You know the daytime soap opera All My Children, but let me introduce you to a new soap opera whose subject revolves around the new National Football League franchise in Las Vegas. Welcome to the pilot episode of All My Raiders, and no better way to begin than with another disastrous road trip that saw the Raiders fold to a mess of a squad in the Atlanta Falcons.
After an outing in primetime that made people turn their heads and show respect for the Raiders’ offense, quarterback Derek Carr immediately returned to the form many people know him for. The man just doesn’t care about keeping possession. He fumbled the ball three times and, for good measure, threw a pick-six to Deion Jones to solidify that the Raiders still aren’t ready for January football.
When Carr can’t free the run game for Josh Jacobs with his passing, of course Jacobs’ numbers are going to look garbage. Not to mention, Jacobs only had seven carries in the game — SEVEN.
The Raiders had chances aplenty to get points on the board. They were in Falcons’ territory, but Carr gonna Carr and that would be all she wrote for this one. The offensive line wasn’t great as they allowed a pretty weak Atlanta defense to bring the pressure, but that doesn’t excuse Carr from the turnovers.
Overall, it was one of Carr’s worst performances ever, college or professional, and the offense needs a serious look in the mirror before they head to MetLife Stadium on Sunday. INSERT HENRY RUGGS III INTO THE PASSING SCHEME.
Don’t look at the scoreboard because it doesn’t reflect how the defense played. They were actually pretty good given the circumstances the offense’s turnovers put them in. When Atlanta had good field position, Las Vegas didn’t break. They only allowed a field goal after the first quarter and only 16 for the entire first half, which is actually what they should be doing when you have a supposed elite offense.
Of course, if Carr will keep turning the ball over, the defense will stop playing for the offense and start handing touchdowns over to the Falcons. I don’t blame the defense here. All 43 Atlanta points are on the Raider offense.
While the defense is light years away from being good, there have been individual standouts thus year like Nicholas Morrow, Jeff Heath and Nick Kwiatkoski. Johnathan Abram could enter that fold if he finds discipline in his tackling because he certainly brings an edge and intensity that is needed for this unit.
Good on Daniel Carlson for scoring the only Raider points with two chip-shot field goals, but special teams don’t really matter in a game this bad. It feels as though Carlson and punter AJ Cole did most of the heavy lifting in this game.
Jon Gruden was so excited to draft Ruggs III yet hasn’t grasped what his explosive speed could do for the Raiders. I only throw Ruggs into special teams because he had some nice returns.
It’s wishful thinking to say that the Raiders will make the playoff this year but if they want to keep those aspirations alive, they will have to avenge a playoff-crushing loss last year as they return to MetLife to take on the winless New York Jets.
See you next week for another episode of All My Raiders.