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Positive Takeaways From Another Raiders Loss, This Time In Week 3

The Las Vegas Raiders are off to a futile 0-3 start and all hopes and dreams that came in the offseason have gone. The Raiders lost another one-score game, this time against the Tennessee Titans, and a deeper hole was dug. This was a game of missed opportunities, as after three drives inside the Titans’ 35, the Raiders had three points. There were plenty of issues; an interception to begin a drive in Titans territory ended up going backward, and a punt. Then, in the endzone, a dropped pass resulted in an interception. There were, nonetheless, some positive takeaways. However, in a game such as this, there’s still one ugly outcome we need to cover, and it’s from a star player no less.

The Ugly: What’s going on with Raiders TE Darren Waller?

The Pro Bowl tight end may have played his worst game in a Raider jersey. Many have been labeling him as a major contributor to the loss. His drops during Sunday’s contest were disastrous, costing the Raiders several touchdowns. Had Waller made those catches, we’d be talking about a completely different game. This season has been an odd one for Waller so far, even more so when you consider he got his money this offseason by way of a new deal. Normally a security blanket for Derek Carr, Waller has been plagued by inconsistency and subpar performances, with just 13 receptions so far in the year.

It’s truly been a surprise for Raider Nation, who had much higher expectations for No. 83. On Sunday, he made a great catch as he took a hard shot over the middle, displaying the old Waller fans are accustomed to. Regrettably, Waller is being blamed for an interception late in the game that also contributed to the loss. Essentially, any good that he did in this game was eclipsed. Had the Raiders come out on top at the end, Waller’s struggles would likely have been swept under the rug of victory. Unfortunately, the team is 0-3 with their star tight end looking out of sorts in Josh McDaniels’ offense. Will Waller return to form as the team heads back to Allegiant Stadium?

The Great: Mack Hollins has arrived!

Allow him to reintroduce himself: his name is Mack! The former UNC Tar Heel had a career game and showed a knack for making it look easy. A 60-yard reception by Amani Hooker, who spun around as he ran by, resulted in a field goal. Hollins ended with eight receptions for 158 yards and one touchdown. He had two amazing catches on the last drive; an over-the-shoulder 48-yard catch, and a fourth-down jump ball touchdown catch. Hollins was talked about during the preseason and has played well and had his breakout game arrive. If he can keep his play up, the weapons are there, but will that matter? Let’s hope his great play isn’t a one-and-done.

The Good: Jayon Brown had a solid outing

This game seemed like it meant a lot to the former Titan. Brown was flying around the field and made an impact. He was credited with five total tackles, per ESPN, and he also got a pass deflection. He seemed to have a boost of energy and it showed. A victory would’ve meant more to him, but Brown played hard and gave it his all. Looking ahead, it’ll be interesting to see how Brown is deployed once Denzel Perryman returns. We’ll be monitoring the latest Raiders news for that injury update.

Running Game Inconsistencies Continue Plaguing Raiders’ Offense

*Top Photo: AP Photo/Rick Scuteri

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