The Las Vegas Raiders were supposed to regroup in Sarasota, Florida, last week after a dreadful loss at the New Orleans Saints and an overall stunningly disappointing start to the season.
Yet, they will leave a disastrous two-game stanza in the Southeast in even worse shape after they blew yet another huge lead, losing 27-20 to the Jacksonville Jaguars, who had lost their five previous games:
Let’s look at five keys aspects of this defeat, which dropped Las Vegas to 2-6, essentially ending any realistic hope for a return trip to the playoffs.
The Raiders are blowing games at a historic level. They are the third team to blow three 17-point leads in one season. They have done it just eight times in team history and three of them have happened in the first eight games of the season. They blew a 20-0 lead to Arizona and a 17-0 lead to Kansas City earlier this season.
Amount of game time it took #Raiders to trail following a 17-0 lead this season:— Josh Dubow (@JoshDubowAP) November 6, 2022
43:09 vs Cardinals
21:02 vs Chiefs
25:55 vs Jaguars
On Sunday, the Raiders led 17-0. But the Jaguars, who are now 3-6, scored the game’s final 20 points. Las Vegas led 20-10 at halftime. Beleaguered first-year Las Vegas coach Josh McDaniels said after the game the Raiders need to learn how to play a full four quarters. Thanks, coach. Look, this is a veteran team that won 10 games last season. These issues are much deeper than just learning how to play a complete game.
17+ point blown leads by Raiders in franchise history— NFL on CBS (@NFLonCBS) November 6, 2022
1960-2021 5 times
First 8 games in 2022 3 times pic.twitter.com/5ijm5s3uYU
The Las Vegas offense was clicking in the first half. It collapsed in the second half. According to The Associated Press, the Raiders averaged 7.84 yards a play in the first and just 2.8 yards a play in the second half.
Quarterback Derek Carr got very cold in the second half. After having nine catches in the first half, star receiver Davante Adams had just one grab after halftime.
Adams on blowing a 17-point lead again: pic.twitter.com/IKJMcMUpqB— Vic Tafur (@VicTafur) November 6, 2022
After the game, Adams wondered why the Raiders went away from the pass in the second half.
Derek Carr in 1st half for #Raiders today: 16-21, 223 yds, 2 TDs 141.6 passer rating— Josh Dubow (@JoshDubowAP) November 6, 2022
Carr in 2nd half: 6-16, 33 yards, 0 TDs, 45.8 rating
But the Raiders had their chances in the second half. They had two opportunities to take the lead or tie the game in the final four-plus minutes and couldn’t muster anything.
Here's what the #Raiders offense did after Derek Carr missed an open Ameer Abdullah in end zone and settled for FG to make it 20-7 last in 1st half:— Josh Dubow (@JoshDubowAP) November 6, 2022
5 plays, punt
9 plays, punt
3 and out
4 plays, turnover on downs
4 plays, lost fumble
Of course, the Las Vegas defense didn’t help either as Jaguars’ quarterback Trevor Lawrence and running back Travis Etienne took over. Once again, the Raiders had no sacks. They have a league-low nine sacks.
Heat in on Josh McDaniels:
Last week, after an embarrassing 24-0 loss to the porous, injured Saints, Las Vegas owner Mark Davis stood by McDaniels and said he will be the team’s coach for years to come. During the week, first-year general manager Dave Ziegler — who went to college with McDaniels and was with him in Denver and New England — praised him for his leadership.
#Raiders been favorite in 6 of 8 games (easy schedule). Haven't had an overabundance of injuries and have shown they can't win. Maybe McDaniels will end up being a good head coach. But you can't say he is now. NFL's most disappointing team.— Bill Williamson (@BWilliamsonNFL) November 6, 2022
But after another head-scratching loss, the issues continue to point at McDaniels. It starts with him. Davis hired him to build on a 10-win team that went to the playoffs last year. The Raiders had big aspirations this year and they are basically now staring at a lost season. It’s on McDaniels. He has lost 23 of his last 30 games as an NFL head coach. He is just 13-23 overall. McDaniels still has a chance to be a good head coach. but at this point, it looks like the decision to hire him was questionable to say the least.
Productive Raiders’ linebacker Divine Deablo was injured on Las Vegas’ second defensive snap of the game. He was carted to the locker room and he was quickly ruled out with a forearm injury. We will see if it is a long-term injury, but when players are quickly ruled out it is often not a good sign. Denzel Perryman and Blake Martinez played the primary snaps at linebacker for the rest of the game with undrafted rookies Luke Masterson and Darien Butler backing them up. Interestingly, veteran Jayon Brown was a healthy scratch. He will see if the Raiders decide to address the position moving forward. if Deablo misses extended time, it would hurt Las Vegas. He entered the game with 73 tackles, which was sixth in the NFL. He had 35 tackles in his past three games combined,
Fourth-down magic until it wasn’t:
The Raiders’ offense got kick started on their second drive (they went three and out on their first drive) when Carr hit Adams on back-to-back plays after being in a third-and-20 situation. The Raiders converted on fourth and four. The Raiders have been excellent on fourth down this season on offense. According to the Associated Press, they converted nine of first 12 times on fourth down and scored five touchdowns on those drives. But Las Vegas missed its last two plays on fourth down, when the game mattered and that’s been the story of this disturbing season.