It didn’t matter on Sunday and now all the good vibes from the crazy Thanksgiving Day win at Dallas have evaporated, as the Raiders have lost four of their last five games and are stagnant at 6-6.
Let’s look at some keys from the Football Team’s 17-15 victory:
Lackluster offense continues:
For the sixth time in the last nine games, the Raiders have scored 16 or less points. They are 0-6 in those games. They were 0-2 under former coach Jon Gruden during that stretch. The Raiders are averaging 22.8 points a game, and are averaging 32.1 points a game in their six wins and and just 13.5 points a game in their six defeats.
Quarterback Derek Carr was off for much of the game and was held to 249 yards passing against one of the worst passing defenses in the NFL. Other than Hunter Renfrow, the Raiders’ receivers didn’t do much again and they were 2-8 on third down and porous in the red zone. This is a problem that is not going away.
Once again, the Raiders started slowly. The Football Team scored on its first drive of the game. It had only scored 13 points on its first drive in the first 11 games of the season. The Raiders trailed 7-0 after the first quarter and now has been outscored by 30 points in the quarter through 12 games. It’s been a season-long issue.
The Raiders suffered a blow to their running back position as backup Kenyan Drake was carted off the field with an ankle injury in the second quarter. He was quickly ruled out for the rest of the game, which is not a great sign. If Drake will be out for an extended period, that will hurt the Raiders’ offense, especially since Josh Jacobs has been dealing with an ankle injury. If Drake is out, it will affect the running and passing games. We will likely see much more of Peyton Barber down the stretch.
Injuries to veterans allowed third-round picks, pass-rusher Malcolm Koonce and linebacker Divine Deablo, to play on defense Sunday. Koonce got his first NFL action with Carl Nassib out with a knee injury. Deablo played because starting linebacker Cory Littleton was dealing with an injury and his backup Nick Kwiatkoski left with a knee injury. Both Koonce and Deablo had their moments, Koonce got his first sack and Deablo had 11 tackles. It will be interesting to see if they are worked into the rotation down the stretch this season.
No home-field advantage:
This is becoming a big issue. The Raiders can’t win at home. They have lost three straight home games. The Raiders are 3-4 at home this season and just 5-10 overall at Allegiant Stadium. Once again, there were a lot of fans from the visiting team Sunday. Allegiant Stadium is beautiful, but the Raiders have yet to make it a special place for themselves. They have two more chances to make it a happy home this season.