We previously looked at the five best plays from both the defense and the offense for 2017, so it’s only fitting that we take a look at the five worst plays. After the year Raiders had, there was plenty to choose from. Some were saddening, some were maddening, and one was just downright hilarious. Sometimes it’s appropriate to look at the events, learn from them, laugh a little bit, and then put them away. So without further ado and in no particular order, a collection of five of the worst plays from your 2017 Oakland Raiders.
No Interceptions in 10 Games – Weeks 1-11 vs Everyone
The Raiders set another record this season to add to their ever-growing list, but this isn’t one the team will ever want to talk about, and it certainly won’t be one that any other team will strive to duplicate. The dilapidated secondary and lack of front seven help made the 2017 Raiders the first team in the history of the universe to go 11 weeks without an interception. Of course, there was a bye week in there, which was basically just another week that the team had zero interceptions. But it was ten full games. Anytime you hit double-digit anything in the NFL, it’s worth noting.
It wasn’t one play by any means, but so many missed opportunities that make this probably the saddest part of the Raiders’ 2017 season. Every time the chance passed through their fingers, you could almost feel the gale-force winds caused by Raider Nation shaking their heads. Again.
A Series of Unfortunate Events – Week 7 vs Chiefs
Week 7 for a Raiders fan was magical. It’s so hard to forget the breathtaking conclusion to the shootout versus big-time rival Kansas City Chiefs. But watch the game back and it’s easy to discover a new feeling from that game. The defense was just awful. There were far more than just this play, but this one was the epitome of what the secondary embodied this year.
The Raiders were leading in the third quarter, something no one thought could happen going into this game. Alex Smith took the snap and threw a long ball into the (seemingly) waiting arms of Raiders safety Keith McGill. Or so he thought. McGill was covering Albert Wilson, who was clearly beaten to the ball and dropped behind McGill. As it turns out, that was the smart play. McGill couldn’t get his hands wrapped around the ball, it hit him in the head, or it might as well have, and popped right into the arms of Wilson, who promptly ran it into the end zone to give the lead back to the Chiefs.
— NFL (@NFL) October 20, 2017
Vet Long Snapper Ruins Rookie Kicker’s Perfect Streak – Week 6 vs Chargers
The beginning of the season saw the end of an era for the Raiders. The Polish Cannon, Sebastian Janikowski, was sidelined for what turned out to be the entire season, and ahead of his eventual exit from the Black Hole. After the performance of “rookie” placekicker Giorgio Tavecchio in the first few weeks of the season, it seemed like all would be ok. So when he hadn’t missed a PAT at all going into week 6, a quick one-point pickup seemed like a gimme. Jon Condo, the Raiders’ longtime veteran long snapper, is known for his accuracy and reliability. All things that should have one foregone conclusion. Unfortunately, Condo had a bad moment, and in doing so, ruined his kicker’s streak, and in turn, the Raiders lost to the Chargers by that one point. The gravity of the situation was not lost on Condo.
“I have one job to do: snap the ball, I didn’t make it happen today and I feel bad. The rest of my teammates were out there doing their jobs and I have one job and couldn’t do it. I couldn’t come through today.”
Derek Carr’s Touchback Fumble Loses the Game, not the index card – Week 15 vs Cowboys
An index card! Have you ever heard anything so asinine? The football world now has after Gene Staratore used one to measure for a first down and handed the ball back to the Cowboys. That did not lose the game for the Raiders though. Down 20-17 with 0:37 left on the clock, the Raiders were within striking distance. It was 3rd and 3 so even if the ball went nowhere, they could have tied the game with a field goal, all they had to do was not lose the ball. So of course, in true Raiders fashion…
Don’t mistake this for a criticism of Derek Carr, because I think he made a bold move that, had it worked, would have ranked up there with his 2-point conversion against the Saints and the 0:00 touchdown against the Chiefs. It’s what makes star players. After all, no risk, no reward. But unfortunately, the bigger risk/bigger reward works conversely as well.
Rookie Safety as a Rookie Corner – Week 11 vs Patriots
The total blunder that was the Raiders’ defensive coaching through Week 11 is not easily forgotten. Obi Melifonwu certainly won’t forget his failure in the cornerback position in what was the most anticipated game on the Raiders’ schedule before the season. Melifonwu was the team’s 2nd-round pick in the 2017 draft, but being a rookie is not what got him on this list. He was drafted as a safety. He plays safety. So when he stepped on the field, he was where? Lined up over the man that continues to embarrass the Raiders year after year: Brandin Cooks.
Tony Romo summed it up in his call that this was a bust. But something to note, Tony. Melifonwu didn’t put himself there. Thanks, Mr. Norton.
Marshall Newhouse vs Gravity – Week 9 vs Dolphins
It’s the 4th quarter and the Raiders are clinging to a slim 20-16 lead when Derek Carr fumbles the ball. As if on cue, right tackle Marshall Newhouse scoops it up and advances it to try to cover the 14 yards needed to move the sticks. Instead, he ends up racking up a fumble of his own but creates the most amazing gif of the season, the Fat Guy Helicopter. And it was everything that it needed to be.