The Oakland Raiders started the day out 2 games back of the division leading Kansas City Chiefs. Then the football God’s gifted them something amazing again, losses by key AFC Playoff teams and the Chiefs. Naturally the Raiders with their season on the line and 2 weeks to prepare for the game got embarrassed.
While they are still technically in the playoff hunt they are more likely to pick in the top 10 of the 2018 NFL Draft.
Despite going against a team that gives up the most yards in the league the Raiders managed a meager 237 yards and 1 TD. Carr had 1 INT but it was because Johnny Holton tried to catch a deep pass with his chest. In Holton’s defense none of the Raiders receivers were interested in catching the ball, Seth Roberts in particular.
Derek Carr averaged only 4.8 yards per attempt and the offense once again looked completely incompetent. The gameplan was porous to say the least and the execution was even worse. Exactly what you would expect from a team trying to save their season that had an extra week to prepare, right?
No sugarcoating it, this was a pathetic effort and players like Roberts should be benched. Enough is enough, this team showed no heart with their season on the line they put up 8 points. They only got those 8 points when the game was well out of hand and there was no shot at coming back, while dropping 5 or 6 passes depending on who is asked.
The rushing offense was the only part of the entire team that worked consistently. Marshawn Lynch was gashing the Patriots at will, so naturally he only got 11 snaps and wasn’t used on a key 4th and 1 play. The Raiders ran as a team for 109 yards on 21 carries for a 5.2 average.
Unfortunately it’s hard to run the ball when you are down 30 to zero. There are lots of reasons for why the Raiders lost this game but the running game was not the problem. The line and RB’s finally seem to have gotten in sync and the run game has become the strength of the team everyone though it would be week 1.
The rush offense was fierce and had the Oakland receivers caught the ball this game would have been much different. Unfortunately they didn’t and they allowed the Patriots to make them one dimensional. The Raiders run game was on point from start to finish but it wasn’t enough to make up for a porous defense and pathetic passing offense.
Tom Brady started by completing his first 12 passes, and it only got worse from there. For some reason coaches felt starting 2nd round Safety Obi Melifonwu at left CB against Tom Brady in only his 2nd game was the best thing for his development. The results were exactly what you would expect if you know anything about football or exercise common sense.
Brady would finish 30 for 37 339 yards and 3 TD’s, with no interceptions and a 131.9 QB rating. Brandin Cooks was allowed 6 catches for 149 yards and a TD and could have had more if the Raiders actually presented a threat. The Raiders completed their NFL record 10th game without an interception, but as Ken Norton Jr. has pointed out it’s likely because teams don’t want to turn the ball over.
It’s Tom Brady so he’s going to put up yards and score but it shouldn’t look like he’s practicing against air. Reggie Nelson as a single high safety is a joke, he is late every single time he is required to cover as deep safety. Personnel decisions in this game were a joke, much like they have been all season and the Raiders managed only 1 sack by Khalil Mack against a severely depleted Patriots line.
Usually pretty solid against the run the Raiders run defense was just as pathetic as the pass offense. Dion Lewis averaged 6 yards a carry on 10 carries, and the Patriots averaged 4.4 yards per carry as a team on 20 carries. Not the way you win a football game against the Patriots or anyone else.
The Raiders interior was manhandled thoroughly despite the fact the Patriots were playing without multiple starters on the offensive line.
They had 2 weeks to prepare and got manhandled by a line that featured more backups than starters. That’s all you need to know.
Giorgio Tavecchio did not attempt a FG or XP even in situations where it seemed wise to try with the thin air. Marquette King was awful getting 2 touchbacks on his 3 attempts and only averaged 45.7 yards per punt. He has regressed since the groin injury after playing at a legendary level most of the season.
Punt and Kick coverage teams were solid and did not give up a big return to the Patriots returners. On the other side the Punt and Kick return units did nothing at all to help the team. Special teams was not special at all in this game.
No faith in the kicker from the coaching staff, poor punting, nothing from returners. The only saving grace for this unit was their coverage on kicks and punts. Outside of that it wasn’t pretty.
Jack Del Rio, Ken Norton Jr., and Todd Downing had two weeks to prepare for this game, it wasn’t enough. They got outcoached in every phase and it wasn’t close, gun vs fist fights have been closer. The personnel decision are questionable every game but starting Obi in only his 2nd game coming off IR at LCB was just dumb, way to stunt the development of a 2nd round safety.
Coaching matters and the Raiders are easily the worst coached team in the league. Downing’s gameplan wasn’t awful but it wasn’t two weeks to plan great either. Ken Norton Jr. clearly doesn’t understand what success is as he was embarrassed and once again shown he doesn’t belong in the NFL. Jack Del Rio is losing this team and should be fired but because of his extension he likely stays but he needs to replace the entire staff except Mike Tice.
How do you get two weeks to plan for a team and come out and look completely clueless that you have to cover Cooks and Gronk? Two weeks and instead of trying out corners they start their 2nd round safety at CB in only his 2nd game back. Just a complete joke of a staff from top to bottom, with Tice as the lone exception.
Overall Grade: F
The Oakland Raiders with their season on the line came out and crapped the bed. They embarrassed their fan base and they showed no heart. Raiders fans are some of the most loyal in the NFL and they deserve better than this, sadly it will continue until Reggie McKenzie replaces Del Rio.
R.I.P. Old Friend
Raider Nation lost a lifelong fan and a hell of a man in Joey Padilla on Saturday due to an accident. I grew up with Joey, and his older brother Ben who is currently serving in the Army. Joey was a huge Raiders fan and one of the absolute best people and fathers you could ever find in this world, his heart was immeasurable. May your family and friends find peace knowing that you left the world a better place than your found it.
Joey you will be missed by so many, but you will never be forgotten.