The Raiders' game in Washington on Sunday night did not go as we had hoped and left a bad taste in the mouths of many. There were those who felt the team was distracted by the political situation of the day, especially the offensive line. So let's go through and highlight what worked and what didn't.
1) Kirk Cousins
Cousins gets a bad rap in league circles because he can be boring and unspectacular. Not so on Sunday night. Against the Raiders he was a miracle worker, completing incredibly difficult passes all night long. Any team looking to sign him in free agency, say perhaps our friends in Santa Clara, will be given tape of this game to bump up the price.
2) The Washington secondary
Derek Carr could never get comfortable in this game and the tenacious opposing defensive backs are a big reason why. They picked Carr off twice and made big plays all game long.
3) Washington's defensive line
Jonathan Allen, Ryan Kerrigan and friends were in the backfield all night, disrupting both the Raider running and passing games. Carr is not used to being sacked, but this group got to him multiple times.
4) Chris Thompson
For the most part this season, Oakland has been able to limit the effectiveness of opposing backs. Thompson was not limited in any way, rushing for 38 yards and catching six passes for 150 yards. He looked explosive and dangerous.
1) Oakland's offensive line
Say what you want about their political posturing, this unit was not in any way prepared to play on Sunday. Perhaps some of that falls on coaching, but they looked worse than I can ever remember seeing them so there was something about this game that caused them to be unprepared. Gee, wonder what that could be.
2) Sean Smith
Smith was again benched after a miserable performance. He gave up Washington's second touchdown on a simple inside post to tight end Vernon Davis. Smith is simply not fast enough to keep up with the new breed of wideout or freaks like Davis.
3) Raider receivers
The group didn't do much receiving on Sunday, but they did plenty of dropping. Amari Cooper has had his share of drops already this year but Michael Crabtree has been steady. In this game neither could find any handles. They had their chances to extend drives and failed.
After Week 2, the hype for the Raiders was real. We were going to the Super Bowl and we were gonna crush the Chiefs. If you don't think the Chiefs can do what Washington just did you're sadly mistaken. Oakland now must regroup and head to Denver for a gut check division game.