They say everything feels a lot better when you win. The Raiders are feeling no pain this week after their big win over the Chargers last Sunday. Which is a very good thing considering they turn around and play again just four days later.
“Today is Wednesday,” Derek Carr said after the game on Sunday. “The main thing is I didn’t get hit in the ribs again, so I’m happy about that.”
Carr didn’t hardly get hit at all. He wasn’t sacked once in the game and only twice had a Chargers defender credited with a hit on him. That’ll put a pep in your step for sure.
Thursday night the Raiders will be in Los Angeles to face the Rams. The Raiders coaches got a head start in their preparations for the Rams at the end of last week. The players will take it easy this week in terms of what they do physically, focusing mostly on tape study and game plan.
Where it can benefit a team most in a situation like this is the mental and emotional state of the players. Momentum is a real thing. These guys came out and had their best game of the season. They were high-energy all game and were feeling good when they left the field. You want to keep that going. And this week they get to do just that.
I asked Davante Adams after the game if a game like this can give the team momentum on a short week.
“It definitely can. Especially with it being a lot tighter, a little fresher in our memory what we did,” Adams said. “So, just got to go and use some of the things that we did. There’s some momentum that you can take from negative things too, turn those into positives. So, if everybody’s got the right mindset and get ready for this quick turnaround, we’ll be able to go out there and hopefully come back with another victory. That’s the plan.”
The win over the Chargers was also the Raiders third straight win. Two of those came against division opponents. And two against teams with winning records. The Chargers represented both those things.
The Rams are on the other end of that. They are coming off a loss to the Seahawks. It was their sixth straight loss. So, a short week is not a welcome sight for them. Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels recognizes the added benefit to that.
“The great thing about a Thursday game is both teams are in the same boat,” said McDaniels. “So, we’re going to cram, they’re going to cram, and nobody’s going to do a whole lot physically in the next few days and try to get as healthy as we can get. And then go out there Thursday with as much energy as we can bring and go play the best football we can on Thursday night.”
It certainly doesn’t help if you’re the Rams that their best players are injured. And they seldom return on short weeks. Or for a team sitting at 3-9 with virtually nothing to play for.