One has to assume the Las Vegas Raiders offense was part of the “get it all off your chest” team meeting earlier this week. It was a chance to clear the air, according to NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport, in which Rap noted it was a “passionate” meeting and a faint light at the end of a dark tunnel for the Silver & Black.
The Raiders are once again eclipsed in total darkness, however.
The offense looked like it took no part in any meetings earlier this week and produced another painful primetime performance in a 26-14 loss at the hands of the host Detroit Lions. The faceplant of an effort drops Las Vegas to 3-5 on the year and all Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels could lament on in the postgame press conference was his passing attack not producing enough.
The leonine Lions, on the other hand, overcame their early struggles — the team did it’s best to throw this contest away — to throttle the Raiders by taking advantage of the Silver & Black’s inability to string together competent drives on offense. That resulted in Detroit manhandling the Las Vegas defense which was on the field for the majority of the contest.
“I thought we did have some opportunities to make more plays on offense than we did, but we didn’t make them,” McDaniels said at the postgame podium. “We just couldn’t string together each enough plays in the passing game. I thought the defense gave us great opportunities. We won the turnover margin tonight but we ended up not being able to win the game. I thought our run defense was decent early, but any time you have to be on the field for as long as we were, you give the team opportunities.”
Ben Johnson’s (Detroit’s offensive coordinator) offense racked up 486 total yards compared to the meager 157 McDaniels’ offense could muster. Raiders quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo had a halftime stat line for the ages going 3 of 8 for 31 yards and an interception. His second-half performance was no better as he finished 10 of 21 for 126 yards with the pick and absorbing six sacks. Garoppolo missed two would-be wide-open touchdowns to wide receiver Davante Adams. Both throws were wide of the mark and potentially would’ve been 98 and 60 yard touchdowns, respectively. The wideout finished with a measly one catch for 11 yards on his seven targets.
“You have good days and bad days. Today was a bad day,” Garoppolo noted in his postgame media session. “There’s no sugar coating it. It is what it is. So, just got to play better myself. I have to play better myself. There are a bunch of little things but it’ll help solve a lot of problems.”
The only bright spot for the Raiders offense was a 15-carry, 61-yard effort with a score for running back Josh Jacobs. Beyond that, it was putrid. The road defeat gives Las Vegas an awful 1-4 mark away from Allegiant Stadium. Fortunately for the team, its next two games are at home. Unfortunately for the Raiders, they don’t seem anywhere close to being a competent squad.
The effort was so discombobulated that Adams bit his tongue during the postgame locker room media scrum.
“I don’t know what to say at this moment,” Adams said noting he didn’t want to say something that would get blown out of proportion by the media. “It’s not hard to maintain the confidence in our offense, it’s hard to curb your frustration when you can’t put it together when you know you should.”
Davante Adams was visibly frustrated on the Raiders bench. pic.twitter.com/8wIEyZJleu— ESPN (@espn) October 31, 2023
Let’s hit the quick slants as fast as the Raiders found themselves on the sideline Monday night:
—The Raiders’ highlight of the night was cornerback Marcus Peters’ 75-yard interception return for a touchdown early in the third quarter. The veteran defender jumped on a telegraphed throw from Lions quarterback Jared Goff and housed the pick six allowing Las Vegas to cut Detroit’s lead to 16-14.
—That woke up the Lions, however, as they peppered the Raiders with rookie tailback Jahmyr Gibbs two series later and the Alabama product ran past Las Vegas’ defense for a 27-yard galloping score. And that’s all she wrote for the visiting Raiders.
—Gibbs finished with 152 rushing yards on 26 carries and added five catches for 37 more yards. Lions receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown led the passing attack with six grabs for 108 yards.
—Raiders rookie tight end Michael Mayer finished with one grab for 19 yards. Lions rookie tight end Sam LaPorta (taken pick No. 34 in the second round, just one pick ahead of Mayer) caught eight passes for 57 yards and a touchdown. Two first-year players heading in opposite directions like the team’s they play for.
—The defeat drops the Raiders to the AFC West cellar with the Denver Broncos (also 3-5). Denver, however, is on a two-game win streak and handled the Kansas City Chiefs (6-2). The Los Angeles Chargers (3-4) are also coming off a win over the Chicago Bears. Las Vegas can quickly find itself left behind if they don’t win soon.
—The Raiders draw the Giants (2-5) in Week 9. You may find it hard to believe, but New York is struggles on offense are worse than Las Vegas. Brian Daboll’s G-Men have scored a total of 95 points compared to the Raiders’ 126.
Quote of Note:
“I don’t know. It ain’t my job” -Las Vegas Raiders running back Josh Jacobs on what could spark the Raiders offense.