We know what you’re thinking: The Las Vegas Raiders have started their annual mid-to-late season nosedive.
Not so fast. Sure, it was a bad day as the Raiders led their own demise in a sloppy 23-16 defeat to the 3-6 New York Giants. But I’m not so sure this was a sign of a team ready to drop out of playoff contention. It just might have been a lousy day, NFL teams have them all the time.
But there’s no denying that on Sunday, the Raiders weren’t very good. Let’s look at five takeaways from the Meltdown at the Meadowlands:
Bad day for Carr:
“I got to be better. This one’s on me.” Those were the words of Raiders’ quarterback Derek Carr shortly after Sunday’s game. Carr was not lying. He had a bad day.
He threw a pick six early in the third quarter to give the Giants the lead for good, he threw a bad interception in the fourth quarter and he fumbled in the final seconds with the Raiders in the red zone and trailing by a touchdown. It was Carr’s 32nd fumble since entering the NFL in 2014. It leads the NFL in that time span. The fateful fumble Sunday was the Raiders’ 10th fumble of the season (and second of the day). Remarkably, it was the first lost fumble of the season. The Raiders were the last team to lose a fumble in the league this season. The luck finally ran out at the worst time.
Derek Carr has his 5th career 3 turnover day for #Raiderss. The others:— Josh Dubow (@JoshDubowAP) November 7, 2021
11/29/20 in 43-6 loss to Atlanta (4)
12/30/18 in 35-3 loss to KC
9/10/18 in 33-13 loss to Rams
12/6/15 in 34-20 loss to KC
Another bad defensive start:
For the third straight game, the Raiders’ opponent scored on their first drive. The Giants easily galloped down the field on a seven-play, 70-yard drive culminating in a 30-yard Daniel Jones pass to tight end Evan Engram over safety Johnathan Abram. Making matters worse, the Giants entered the game as the lowest scoring team in the NFL in the first quarter. They went six games without scoring a touchdown before Sunday. Starting better on defense needs to be a focal point this well as the Raiders prepare to host the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 10.
Daniel Jones goes deep to Evan Engram for a 30-yard touchdown over Johnathan Abrams.pic.twitter.com/WiGSCjDZ8i— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) November 7, 2021
This has been an ongoing problem for a few years. You can’t blame former coach Jon Gruden for Sunday’s stinker. The Raiders were in the Giants’ red zone six times Sunday. The Raiders scored just one touchdown and that was on their first drive. Six trips to the red zone and it results in just 16 points? You’re not going to win many games that way. Again, fixing the red-zone issues is paramount for Carr and offensive coordinator Greg Olson.
#Raiders had 6+ red zone drives and 1 or fewer TDs on those drives for 3rd time since 2000. Also:— Josh Dubow (@JoshDubowAP) November 7, 2021
1 for 7 vs Chargers 12/18/16
1 for 6 vs Chiefs 10/28/12
No real receiver production:
The Raiders had five receivers active Sunday (starters Bryan Edwards and Zay Jones, slot man Hunter Renfrow, Dillon Stoner and Marcell Ateman. They had a combined eight catches for 69 yards. Renfrow had seven catches for 49 yards and Jones had 1 catch for 20 yards. That’s not going to cut it. Edwards is a starting receiver who had zero catches Sunday. Edwards has had some big moments in the clutch this season, but he has just 18 catches in eight games.
Derek Carr was 1 for 8 for 20 yards when throwing to outside WRs Bryan Edwards (0 for 4) and Zay Jones (1 for 4 for 20 yards) for #Raiders today— Josh Dubow (@JoshDubowAP) November 7, 2021
Help is on the way.
NFL reporter Josina Anderson reported on Sunday afternoon that veteran wide receiver DeSean Jackson is signing with the Raiders.
I just got a text from free agent WR DeSean Jackson telling me he is going to the #Raiders.— IG: JosinaAnderson (@JosinaAnderson) November 7, 2021
Booker revenge game:
Giants running back DeVontae Booker had a big game against the Raiders, who have struggled stopping the run this season. The replacement for starter Saquon Barkley had some big chunk plays and finished with a career-high 99 yards rushing and another 23 yards receiving. He did leave with an injury in the fourth quarter, Booker spent the 2020 season with Las Vegas and had a nice year, finishing with 423 yards and averaging 4.5 yards per carry. he signed with the Giants as a free agent, The Raiders’ defense had its moments Sunday, but giving up big chunk runs and giving up three third-and-longs in the second half hurt.