The Las Vegas Raiders hype train has come to an abrupt, if only brief, halt in Week 1. Despite battling back late and coming within a final drive of taking the lead, the Silver and Black fell to the rival Chargers in Los Angeles, 24-19. It’s only one game, but there were plenty of issues that left Raider Nation scratching their heads. There was no shortage of disappointments, but let’s focus on a few here at your favorite Raiders blog.
Raiders QB Derek Carr is unable to silence his critics this week
The hyperbole surrounding the Raiders’ offensive firepower has been spoken about since the trade for Davante Adams was finalized. Despite the lack of offensive line improvement by the new front office, all eyes were focused solely on the Brady of Bibles, quarterback Derek Carr. Unfortunately for those in the Carr Cabal, Week 1 did not yield the results we hoped for.
Carr tossed three interceptions that were all poor decisions on the part of the nine-year pro. His protection wasn’t pristine (we’ll get to that), but there’s no excuse for the underthrown passes to Adams and Darren Waller that led to turnovers or trying to force a pass to a clearly blanketed Hunter Renfrow.
Carr attributed his poor performance to being overly aggressive, which makes sense. However, given the level of excitement surrounding the Raiders this season and the shaky structure of the extension he signed this offseason, patience across the country will be at an all-time low.
Yes, the O-line is as bad as advertised
Why single out one offensive lineman when we can collectively shake our heads at the unit as a whole? Carr was sacked six times on Sunday, including on back-to-back plays during the Raiders’ final possession. (I thought Khalil Mack was “washed”?) Not only did Joey Bosa and Mack routinely conquer the Raiders’ tackles and guards, but we had to witness Kolton Miller get his lunch money snatched by the best Raider draft pick of the last two decades. A pick who just so happened to be wearing a powder blue Chargers jersey. The constant pressure in the passing game and the complete lack of running lanes forced the Raiders to make substitutions along the line throughout the game. No combination was truly effective.
Josh McDaniels and Co. now have a week to clean up the mess they’ve refused to address.
Chandler Jones failed to make a mark in Week 1
The first real splash of the Raiders’ offseason was signing pass rusher Chandler Jones to complement Maxx Crosby. It looks like Jones might have been saving that “splash” for the Week 2 home opener against his former team. While no Raider registered a sack on Sunday, it felt as if Jones was a non-factor entirely.
I know he’ll be asked to drop into coverage in some situations in defensive coordinator Patrick Graham’s system this season. However, Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert had it way too easy. You could see him scrambling around and allowing receivers to find soft spots in the coverage. With the Arizona Cardinals coming to Las Vegas next week, the Raiders will need to get more out of their big money investment.
*Top Photo: Justin Casterline/Getty Images