All good things come to an end and that is true for the 2020 Las Vegas Raiders. After starting the season 2-0, the Silver and Black dropped their first game of the year against the New England Patriots and hold a 2-1 record after Sunday’s loss.Â
The Patriots feasted on the Raiders after a slow start
In the first two weeks of the season, the Raiders started slow but finished strong. That didn’t happen this time around. Neither team seemed very interested in scoring touchdowns and the Raiders could only muster a field goal to make the game 3-0. Even by halftime, the score was still close and the Raiders finished the first half 10-13.
Things went south in the second half of the game though. Kicker Daniel Carlson missed a 41-yard field goal. Then, the Patriots dropped 26 points on this Las Vegas team and they didn’t put up too much resistance. Patriots running back Sony Michel ran all over the Raiders defense. The ‘Pats’ running back ended the contest with 107 yards in just nine carries.
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said before the game that Raiders tight end Darren Waller was as good as they come. ‘The hoodie’ wasn’t joking around and made sure they covered Waller throughout the game. The tight end finished the game with two catches for nine yards in spite of playing pretty much all snaps on offense. Hunter Renfrow was his efficient self and set the stage for quarterback Derek Carr’s touchdown to tight end Derek Carrier. He finished the game with six catches for 84 yards and one touchdown. The Raiders likely missed Henry Ruggs III. Had the rookie receiver played, he might have been able to open things up for the rest of the offense.
The defense didn’t do its job but neither did the offense
Did you see that Instagram video where defensive end Clelin Ferrell woke up teammate Maxx Crosby midflight? ‘Cle’ should do that more often as Crosby registered two sacks. He was pretty much the only bright spot on the defensive side of the ball. Safety Johnathan Abram may not have been fully healthy and missed plenty of tackles. Maybe he did need some rest after hitting the TV cart last Monday.
Running back Josh Jacobs ran hard but asking him to carry the team would’ve been too much. However, he finished the game with 16 carries for 71 yards. Devontae Booker played was as solid and ran three times for 31 yards. Moreover, Jalen Richard had one carry for 14 yards. The Running back was definitely not the reason why the Raiders couldn’t get much going on offense.
The Raiders ended up scoring a touchdown in garbage time to make it a 36-20. Nevertheless, it was too little and too late, the game was already decided so it didn’t make much of a difference. The Raiders will have to look back and see what went wrong in order not to lose back-to-back games against the Buffalo Bills, which hold a 3-0 record after beating the Los Angeles Rams 35-32.
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Top Photo: Charles Krupa/Associated Press