Well that was ugly. The Raiders traveled to the nations capital but did not accomplish much else in their 27-10 loss to the Washington Redskins. Do not let the score fool you though, this game should have been a shut out.
The Raiders offense did not show up for this game, producing only 128 total yards, and going 0-11 on third down. The offense was unable to get into any sort of rhythm or sustain a drive. At the start of the second quarter the team actually had more interceptions (1) than first downs (0).
Raiders quarterback Derek Carr usually makes good decisions and is careful with the ball. In 15 games last season Carr threw for 28 touchdowns to only 6 interceptions. Going into this game Carr had not thrown a pick this season while having thrown 5 touchdowns.
This game however started off bad and only got worse. Carr’s interception free season only lasted until the second play of the game.
Carr attempted to hit wide receiver Amari Cooper on a fade route only to have the throw undercut and intercepted by Washington safety Montae Nicholson. Carr looked like he was a bit late with the throw which allowed the safety to close on the pass. These types of interceptions happen and can be explained much easier than the second one in the video.
Washington defensive back Kendall Fuller is running stride for stride with Raiders wide receiver Seth Roberts on a seam route. Carr was most likely attempting a back shoulder throw to Roberts but the pass went right into Fullers waiting arms. From this angle of the video, Roberts looks like he had absolutely no chance to make a play on the ball. This is a pass that should not have been thrown and is most likely a product of Carr attempting to create a big play instead of remaining patient.
Carr would finish the game completing 19 of 31 passes (61%) for 118 yards. He had one touchdown to go with the two interceptions. This poor performance was not all on Carr though, he didn’t get much help.
An issue the Raiders wide receivers have had for the past few years seems to be alive and well, that issue is of course the dropped passes. Amari Cooper looked like he had put the drops behind him after having only 3 last season. That was a vast improvement from his rookie year when he tied for the league lead with 10 drops. Cooper has regressed in this department with PFF already crediting him with a ridiculous 6 drops in the first 3 games.
Those drop issues showed up with both Cooper and fellow wide receiver Michael Crabtree having drops in this game. At least one of those drops cost the Raiders a first down when they really needed to extend drives to give their defense some rest.
A few of the recent Superbowl's have been decided by last minuet drives that have been kept alive by an insane catch down the field. If the Raiders are going to continue to have championship level aspirations, they need their receivers to start making the routine catches. The greatest quarterbacks of all time could not win a game with receivers who cannot hold onto the ball.
Amari Cooper had one catch for 6 yards on 5 targets and Crabtree had one catch for 7 yards on 3 targets. Tight end Jared Cook had 4 catches for 43 yards (10.3 avg) on 6 targets. Wide receiver Seth Roberts had 4 catches for 20 yards (5 avg) on 5 targets. While running back DeAndre Washington added 5 receptions for 24 yards (4.8 avg) on 6 targets.
Pressure on Carr
The biggest surprise from this game for me was the way that Washington was able to get home with only 4 rushers. Their plan on defense was to rush 4, drop into deep coverage, and rally up to make the tackle. They executed this to perfection.
The deep drops here force Carr to hold the ball allowing the defensive line more time to get to the quarterback. Derek Carr was only sacked 6 times in 15 games last season, he was sacked 4 times in this game.
The Raiders offensive line has been talked about as being one of the best in the NFL, they did not look like it in this game. Even with the deep coverages, Carr could have found open receivers if he had been afforded more time. Being able to get a sack with a 4 man rush on third down makes life easy for a defensive coordinator. Washington’s coordinator was certainly enjoying this game.
Raiders newly resigned left tackle Donald Penn gets beat inside for a sack on this 3rd down play. The biggest problem the offense had was their inability to control the line of scrimmage. It looked like Washington played the game with more physicality than the Raiders. Washington was out muscling the offense while the Raiders looked powerless to stop it.
The only silver lining to this loss was it was against an NFC team and will not count as much in tie breaker situations. The Raiders need to watch this tape and recognize that they were out played by a team that looked like they simply wanted to win more. With all the hype surrounding this team, they will get every other teams best shot. It obviously pissed Washington’s players and staff off that they were so easily dismissed in the lead up to the game. It needs to equally piss the Raiders off that they were so easily dispatched in the subsequent loss.
Which unit do you hold responsible for the offenses performance?
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WR’s, TE’s, RB’s