The Las Vegas Raiders were game and Jarrett Stidham was sharp as Derek Carr’s late-season replacement, but so many of the same issues that plagued them all season showed up as they were eliminated from playoff contention in a 37-34 overtime loss to the San Francisco 49ers.
Game effort, but in the end, another double-digit blown lead, bad coaching and bad defense. Nothing to celebrate other than improved draft standing. But this was supposed to be about the playoffs. Don't lose sight of that.— Bill Williamson (@BWilliamsonNFL) January 2, 2023
Let’s look at the keys to the game:
The Raiders got help for the second straight week except from themselves. The Raiders had three ways of being eliminated Sunday. The Dolphins and Jets both let them off the hook. But like last week, Las Vegas couldn’t do its part. They are 6-10 after a 10-7 playoff season in 2021. Once again, Josh McDaniels’ team gave up a double-digit second half lead. They are the first team in NFL history to lose five games in which they had double-digit leads in. The same old things are happening and Derek Carr can’t be blamed this time. It’s been an awful season for McDaniels and his staff. Instead of the playoffs, it’s draft watch. the Raiders are currently on pace or the No. 7 pick and could get up to No. 6 if they lose to Kansas City next week and the Rams win at Seattle. Again, this season was not supposed to be about draft- pick jockeying. This loss is just another indictment of McDaniels’ poor coaching.
Most losses for #Raiders coach when leading by 10+:— Josh Dubow (@JoshDubowAP) January 2, 2023
Jon Gruden 11 in 117 games
Art Shell 9 in 108 games
Tom Flores 7 in 136 games
Josh McDaniels 5 in 16 games
Joe Bugel 5 in 16 games
Stidham plays well:
In his first NFL start and first game as Carr’s replacement this season, Stidham did an extremely solid job. He played with a presence and had a very nice stat line as he was 23 of 34 for 365 yards with three touchdown passes as the Raiders amassed 500 yards of total offense against the NFL’s best defense. He also showed nice mobility with 34 yards rushing on seven carries. A free agent this year, Stidham opened some eyes. Could he be in the mix as the Raiders’ starter in 2023. Don’t discount it. Let’s see what he does next week. But McDaniels clearly believes in the guy he helped draft in New England.
Defense is awful:
The Las Vegas defense sagged again. The 49ers ate the Raiders up in both the passing and running games. The 49ers had 454 total yards of offense and running back Christian McCaffrey had 121 yards rushing and 72 yards receiving. San Francisco receiver Brandon Aiyuk added 117 yards of offense, including 101 receiving yards. While the quarterback position will be the headliner of the Raiders’ offseason, fixing this defense has to be a major priority as well.
Don’t worry about Adams:
There was a lot of folks worried in the Raider Nation about Davante Adams in the aftermath of his good friend Carr being shut down. When asked about his own future this week, Adams sidestepped the question.
But he gave a full effort Sunday and had his best game in a month as he had seven catches for 153 yards and two touchdowns and he made two more just-silly good catches.
#Raiders Davante Adams has his 4th career game with 150+ yards receiving and 2+ TD catches. The others:— Josh Dubow (@JoshDubowAP) January 2, 2023
Week 13 vs Chargers
10/25/2020 vs Texans
9/13/2020 vs Vikings
This guy is just a special player.
49ers fans take over:
Raiders’ owner Mark Davis couldn’t have been happy about the scene in the stands at Allegiant Stadium. It was a sea of red at the good ol’ Death Star. It was estimated at about 75 percent of the crowd were 49ers fans. In the two seasons in which fans have been allowed inside Allegiant Stadium, opposing fans have stormed this stadium in droves. But this was next level. It has to eat at Davis to see fans of his team’s former Bay Area rival dominate this stadium. It’s an issue that will be hard to fix.
So thin at linebacker:
The Raiders were down to undrafted rookie Luke Masterson and Harvey Langi, who was signed off the practice squad this week. Undrafted free agent Darien Butler suffered a concussion early in the game and was ruled out. Deep backup Curtis Bolton took Butler’s spot. The Raiders were playing ore five-man fronts than usual Sunday and that was likely because of the linebacker issues. Denzel Perryman, Jayon Brown and Divine Deablo are all on the injured reserve. There is a lot of work to do this offseason, but finding linebackers will be near the top of the list. Perryman is a free agent and the team will likely try to retain him.
The Raiders are now on the clock on a strange-but-true NFL fact. All 14 teams this season that had a game the week following playing San Francisco have lost this season. Will the Raiders make it 0-15? They host the 13-3 Chiefs, who are fighting for the top overall seed in the AFC playoffs, to end the regular season.
No overtime magic this time:
The calling cards of the 2021 Las Vegas Raiders were their 4-0 record in overtime. They’ve played in four more overtime games this season. Yet, They’re 2-2. The magic is gone, indeed.