With 2 weeks in the books the Raiders came into a Primetime game in Washington looking for a win. Instead what they got was humbled and embarrassed by a team that wanted it significantly more. Oakland lost 27-10 but the score was never even that close, as they fell to 2-1 and a tie for 2nd place in the AFC West.
For whatever reasons the Raiders appeared to be distracted and disinterested for much of this game. Whether it was an illness or the protests that swept the NFL Sunday, something was off and it was obvious. Derek Carr’s body language once the game started was indicative of something being off.
Let’s take a look at how they graded out after an uninspiring game under the lights.
There is a lot that can be said about the passing offense but fact is they were downright putrid. The Raiders came out and turned the ball over on the 2nd play of the game, and never recovered. Derek Carr would finish 19/31 for 118 yards 1 touchdown and 2 Interceptions.
That’s not to put the blame all on Derek although he will be the first one to tell you to do so. In a shocking turn of events his line was dominated on every single snap of the game. The interior of the line was pushed back into his lap on almost every snap, not something that has happened in years.
They couldn’t even execute snapping the ball, on multiple occasions Carr was surveying the defense and the ball was unexpectedly snapped. The receivers did almost nothing and were getting absolutely no separation. On the rare occasions when they did get separation they dropped the pass.
This grade is only an F because it can’t go any lower, but it deserves to be much lower. That’s how awful the passing offense was, that an F doesn’t seem to be sufficient. When a QB doesn’t break 100 yard passing until garbage time you have failed on every level as an offense.
Not much to say here really, the Raiders offensive line was well... offensive. They got punched in the mouth by a Redskins team that showed up to play. The Raiders averaged a paltry 2.5 yards per carry, on 13 carries for a meager 32 yards.
The Raiders couldn’t open up running lanes against a much better prepared Redskins team. It was as if the Redskins knew what plays the Raiders were calling in advance. It was sad, and as efforts go there was very little on the part of the Oakland Raiders.
To make matters worse it appeared that Jalen Richard was injured during the game. Both Marshawn Lynch and DeAndre Washington were both ineffective and that is being generous. The backs were often hit immediately in the backfield on most carries in a lackluster performance.
Even if you aren’t the highest scoring offense in the NFL 32 yards rushing and a 2.5 yards per carry average is unacceptable. The Raiders run game was non existent and can be traced back to the abysmal play of the offensive line. The Raiders have too much money invested in that line for it to perform the way it did.
The pass rush opened the game strong, Kirk Cousins was pressured on almost every pass. Mario Edwards Jr., Khalil Mack, Justin Ellis and Denico Autry all had fantastic games. Eddie Vanderdoes, Treyvon Hester and Bruce Irvin on the other hand were almost non-existent against the pass.
Eventually the Redskins figured out the pass rush and the Raiders would only tally 1 sack for the game by Mack. The coverage was awful, every single linebacker and secondary player took turns getting burned. Gareon Conley came back to reality and played more like the rookie he is who missed all of camp.
Sean Smith may have even got himself cut for his effort, not sure effort is the appropriate word. Smith gave up two very easy touchdowns in this game and had Vernon Davis looking like a Travis Kelce/Rob Gronkowski hybrid. Not surprisingly he was benched after the 2nd score after failing miserable at the $backer position.
While there were some good plays on defense they gave up far too many bad plays. Allowing Kirk Cousins to go 25/30 for 365 yards and 3 touchdowns with 0 interceptions is not acceptable. Another week and another goose egg for interceptions, this secondary is just not covering anyone or making plays.
More importantly they treated RB Chris Thompson like he had the plague and refused to cover or tackle him. They couldn’t even get off the field at one point on 3rd and 19 opting instead to give up a 74 yard screen. It appears to be the first screen any Oakland player has ever seen based off how they handled it.
The run defense was the lone bright spot in this entire ordeal. The Raiders totaled 7 tackles for loss in this game. Cory James led the way with 2 TFL, while the defense held Washington to an average of 3.4 yards per carry.
There were few bright spots on Sunday night, Mack and Justin Ellis were two of the brightest. Mack did Mack things and killed it on almost every snap, he was joined this week by Justin Ellis. Ellis was a constant force inside and deserves recognition as he rarely get it. The Raiders ability to stop the run was the lone reason for the score being as close as it was.
If there is anything to take solace in, you’ll find it here because the run defense as a whole was the lone group to perform well. The run defense did fade a little down the stretch but considering the treason the offense committed it’s understandable. The run defense did not allow a single rushing touchdown and can find solace in their performance.
In a game where the entire team looked like a soup sandwich the run defense was superb. They played very well, Washington was able to rush for 116 yards but it took them 34 carries to do it. Overall great job by the Raiders to stop the run.
Marquette King was superb dropping 4 of his 7 punts inside the 20 yard line. Had the Raiders offense managed to move the ball he would have had more inside the 20. He averaged a very strong 52.7 yards per punt with a long of 61 yards, he did his part to keep them in the game.
Giorgio Tavecchio the Milan Miracle Man was perfect on all of his extra points and field goal attempts. There were only 2, but that’s irrelevant as the kid can only cash in on the opportunities he is given. Giorgio has been lights out since his surprise promotion to the 53 and today was no different.
Coverage units were again very good on punt returns only allowing a 5.8 average against them and again recovering a fumble. There were no kick returns as both scores were followed up by touchbacks. While the return units were just okay and did almost nothing to impact this game.
The grade would have been higher but the lack of any real returns on all 5 punts by Washington brought the score down. The Richard injury hurt here as T.J. Carrie then filled in and called for a fair catch on every single punt. This unit was not the reason for the loss on Sunday night and kept the team in it as best they could.
The team looked flat and disinterested on their first Primetime game of the year. That is unacceptable with almost every single player healthy going into the game on both sides of the ball. The Raiders had a chance to send a message to the league Sunday night that they were the team to beat.
Instead they showed the league they weren’t ready for the bright lights of Primetime. It’s early in the season and they can still get back on track but they have some major soul searching to do. HC Jack Del Rio, OC Todd Downing and DC Ken Norton Jr. got their lunch money and shoes from the opening whistle.
Downing looked as though he had never called a game before, and Redskin DC Greg Manusky took him to the woodshed. He never had the offense in sync and never helped them get any type of rhythm going to get them in the game. In a game the Raiders needed to win to keep pace with the Chiefs, they bombed completely and are now a game back.
No excuses the Raiders were on Primetime Sunday night and they came out and looked like a JV team. They were thoroughly embarrased and even Jack himself said put it on him. They had no answers for the Redskins and it was sad to watch, reminiscent of the 2003-2014 years fans suffered through.
The Raiders were beaten soundly on offense and eventually on defense once they wore down. There was never a point in this game where it felt they were in it or even interested in being there. This was just flat out a heartless effort and the Raiders need to go back to the drawing board.
It’s only week 3 and the sky is not falling, this team is still very talented but their performance Sunday is concerning. For a team with Super Bowl aspirations they dwindled under the lights of a Primetime game, and that’s an issue. They embarrassed themselves and their fans, the players need to have a long look in the mirror before Monday.
Not even the special teams and run defense could help this overall grade. The Raiders plain and simple looked like hot trash from start to finish. There is no way around it and they should be ashamed of the way they performed.
They played with no heart and it showed, gut check moment for all of these players. This week they will face a much better team in the Denver Broncos and they can’t afford another no show like Sunday night or they can kiss the playoffs goodbye. The AFC West is stacked and efforts like this one will quickly earn you a seat at home for the playoffs.