The Las Vegas Raiders Sunday night battle against the Kansas City Chiefs showed us a lot about this team going forward. First, and possibly most importantly, the Raiders’ defense will not going to win them any games. Entering the matchup, the Raiders set up to bend but not break. They allowed short passes but stifled the deep threat. Meanwhile, they seemed entirely prepared to plan in a corresponding manner on offense. This 35-31 defeat will sting.
However, expecting and allowing short throws remains no excuse for such an incredibly meager pass rush. Patrick Mahomes enjoyed the time to throw the ball. Vegas allowed the time to do so. When facing offensive masterminds like Andy Reid, teams must provide pressure throughout the entire game. The Raiders looked lulled to sleep by quick throws for an entire half.
Minimal pass rush, countless missed tackles, and dumb penalties littered throughout this game. While it must be difficult to conduct practice with so many starters quarantined, tackling and not taking stupid penalties should be a given.
Not on #4
Offensively, Derek Carr deserves no slander for his performance tonight. Carr did almost everything he could to keep the Raiders in the game and performed incredibly while doing it. Carr’s night featured perfect throws in the face of pressure and incredible touch passes. His play repeatedly put the Raiders back in control of the game. The only acceptable criticism of Carr on Sunday was, once again, his lack of interest in Henry Ruggs. Throughout the game, Carr had ample time to throw. Yet, not enough time to find Ruggs. This missing connection needs immediate remedy.
Lastly, the Raiders still cannot shake their inability to reel in catches in important situations. Nelson Agholor had two third-down drops and Alec Ingold had his struggles as well. He may be credited with a drop on a tough throw from Carr, but he got both hands on the pass and simply was unable to complete the process. If any player is out on the field running real routes, catch the ball.
The Raiders offense answered the call, and responded quickly and fiercely, while the defense let the call go to voicemail. It has been said that Guenther has dealt himself a hand in 2020 that will keep him on the hot seat throughout the entire season, and despite the Raiders offense stunning fans, the Raiders will be nothing if their defense continues performing at a high school level.