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Raiders-Bills recap: Las Vegas defense continues to flop

Nine takeaways from Raiders’ 30-23 Week 4 loss to Buffalo

Buffalo Bills v Las Vegas Raiders
Raiders lose Sunday
Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Well, that was a disappointing Sunday.

Here are my thoughts on the Raiders’ 30-23 loss — in a performance that was worse than the final score indicated — to the Buffalo Bills on Sunday as the Raiders fell to 2-2:

Defense is in shambles:
The Raiders have allowed 120 points in four games ... yes, that’s an average of 30 points a game. This is not a fluke. The unit stinks right now. Opponents are scoring on almost every drive and no one is making any plays. There’s no pass-rush, there’s really nothing good happening. Could defensive coordinator Paul Guenther’s job soon be in jeopardy? Neither he nor his players are doing him any favors.

Buffalo Bills v Las Vegas Raiders
Derek Carr
Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Carr breaks a record, but can’t do enough:
Derek Carr broke Hall of Famer Ken Stabler’s team record with his 151st career passing touchdown pass on Sunday. But there is nothing to celebrate. The Raiders could only score two touchdowns (one essentially in garbage time) and they had to settle for three field goals. This offense hasn’t been as sharp in the last two weeks as it was in the first two weeks when it scored 34 points each week. Yes, there are injuries, but no excuses. After the game, Carr was upset and he said he is sick of losing. ”Enough is enough,” Carr said. The Raider Nation agrees.

Injuries are still a concern:
Raiders coach Jon Gruden didn’t give any injury details after the game, but the Raiders had some players limping afterwards. Among the players who were banged up were left tackle Kolton Miller, cornerback Nevin Lawson, cornerback LaMarcus Joyner, safety Johnathan Abram, and defensive tackles Maliek Collins and Johnathan Hankins. Perhaps we will learn more Monday? But this team can’t afford any more injuries.

Darren Waller is back:
The Raiders’ tight end had nine catches for 88 yards. Some folks around the league thought the New England Patriots solved Waller when he had just two catches last week. But the reality is, he was hurting with a knee injury. We saw the normal Waller, who did hurt the team with a fourth-quarter fumble, on Sunday.

Buffalo Bills v Las Vegas Raiders
Josh Jacobs
Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Jacobs’ rushing average concerns:
Raiders’ running back Josh Jacobs had just 48 yards on 15 carries. He is averaging just 3.6 yards a carry. The Associated Press reported that is the 47th highest average in the NFL among players with, at least, 20 carries. Jacobs averaged 4.8 yards as a rookie. Is it a problem? Not yet, but it’s worth monitoring.

Coronavirus guideline concerns:
Gruden was caught without his mask on Sunday again. It’s not a great situation for a coach who has been fined $100,000 earlier in the season for not wearing his mask. Plus, the franchise was fined $250,000 and another $50,000 for allowing an unauthorized team employee into the locker room after a Week 2 win. Then there was the issue where several players were mask-less at Waller’s fundraiser last week.

In short, the NFL is watching the Raiders on this matter. It could get to the point where there are suspensions or lost draft picks. So, the Raiders must take this seriously. It’s not going away.

Offensive line struggles:
The Raiders miss the injured Richie Incognito and Trent Brown. Guard Gabe Jackson had a really tough time Sunday and it hurt the offense.

Backup receivers do fine:
With rookie starting wide receivers Henry Ruggs III and Bryan Edwards out veteran backups Nelson Agholor and Zay Jones started. They combined for eight catches for 76 yards. Agholor had a touchdown and another negated by a penalty.

Kansas City looms large:
It would be a major bummer for the Raiders to fall to 2-3 at the bye after starting 2-0. The only way to avoid it is to beat Kansas City on the road next week. Yes, the Raiders better find a pass rush quickly.