After a very uninspiring week two performance the Raiders followed that up with another, well, uninspiring performance. This one was over early as the Raiders got themselves behind quickly, 21-0.
The defense couldn’t get stops and the offense didn’t help them when they were not able to establish drives. Tight end Darren Waller was the lone bright spot for the Raiders, he hauled in a career high 13 catches for 134 yards.
Let’s take a look at the Raiders week three report card.
Aerial Attack: D
This might even be a little generous. If you just look at the box score it won’t tell the whole story. Carr finished the day 27 of 34 for 242 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception.
What the box score doesn’t tell you is that Carr was jittery in the pocket and erratic on multiple throws. His worst play on the day was a badly overthrown ball intended for Foster Moreau. On the play Carr, sensed pressure that was not there and did not set his feet, the throw sailed way over the head of Moreau into the hands of Harrison Smith. The turnover led to the third Vikings first half touchdown.
Most the passing yards came from dinking and dunking the ball down the field when the game was already out of reach. Darren Waller was the only thing that kept the aerial attack grade from being an F. If seems the Raiders have found themselves a legit tight end in Waller.
Ground Game: D
Josh Jacobs is coming off an illness and battling a sore hip so we saw more Jalen Richard and DeAndre Washington than we have in recent weeks. Playing from behind, the run game never had an opportunity to get going.
Jacobs carried the ball 10 times for 44 yards, Richard and Washington combined for 37 yards on eight attempts. As a trio they averaged an impressive 4.4 yards per carry.
Offensive Line: C-
After two weeks of decent play by the offensive line, in week three they were outmatches. Not only did they allow four sacks but on multiple run plays Vikings linebacker Erik Kendricks was unblocked and easily allowed to make tackles.
Eric Wilson recorded two sacks for the Vikings, one of which came on a 3rd and 3, Wilson ran straight through the B gap, untouched to sack Carr for an 18-yard loss.
Defensive Line: D
One of the bright spots early in the season has been the Raiders defense’s ability to stop the run. So much for that. The defense was absolutely gashed today by Dalvin Cook and Alexander Mattison. The combo gained 168 yards on 28 attempts to go along with two touchdowns.
The Vikings offensive line wore down the Raiders defensive front allowing Vikings backs to record runs of 21, 24, and 25 yards. Although, Kirk Cousins dropped back to pass only 21 times he was never even remotely bothered by the Raiders’ pass rush.
I have decided to take some mercy on the linebackers because of the injuries they dealt with. Marquel Lee was lost for the game after suffering an injury in the opening series of the game.
Vontaze Burfict missed parts of the game with an injury to his elbow. He showed some extreme toughness by returning to the game despite being in obvious pain. With Lee out and Burfict not at 100% it was a combination of Kyle Wilber, Nicholas Morrow, and Tahir Whitehead much of the game.
Can’t pin this one entirely on the secondary, but they still weren’t great even if the Vikings threw only 21 passes. The Raiders still can’t guard a tight end, rookie Irv Smith Jr. caught three balls for 60 yards including a long of 26 yards.
Gareon Conley was called for defensive holding on 3rd and 9 on Minnesota’s opening drive which extended the drive that resulted in a 35-yard touchdown to Adam Thielen.
Conley was again called for a foul on the next drive, this time on 3rd and 2. Trailing 7-0, Conley grabbed the face mask of Stefon Diggs and cost his team 15 yards. With the penalty the ball was placed on the Raiders 26-yard line. Six plays later the Vikings led 14-0.
Special Teams: C-
AJ Cole continues to be a bright spot on special teams. Cole punted four times, pinning two inside the 20, with a long punt of 60 yards. On the day he averaged 54.3 yards per punt.
Daniel Carlson who was booed by the home crowd in Minnesota had an opportunity to silence them for a moment but was unable to connect on his only field goal attempt of the day. Carlson hit the right upright from 51 yards away.