Raiders josh mcdaniels jimmy garoppolo

The Las Vegas Raiders cannot repeat their Week 2 woes moving forward

After a promising start to Sunday’s game on both sides of the ball, a costly mistake plunged the Las Vegas Raiders into an avalanche of adversity. Quickly, the Buffalo Bills took full advantage, running over and burying the Raiders.

Behind quarterback Josh Allen, Buffalo took the Silver and Black of the game early.

Las Vegas Raiders struggle on both sides of the ball

Defense

Robert Spillane gave credence to everything his naysayers have ever opined about him. On paper, his 14 total tackles led the team; however, the plays he didn’t make were so bad it left him faced with two choices: Never watch the film, or pour over it incessantly and kick himself in the rear.

Unfortunately, his miscalculations resulted in chunk plays. The first-year Raiders linebacker was responsible for a number of missed tackles including two behind the line of scrimmage and two potential Maxx Crosby sacks. In coverage, he allowed multiple catches. It is hard not to see the problems Spillane’s lack of finish caused.

Schematically, Patrick Graham called a good enough game to put his defenders in a position to make plays. Getting those players to execute and finish is a different story altogether. Graham’s philosophy of surrendering 8-10 yards in soft-zone coverage is infuriating, but it does limits big plays. Both Spillane and position-mate Divine Deablo tallied individual sacks on blitzes, but the Raiders’ defense should have had many more.

Missed opportunities

Roderic Teamer caught an interception on a pass that fell out of the sky like a dying duck.. Only, it was called back due to a penalty. On two separate occasions, Crosby had Bills quarterback Josh Allen lined up with a free run at him to collect a sack. However, Spillane, who came running on designed blitzes, chose a poor angle to the quarterback in both instances and ended up taking out Crosby.

Nate Hobbs had a free run at Allen on a nickel blitz but failed to finish the play and sack him. Defensive tackle Bilal Nichols, a Raiders free agent acquisition last year, burst through the line and had Allen squared up. Somehow, Allen hit Nichols with a shimmy and a shake so tough that he should have gotten a large fry to go with it.

Offensively, once the first drive was over, there really wasn’t much to write home about. The missed opportunities were primarily inaccurate passes from Raiders quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. Teams are squeezing the field on Las Vegas and, until they force defenses to respect the deep shot, the offense will suffer.

Offensive coaching

Head coach Josh McDaniels can’t be held responsible for his interior offensive lineman getting violated on 50% of run plays. What is his fault, however, is the limited play calling which failed to feature all of the weapons at his disposal. Moreover, McDaniels needs to give his run game a bit of a makeover.

Winning a rushing title is a high honor and very prestigious; it also comes with a huge bullseye. Josh Jacobs finished the game against the Bills with nine carries for negative two yards. Through two weeks, Jacobs has been absolutely stymied by stacked boxes and inadequate run-blocking. Fielding Jakob Johnson is like having a tell in a poker game – whenever teams see him, they know the play will likely be a run. This makes things exponentially harder on the offensive line.

As good as this offensive line has been in pass protection, they have had equal struggles creating holes and driving defenders off the line of scrimmage. Whether the elephants have been on parade, or having helmet on a helmet, they haven’t been getting it done. Against the Bills, Guards Dylan Parham and Greg Von Roten were horrendous.

Property of DaQuan Jones and Ed Oliver: Raiders interior line

Parham and Von Roten were knocked anywhere from one to five yards into the backfield on running plays. Jones and Oliver did whatever they wanted nearly whenever they wanted. Von Roten and Parham couldn’t slow them down and were powerless to stop them.

Bullied, battered, and dismayed as the score got further and further out of hand, Von Roten and Parham helped keep Garoppolo from taking a sack. Moving forward, in order for the Raiders to win, this has to be the worst game Parham and Von Roten play.

*Top Photo: Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

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