When it rains, it pours for the Las Vegas Raiders. It’s not enough for them to just lose a lot of the time, they have to get blown out in the process. Though the team lost to the Kansas City Chiefs in primetime last week, many had been high on the Raiders after that game. They put together a very strong effort in the loss.
It’s now abundantly clear that the team hasn’t fully recovered from letting a huge win slip through their grasp. The Raiders were embarrassed by the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday in a 43-6 loss. Quarterback Derek Carr played his worst game of the season after arguably playing the best game of his career last week. He got very honest after the game.
“Our fans and our organization deserve better than what we put on tape today,” Carr said after the loss. “That was a bunch of trash.”
It would be foolish to blame the entirety of the loss on Carr. Jon Gruden’s playcalling and decision making were bizarre, to say the least, and the offensive line had their worst game of the season.
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Fumbles Crush Raiders Offense
Carr is among the best in the NFL at not throwing interceptions. However, he might be the worst in the league when it comes to fumbling the ball. He’s now lost 11 fumbles on the year, which is unacceptable.
“Yeah, absolutely,” Carr said of working on ball security. “We practice it all the time, too, that’s the frustrating part. On the first one, we always talk about two hands on the ball, I had two hands on the ball and he literally just hit right on my forearm and the ball slipped out of my hands. And then really the other two were as I was throwing. I never saw the last two guys. Those things, you don’t want them to happen, but they happen.
“But anytime I can see the guy, I try my best to get two hands on the ball. And I should’ve tucked that ball to my chest; that was a bad play by me on the first one. The other two, I gotta get the ball out quicker. It’s definitely not my line’s fault; they’ve been doing a heck of a job. I gotta do a better job of stepping up and making my read happen faster.”
Considering Carr’s offensive line has been mostly strong this year, there’s no excuse for the continuous fumbles. A fumble is worse than an interception a lot of the time because of field position. Not every fumble is always on him but some of them are. It’s an issue that desperately needs to be fixed.
Season Is on the Line
To make the loss worse for the Raiders, they’ve now lost their spot in the playoff race as the Miami Dolphins won. The Cleveland Browns also won so the team has a lot of ground to cover. Fortunately for the Raiders, they get a shot at the Dolphins later in the season. That could end up being the game of the season for Las Vegas.
That said, they can’t lose to another bad team. They have a winless New York Jets team this week and still face bad Denver Broncos and Los Angeles Chargers team. The season isn’t over yet for the Raiders but they can’t come out flat anymore. A loss to the Jets would be a death knell for them.