The Oakland Raiders headed to London as a team expected to lose badly. Facing off with the Chicago Bears, one of the NFL's best defenses, and former fourth overall draft pick Khalil Mack who was looking for payback against his former team wasn't exactly a recipe for success. And yet, the Silver and Black won a hard-fought battle to move to 3-2 on the season, which caused head coach Jon Gruden to show off his dance moves.
Following the game, the Raiders social media account released a video of Gruden's locker room speech. The man colloquially known as "Chucky" is someone that shines when the cameras are turned on, as HBO's Hard Knocks showed, and he took full advantage of the spotlight once again while talking about disco and getting his groove on.
"Hey, listen, I don't have a disco," Gruden said following Sunday's game. "I don't have a disco but let's all start dancing."
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Heading into Sunday's game, the belief was that the Raiders were going to get embarrassed by the Bears. The Silver and Black were missing the top wide receiver in Tyrell Williams, a speedy deep threat in JJ Nelson, a top kick returner in Dwayne Harris, two offensive linemen in Brandon Parker and Gabe Jackson, and the top draft pick in defensive end Clelin Ferrell. Simply put, this Raiders team was undermanned and bound for another loss across the pond.
However, this team played in a manner that Gruden could have only hoped for. The passing attack didn't set records, but rookie running back Josh Jacobs led the way with two touchdowns and 123 rushing yards. While other top runners have struggled to gain ground against the Bears front seven, Jacobs had no issue and consistently kept the chains moving.
Mack, the man that had been looking forward to this game since being traded in 2018, was held without a sack on the day. He was expected to embarrass the offensive line but was held in check.
To make this the ideal Gruden game, the Raiders defense sacked quarterback Chase Daniel four times and hit him six times in total. The Bears signal-caller had no time to survey the field against a pass rush that only managed a mere 13 sacks in 2018.
Sitting at 3-2 entering the bye week, this Oakland Raiders team that was expected to win a mere five games is still fully in the mix. Getting Williams and the other injured starters back in week seven will be critical, but if this team can continue performing well in games that they are expected to lose, it's entirely possible that the playoffs could be on the docket.
If so, Gruden will only continue dancing to show his excitement about the Raiders being competitive. It might be time to install a disco ball in the Raiders' locker room.