“Look daddy, the Raiders are winning by so much!”
As I re-watched the game Monday morning, my six-year-old (who isn’t much of a sports fan) was excited for me when she looked up and saw a 17-0 Raiders lead.
Little did she know…
The stat has made the rounds on social media already, but for the third time this season, the Raiders would blow a 17-point lead — a feat that the franchise had only seen happen to them five times in its first 61 years of existence.
Is it bad luck? Is it bad coaching? Is it player failure?
When you’re 2-6 and tied with the rebuilding Steelers for the second-worst record in the AFC, and when three of those six losses have come to teams who have just three wins themselves, I suppose the answer is: YES.
Yes, to all of it.
Could Carr have been better? Absolutely. Did Adams drop a couple balls in the second half you hope guys with his pedigree will snag? You bet. Did the Raiders change a first-half game plan that was working? Sure seemed like it.
For a team that was in the playoffs just last season, brought everyone back and added some expensive new faces, it’s hard to reconcile how they’re 2-6 at this point in the season — and yet, they are.
Welcome to life as a Raiders fan, I guess.
Offensive headline: “What the heck happened?”
In the first quarter, Derek Carr completed 10/13 passes for 123 yards. Over the next three, he completed 11/23 for 126 yards.
In the first half, Davante Adams had 9 catches for 146 yards and two touchdowns. In the second half, he had one catch for 0 yards.
19:09 into the game, the Raiders had already put 17 points on the board. In the remaining 40:51, they scored just three points.
What was so weird in watching the game back was that I’m not entirely convinced I know what the problem was. Some folks were calling for less running from Josh Jacobs, but Jacobs was effective, and the offensive line was making Carr’s life challenging all day. On the flip side, when they had second-and-short with less than three minutes remaining, they opted to throw the ball three straight times rather than use Jacobs to move the chains.
It was as if the Raiders pressed all the wrong buttons at all the wrong times.
Defensive headline: “Whelp.”
The final scoreline says the defense gave up 27 points, but we all know it could have been worse. In the first, the Jaguars dropped a pitch in scoring position, and late in the game, they saw a field goal attempt go off the crossbar. All this for an offense that came into the game averaging just 21.5 points per game.
Honestly, the problems here are at every level. For the second straight game, the pass rush recorded zero sacks. The corners that Dave Ziegler brought in this off-season continued to be ineffective. There’s no other way to say it: this group is really bad.
Aside from Maxx Crosby, is there anyone who played on Sunday you’d be sad to see gone next season? I mean, I like Denzel Perryman, but… (And while Ziegler and McDaniels will want you to believe that this was the old regime’s fault, keep in mind they brought in 7 of the 11 starters on defense themselves).
Player of the Game: Davante Adams
Despite gaining zero yards in the second half, Adams did enough in the first 30 minutes to earn this award easily. He finished the day with 10 catches for 146 yards and two touchdowns — even if it seemed like there were a couple of chances to add to that tally in the second half.
Odds and Ends
- The offensive line for the Raiders was absolutely dreadful in this one — according to PFF, they surrendered 17 pressures on 40 pass-blocking snaps. Again: don’t let Ziegler and McDaniels fool you into thinking this group was someone else’s fault.
- The Raiders finished 3/12 on third down, but part of the reason was how many third-and-longs they faced. By my count, they faced third and six or more ten times in this game — so even when they were converting early on, it simply wasn’t sustainable.
- On the flip side, the Raiders allowed the Jaguars to convert 9/15 third downs. Jacksonville came into the game, converting 41% of their third down attempts.
- The Raiders are now tied for 10th in the AFC, three games out of the wild card and four games out of the division.