The Las Vegas Raiders’ loss in Week 14 resulted in a lot of noteworthy disappointments. You can blame a lot of factors for the Raiders’ collapse against the Los Angeles Rams. But when it comes to blowing a significant lead, the players and coaches should take the blame. Let’s analyze the three biggest letdowns from the Raiders’ humiliating loss in Week 14.
Disappointment No. 1: Raiders HC Josh McDanielsÂ
Even though Josh McDaniels’ tenure has only been one year, it has been a flop. After another double-digit halftime lead was blown, McDaniels now has four of those losses in one season. The absurd thing is that he is to blame for the defeats since he is incapable of coaching with a large advantage. Furthermore, it was clear that McDaniels’ lack of aggression cost the Raiders the game against the Rams.
Everyone was genuinely baffled by his play-calling, especially in the second half. These were the Raiders’ drives in the second half: a punt, a punt, a field goal, a punt, and an interception. It was concerning because McDaniels was calling plays as though the game had already ended. He not only made things difficult for his offense but also for his defense. Their defense was on the field for the whole of the second half as a result of the lack of extended drives. Although it is impossible to place all the blame on one person, McDaniels is unquestionably the main culprit in this defeat.
Disappointment No. 2: QB Derek Carr
How can you allow a quarterback who practiced for the Rams for just two days to outperform you? The Raiders’ “franchise” quarterback delivered yet another awful performance. Carr finished the contest with a dismal stat line of 137 yards, two interceptions, and a quarterback rating of 39.2. Josh Dubow of the Associated Press reports that Carr’s passer rating in the second half was zero.
The first half wasn’t too horrible for Carr, but on their final possession of the half, things escalated quickly. The Raiders were driving down the field in an attempt to score before the half ended. Carr’s terrible interception on a crucial third down from the Rams’ 10-yard line came as a result. He was under pressure and nevertheless attempted to throw the ball into a very tight window. Carr simply didn’t need to commit a turnover, as the Raiders were in a position to kick a field goal. Carr didn’t need to attempt to be Superman; all he had to do was take the sack. He didn’t pass the ball much in the second half, but why couldn’t he make audible calls at the line? He needs to question the plays that McDaniels calls. If he just does what McDaniels says, the Raiders’ offense will continue to stall.
Disappointment No. 3: Raiders DC Patrick GrahamÂ
Against the Rams, Patrick Graham had a solid game plan. The Raiders’ defense played like it was 1985 in the first half, only allowing three points. All three defensive phases appeared to be performing well. They were playing well even in the third quarter, but things became challenging in the fourth. As was previously mentioned, the Raiders’ defense likely grew weary in the second half due to their offense’s lack of possession. When evaluating their performance in the closing stages of the game, we must take this into account.
You likely came to this article to read about the Rams’ winning drive. With under two minutes remaining, the Rams needed to cover 98 yards without using any timeouts. There’s no way the Raiders’ defense gave this up, right? Graham called press coverage against the Rams as the Raiders defense was hanging by a thread. When Mayfield saw an undrafted rookie on his best receiver, he took notice of it and delivered the game-winning touchdown pass to him. Why, oh why? Send pressure if you’re going to run press coverage; Graham should know better. Such a letdown of a conclusion to a solid defensive effort.
*Top Photo: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports