November 20, 2017

Buffaloed

The Raiders hit the road again in week eight.  This time it was a trip to Buffalo to take on the Bills.  Things got off to a good start for the Raiders as they marched down the field and took an early 7-0 lead.  Carr had all day to throw and it looked like they had the momentum from the big 31-30 win over the Chiefs in the previous week.  That’s what it looked like at first.  But all of a sudden, the deep passes were gone.  They reverted back to the dink and dunk offense and it was truly infuriating to watch.

I guess offensive coordinator Todd Downing thought a seven-point lead was enough to win in a tough environment like Buffalo.  He could not have been more wrong.  The offensive line had a great day as Carr was barely touched.  Time after time he had all the protection he needed to find a receiver deep against an injury riddled secondary.  But the receivers weren’t running deep routes.  Everything ended up being a screen pass or a quick dump-off across the middle.  That proved to be a bad idea earlier in the year and it was a bad idea in this game.  Top that off with four turnovers and you have all the ingredients for another loss.  That’s exactly what happened as the Bills won by a score of 34-14.

Maybe they changed the offense because of the poor weather.  Let’s ask the coach.  “Mr. Del Rio, why did the game plan change after the first touchdown?”  Mr. Del Rio replied “I don’t know.”  Wow!  What a brilliant in-depth answer!  Carr completed 31 of 49 passes for 313 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions.  Crabtree led the team in yards with 83.  40 of those yards came on a beautiful deep throw.  But after the first quarter, that wasn’t allowed to happen anymore.  Want to talk about the running game?  What running game?  With Marshawn Lynch suspended, Richard and Washington were handed the running duties.  Well, Richard couldn’t hold on to the ball and Washington caught a pass, got hit, the ball popped up in the air and was returned for a touchdown by rookie linebacker Matt Milano.  The Raiders only ran the ball 14 times for a total of 54 yards.  Washington was the leading rusher with 26 yards on six carries.  Washington was also the leader in receptions with eight for 62 yards and a touchdown.

I am not going to put any blame on the defense this time.  Sure, LeSean McCoy had a big game and ran all over them.  That’s most likely because they were worn out.  Why were they worn out?  Ask Todd Downing.  Apparently he has all the answers.  McCoy ended up rushing for 151 yards on 27 carries and had one touchdown.  Tyrod Taylor had an efficient game as he completed 20 of 27 passes for 160 yards and a touchdown.  The touchdown was caught by former Raider receiver Andre Holmes.  It sure would have been nice if the Raiders kept him.  He’s a big receiver that also excels on special teams.  He could have joined Cooper, Cook, Crabtree, Patterson  and Roberts in running three-yard routes in third and long situations.  Holmes ended up being the leading receiver with 51 yards on three receptions.

Up next for the Raiders is a trip to Miami to face the Dolphins.  They are coming off a bad 40-0 loss to the Ravens and they’ll be looking to right the ship.  What will Downing come up for this game?  If it’s the same plan he had against the Redskins, Ravens, Broncos, Chargers and Bills, it will end up being another loss and the Raiders will drop to 3-6.  Lynch will be back for this game.  Maybe that will help.  Want a prediction for the upcoming game at Miami?  I’ll give you the same answer the head coach gave at his last press conference when asked about the offense.  That answer is I don’t know.  It sure would be nice to get a win going into the bye week.  Until then, take it easy.

The Raider Guy

 

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