It’s strange. I woke up this morning feeling hungover, but I didn’t drink on Sunday. Oh right, it was the nauseating performance by the Raiders on Sunday that has me feeling sick to my stomach.
Talk about a wasted opportunity. The Raiders were in position to take control of the final wildcard spot and set up a colossal Week 13 matchup with the Chiefs. It was all for not, instead they were completely outclasses by the 4-7 Jets.
The Raiders were never in this one and were outplayed in all facets of the game — including coaching. It got so bad that Derek Carr was pulled for precautionary reasons late in the third quarter.
Offensively there were were too many miscues. Dropped passes by Tyrell Williams, Hunter Renfrow, and Derek Carrier, a missed field goal, and a pick six. They managed only 208 yards of total offense and 3 points — both season lows.
The defense was even worse. Missed tackles, missed assignments, bad coverage, and costly penalties. They made Sam Darnold look like Joe Namath. Darnold finished the game 20 of 29 passing for 315 yards passing and 2 touchdowns.
The big play of the game came while the Raiders trailed 13-3 at the start of the third quarter. After the Jets received the ball to open the game’s latter half, Darnold connected with wideout Braxton Berrios for a gain of 69 yards on the third play of the drive. Berrios was brought down at the Raiders 1-yard line. On the ensuing play, Darnold found tight end Ryan Griffin for touchdown, giving the Jets a 20-3 lead.
If that play was the backbreaker, then the following offensive possessions for the Raiders added salt in the wound. Faced with a 4th and 1 on their own 39 yard line and down by 17, Gruden had no choice but to go for it. Alec Ingold got the carry and was promptly stuffed for no gain Gruden opted to challenge the spot of the ball but was unsuccessful.
The Jets took over, and four plays later Darnold hooked up with Robby Anderson for his second touchdown pass of the game.
And things got out of hand on the first play of the following drive, when a pass intended for Williams was deflected and ended up in the arms of Jets defensive back Brian Poole, who easily returned it for a pick six turning things from bad to embarrassing.
You can use the early East Coast start time or the cold, damp weather as excuses, but the bottom line is the Raiders were never competitive in this game. In the aftermath, Gruden was asked about the role the weather played.
“Obviously that was a big part of it,” he said. “I’m not going to use that as an excuse. You know, they don’t call games off in this league. There’s not a dome here where they can put it over the field. We dropped passes, hell we dropped four center quarterback exchanges in the second half. We missed tackles, we missed field goals, we missed an opportunity to show our fans that came out today what kind of football team we are. I’m really disappointed in it and I take credit for all the things that went wrong.”
The thumping was a rude awakening to players, coaches, and fans that shows that although much improved, the Raiders are still a work in progress. With five games remaining, there is very little room for error if the Raiders hope to make the playoffs.
Now, if you’d excuse me, I need to go take something for this headache.