Raiders Play Uninspired Football, And Get Embarrassed In Washington Sunday Night.

Terrell White – Sep 26, 2017

Holla At Me Raider Nation!

I said in my previous article that Oakland would speak to the Nation on Sunday night; Unfortunately for Raider Nation we didn't like what the team had to say. For me personally, as a Raider Fanatic the way the team appeared to approach this game, and the performance they put on display, was in a word - disappointing. This, as we knew was a Prime-Time (and I'm not talking Deion Sanders) game. In prime time games, the spot is hot, and the lights are bright; That alone should have been reason enough for the Raiders to come out and show some Commitment To Excellence. However, instead of a commitment to excellence on display, what we (Raider Nation) got was an up close look at the Raiders flaws laid bare

Raiders On O.

Where do we begin?? Let's start with the coaching. For a few seasons now the Raiders have been searching for that next ingenious offensive coordinator. Last season, when it was all said and done the Raiders did have a productive offensive performance. However, Real Talk: I haven't been perplexed by the Raider offense since Hue Jackson stopped running it. We all know (Raider opponents included) that the Oakland offense can be explosive. The question we need to have answered now is can they be creative?? When Hue Jackson was running the show you never really knew (it didn't matter the down, or the distance) exactly what the play the Raiders planned on calling would be. Will we (can we?) make that same statement with offensive coordinator Todd Downing running the show?

If Sunday nights prime time match in Washington was any indication the answer to that question in going to be NO. First, we have to talk about his original game plan, if there even was an original game plan. Next we need to talk about his adjustments, or lack there of; For instance, Raider wide receiver Amari Cooper for some reason seems to have revert to his old "hands of stone" persona. It was clear as the contest progressed that the two offensive players that actually showed up to play were wide receiver #84 Cordarrelle Patterson and tight end #87 Jared Cook. Why weren't these guys more involved in the adjusted game plan?? Especially since they both were being productive?

Downing and Co. (after watching film of the Washington road win) had to know that they were going up against a very scrappy Redskin team (which already had a home loss on their record). The last thing the Raiders needed to be was predictable. One example of their offensive predictability is the fact that I've (and I'm sure you do to) got a pretty good idea of what going to happen, and where they're going to go when running back Marshawn Lynch is in the game. If we've got pretty good idea of what, and where, you would think that the Raiders foes do as well. I understand the stop me if you can mentality but sometimes, it's better to fool the defense, as apposed to running over, or thru it.

While we're on the topic of running over defenses - Marshawn, if you're going to be "Beast Mode" then I'm going to need you to be beast mode all four quarters of the game!! I don't need you on the sidelines riding a bike, with your hat on, looking like you're ready for the flight back to Oakland at the start of the third quarter!! Marshawn, we need you in the game, making plays!! Or, at the very least being a diversion so that the play action pass is a more viable threat!

Speaking of the passing game, I don't know what was wrong with Raider quarterback Derek Carr on Sunday night. I don't know if he got into a fight with his wife. I don't know if his dog died. I don't know what happened; I do know that Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins totally out played Carr Sunday night. D. Carr was off target early (his first throw of the game was an ugly interception), and he was off target often; On one throw he nearly got wide receiver Michael Crabtree killed!! Normally I'm not a stats guy, but sometimes numbers just jump out at you. Numbers like going 5 of 12 for 31 yards and 1 interception in the 1st half. End of game numbers like 19 of 31 for 118 yards with 2 interceptions.

Now I would me a miss if I spoke about Derek Carr's performance without mentioning the questionable (at best) play of the much hyped (and highly paid) Raider offensive line. There has been a great deal of chatter amongst the talking heads about how the Raider offensive front is one of the best in the business. Sunday night that unit had a perfect opportunity to put themselves on display; Well now that I think about it, they did put themselves on display, just not in a very positive light.

I mentioned in my previous article that nothing (positive) happens without productive offensive line play; If Sunday nights performance didn't illustrate that, then I don't know what will. The Reskins defensive line basically beat up, abused, and mauled the Raider front for the entire night. Quarterback Derek Carr was never allowed to have any type of comfort in the pocket; How could he? With those unexpected snaps he kept getting from his center?? The quarterback, center exchange wasn't the only offensive line problem of the night. Carr was under intense pressure from all sides for most of, (sacked 4 times) if not all of Sunday's contest.

To say that Washington put a kink in the Raiders offense would be an understatement of fact. The Redskin defense completely shut down the high octane Rader offense. The Raiders weren't able to establish any type of running game; They were held to a total of 32 yards gained on the ground. Furthermore, they were unable to convert a meaningful 3rd down for the entire night!! As a result, they were outgained by over 300 yards, while being held to only  128 total yards of offense & 10 points. Speaking honestly, the Raider offense should have been shout out; If that wasn't complete and utter domination, you tell me what was. 

Raiders On D.

I've just about had it with the talking heads saying "The Defensive Player Of The Year" before they mention the name Khalil Mack. We all (including the Raider opponents) are aware of the fact that he won this award last season. The Book is out on K. Mack, everyone knows he's the real deal (and I'm not talking Evander Holyfield). Now that the book is out on Mack, you can put money on the fact that defensive coordinators and offensive linemen have no intention of allowing this man to wreak havoc upon their game plans.

We all know what Mack needs; He needs a partner on the other side of the defensive line that can take the opposing offense's focus off of him! We've been waiting, hoping, and praying that Bruce Irvin would step up, and emerge to be that player. However, I think it might be time to face the fact that he just can't get the job done. Through the three opening games of this season, I've hardly heard his name mentioned; Other then by commentator's remarking on the fact that he's been a non factor.

When you talk about defense there are two things that you want them to bring A: They must be able to pressure the quarterback; I know you hear the voice of Al Davis in your heard right now saying "The quarterback must go down, and he must go down hard!" B: You want your defense to be able to contain the run; Unfortunately for the Raiders, their defense struggles with both of these things; Sunday was no exception. You would have thought that Kirk Cousins was wearing his red preseason practice jersey; The Raiders hardly laid a hand on the Redskin signal caller all night. The Reskins were also able to control the clock, and keep drives alive (as they did in last weeks road win) using their imposing ground game; Which the Raiders also had no answer for.

Another troubling aspect of the Raider defense has to be their continued struggles with coverage. Washington running back Chris Thompson was killing the Raider line backs and safeties alike. Continuing (begrudgingly) to talk about the coverage in the secondary, we have to mention how defensive back David Amerson returned to Washington, and was abused by them in the prime time show case; It was like they were showing him, why they let him come to Oakland in the first place. I have no doubt that Amerson is still having nightmares about his performance Sunday night. He isn't alone. I'm quite sure defensive back Sean Smith is right there with him; Along with defensive coordinator (for now?) Ken Norton Jr.

End Game.

I'm not exactly sure how we should be viewing this loss. The final score was no reflection on how soundly the Raiders were beaten in Washington. Our squad was out played, out coached, out hustled, and beat up - on both sides of the ball. The actually final score of that game should have been 35-0!! Teams are going to watch this film, and with the NFL being a copy cat league you can bet your eye patch that teams are going to see if they can use the Washington game plan to their benefit. We're going to find out very soon if this game was a slip up by the Raider staff and players; Or was this loss a symptom of a bigger issue? We'll see how the team responds when they face their division rivals the Denver Broncos next weekend.

Raider From Birth.

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