The Cincinnati Bengals came into Las Vegas on Sunday and left with a dominant victory over the Las Vegas Raiders. The Raiders are now on a three-game skid and have a quick turnaround to get out of it.
Let's deep dive into this week's analytics and numbers from the matchup:
Raiders dominate on play action.
The offense is struggling to finish drives and score points. Third-down issues are plaguing them the most, with the Raiders 2-16 the last two times on the field. The frustrating part is they are the best play-action passing team in football during the losing streak.
In the last three games, Derek Carr is 18-21 for 240 yards, two touchdowns, and a passer rating of 146.03 (2nd in the NFL). Without play-action, he is 57/88 with two touchdowns and four interceptions with a passer rating of 71(21st in the NFL). In the past game, Carr was 4/4 on play-action with three big plays for 20 yards or more.
The Raiders are only running these types of plays 16.5 percent of the time, according to Sportsradar. With the focus on running the football lately, Olson and the offense need to increase play-action passing. It is the only thing working at a high level.
Kolton Miller is on a slump.
Kolton Miller was the one steady cog on this offensive line this season with all the young players around him. He didn't give up a sack the first seven games, but Miller has allowed pressure and sacks that we are not used to seeing in the last three.
Miller has accounted for eight pressures and two sacks based on my charting and PFF in the last three games. The bull rush and play strength have always been an issue for the former first-round pick. Now he is becoming one of the better pass blockers in the league defensive ends are keying to attack him and create pressure.
Miller has to find a way to adjust and work on his anchor ability to keep the pressure off Carr, especially from his blind side. The last two red-zone drives in the fourth quarter ended with the UCLA Bruin getting beat one on one with quick pressure on the quarterback. The Raiders need him to play with more consistency.
Defensive third-down struggles continue.
Many talks are about the time of possession the defense has to deal with the past two games. Most media feel like they are carrying the team and the better outfit. With that said, a significant reason for their time of possession is they have been horrible on third down.
The Raiders were ranked eighth going into the game vs. the New York Giants. Since then, they are 31st in third-down conversions averaging 53.5 percent per game. According to Sports radar, the Raiders are 21/27 255 (2nd) yards passing with two touchdowns and a passer rating of 130.07 (3rd). A big part of it is the down and distance. The Gus Bradley-led unit faces an average yard to go of 5.8 (32nd) on third down. Before Week 9, the average was 8.2 (8th).
The Raiders are not holding up on the shorter downs, and that starts with their ability to stop the run. Teams are running the ball to get more accessible third-down looks and then exploiting matchups they think they can attack. The offense is a significant contributor to the TOP, but the defense has to get off the field.
Derek Carr fourth-quarter struggles
Carr has a history of being a clutch QB ranking second in the league in game-winning drives since 2014. We saw it early in the season versus the Miami Dolphins and the Baltimore Ravens. The past three weeks have led to a different outcome, with him pressing and turning the ball over late in games.
Since Week 9, the former second-round pick has had four turnovers in the quarter. He has only thrown one touchdown with a passer rating of 81.8. His fourth-quarter comeback opportunities ended in a turnover vs. the Giants and two against the Bengals, making the game a blowout. Even while he is struggling, the Raiders lead the league in big plays through the air with five.
During this quarter, Carr has to be better to help pull out tough victories, or the score will keep on building. He has to refrain from attempting to make every play. Just keep playing quarterback and know when to live for another down.