Ray-Dar: Quick Slants From Week 8

Perhaps the Oakland Raiders should only have three days to prepare for an opponent. Seriously.

Given 10 days to prep for the Buffalo Bills and fresh off a dramatic turnaround win, Jack Del Rio’s merry band of marauders reverted back to the hapless bunch in a 34-14 debacle against the Buffalo Bills.

It all started so well too, with a methodical 13-play, 81-yard opening drive culminating in Jamize Olawale hitting pay dirt from a yard out, 7-0 Raiders.

Then, all of a sudden, the chunk plays became sparse and the Raiders went back to the dump offs in hopes someone would make a defender miss. It was such a questionable course reversal it left both Del Rio and Raider Nation fumbling to find an answer.

“I can’t answer to that,” Del Rio said. “I wasn’t – nobody was saying, ‘Don’t take a shot’ – I can’t speak to that right now.”

Quarterback Derek Carr provided an answer, however, noting he had to throw underneath because going deep would have meant firing into double coverage.

“I’m going to be me,” Carr added. “I know how to lead. I know how to work. I know how to play this game . .. there won’t be a day where I stop working to be a better version of myself . . . hopefully this is a slap in the face to a lot of guys in this locker room., We can finally say, “OK, let’s take a look at things seriously.”

Seriously. Such a quaint euphemism.

Let’s hit the quick slants:

  • Lee Smith’s 21-yard catch on the opening drive. I may be in the minority, but that’s the play that stood out to me the most. The stout blocker and “plodding” tight end had a nice over-the-shoulder grab with a defender draped all over him.
  • The Raiders ground attack was ineffective. All that talk about Oakland’s ground-and-pound being more productive sans Marshawn Lynch was just asinine chaff. With or without Beast Mode, the Raiders rushing attack is Least Mode.
  • Carr is a coach’s ideal player — to a fault. There’s increasing clamor for DC to “take control of the game”. That’s not going to happen. Carr is a dream player for a coach as he will stick to the gameplan. If it calls for a deep strike or an infuriating three-yard dump off, what coach says, Carr will do.
  • The disparity in time of possession between the Bills and Raiders was staggering. Buffalo had the ball 35:37 while Oakland had it 24:23. That’s way too long for the Raiders defense to be on the field and it eventually broke. Shady McCoy’s 48-yard touchdown run is a prime example.
  • Tyrod Taylor had all day to throw. Even then, he only racked up 165 yards passing. Buffalo did a tremendous job ensuring Khalil Mack’s homecoming was irrelevant and it was, as the Raiders best defender had two tackles.
  • The Raiders have now lost 24 straight games when they allow a defensive score. This nugget comes from the Associated Press, and the last time Oakland won when the opposing defense found the end zone? October 2005.
  • Dexter McDonald had Raiders’ interception No. 1 in his hands. The seventh-rounder could have been glorified. But credit the Bills receiver for playing defender to help ensure Oakland remains pick-less.  
  • Shalom Luani had a mixed-bag start. And that’s to be expected. He remained around the ball but did whiff in coverage and on tackles throughout the game. Growing pains that happen with a seventh-round rookie in his first significant action and start.
  • Marquette King got out-booted. It was uncharacteristic for the big boomer, but a groin injury prior hampered King’s ability to skyrocket punts.
  • Bills safety Micah Hyde had one of Buffalo’s two interceptions. The free-agent acquisition from Green Bay leads the league in picks with five.
  • The Raiders will remain on the East Coast as it preps for a Sunday Night showdown with the Miami Dolphins. Bet the NFL regrets scheduling that Yuck Fest.

Quote(s) Of Note:

“In my mindset, the way I play is I’m looking vertical. I’m looking for the big one. If it’s not there, get it out quick and let our guys run with it and get what we can.”

— Raiders quarterback Derek Carr

“I’m not sure where you’re going with this. I feel like, you know, don’t have four turnovers. I think it would probably look a little better.”‘

— Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio

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