It is not the end of the world, but watching the Las Vegas Raiders underperform in their season-opening loss to the highly touted rival Los Angeles Chargers was a bitter pill to swallow. The Silver and Black would show their resilience, making it a one-score contest before Khalil Mack emphatically shut the door on their comeback hopes. Time will tell if Josh McDaniels and Co. just needed time to gel or if this was a harbinger of the sorrow to come. In the meantime, let’s look at a few concerning things we saw in Week 1.
Raiders Blog: Ranking Las Vegas’s top three concerns
Concern No. 1 – Hunter Renfrow’s quiet day
Davante Adams certainly made his presence felt on Sunday, finishing with 10 catches on 17 targets for 141 yards and a touchdown. One of those numbers may seem a bit alarming given the level of talent on this team. Carr throwing to Adams so frequently means tight end Darren Waller and slot specialist Hunter Renfrow didn’t get the looks they needed to keep the passing offense balanced. Waller would finish with four catches for 79 yards, but Hunter Renfrow would only see 3 catches for 21 yards. You would have to have a perfect memory to remember any of those catches. Why is that? Well, because none of them were important to the game.
Carr is not unfamiliar with favoring one matchup for the entirety of a game (remember Waller’s game versus the Saints in 2020?), but that can’t happen if the Raiders truly want to be successful. They’ll need Waller, and they’ll certainly need Renfrow to do a better job fighting off press coverage outside and in the slot.
Concern No 2. – Raiders rely on revolving door at right tackle
Jermaine Eluemunor, uh, “won” the starting right tackle job during the preseason. He technically beat out Alex Leatherwood and an injured seventh-round pick in Thayer Munford. That victory lasted about as long as a CM Punk AEW title reign. It wasn’t long into the game on Sunday that Josh McDaniels subbed Eluemunor out for the now healthy Munford. But the merry-go-round didn’t stop there! Eluemunor would later return to the game and make his defining impact. A false start on the Raiders’ two-point conversion attempt in the fourth quarter. McDaniels still seems committed to this ragtag bunch after this spiked punch bowl of a performance, but the lack of continuity in your offensive line is far from ideal. The Raiders need to straighten this out before the games that matter actually start.
Oh, this game did count. Someone better let the Raiders know so they can finally sign a real right tackle.
Concern No. 3 – The severity of injuries to the defense
While much will be made about the Chargers’ losing star receiver Keenan Allen in the second quarter of this game, the Raiders played much of the contest without defensive starters Anthony Averett, Trevon Moehrig, and Denzel Perryman. Those aren’t names that this defense can very easily replace as currently constructed. Averett is looked at as a starting outside corner in the nickel package for Las Vegas. Moehrig is the team’s best deep safety, and Perryman is their best run stopper on the second level. To the team’s credit, they did not give up huge gains through the air or on the ground without these big names. Regrettably, that’s not a formula for sustainable success this season.
*Top Photo: Sporting News