The Las Vegas Raiders won the “Dance on the Logo” matchup before being decimated by the Kansas City Chiefs 48-9 this past Sunday.
I know what you’re thinking. Only Three Concerns?!
In a pivotal matchup, the Silver and Black showed very little fight or sense of urgency (if you exclude the fervor used to reach midfield before kickoff). Nothing new given the month on the calendar. It’s a good thing interim head coach Rich Bisaccia doesn’t put a ton of onus on the scoreboard, because the Raiders have no time to dwell on this Stone Cold Steve Austin Mudhole stomp-level ass whooping they received. This Saturday holds a matchup in Cleveland against the Browns that will ultimately decide the fate of their playoff hopes.
The Raiders have a short week to fix a multitude of issues.
The O-line is quickly regressing…
It would appear the clock has struck midnight on offensive line coach Tom Cable. Poor roster decisions and a clear lack of improvement from hand-picked players have put the Raiders in the conversation for having the worst offensive lines in football. According to Next Gen Stats, Las Vegas gave up pressure on 34.7% of dropbacks on Sunday. To make matters worse, according to Pro Football Focus, 2021 first-round pick Alex Leatherwood and former third-round pick Brandon Parker share the top spot in pressure rates allowed among offensive linemen. In other words, the entire right side of the line is a liability.
Even the usually sure-handed Kolton Miller has been beaten regularly for big sacks, which is the last thing you want to see with Myles Garrett and Jadaveon Clowney on the docket.
The “Bend Don’t Break” Defense is broken…
Gus Bradley was rightfully seen as a major improvement when he was brought in to coach the defense. Early on, that appeared to be the case. The team was giving up yards aplenty and turnovers weren’t bountiful, but the points were hard to come by for opposing offenses. As the season wears on, that is no longer the case. The Raiders currently rank 31st in points allowed and 20th in yards allowed, per Pro Football Reference. Sunday appeared to be the last straw as the defense hemorrhaged points, unable to save the offense from repeated mistakes.
The offense did Bradley and Co. no favors with such egregious turnovers, but as linebacker K.J. Wright stated after the game, they cannot be concerned with what the offensive output is. It is their job to deliver and stop the opposition.
Carr’s lack of trust in other targets…
We all love watching Hunter Renfrow get a well-deserved shine during this stellar three-game run. Nevertheless, Carr has to avoid freezing out other options on the field. In fact, 13 of Carr’s 33 completions went Renfrow’s way on Sunday. Zay Jones would finish with seven targets, and Foster Moreau had six of his own, but a total of five targets for Bryan Edwards and DeSean Jackson is unacceptable.
I’ve covered Edwards’ struggles to get open in one-on-one coverage and have openly stated that choosing Jackson over Odell Beckham Jr. was a laughable mistake by Las Vegas, but they still need to make a greater impact to keep this offense from becoming stale. Play-calling plays a role. However, it also falls on Carr to believe in his receivers enough to run the correct routes and be open when it matters most.
*Top Photo: Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group