick.
After spending a few weeks not even dressing for games, Washington has now had back to back strong performances for Oakland. On Sunday, he was the best running back on the field for the Raiders putting up 61 yards on seven carries for an impressive average of 6.1 yards per carry.
As the Raiders fell behind, they had to abandon the run game, but if they hadn’t, it seemed like a day that Washington could’ve put up even more impressive numbers if given the chance. It’s a great sign for Oakland who is going to need every bit of production they can get out of their running backs if they want to be competitive against the Houston Texans on Saturday.
And then there is Trawick, a new edition to the team in the offseason who has been a huge reason why the Raiders kick coverage team is one of the best in the league. But while Trawick is a special teams stud, he never saw a single defensive snap until being forced into action due to injury on Sunday. With Karl Joseph already out, when Nate Allen got injured, Keith McGill was substituted into the game.
But after McGill was literally run over a couple of times, the Raiders went deeper into their depth and put Trawick on the field.
And luckily for the Raiders, Trawick was ready to answer the call. Though he is a veteran in the NFL, he’s still pretty inexperienced playing safety in the NFL since he is primarily a special teams player. But on Sunday, he made a legitimate argument to see more time at safety. Trawick was second on the team in total tackles, had a pass deflection and an interception.
Washington is a rookie and Trawick, while a veteran, is still fairly young at 27. Both guys figure to play a role for the Raiders next season and beyond so it’s good to see them finish the year out strong, even if the rest of the team failed to do so.