It was an ugly start for the Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday, but give credit where it’s due, they came out on top. Despite the 38-20 victory against the Houston Texans, there are a couple of concerns worth mentioning.
The Raiders were a team of two halves, again.
Although this has been said a lot about the Raiders, it will be harped on until the problem is resolved. They are still a team of two halves.
During the first half, the Raiders were sleeping and couldn’t get anything going offensively. It’s been a common trend in four of their six games; a major red flag. They only appeared to be prepared to play in the first halves of games against the Kansas City Chiefs and Arizona Cardinals. However, even though they displayed strong play in the first half of those games, they ultimately crumbled in the second.
In contrast, the slow start in the first half of this game didn’t bother them in the second half. Josh Jacobs, who put his backpack on and led the team to victory, is to thank for that. For JoshÂ McDaniels, the team needs to be prepared to play for the full 60 minutes. This works well when facing a rebuilding team like the Texans, but it is ineffective when facing any other playoff-contending team.
Duron Harmon has been the only viable safety this year.
After seven weeks into the season, if I had told you that Harmon was going to be the best safety for the Raiders, you would have thought I was crazy. However, Trevon Moehrig and Johnathan Abram have disappointed thus far in the season, so that is the reality.
Harmon isn’t the “tackling machine” that Abram is or doesn’t have the athleticism that Moehrig has, but he has the football IQ to make up for it. And he showed us once against the Texans. He did a good job in his assigned role before displaying his football savvy by recording his second interception of the year and returning it 73 yards for a touchdown. With three turnoversâ€”two interceptions and one forced fumbleâ€”Harmon is currently the team leader.
If the Raiders could obtain something from Moehrig or Abram, the safety room would be in a great position. Both have been erratic, forcing Harmon to try to carry the defensive back end on his own. The Raiders will be in for some challenging weeks if they can’t get Abram and Moehrig back on track.
*Top Photo: Jeffery Bennett/Las Vegas Raiders