It's another week of finding the good among the overwhelmingly bad in a Raiders loss. Now, with that task done, we move onto the task of laying out those who are primarily responsible for that overwhelmingly bad display on Sunday. You can choose to grimace at the rehashing of it, or find catharsis in it. I recommend that latter, but that's up to you.
This top Buster was as predictable as which direction Pryor will roll out of the pocket on a pass play (it's to the right). Pryor was spotted a touchdown in this game. He scored it on a QB sneak but it was served up to him by a fumble on the opening kickoff. It was the only offensive score of the day on what was a very bad day for Pryor.
The first actual drive of the day for the Raiders after their 5-yard, two-play score ended when Pryor rolled right (shocker) and completely missed a wide open Andre Holmes streaking down the right sideline on what would have been a sure touchdown. He opted to throw low and incomplete to Denarius Moore in short yardage. The ensuing punt was blocked and returned for a touchdown. That would be a 14-point swing. There were a few more of those.
Pryor completed one pass on the next drive and it was for five yards on third and 15. Punt. He didn't complete another pass the rest of the first half. On the final drive of the first half for the Raiders, he ran backward 20 yards and then made matters worse when he was called for intentional grounding. It was then 2nd and 30. After a holding penalty it was then third and 40. Not far off of that comical third and 48 from the game in Kansas City. And it was for the exact same reason then too. At least this time the punt was able to cross the first down marker (just).
The first drive of the third quarter was his best of the day. On that drive he completed four passes for 47 yards. But then with the Raiders in first and goal at the one-yard line, the offense stalled. It ended with a declined holding penalty but on the play there was a gaping hole in the middle of the line that Pryor missed while he opted for his patented roll out right. The Raiders settled for a field goal.
The next drive started with great field position off a shanked Giants punt. Then on the first play, Pryor kept the ball on a read option and was tackled for a loss. Four plays later, he threw an interception that was returned to the five-yard line and the Giants scored the go ahead touchdown a few plays later. That would be a 10-point swing.
The next drive Pryor clearly hadn't learned his lesson from the previous drive when on third down he again threw into coverage and was very nearly picked off. And of course, he rolled right first.
On the next and final Raiders drive, he started out with a roll out right where he was tackled for a loss of two. And ended the drive when he stood in the pocket too long and was sacked and fumbled the ball away. He finished the game completing 42% of his passes (11 of 26) for 122 yards and a 40.9 passer rating giving him the second worst 4-game stretch by a Raiders QB in the past 50 years.
Olson was criticized for his conservative play calling in the second half against the Steelers in a win and now in a game where there were instances he absolutely needed to go conservative, he opted to call a pass play. There were two glaring examples of this and the first one was the one that broke the back of the Raiders.
With the Raiders up 20-14 in the third quarter, they were moving the ball into field goal range. They had the ball at the Giants' 37-yard line which is well within Janikowski's range. With the six-point lead, that was the perfect time to grind it out and run clock. But Olson instead called for a pass play. Pryor dropped back and threw an interception returned to the five-yard line and resulted in a Giants touchdown. So, instead of the Raiders going up 9 points and a two score lead late, they suddenly found themselves down by a point.
On the following drive, in third and two, Olson again calls for a Pryor pass. Pryor nearly throws another interception. The Giants weren't stopping Rashad Jennings all day and when the Raiders needed to go to him the most, Olson decided to get cute and opt to take unnecessary risk and it blew up in his face.
The Raiders would punt back to the Giants and they would drive for a field goal and a four-point lead. With Pryor playing the way he is, asking for a touchdown is a tall order.
Up to this point, Barnes had played pretty decent left tackle this season. He had a meltdown in this game. He was called for holding on the Raiders second drive and they couldn't recover the yardage lost. Two possessions later, he gave up a sack on the first play of the drive. They again couldn't recover the yards. Two drives later he was called for holding AGAIN to set up a third and 40. You know the rest.
On the first drive of the second half, the Raiders had moved into position with first and goal at the one-yard line. Then on third and goal, Barnes was called for a false start. What could have been a push the pile into the end zone situation turned into a broken play and settling for a field goal.
Think Barnes was done? Oh, no. Two possessions later he was called for....wait for it...holding... for the third time in this game. So, let's see, that's three holding penalties, a false start penalty and a sack for a loss of four yards for a total of negative 39 yards with the false start penalty possibly costing the Raiders four points (the difference in the game). Someone check to see how Jared Veldheer's rehab is coming along. The Raiders could kinda use him right about now.
On the Giants' first touchdown drive, Jenkins gave up a catch and then missed the tackle for a 20-yard gain. Then to finish off the drive, he gave up a the 5-yard touchdown pass and the Giants went up 14-10. The following drive he gave up a 25-yard pass on third and 11. Lucky for him, Tracy Porter saved the day when he intercepted the ball for a touchdown on the next play. All told, Jenkins would give up four passes for 56 yards and a touchdown.
On the Raiders first punt of the day, Crawford missed his block and allowed a free rusher right up the middle who blocked the Marquette King punt and returned it for a touchdown to tie the game at 7-7. Later in the game he nearly made another critical error in judgment when he unnecessarily pounced on a Giants punt that was tipped at the line and went ten yards. The ball wasn't live but the moment he touched it, it would have become live. Had he not corralled it, and the Giants gotten it, they would have gotten the ball right back with the first down. Can't afford errors like that.