Wow. Just wow. What more can you say about a game so awful? I would love to just leave this article as this one small paragraph for the theatrical effect, but I wont. Mainly because I have to do at least 150 words or it wont allow me to publish, and by then I will be ranting anyway.
Seriously though, that was a nightmare of a game. Everything that could have gone the Raiders way did not, and everything that could have gone the Rams way did. It was obviously going to be a long day very early when St. Louis dinked and dunked down field for touchdowns on their first two drives while the Raiders failed to even get a first down.
The whole first half in fact was a death by a thousand paper cuts. What made it even worse was the Raiders attempting to run the same type of offense against the Rams and the St Louis defense didn't fall for any of it. They wanted to run those quick passes too but the Rams defense sniffed it out each time.
That is what the Raiders defense should have been able to do too because it was a product of the defense facing that offense every day in practice. It was what they planned on doing the whole week and practiced with the thought being they would do it against the Rams, yet when the Rams ran those same plays the defense was completely out of position to make plays.
The 89 yard TD run by Tre Mason was one play to point out to show how unbelievably out of place the Raiders defenders were. Sio Moore was the one responsible for the gap that Tre used on that galloping TD run, and he ran the complete wrong direction instead of covering it. By the time he realized his gaff he was too far out of position to make the play, and nobody else was even close. That was a microcosm of the entire day for the Raiders defense.
Where was the discipline they had when they played the Chiefs? Where was the tenacity and the energy? Sure, they had a huge win the week before (relative to this season) but that is no excuse for coming out so unbelievably flat. They made career back up Shaun Hill look like Tom Brady for crying out loud!
Also, I am so glad that the coaching staff learned their lesson last week on trying to utilize Marcel Reece in the run game! Hopefully you caught the sarcasm there because it was laid on extremely thick. The coaching staff ran Reece a grand total of 4 times. That is compared to 11 times for McFadden and 5 times for Maurice Jones-Drew.
That is completely inexcusable. What more can Marcel Reece do to earn carries for this team? He has consistently ran better, tougher, and been more productive than MJD and DMC for the entire season and yet he is still barely even an after thought for this coaching staff in the run game.
They must have thought that getting Reece heavily involved in the passing game was enough, but it clearly was not! I don't care that he led the team in receptions and receiving yards (6 for 48! That is how bad of a game this was, 6 for 48 yards was their best receiver on the day!), Derek Carr needs to have a RUN GAME for any chance of success. If there was just one thing that the Chiefs game should have taught us, that is it. No run game, no success.
This was a game where Derek Carr finally looked extremely flustered and uncomfortable. He was hit a lot in this game, but that is no excuse. The one good thing to come out of a performance like this is the film that he will be able to study all off-season to not let this type of terribleness happen when he is a veteran.
Everything we hear about Derek Carr is that he does his homework, he studies what happened and he immediately tries to improve on his mistakes. Good, he has plenty of mistakes to learn from then after this monstrosity of a game.
Certainly his brother David Carr would never actually admit it publicly, but part of him had to be thinking "SEE! That is what I went through as a rookie! NOT THAT EASY IS IT BROTHER!".
Derek had never experienced a game where he was hit like he was in this game, and he had absolutely no answer for it. That is concerning because it was the number one flaw about him coming out of college, but at the same time he hasn't had enough time to fix it yet.
That is where a tape like yesterday is going to help in the long run. It is a picture perfect example of what he needs to be better at therefore it is a perfect template for him to study to better himself as a passer. Even bad things can have good results, if it teaches him to better handle this type of diverstiy then in the end it is a good result. Painful, but good.
Here is something very ironic from the stats of the game that many people probably didn't notice considering the overwhelming ineptitude they were witnessing. The Rams were 1/8 on third downs! That means the Raiders were actually great on 3rd down defense, unfortunately they were plain awful on getting the Rams INTO 3rd down situations!
Another thing to notice was yet another game where the Raiders utterly failed in the turnover department. They have the worst turnover differential in the entire NFL, and it was on full display yesterday. They had 2 interceptions on Derek Carr, both horrendous rookie mistakes deep in their own territory, and then they had a pick 6 on Matt Schaub and a fumble from Schaub also deep in Raiders territory. Schaub even fumbled a second time but the Raiders managed to recover that one.
What that does to a team is completely demoralize them. Even in a game that the rest of the team imploded, the turnovers made it that much worse. Turnovers need to be the focus of this team for next year, both on the roster and on the field.
All in all, this was the worst game that I have ever had the displeasure of witnessing. OK, well Super Bowl XXXVII was worse to watch given how meaningful of a game that was. However, even then I wasn't as disgusted with the team as I am now.
52-0? Giving up 52 would have been terrible enough, as would being shut out. Putting them both together though? I couldn't have imagined a worst game to watch in my entire life as a Raiders fan. For those of us that have been watching the Raiders throughout these dark days since that Super Bowl loss, you know how huge of a statement it is to have outdone even the most bitter of expectations.
For the Raiders to come out after a huge victory over the Chiefs and lay this goose egg, there just are not enough expletives in the world to describe the feelings. This was simply disgusting, a disgrace, and an abomination all rolled into one. Let's hope to never again witness a game so awful, it should never be THIS bad.
Not only was this game so freaking horrible that it is hard to even talk about afterwards, but it leads them into the Bay Area rival game against the far superior San Francisco 49ers. If this is what St Louis did, what is San Fran capable of? It is a hard thing to contemplate on in the bitterest of states for Raiders fans, but it is the reality of what lies ahead.
For the Raiders, they need to move on quickly and efficiently from this game and focus on the 49ers as much as possible. They can not have the team that played this Sunday show up in the game next week, it means far too much to the local area to be embarrassed like they were this Sunday. The relations between Niner and Raider fans are already terrible, if the 49ers kill the Raiders like the Rams did the local fans will never hear the end of it.
The last thing that came out of yesterday was the Raiders regaining their hold on the top slot in the 2015 draft after the Jaguars had an improbable victory against the New York Giants. It was a terrible way to get it, and its not something worth celebrating even if it is a good thing if the Raiders get the top pick. However, it happened and therefore deserved mentioning. That deserved to be mentioned far more than any other part of this game did anyway.