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Raiders’ quick slants: Saints edition

Las Vegas’ No. 3 ranked scoring offense blanked by New Orleans in lopsided 24-0 loss

NFL: Las Vegas Raiders at New Orleans Saints
Las Vegas Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels, center, and quarterback Derek Carr (4) couldn’t muster much offense against the New Orleans Saints 31st ranked scoring defense.
Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Call Dennis Allen the mechanic because he dismantled the Carr on Sunday. The New Orleans Saints head coach called a defense that blanked what had been a high-octane Las Vegas Raiders offense in convincing fashion.

And the 24-0 final score doesn’t tell you just how thorough the shellacking truly was.

New Orleans (3-5 overall) is known as The Big Easy and the Saints lived up to the namesake by easily handling the sleep-walking Raiders (2-5). Dennis Allen’s football team easily handled the trenches on defense and offense.

Las Vegas’ two victories on the season showcased control of the line of scrimmage. That wasn’t absent against New Orleans. And suddenly, the offense, the strength of the Raiders team, was noticeably gone.

Why mention that?

Las Vegas’ defense is always the weak spot but the Raiders offense is supposed to be the team’s saving grace. Viewers of Sunday’s Silver & Black debacle would be hard pressed to believe Las Vegas boasted the No. 3 scoring offense (going into the matchup). McDaniels’ offense, led by quarterback Derek Carr and running back Josh Jacobs, was dominated by a determined New Orleans defense.

Saints running back Alvin Kamara made the what was initially thought of as bulletin board material and wishful thinking boast when he said “We can go whoop their ass and make D.A. (Dennis Allen) feel good.” Turns out that was fact instead of fiction.

The Saints rose to the occasion against the Raiders (a team Dennis Allen once helmed from 2012 to four games in 2014) and judging from Allen’s emphatic fist pump celebration when the scoreboard clock read 0:00, he’s surely feeling good, as Kamara wanted.

Let’s quantify something real quick: Kamara finished with 158 total yards (18 carries for 52 yards, nine catches for 96 yards) and two touchdowns. His total is just 25 yards shy of the Raiders total offensive output as a team. Sheesh.

Carr, who Allen had as a rookie quarterback for his final four games as Raiders boss, finished 15 of 26 for 101 yards and an interception. Las Vegas was never able to overcome it’s sloppiness and New Orleans took advantage besieging Carr constantly as he was sacked a total of three times and hit countless others. In many instances, Carr was looking around him and feeling pressure just as much as he tried to look downfield for open targets. Jacobs, who dominated on the ground the last three games, was rendered relatively ineffective on 10 carries and 43 yards.

Even backup quarterback Jarrett Stidham, who came in during white flag duties late in fourth quarter, didn’t fare any better going 8 of 13 for 72 yards and a sack. Due to the quarterback takedowns and blown-up jet sweep to Davante Adams, the Raiders totaled 38 yards on 13 carries rushing. The Saints, meanwhile, galloped for 136 yards on 32 carries.

Flip it and Las Vegas defense was what it’s been thus far: Susceptible. Behind Kamara’s exploits — it sure seemed like Raider defenders lost track of him — on the ground and air, New Orleans quarterback Andy Dalton wasn’t sacked once and finished 22 of 30 for 229 yards and two touchdowns. He improves to 4-0 against the Raiders all-time while the defeat is Carr’s first career-defeat against the Saints.

It was such a horrid showing, McDaniels did the “put it on me” type post-game press conference message.

“If you’re going to point a finger, point it at me,” the Raiders coach said. “Obviously, I need to do a better job of getting us ready on gameday.”

Let’s hit the quick slants as fast as this game got out of hand for the Raiders:

—The last time the Raiders were shut out was 52-0 by the-then St. Louis Rams on Nov. 30, 2014. For those curious, that wasn’t the team’s worst blanking in franchise history. The 55-0 walloping the Raiders took in 1961 against the Houston Oilers was the worst (during the AFL days).

—Raiders wide receiver Davante Adams finished with one catch for 3 yards. That’s unacceptable for a pass catcher of Adams’ caliber — coming off a flu or not (that’s the ailment that resulted in Adams missing practice this week).

—Mack Hollins led the Raiders receiving group with seven catches for 64 yards. Tight end Foster Moreau caught six passes for 31 yards and wide receiver Keelan Cole had two grabs for 30 yards.

—Raiders linebackers Denzel Perryman and Blake Martinez are run stuff specialist but when it comes to coverage, both leave plenty to be desired. The Saints knew this and exploited Las Vegas’ lack of cover-capable linebackers.

—Divine Deablo led the Raiders defense in terms of total tackles with 14. Cornerback Anthony Averett and Perryman tied for second with eight while edge rusher Maxx Crosby racked up seven total stops.

—The Raiders’ postseason aspirations took a major hit with the loss. If Las Vegas doesn’t regroup next week against the Jacksonville Jaguars, then it’s time to gauge and rank the top 5 prospects in the NFL Draft.