January 20, 2018

You Like That? No, I Don’t Like That

For their third game of the year, the Raiders headed east to face the Washington Redskins.  The Raiders were favored to win this game and after what I saw on the second play, I wondered why they were favored.  Carr had been playing very well in the first two games of the year.  But on the second play, he lofted a deep pass for Cooper.  Cooper was double covered and the pass was picked off very easily.  That was only the beginning of a horrible night for the Raiders.  The “elite” offensive line got pushed around and Carr was sacked four times.  Cooper and Crabtree dropped balls that hit them right in the numbers.  There was nowhere to run for any of the running backs either.  The Redskin defense looked unbeatable.

Things were bad for the Raiders on defense too.  Although they did manage to put quite a bit of pressure on Cousins, he was still able to get rid of the ball.  After he got rid of it, his intended receiver was usually wide open.  The only bright note for the defense is they held the Redskin running game to 3.4 yards per carry.  But their passing game was thriving.  Cousins completed 25 of 30 passes for 365 yards and three touchdowns.  Running back Chris Thompson had an awesome game.  He led the team with six catches for 150 yards and one touchdown.

Despite getting their asses kicked up and down the field, the Raiders did have a couple of opportunities.  They recovered a fumbled punt deep in Washington territory and capitalized with a touchdown pass from Carr to Cook.  Cook was the only guy who could get open and he led the team in catches with four and yards with 43.  Later in the game, the Raiders recovered another fumble deep in Washington territory.  The ball was recovered at the 12.  A pass interference penalty on the Redskins moved the ball to the four.  That sounds like Marshawn Lynch time, right?  Wrong.  Instead of running the ball, they called three pass plays.  Every pass was incomplete and two of them were almost intercepted.  They had to settle for a field goal.  This has been going on since the season started.  They get inside the five-yard line and throw on every down.  Why the hell don’t they give the ball to Lynch?

Well, would you like to hear some statistics?  Do I really have to write this?  I guess I do.  Much to the delight of Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth, the Redskins won 27-10.  They out-gained the Raiders in total yardage 472-128.  The Raiders went 0 for 11 on third down conversions while the Redskins were 7 for 15.  The Redskins held on to the ball for 38:06 while the Raiders only had the ball for 21:54.  The Redskins ran 65 plays and the Raiders ran only 48 plays.  The Redskins had 18 first downs and the Raiders had only seven.  Two of those first downs were by penalty.  The Raiders sacked Cousins once and the Redskins sacked Carr four times.  The Redskins turned the ball over twice and the Raiders turned it over three times.  Amazingly, the Raiders were penalized only four times for 35 yards.  The Redskins were penalized ten times for 77 yards.

What gets me is the schedule makers gave the Raiders a break.  Instead of having this game start at 1:00 Eastern time, they made it a night game.  The Raiders were riding the momentum of two good wins and they came out flat.  One thing I have noticed about Carr is that if he gets pressured early, he doesn’t play nearly as well.  He was playing scared throughout the the game and a lot of his passes were over-thrown.  Also, the weakest link on the offensive line was exposed.  Right tackle Marshall Newhouse was pushed around like a rag doll.  He needs to be replaced.  Put Vadal Alexander in there or maybe give rookie David Sharpe a shot at right tackle.

Well, things don’t get any easier for the Raiders.  Up next is yet another road game.  In week four, they travel to Denver to take on the Broncos.  They are coming off a loss to the Buffalo Bills and I am sure they’ll be ready for the Raiders.  Raider fans can only hope that the loss to the Redskins was a bump in the road.  If it wasn’t, it’s going to be a long season.  Until then, take it easy.

The Raider Guy

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