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Raiders-Lions: Winners and losers, Las Vegas’ offense takes a big L

Raiders have more questions than answers halfway through season

Las Vegas Raiders v Detroit Lions
Jimmy Garoppolo
Photo by Lauren Leigh Bacho/Getty Images

It’s about halfway through the 2023 season and the Las Vegas Raiders have more questions than answers. The Week 8 loss to the Detroit Lions on Monday Night Football was flat-out embarrassing as the Raiders offense has reached new lows and is the primary focus for the losers in this week’s winners and losers column.

WINNER: Maxx Crosby

I feel like a broken record at this point as Maxx Crosby continues to play at an elite level and is the primary reason why the team is even in games this season. Crosby posted another elite grade from Pro Football Focus, earning a 90.1 mark that ranks fourth among edge defenders for the week.

He also continues to be one of the league’s best run defenders this season, posting a 91.5 PFF grade and racking up seven defensive stops against the run. Both of those figures were the most at his position in Week 8.

For the entire season, Crosby is now PFF’s third-highest-graded edge (91.6), is tied for the most defensive stops (27) and is the leader in pressures (47) as he’s putting together an All-Pro campaign.

LOSER: Jimmy Garoppolo

What isn’t going wrong for Jimmy Garoppolo?

He’s thrown an interception in every game and currently leads the NFL in picks with nine and that’s after missing two games. His happy feet in the pocket are worse than ever and he doesn’t help himself out by holding onto the ball as long as he does. For example, PFF has Garoppolo with the sixth-longest time to throw (3.03 seconds) in Week 8 and five of the six times he was sacked came when he held onto the ball for 2.5 seconds or more.

Those numbers wouldn’t be as big of a deal and would make more sense if he was connecting on deep passes, however, he went 0-4 on throws 20 or more yards past the line of scrimmage on Monday night with a PFF grade of 27.6 and an interception.

Pretty much everyone who has paid a shred of attention to the Raiders this season is/has been wondering when the Raiders are going to pull the plug on Jimmy G and give Aidan O’Connell a shot to start. That switch might be coming sooner rather than later as Josh McDaniels was asked after the game about benching Garoppolo and the coach’s answer wasn’t a no...

WINNER: Robert Spillane

NFL: Las Vegas Raiders at Detroit Lions
Robert Spillane
David Reginek-USA TODAY Sports

Robert Spillane has been up and down for the majority of the year, but he did turn in a good performance against the run yesterday. Spillane earned an 82.5 PFF run defense grade that ranked eighth among linebackers for the week and was second at the position with six stops as a run defender. He also only had one missed tackle and recorded two pressures on seven pass rushes for a good outing overall.

LOSER: Hunter Renfrow

The biggest reason why Hunter Renfrow lands on this week’s losers list is that he was on a national stage the day before the trade deadline and failed to have a good performance that could have helped his cause to get out of town. Renfrow was targeted four times and only came down with two catches for 19 yards, mixing in a drop and slipping on a route that would have given the team a third-down conversion.

The wideout has been the subject of trade talks over the last few weeks and is reportedly working with the organization to find a trade partner, but it’s going to be harder for the Raiders’ brass to strike a deal with another club given that his last outing was unproductive.

WINNER: Marcus Peters

After weeks of getting close, Marcus Peters finally broke through with his first interception in silver and black. He also added some flair by taking it to the house, making it a two-point game to begin the second half and logging his seventh career pick-six. That also brings him into a tie for seventh all-time and he’s now five away from Rod Woodson’s record.

In addition to accounting for half of the team’s points, Peters also allowed just 21 yards on three targets and two catches in coverage while mixing in a defensive stop in the process. He was one of the few reasons why this game was even close.

LOSER: Thayer Munford Jr.

Thayer Munford Jr. has been getting more opportunities and made his third consecutive start on Monday night, however, he failed to make the most of it. He gave up four pressures which isn’t a good number for a full game, so the fact that happened when he only took 13 snaps in pass protection is pretty bad. But what’s even more concerning is he’s supposed to be a good run blocker, yet he earned a 45.9 mark from PFF in that department.

Overall, the second-year pro posted a 45.7 grade which is his lowest of the season and the fifth-worst among offensive tackles for the week. Clearly, this was a step in the wrong direction.

LOSER: Josh McDaniels

I’m going to start a new weekly tradition where McDaniels gets listed as a loser until the Raiders offense scores more than 20 points. I can’t stress enough how pathetic it is that the Raiders have over $101 million of cap space dedicated to their offense—sixth-most in the NFL—and rank 30th in points per game (15.8).