Raiders Preseason

3 Knee-Jerk Reactions After Raiders’ Week 16 Loss

Another week, another blown Las Vegas Raiders lead. Las Vegas failed once again to put a team away and fell 13-10 to Pittsburgh. Here are this week’s knee-jerk reactions.

The Season Is Officially Over For The Raiders

Yes, things are shaping up so that the Raiders will not be mathematically eliminated from the playoffs heading into Week 17. That doesn’t matter. We all know that this is it. Derek Carr’s third interception of the night was the final nail in the coffin. Please, Raider Nation, don’t get caught up in wild scenarios that have almost no chance of happening. There is nothing sadder than rooting for a situation where your team gets into the playoffs with a losing record. Just let it go. It is officially time to root for the best possible draft pick.

Josh McDaniels Abandoned The Game Plan

The most frustrating part of this game is that Josh McDaniels had a great game plan to start things off and then completely abandoned it. The Raiders got out to a lead early on thanks, in large part, to getting the ball to playmakers like Hunter Renfrow underneath and using misdirection to get Davante Adams and Josh Jacobs the ball in space. Also, they did a great job in the screen game. By the second quarter, it had all stopped.

In theory, it makes sense. You start out having success underneath, and as the defense begins to respect that, you start pushing the ball down the field. The problem with that plan is that it does not factor in the conditions that this game was played in. The swirling winds made it almost impossible to throw the ball more than 15–20 yards through the air. The ball sailed on Carr all night, as he doesn’t quite have the power to muscle the ball through that type of wind. To be fair, there are few quarterbacks in the league who can make those throws.

That is not on Carr. McDaniels has to find a way to adjust to the situation and keep those underneath passes open. Sure, going to Renfrow all night was not going to work, but they could have used his early success to have him clear out for guys like Adams and Darren Waller. Also, having Jacobs, the league’s leading rusher, only carry the ball 15 times in that weather is just malpractice. I know he was getting stuffed on a lot of runs, but that is when you have to get creative. Use tosses and swing passes to get him the ball in space. McDaniels’ inability to adjust his game plans has become a hallmark of this season.

Raiders TE Foster Moreau Must Go

The Raiders actually had some opportunities to get more than 10 points in this game. One such opportunity came when Josh Jacobs rattled off a long run only to have it called back due to a costly 15-yard facemask penalty by Moreau. It was egregious as well. He fully grabbed it and did not let go.

The concerning part was his reaction. Moreau acted as if it were a bad call. In those situations, just acknowledge that you screwed up and move on. Not being able to admit your mistake in such an obvious situation could be a sign of a larger attitude problem. We have seen other signs of this throughout the year where we have seen him getting frustrated with coaches and teams after plays where he seemed to have made a mistake.

When you combine all of that with the fact that he has not played particularly well this season despite ample opportunities, on top of the fact that he is up for a new contract this season, the writing is on the wall. Prior to this season, everyone was wondering if there was any way in which the Raiders could somehow hold onto him after this year. Now, it has become clear that it is time for both Moreau and the Raiders to part ways.

*Top Photo: Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

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