How does something like this happen? How does a team go from having one of the better defenses over the past five games and a win over the AFC West leading Chiefs, against a team with a 4-7 record, coming off a loss to another historically disgusting display. It's downright mind-boggling.
They began the game with three-straight three-and-outs, then turned the ball over five times on three interceptions and two fumbles. One of those interceptions was returned for a touchdown. It was Matt Schaub, of course. That's his signature move.
They Raiders converted just 4 of 18 third downs in the game (22%).
They began the game giving up touchdowns on five straight Rams possessions, including an 89-yard touchdown run.
Alright, well, maybe get a bit more specific.
The offensive line?
The Rams had 6 sacks in the game. We knew they were going to be lethal, especially with the return of Chris Long to the lineup. He had a sack, so did Aaron Donald, and Robert Quinn had three sacks. Those sacks were split evenly between Derek Carr and Matt Schaub.
Raiders running backs got 60 yards on the ground, averaging 3.0 yards per carry.
The passing game?
The Raiders had a total of 230 yards through the air between Carr and Schaub. They completed passes to nine different receivers. The problem is only 92 yards of that happened before halftime when the game was already lost with the team down 38-0.
The run game?
The first half last week, the Raiders had established the run game with Latavius Murray running for 112 yards on 4 carries for two touchdowns. This week, they ran the ball 11 times for 37 yards.
Despite Marcel Reece running down the Chiefs' throat last week on the game-winning drive, at half time he had received exactly one carry. The Raiders were twice in third and one. They opted to pass the ball on one of them and hand the ball to Darren McFadden on the second. They converted neither of them.
The Raiders had one chance to score in this one. They could have gone for a 50-yard field goal down 21-0 early in the second quarter. But the Raiders opted to go for it on fourth and one and Marcel Reece was called for a false start. In 4th and 6, going for it was no longer an option, but it would have meant a 55-yard field goal. The Raiders chose to punt rather than try to get on the board. Hard to imagine why.
Antonio Smith said after the game that the Rams went with the plan the Dolphins used to beat up the Raiders in week four and had their way with the Raiders on screens, pitches, and end-arounds Just basically getting their playmakers into open space. It was a simply plan that worked better than anyone could have imagined. The Rams had plays of 35T, 34, 26, 18T, and 89T in the first half alone.
The Raiders had just one sack in the game. Shaun Hill was hurried twice the entire game on 23 dropbacks.
Shaun Hill had a total of three incompletions in the first half and was only in third down twice, converting on one of them. The one third down he didn't convert was the result of the only sack of the game and led to a field goal. So, the secondary didn't stop a single third down in the first half with a total of one pass defended in the game (Ross).
So, where DOES one begin?
I'm not sure there's an answer to that question. Nothing was working. Everything on the Raiders was failing miserably. The Raiders coaches will be 'watching the tape' in the hopes of finding some answers. I will be doing the same. But from what we saw today and the initial reaction with the numbers to consider, it's hard to say where the answers will come.
What we are faced with is a loss that is the worst in 53 years for the Raiders. The last time they lost this badly was a 55-0 blowout in the season opener of the 1961 season. That was the second season of the franchise's existence, folks.
This after last week finally ending the longest losing streak since the one that started later in that same 1961 season. They lost 19-straight back then. These Raiders managed to stop the bleeding at 16-straight only to open a major artery in this one.
We are also watching the worst three seasons in regards to points given up in Raiders history since their first three seasons.
These Raiders are just determined to set as many records for futility they possibly can. This is supposed to be building toward something, not digging to new depths.