“A tale of two halves”â€”stop me if you’ve heard that one before. Well, it was more of the same in Jacksonville today as the Las Vegas Raiders fell to 2-6. The 2022 NFL season has not been kind to Raider Nation, as they’ve been subjected to such ineptitude every week. The results speak for themselves, and Week 9 was once again, much like the rest of the season, a story of inconsistency.
After being shutout in New Orleans by a Dennis Allen-led defense, Josh McDaniels was under immense pressure to deliver a gem on the road. In the first half, that’s what he was doing. The Raiders got off to a hot start behind the superb play of both Derek Carr and Davante Adams. After catching just one pass last week, Adams exploded as the Jaguars attempted to cover him, with poor results to show for it. As I said before, the numbers don’t lie. Adams caught a 25-yard pass from Carr in the first quarter for a touchdown that got things started. In the second quarter, Raider Nation saw more of the same. A 38-yard bomb to Adams gave No. 17 his second touchdown of the day. On top of that, Daniel Carlson kicked two field goals as well.
The offensive output gave the Raiders a respectable 20-10 lead going into halftime. However, that wasn’t the story of the day. Instead, the headlines right now point to a collapse by the Raiders. By blowing the original 17-0 lead and allowing Trevor Lawrence and Co. to mount a comeback, the Raiders lost in historical fashion. From 1960 to 2021, the Raiders blew a 17-point lead (or more) just five times. In McDaniels’ first season as Raiders head coach, it’s happened three times, per CBS Sports. That’s just plain ugly.
What happens now for the Las Vegas Raiders?
By now, everyone’s piling on the coaching staff, particularly McDaniels, for disastrous play-calling and strategy. The Raiders scored zero points in the second half, while Patrick Graham’s unit gave up 17 points in the second half. Graham’s defense did what it could, making key stops and getting the ball back to the offense, but Carr and Adams just couldn’t get anything going.
Looking at Carr’s numbers in the second half, he was one for eight when he targeted his college teammate. Even more concerning is that in those games where the leads were lost, Carr was two for 15 while targeting Adams. The stark difference between their chemistry in the first and second halves of games is astounding. Carr has a 142.7 passer rating in the first half (when targeting Adams) but drops significantly in the second half; 66.9 to be exact, ouch.
The lip service is wearing thin on Raider Nation
Simply put, the lip service given by McDaniels and the Raiders to the press is wearing thin. Following today’s loss, McDaniels spoke on the coaching aspect of the game. In particular, in the in-game situations where we have seen the play-calling and in-game management falter, “Not good enough. We have to coach better, and we have to avoid feeling like the situation is ok.”
The #Raiders chat room right now as they await Derek Carr and Josh McDaniels:
*Fire McDonaldâ€™s ðŸ˜¶
*Yaâ€™ll thought Adams would get you a Super Bowl
This is getting ugly, very quickly. pic.twitter.com/kN6qp17SeV
— RaiderRamble.comâ„¢ (@TheRaiderRamble) November 6, 2022
You have to wonder how much more of this these fans will take. One peek at the chat room on the Raiders YouTube channel will tell you how many fans are feeling. For now, the Silver and Black will lick their wounds and head back to Sin City. In the meantime, there are now even more questions than after last Sunday’s shutout.
*Top Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images