Is this team different from 2019 squad?
It’s a fair question after what we saw on the field Sunday. Raiders quarterback Derek Carr said last week that he and general manager Mike Mayock talked about how this team’s 6-4 squad felt different from last year’s 6-4 team, which then lost five of its final six games to fall to 7-9 and knock itself out of playoff contention. The tail spin began in Week 12 in 2019 as the Raiders were shellacked 34-3 at the New York Jets, who entered the game 3-7 just as Atlanta did this year.
Now, the Raiders are 6-5 and have to be wondering if they really are a different team in 2020.
Day to forget for Carr:
Carr has been really good for most of this season, but he had a rough go of it Sunday as he committed four of the team’s five turnovers with three fumbles and an interception that was returned for a score. It wasn’t all on Carr. The offensive line had an unusually rough day and the entire offense was flat. Carr said after the game that the team did not have a good week of practice, and that was evident Sunday,
Penalties were ridiculous:
Raiders coach Jon Gruden preached improved discipline and composure after penalties hurt the Raiders last week in a loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. It wasn’t improved in Week 12. The Raiders had 11 penalties for 141 yards and have been penalized 19 times in the past two games. That must change in December,
Raiders’ star running back Josh Jacobs left the game with an ankle injury, rookie cornerback Damon Arnette suffered a concussion and guard Denzelle Good had an ankle injury in the loss. Gruden said the injuries concern him and he will have an update Wednesday. So, the Raiders’ injury worries persist.
Season isn’t lost:
As lousy as the Raiders were Sunday and how huge the loss was to their playoff chances in the loaded AFC, the season is not over. The Raiders play the winless Jets next week and they still have an easy remaining schedule. They just need to flush this game, move on and don’t dwell on a potential repeat of last year.
A win over the Jets would put the Raiders at 7-5 going into the final quarter of the season. There’s worse spots to be in.