It appears the weight of this tumultuous season is starting to crush the Las Vegas Raiders. After an impressive 5-2 start, the team has dropped two in a row, including a 41-14 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs at home during primetime. It was the worst game of the season for the Raiders in all three phases of the game.
The defense provided little to no resistance to the Chiefs’ offense and Patrick Mahomes passed all over them. 2019 first-round pick Johnathan Abram has shown improvements this season but he may have just had the worst game of his career. According to Pro Football Focus, he allowed nine catches on nine targets for 127 yards and two touchdowns.
Abram has had some bad moments since joining the Raiders but the game against the Chiefs stands out. He’s a liability in pass coverage and it’s fair to question if that’ll ever change. He’s a big hitter and solid run defender but putting him in coverage always leads to bad things.
He wasn’t the only one who had a bad game as there were bad plays made all over the field. Though things are looking bleak for the Raiders this season, Abram made sure to send a message that the season is far from over and that his team will improve.
Time will tell if Abram is correct but the signs aren’t looking great right now.
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Abram at Risk of Losing Job
In a division with quarterbacks like Mahomes and Justin Herbert, the Raiders can’t afford to have a starting defensive back playing this poorly in pass coverage. Soon the team will need to decide if they’re going to pick up Abram’s fifth-year option on his contract. At this point, it’s looking possible that they might not.
If the Raiders continue this downward spiral, it’s very possible that owner Mark Davis cleans house. A new head coach and general manager would have no loyalty to Abram due to his status as a first-round pick. He needs to start showing that he can at least be serviceable in coverage or this could be his last year as a starter.
Rich Bisaccia Talks Mahomes
This season hasn’t been great for Mahomes. He hasn’t looked like the best quarterback in the NFL and he may have been coming off the worst game of his career against the Green Bay Packers last week. Instead of the Raiders taking advantage of his struggles, he had his best game of the season, throwing for 406 yards and five touchdowns.
“Obviously, he’s tough to get to,” interim head coach Rich Bisaccia said of Mahomes after the loss. “He gets rid of the ball in a hurry. He drops real deep. … He can always extend plays whether it’s third down or whether it’s during the course of a series of downs, which he did tonight. He got himself in great position, obviously, in and out of the pocket to make plays downfield.”
It was starting to look like teams were finally starting to figure out how to slow down Mahomes. Either the Raiders had a horrifically bad gameplan from defensive coordinator Gus Bradley or the former MVP is back. Either way, it’s bad news for Las Vegas.
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