The Las Vegas Raiders suffered their first defeat of the season in Foxboro on Sunday. Here are three fresh, unfiltered reactions following the game.
1. Jonathan Abram is a liability for the Raiders defense in space
We lost count of how many open-field tackles the Raiders safety missed against the Patriots. New England’s running backs had him on skates all day. Abram has already established himself as a hard hitter, and he did have a pick today. However, the main knock on him coming out of college was his tendency to lose control. The second-year safety over-persued and took bad angles several times on Sunday. It’s too early to say if this will be chronic for Abram, but keep an eye on this.
2. Cory Littleton is average
Let me start by saying that Cory Littleton is definitely an upgrade at the linebacker position. He is better than guys like Tahir Whitehead, Will Compton, and Marquel Lee. But one has to wonder how much better he really is. The linebackers we just mentioned are all slightly below average at best. While Littleton has not been a liability, but he has yet to truly shine. At $11.75 million per year, Littleton is one of the top-paid inside linebackers in the league. At that price, he needs to be more than a cog in the system.
The injuries are becoming insurmountable
One thing the Raiders did a great job of improving this year was depth. To say that their depth is being tested right now would be an understatement. If you count Tyrell Williams, the Raiders entered this game without four starters on offense. Also, they were without middle linebacker and signal-caller on defense, Nick Kwiatkoski. Also, the Raiders were without backup tackle, Sam Young. Then, during the game, they lost receiver Brian Edwards and corner Damon Arnette. The Raiders were essentially playing with a skeleton crew on offense. Meanwhile, a defense already lacking much talent was without two key players. We know injuries are a part of the game, but you can only say “next man up” so many times. The Raiders need to get healthy and they need to do it fast.
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