Fresh off their humiliating defeat in Foxborough, the Las Vegas Raiders returned home to battle the Buffalo Bills. The Bills looks prepared offensively and competent enough on defense to escape with a 30-23 victory on Sunday. While this loss drops the Raiders to 2-2, the loss felt somehow worse.
For the second consecutive game, the Raiders surrendered thirty points. Paul Guenther’s scheme looks flawed. The pass rush managed a single sack, by Maxx Crosby. Other than that, the front four looked rather feeble. Clelin Ferrell continues to struggle, while Mo Hurst still doesn’t see ample snaps. At this point, the matter of if Guenther sits firmly on the hot seat resembles a when. Rookie Amir Robertson peeked in the backfield. As a result, he was left behind on a touchdown.
For all of his flashes and hard hits, Johnathan Abram’s health remains a concern. He left Sunday’s game with a return. Abram’s breakneck style and aggressiveness pays dividends, but at what cost? Granted, he provides the secondary teeth. yet, the best ability is availability. Meanwhile, Erik Harris profiles as a rotation safety. Yet, the Raiders insist on starting him and opponents pick on him. On a 49-yard catch by Stefon Diggs, Harris looked lost. After, Harris whiffs on a boundary TD run by Devin Singletary. The Raiders do not employ a reliable last line of defense.
Yes, Derek Carr did not throw a single interception. Additionally, that does not matter. He broke Ken Stabler’s franchise touchdown record. Again, that does not matter. Carr put the ball on the ground multiple times. One of those should have been another lost fumble. He held the ball too long and was honestly missing on open receivers, instead choosing the safe throw. For all of his numbers, Carr lacks the confidence to be aggressive. The Bills only sacked him twice. The line held up.
Jon Gruden, for all of his offensive acumen, comes up short with playcalling. From giving the ball to the fullback in short-yardage to settling for three on two occasions in the redzone, he played it safe. Where’s the aggression? The Bills barely touched Carr. That presented a chance to make them pay. However, Gruden chose the path of least resistance. Ultimately, those eight points were the deciding factor.
The Las Vegas Raiders needed this game. The Bills defense offered little pass rush, exploit them vertically. Injuries had nothing to do with this. Throw to who is open, regardless of level. The Raiders face the Chiefs next. That remains a worrisome spot.