November 20, 2017

Carr Crash

For their fourth game of the year, the Raiders once again found themselves in hostile territory.  This time they were going up against the Denver Broncos.  I was really hoping the loss to the Redskins last week was an aberration.  It wasn’t.  For the second consecutive week, Lynch and Richard had nowhere to run.  The protection for Carr was somewhat better, but he still faced some pressure and hurried his throws.  His best pass was a 64-yard TD pass to Johnny Holton.  That truly was a beautiful play.  But that was really the only memorable play for the offense.  Amari Cooper continued to be the invisible man as he caught just two passes for nine yards.

As I mentioned above, the ground game was non-existent.  The Raiders rushed for a grand total of 24 yards on 15 carries.  I thought this offensive line was supposed to be one of the best in the league.  That most certainly is not the case.  Simply put, they aren’t doing their job.  Two of them (Gabe Jackson and Donald Penn)  just received new contracts and cashed in nicely.  You would think all of that money would get them motivated.  But there is absolutely nowhere for anyone to run.

When this year began, I thought the defense was going to be one of the worst in the league.  Granted, they aren’t elite, but they also aren’t bad.  They sacked Trevor Siemian four times and had ten tackles for a loss.  After cornerback David Amerson left the game with a concussion, I thought Siemian was going to light up the secondary.  But that wasn’t the the case.  He finished the game with 179 yards and one touchdown.  Khalil Mack and Mario Edwards look like they know what they’re doing.  Mack had seven solo tackles and two sacks.  Edwards added a sack and three solo tackles.  On the sack by Edwards, the ball came loose and was recovered by the Raiders.  But the replay showed that Siemian was down by contact.

As  matter of fact, it was the defense that kept the Raiders in the game.  The run defense did allow some big runs as C.J. Anderson had a good day on the ground with 95 yards on 20 carries.  40 of those yards came on one carry.   While the offense couldn’t get out of its own way and was punting every five minutes, the defense stepped up their game nicely.  They allowed only one touchdown and three field goals.  Unfortunately, 16 points was enough to win this game.  The Broncos came away with a 16-10 win.  The win improved their record to 3-1.  The Raiders dropped to 2-2.

Speaking of things that got dropped, with five minutes to go in the third quarter, Carr felt some pressure, tried to escape and was sacked.  On his way to the ground, he was hit again and he left the game with a back injury.  Initial reports were that it was only back spasms.  Initial reports are usually wrong.  Carr has a minor fracture in his back and will miss two to six weeks.  E.J. Manuel replaced Carr and did a pretty good job.  With time running out, the Raiders had a chance to come away with a win.  But two dropped passes in the end zone by Jared Cook were absolute killers.  The final nail in the coffin came when Manuel lofted a pass up the left side for Cooper.  Cooper had the cornerback beat, but safety Justin Simmons picked the pass off to seal the win for the Broncos.

Well, let’s see what Manuel can do with a full week of practice.  Up next for the Raiders is a home game against the Baltimore Ravens.  After forcing ten turnovers in their first two games, the Ravens have been struggling.  In their last two games against the Jaguars and Steelers, they’ve been out-scored 70-16.  Until then, take it easy.

The Raider Guy

 

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