In their final game of the season, the Las Vegas Raiders lost to the Kansas City Chiefs. This game had very few good points because it looked like the Raiders were experiencing every negative scenario imaginable. Whether it was horrid defense by Patrick Graham’s unit or fans getting kicked out, it was a long Saturday. The Raiders’ inaugural season under Josh McDaniels and Dave Ziegler’s command was highly underwhelming, simply put. On top of that, owner Mark Davis feels that he’s being let down by Raider Nation. Let’s analyze the three biggest duds for the Raiders against the Chiefs.
Dud No. 1: Raiders OL Alex Bars
Early in the season, Alex Bars filled in at right guard and performed admirably. But it has been clear over the past several weeks that he is the Raiders’ offensive line’s weakest link. His performance against the Chiefs merely made matters worse, and his future with the Raiders for the upcoming season should now be in doubt.
Behind Bars, every run play was a failure. He made any Chiefs defender in front of him look like Aaron Donald. Bars offered very little to no resistance when blocking runs, but it wasn’t even his greatest flaw. He did a terrible job of pass blocking. Every time the Chiefs’ pass rushers lined up against Bars, they were salivating. The Raiders require a new right guard who can block and fits the offense’s scheme. Bars isn’t an answer; looking ahead, he should be a backup at best.
Dud No. 2: Patrick Graham & His Defense
There is no justification for how Patrick Graham’s defense played, even though it is true that he was dealt a bad hand with all the defensive injuries. Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid scored 31 points despite what seemed to be their lack of effort. Graham didn’t do anything to make their lives difficult, and the style of defense he called made that clear. He lacked initiative and urgency, and his players were hampered by it.
It will be a long day if you let Mahomes just pick you apart. You must put him under pressure to make him lose focus. Graham is aware that Maxx Crosby is his only practical option, but he failed to use creativity in his blitz designs. On every play, it appeared as though the Chiefs had a wide-open receiver. Additionally, the Chiefs ran all over the Raiders, gaining 168 yards on six carries, according to ESPN. Next year, they’ll probably give Graham another shot, but perhaps McDaniels and Co. shouldn’t.
Dud No. 3: Raiders Owner Mark Davis
There was a rumor going around that Mark Davis wasn’t happy with how many out-of-town fans Allegiant had this season. Davis, you are to blame for this. This occurs as a result of your decision to relocate the team to a popular tourist destination and your poor on-field product. When you look in the mirror, you are the first one to blame. Having hired McDaniels, much of the final blame lies with you. Fans are not content and won’t be until something changes. Even if he has given you many reasons to fire him, you won’t. It all boils down to Davis and his lack of knowledge of how to manage an NFL team.
*Top Photo: Sporting News/Getty Images