No one could have scripted the outcome of Sunday night’s game as the Raiders froze up on the national stage in a 27-10 loss to the Redskins.
From the get go, the feeling about this game was not good. Derek Carr – Mr. Everything for the Silver and Black – started the game with a poorly underthrown pass that was intercepted. The Redskins subsequently marched down the field and scored their first points of the game on a six-yard Chris Thompson touchdown scamper, and it would never get better for Oakland after that.
Consider these ominous points:
- Of the Raiders seven first half possessions, they ended this way: interception, punt, punt, interception, punt, punt, and kneel down to end the first half. Yes, it was that bad. Shocking with the talent Oakland has on the offensive side.
- The Raiders were 0-10 on third down conversions. If you remember last week’s Jim Fossum column, you can’t win in the NFL when you to conquer third-and-long. Oakland simply was terrible against Washington and Derek Carr took full responsibility – even though he alone was not to blame.
- Through three quarters, the vaunted Raiders offense had a paltry 39 yards in total offense. Yes, 39.
- Oakland scored its first points of the game with 3:52 left in the third quarter – thanks to a muffed punt that put the Raiders in the red zone. The Raiders had the ball inside the 20 again, but suspect play calling led to a late field goal that didn’t help change momentum in DC.
- The Raiders blitz – the big addition thanks to coach John Pagano – was neutralized completely against the big Washington offensive front. It worked like a charm vs. New York last week, but against the Redskins, it only worked occasionally. This meant the Raiders dropped back into zone defense quite often and the results were mixed at best.
- Kirk Cousins looked more like an elite quarterback last night and made former Redskins cornerback David Amerson look foolish at times. Amerson, who has been a nice pickup for Reggie McKenzie, just didn’t look himself last night. He appeared frustrated, confused, and a step slow.
- Anecdotally, did the Raiders pre-game protest of President Trump‘s weekend comments (and continued protest of social/racial injustice) also impact this game? There is no way to know for sure, but even Al Michaels and Chris Collinsworth raised the question at the end of the game. Michaels said the Raiders seemed to have spent a lot of time in the day leading up to the game planning their protest wondering aloud if it had distracted the team from the game. It’s a good question. When you’re that close to a team preparing for a game like NBC and Michaels do, it means they seem to believe it did have a major impact.
— SirStreamAlot (@sirstreamsalot) September 25, 2017
These are the types of losses in the NFL that a coaching staff and team must move past quickly. There wasn’t a whole heck of a lot to take away in the way of positive outcomes for the Raiders. All facets of the game seemed to fall apart for this young, talented, and usually focused team. Jack Del Rio and his staff will bury this game in the vault and look forward to a massive Week 4 matchup with AFC West division rival Denver.
Days like this can happen,” Del Rio said during his postgame press conference. “You just don’t want it to happen very often.”
Something tells us it won’t. Look for the Raiders to learn from this shellacking and be ready for a big battle in Denver on Sunday.