The Las Vegas Raiders suffered their first loss with an underwhelming performance vs. the Los Angeles Chargers.
Let's check out the stats that stand out from the matchup:
Carr under pressure
Joey Bosa made headlines with a quote about Carr handling pressure throughout the game. The third quarter proves what he said wasn't true. However, if that was their game plan, they had excellent execution.
According to PFF, Carr was under pressure the whole night, having his highest season mark at a 45% pressure rate. He struggled to complete 45 percent of his passes when he was under pressure, with his highest pressure to sack percentage of 22 percent. The Raiders quarterback was under duress all day with consistent pressure from the Chargers defensive line.
The Raiders did adjust in the second half, adding chip blocks to help. The offensive line was the talk of this offseason, and Carr has overcome adversity through the first quarter of the year. The question becomes, is this sustainable over time.
Deep passes falter
The Raiders are a deep passing team, and that is clear after the first four games. They can put up points fast through the air and get chunk yards with the weapons outside. The Chargers' goal was to put a stop to this attack and execute it well.
Carr going into Week 4 was 9-14 for 271 yards the previous two weeks. Week 4, he went 1-5 for 51 yards, with the only connection hitting Henry Ruggs on the post. Raider nation loves the team's aggressiveness early on, but it is hard to sustain. The offense dependency on deep passes was exposed a little by the Chargers' disciplined man-match coverages and consistent pressure.
More often, Jon Gruden must feature the intermediate game, where Carr was 4-6 for 64 yards and one touchdown. Featuring passes 10-19 yards downfield can open deep passes just like the short game. It's time for the Raiders to adjust with another man-match team coming into town.
Crosby continues his breakout season.
The Raiders face their former superstar Khalil Mack this week but are coming in with a player on the verge. Crosby continued to dominate everyone's offensive tackle and forced Herbert to get rid of the ball quickly.
Maxx Crosby balled out yet again on Monday, leading all Raiders in PFF grade ☠— PFF Las Vegas Raiders (@PFF_Raiders) October 5, 2021
Here's who else rounds out the top 5:
1. Maxx Crosby - 85.0
2. Carl Nassib - 82.5
3. Trevon Moehrig - 78.7
4. Casey Hayward - 74.3
5. Kolton Miller - 73.6 pic.twitter.com/GwSdio7FCs
According to PFF, Crosby collected five pressures Monday night, adding to his lead on the season. He has accumulated 30 pressures in four games when he had 48 total pressures all last season. Also, the Texas native is first in PFF win percentage at 29 percent up 1 percent from 2020. Crosby's sacks aren't there yet, but his big game is coming with this pressure pace.
It forced the Chargers to get rid of the football quickly with a time to throw of 2.34 seconds. Maxx Crosby is a problem for the NFL, and it's time to start calling his season elite. This is not a drill.
Kolton Miller is playing well on a foul offensive line.
The Raiders' first-round draft picks constantly have skepticism for a good reason. Clelin Ferrell barely makes an impact, and Arnette struggles with injuries and plays on the field. Kolton Miller was the first Gruden-era draft pick to receive a second contract, and his pass protection is worth the money.
Most pass-blocking snaps without allowing a sack this season | among tackles:— PFF (@PFF) October 5, 2021
☠️ Tristan Wirfs - 195
☠️ Kolton Miller - 185
⚡️ Rashawn Slater - 176 pic.twitter.com/LLxoyoFdtU
According to PFF, Miller has not given up a sack all season where Carr has 12 on his resume tied third in the NFL. The former UCLA Bruin is fourth in ESPN's pass block win rate metric, winning 94% of his pass blocking opportunities. Miller is what gives fans hope for Alex Leatherwood's development after his struggles in his rookie year.
Miller has struggled in the run game this year, missing key blocks versus the Chargers. That doesn't take away from his red hot start protecting the passer, which is paramount to succeed in today's NFL.