This is simply stupid.
After a three-game tease, the true identity of the 2022 Las Vegas Raiders exposed itself again Thursday night in another shocking, inexcusable defeat, a 17-16 stunner at the battered Los Angeles Rams.
Let’s look at six keys to another loss for the 5-8 Raiders:
Another blown game:
This is what the 2022 version of the Raiders will be remembered for — inexplainable defeats. This is their fourth big blown lead in the first 13 games of Josh McDaniels’ tenure. The other three losses were blown leads of 17-0 or more and now, this one was a blown fourth quarter lead of 16-3 to the Rams without Matthew Stafford, Aaron Donald, Cooper Kupp and Allen Robinson. This is squarely on McDaniels and his staff.
— Josh Dubow (@JoshDubowAP) December 9, 2022
First Saturday, now Mayfield:
For the first three quarters of the game, it looked like this was the anti-Colts game. Last month, the Raiders hit rock bottom when they lost at home to the Indianapolis Colts in their first game with Jeff Saturday as their interim coach. It was his first game coaching above the high-school level. The Colts haven’t won since. It was completely embarrassing. The Raiders entered another such situation in this game against the Rams. They’re missing their top players and they played quarterback Baker Mayfield, basically without any practice time. The Raiders, playing in front of many, many fans in LA, had no business losing this game, yet they made Mayfield look like Mahomes on the final drive. So, in conclusion, the Raiders lost to a green coach and a quarterback who was a Carolina Panther 48 hours earlier. Nice work, fellas.
Well, that was cute. The Raiders gave their fans false hope after three straight wins to give themselves a bit of a heartbeat. But now at 5-8, the best they can do is finish 9-8. Seven teams in the AFC have, at least, two more wins than the Raiders and they all have more games to play than Las Vegas does. Technically, the Raiders could potentially sneak into the playoffs by winning out, like they did last year. And the schedule isn’t that tough. They have New England (6-6), Pittsburgh (5-7), the San Francisco (8-4) and Kansas City 9-3). The last two games, both at home, appear tough, but the 49ers are playing with a rookie, third-string quarterback and the Chiefs may not have anything to play for in Week 18. But can this coaching staff and roster be trusted to pull it off?
This coaching staff hasn’t been good for most of the season and the all the collapses are evidence of that. It struck again in this game. Mayfield said after the game he was surprised that Raiders’ defensive coordinator Patrick Graham had the Raiders in press coverage with 15 seconds to go on his game-winning touchdown pass. But bad coaching and poor execution ruled the game for the Raiders. McDaniels was to conservative on offense (they punted on fourth and 1 twice in the second half) and untimely penalties killed the Raiders. Execution has been a big problem and it’s on McDaniels.
Raiders owner Mark Davis has already said his first-year coach is doing “a fantastic job” and he is safe for next year. But if the Raiders don’t make the playoffs, there will likely be scapegoats with Graham and quarterback Derek Carr as the likely candidates to be shoved out of Las Vegas.
According to Elias Sports Bureau, the Rams’ 98-yard TD drive was the longest go-ahead TD drive that began in the final 2 minutes over the last 45 seasons.
— Sarah Barshop (@sarahbarshop) December 9, 2022
What happened to the offense?
The Raiders scored their second opening drive touchdown of the year (first since Week 2) and then the offense went into a shell. It was terrible in the red end zone and made huge mistakes. The offense was especially stale in the second half. Star wide receiver Davante Adams had three catches for 71 yards, but the McDaniels didn’t target him enough, which has been the case this season. It seems Adams either explodes because he gets the ball or he is forgotten.
Davante Adams played 62 games for the Packers in the regular season & playoffs from 2018-2021.
He caught less than four passes only ONCE in those 62 games.
He already has four games with fewer than four catches this season with the Raiders. All four, Ls.
What is Vegas doing?
— Matt Schneidman (@mattschneidman) December 9, 2022
Carr had a poor game as he was 11 of 20 for 137 yards and he threw two interceptions, one in the Rams’ end zone. We have seen the offense been so explosive, but it’s also be inconsistent and sloppy. It’s another indictment on McDaniels.
Derek Carr’s 36.9 passer rating tonight for #Raiders was the worst of his career. Previous low was 48.1 vs Eagles on Christmas night 2017
— Josh Dubow (@JoshDubowAP) December 9, 2022
The only part of the Raiders that executed Thursday night was the fan base. The, Raiders technically have nine road games this season and eight home games. But, really it’s 10 home games and seven road games. The Raiders own Los Angeles and that was in full effect Thursday night. According to Vivid Seats, 63 percent of the tickets were expected to be sold to Raiders fans. But it appeared to be more like 75-80 percent were supporting the Silver and Black. Loudly. The Rams are battered and they stink and the Raiders’ fans took over. It was another huge advantage in this game for the ‘visitors.’ Yet, they still somehow blew the game.