For the third straight week, the Raiders played a completely trivial fourth quarter after giving up a flood of points en route to a 42-21 loss.
The only meaningful moment in the entire fourth quarter was Derek Carr throwing the ball away on 4th and goal from the 2-yard line. That says a lot.
With three games left, the Raiders are now simply fighting to finish with a winning record and may go into evaluation mode to canvas the roster for hidden gems while figuring out who they’d like to keep aboard moving forward.
But hey, let’s look on the bright side: At least the Raiders gave us a competitive game before the wheels fell off in the second half.
First half hope
In stark contrast to the previous two games, the Raiders actually gave fans some hope that they’d pull out a victory in this one.
Carr looked like the sensation of the night in the first half, going 12-for-15 with 150 yards, two touchdowns and a 147.9 quarterback rating as the teams went into the locker room knotted at 21. With Ryan Succop missing a go-ahead field goal at the end of the first half, Raiders fans were feeling...dare I say...confident(?) heading into the second half.
That confidence came crashing down quite quickly over a short stretch that went as follows:
- Titans touchdown
- Raiders three-and-out
- Titans touchdown
- Titans defensive touchdown
Those four possessions rendered the rest of the game meaningless.
The big boy was rumbling and bumbling on that 55-yard interception return, and he deserves some love for it. Dion Jordan tipped a Ryan Tannehill pass up in the air and Hurst came down with it, finding open field with a convoy of blockers and the end zone in sight.
Let’s not forget, Hurst ran a 4.97 40-yard dash at his Pro Day back at Michigan. That’s blazing speed for a 3-tech.
Unfortunately, Hurst’s escort of blockers didn’t see a rabid Tannehill, who crept up from behind and made one of the best open field tackles you’ll ever see from a quarterback.
The Raiders scored a touchdown on the following drive anyway, but Tannehill’s big tackle left us without a big man touchdown — my favorite kind of touchdown.
Unleash the Gafford!
One blown coverage assignment, one catch, one touchdown, and everything the Raider Nation fanbase has been clamoring for almost this entire season.
Seriously, this man is on the verge of human flight every time he hits his top speed. Why not get him more involved on offense? Gafford was wide open due to some seriously busted coverage on his 49-yard touchdown score, so we have to take his limited success with a grain of salt.
But the man is batting 1.000 out there! Give him some more touches!
Why hasn’t Paul Guenther been fired yet?
This game felt like the last straw for Paul Guenther’s tenure as the Raiders defensive coordinator.
Then again, the Jets game felt eerily similar. The Raiders defense couldn’t do anything to slow down Tennessee’s offense, giving up 500 yards through the first three quarters.
Tannehill’s agent Pat Dye has to be calling, texting, and borderline stalking Titans general manager Jon Robinson after that game trying to get a contract extension done. He knows his client will never have a performance like that again.
He really went 21-for-27 for 391 yards with 3 touchdowns and a pick? Were the Titans planning Madden on rookie mode? Pass the sticks PG.
Even in the first half when things were going relatively swimmingly, the reigning sentiment was that the Raiders had a chance to pull things out if the defense could generate a few stops. Gruden even seemingly admitted he had no confidence in the defense when he told sideline reporters that the Raiders were going to simply have to outscore the Titans with firepower on offense.
This defense seemed like they were on track towards improvement midway through the season. With only three games left, they’ve clearly regressed and the brunt of the blame should fall on Guenther’s shoulders.
Of course, Guenther didn’t exactly get any help from Daryl Worley and Trayvon Mullen out there today. The duo made A.J. Brown look like Julio Jones in the first half as he amassed 141 yards and a pair of touchdowns on just 4 receptions.
Brown flat out ran away from Worley on multiple occasions and broke through his tackle attempts as if Worley was a JV backup. Mullen didn’t fare much better either, getting toasted on Brown’s second touchdown in man coverage against a slant.
Mullen is still finding his footing in only the seventh start of his career, so his shaky performance is somewhat excusable. Worley, on the other hand, is a free agent after this season and needs to perform better if he wishes to remain in the fold as the Raiders starting corner.
If he’s back next season, perhaps a new defensive coordinator could help.
Okay, seriously, where has Tyrell Williams been. Put out a freaking search party already.
I know, I know, he wasn’t signed to be the Raiders No. 1 receiver this offseason; He was expected to be the No. 2 option and designated deep threat. But his contract pays out $11.08 million per season. That’s the 18th highest mark at his position in the league. That’s WR1 money.
Guys who get paid WR1 money don’t get lost in the sauce for three game stretches where they accumulate just 6 catches for 62 yards.
This was supposed to be his breakout game to quiet those suggesting that he be cut after this season. The Titans were without three of their top four cornerbacks and came into the game as the No. 24 pass defense by DVOA.
Williams hasn’t had more than four catches in a game since Week 2 and I’m officially frustrated with his performance his season.
- Paul Guenther finishes out the season, but is fired soon after
- The Raiders gut out a win over Jacksonville in their Coliseum farewell
- Mike Mayock pulls the trigger on a WR in the first round