Nothing went right( after the first series) for Las Vegas as the Bills beat the Raiders in every aspect of the game, starting at the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball in the most lopsided loss of the short Josh McDaniels’ era. Let’s look at some key aspects of the game:
Allen rips them apart:
In Week 1, Monday night in an overtime loss to the New York Jets, Buffalo quarterback Josh Allen threw three interceptions and lost a fumble. Where the Raiders about to face bad Josh Allen? Nope. Allen was near perfect against Las Vegas as he completed 31 of 37 passes for 274 and had three touchdown passes. He was not intercepted. The Raiders had no answers for Allen.
While the Bills had no turnovers, the Raiders were intercepted twice and lost a fumble. The Raiders have committed four turnovers in two games with while creating no turnovers on defense. Remember, that was a point of emphasis this offseason. Yet, it hasn’t developed.
Raiders’ star wide receiver Davante Adams was evaluated for a concussion after taking a big shot to the head late in the game. The Raiders, of course, were without fellow starting receiver Jakobi Meyers in Buffalo because he suffered a concussion last week in Denver. Adams wasn’t the only injured Las Vegas player Sunday. Defensive tackle Bilal Nichols (hamstring), safety Marcus Epps (quad) and cornerback Jakorian Bennett (knee) were also banged up. So, the Raiders might be banged up heading into their home opener, against Pittsburgh, next Sunday night.
Josh Jacobs, who is the NFL's reigning rushing champion, finished with -2 rushing yards on 9 rushes.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) September 17, 2023
According to @EliasSports, this is the first time since the 1970 merger a reigning NFL rushing champion finished a game with negative rushing yardage. pic.twitter.com/AUYUDOUJ8A
Where’s the running game?
For the second straight game, the Raiders had trouble running the ball. 2022 NFL rushing king Josh Jacobs had minus-two yards on nine carries. He had 48 yards on 19 carries in Week 1. The Raiders are paying Jacobs $12 million this year. He needs to get it going. New Las Vegas quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo simply can’t carry this offense without help from the ground game. Las Vegas has to figure it out and it starts with the protection up front. The Raiders’ offensive line has been good in pass protection (the Raiders haven’t allowed a sack this season), but has struggled in the ground game.
No help for Maxx:
It’s been just two games, but the Las Vegas defense doesn’t look much improved. Yes, there were a couple of upgrades, but probably nothing that is going to change this unit. There is simply not much behind star defensive end Maxx Crosby. For the second straight game, No. 7 overall draft pick Tyree Wilson was a non factor.
Last week, big-money wide receiver Hunter Renfrow played just 13 snaps and he wasn’t targeted. McDaniels said it was just the way the game went. Well, this week, without Meyers, Renfrow again was not part of the Raiders’ offense. He had one catch for 23 yards in garbage time. What’s going on here?
Time of possession domination:
Buffalo held the ball more than twice the time that the Raiders did. Buffalo held the ball 40 minutes, four seconds while Las Vegas had it for 19:56 minutes. They were simply smothered all day.
A positive note:
The Raiders did one thing right. They cut down their penalties. Las Vegas was called for just two penalties, for 30 yards. They were called for 10 penalties in Week 1. So, that’s a plus.
Quick thoughts: #Raiders— Bill Williamson (@BWilliamsonNFL) September 17, 2023
Jimmy can't carry this offense without a run game.
Same old crap on defense. Not enough players.
What's going to be BS spin on Renfrow this week?
Hey, they cleaned up the penalties, at least.
The Raiders have gotten the ball to start both games and they scored touchdowns on both drives. Sunday, Garoppolo and DAdams capped a five-play, 75-yard drive with a 16-yard touchdown. The Raiders were good to start game sunder McDaniels last year with Derek Carr engineering the offense and, so far, it’s the same deal with Jimmy G. at the helm. Of course, it all went down hill from there.
#Raiders take opening drive 75 yards, in 5 plays and 2:44, culminating with 16-yard catch-and-run TD pass from Jimmy Garopplo to Davante Adams.— Paul Gutierrez (@PGutierrezESPN) September 17, 2023
In fact, according to ESPN, they have the longest streak of scoring in seven straight games to open the game.
Koonce with the start:
Third-year defensive end Malcolm Koonce got his first career start for the Raiders on Sunday. He had one tackle. Last week, defensive tackle Jerry Tillery started opposite star pass-rusher Maxx Crosby. This week, the Raiders went a more traditional route with Koonce as they continue to play without big-money starter Chandler Jones. He, of course, has been away from the team for two weeks because of constant social-media rants against the team,
Buffalo went for it on fourth down aggressively. In the second quarter, they went for at the goal line and Josh Allen threw an incompletion. To open the third quarter, to end a nine-plus minute drive, Allen hit Gabe Davis for a touchdowns to give them a 28-10 lead. The Bills clearly thought confident they could move the ball against Las Vegas’ defense when needed and, for the most part, they were correct.
Garoppolo hasn’t been known for throwing interceptions much in his career. He threw just four interceptions in 11 games for San Francisco last season and his season high for interceptions was 13 in 16 games in 2019 with the 49ers. Yet, Garoppolo has already been picked off three times this season. The Bills got him twice. Now, both times were very nice plays by Buffalo. Yet, this is something monitor. The appeal of Garoppolo is that he takes care of the ball and makes good, efficient decisions. So, these turnovers are of note