Grant’s Slants: Harsh Reality for 2019 Raiders

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Oakland Raiders RB Josh Jacobs
Oakland Raiders' Josh Jacobs (28) warms up before an NFL football game against the New York Jets Sunday, Nov. 24, 2019, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)

Who are the 2019 Oakland Raiders? Halfway through the season, the Raiders were a gritty, battle-tested team contently sitting at 4-4 after a grueling road trip that no one expected them to finish at or close to .500. Now, the Raiders are a punching bag of a team, depressingly sitting at 6-6, on the outside of the playoff picture looking in. Also, the Raiders have been outscored 74-12 in their last two games. There is an incredible amount of knowledge to be gained from looking back at this game, but not much of it will be pleasant.

The 2019 Oakland Raiders are not a playoff team.

As of right now, the Raiders are out of playoff contention. Fans could have seen that the Raiders had some struggles during the embarrassing loss to the New York Jets, especially as the Jets just fell to the formerly winless Cincinnati Bengals this week. But, this excruciating loss to the Kansas City Chiefs shows the team that last week’s game was not a fluke. The Raiders are in trouble.

Cold weather should not be an excuse for a team scoring 12 points over two games.

Sure, Derek Carr has statistically struggled in cold games. Carr has recorded 349 yards, one touchdown, and three interceptions during this two-game stretch of cold games. If Carr cannot play in the cold, perhaps the Raiders need to find someone who can.

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The Raiders’ wide receivers need to do more.

This is not just referencing Tyrell Williams loafing through routes later in the game. There is zero chance the Chiefs’ pass coverage is good enough to consistently shut down our receiving corps. Up until the fourth quarter, the Raiders’ receiving corps had one catch, Zay Jones with a lone eight-yard reception. Carr bides his time when being pushed out of the pocket, as it appears no one could separated. Maybe it is just the wizard Andy “Bye Week” Reid doing what he does best, but today’s loss felt self-inflicted.

The Raiders gained more yards than the Chiefs.

The Raiders outgained the Chiefs 332-259 yet lost the game by 31. The stat comparison that defines the game much better is penalties. The Raiders committed 12 penalties for 99 yards while the Chiefs did not commit a single penalty that was not cancelled out by a Raiders’ penalty. Oakland remains one of the most flagged teams in the NFL, but this was excessive.

The Raiders’ point differential is -87.

This puts them at 27 th in the league with the next lowest team (.500 or better) is the Chicago Bears at +4, ranked at 16th in the league. It is incredible how little this team relies on their defense. The Raiders have arrived in a position where they must just expect to have to put up 35+ points per week, something they haven’t done once all year. This is a disgusting style of football the Raiders have chosen to play, and it appears it will keep the team out of the playoffs.

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