It was great to see the Las Vegas Raiders win their first two games of the 2020 season. However, heading into Foxborough, it was going to be difficult to sustain their winning formula: Allow as many points as you want as long as you outscore your opponents. As the New England Patriots showed them in Week 3, that recipe can’t lead to consistent success.Â
The Raiders came down to earth after giving up 36 points to the Patriots
The Raiders offense was working at full steam in the first two games of the year. Quarterback Derek carr had completed 50 of 68 eight passes for 523 yards and four touchdowns while running back Josh Jacobs had tallied 181 yards and three touchdowns on 52 attempts. Tight end Darren Waller was coming from a Week 2 game in which he had 12 catches for 105 yards and a touchdown. Moreover, the team scored 34 points in back-to-back games.
On the other hand, the Raiders allowed 54 points, that was simply too much. Their ability to outscore their opponents masked their defensive deficiencies. However, sooner than later, their inability to stop opposing offenses was going to catch up with them, and it did. The Raiders started their game against the Patriots well. They didn’t allow a field goal until the end of the first quarter and went into halftime with a 10-13 score.
Nevertheless, the Patriots eventually ended up scoring 23 more points and the Raiders couldn’t stop their running game. ‘Pats’ running back Sony Michel finished the game with nine carries for 117 yards while Rex Burkhead had six carries for 49 yards and two rushing touchdowns. The Silver and Black just couldn’t stop New England’s running game. All in all, the Silver and Black allowed 38 carries for 250 yards and two touchdowns.
This wasn’t a one-time deal
Against the Carolina Panthers, the Raiders gave up 129 yards and two touchdowns on 30 carries. Things weren’t much better against the New Orleans Saints and it was more of the same. The Saints ran the ball 19 times for 112 yards and two touchdowns. As you can see, there is a common trend, this Las Vegas team isn’t capable of stopping the run. The difference is that this one time, the offense couldn’t produce enough points to make up for it.
There are many areas the Raiders need to work on after losing against the Patriots, their run defense is one of them. They can’t continue giving up yards in chunks, and even if they can’t fix the issue, they have to at least lessen it. We pointed out after the Saints game that their defensive line was worth monitoring, this remains true after Week 3.
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*Top Photo: Maddie Mayer/Getty Images