All is lost. That’s what Las Vegas Raiders’ Twitter will tell you after a tough Week 1 loss to the hated Los Angeles Chargers. In truth, this was only one game. It may be a bitter pill to swallow, but the Silver and Black lost to a more than capable foe that just so happens to be led by a top-five quarterback from a talent standpoint. First-year head coach Josh McDaniels can take solace in the fact that his team refused to roll over and get blown out, losing by less than a touchdown.
But you’re not here for that, are you? Hey Siri, play “Freak Out” by Chic.
Raiders Crap Out on Secondary Gamble
On paper, it may seem as though the Raiders did an admirable job against Justin Herbert after the first half. The Chargers did only score seven points after the intermission, after all. There are a few caveats to this, though. Los Angeles lost their best receiver, Keenan Allen, in the second quarter. That was before the Raiders surrendered a late deep touchdown to DeAndre Carter.
The Chargers also became quite a bit more conservative as the game wore on. Could it have been a vote of confidence in a defense that hardly broke a sweat pressuring Derek Carr, or a lack of interest in running up the score? No matter how you slice it, when the game was at its tightest, Herbert had little to no issue dicing up the Raiders’ secondary.
Derek Carr Will Suffer the Most Sacks of his Career
It seems like only yesterday that I watched the NFL kick off the season with a brutal Buffalo beatdown of the Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams. Quarterback Matthew Stafford was sacked seven times by a Buffalo Bills team that only rushed four the entire game. My only thought was, “I hope the Raiders don’t give up seven sacks on Sunday in L.A.”
The good news is that the Raiders didn’t give up seven sacks against the Chargers. The bad news is that they gave up six of them. The Chargers had their way with Las Vegas in the trenches. Even Kolton Miller was given the business with the game on the line on back-to-back plays. Carr isn’t unfamiliar with getting the ball out early, but with the compliment of weapons this offense has, he may find himself running through reads off sheer principle. Add that in with this horrendous offensive line and you get a David Carr-level sack total by season’s end.
The Raiders Can’t Compete in the AFC West Race
The Raiders have their fair share of believers in the media, but before the season even began, there was no shortage of publications completely counting out the Silver and Black in the race for the AFC West crown. Even those that cover the team said the best Las Vegas could finish was second in the division. Some feel Josh McDaniels’ squad is a distant fourth, trailing three of the very best teams in not just the AFC, but all of football. Sunday’s performance did nothing to dispel those assumptions. From a talent perspective, Derek Carr showed he’s not on the same level as Herbert. Though it didn’t help that Khalil Mack and Joey Bosa feasted on Carr all game long.
To add injury to the insult, Los Angeles started the game without their best cover corner, J.C. Jackson, and they would finish the entire second half without their best receiver, Keenan Allen. With the Kansas City Chiefs rolling against the Arizona Cardinals in their Week 1 matchup and the Russell Wilson-led Denver Broncos heavy favorites in their Monday night tilt against the Seattle Seahawks, it’s a foregone conclusion that the Raiders will be in sole possession of last place, winless after one week. Just like all the talking heads predicted.
*Top Photo: Naomi Baker/Getty Images