Before the Raiders’ matchup against the Colts, Vegas tried touse the Jets as a tune-up. Instead, the game turned into a shootout, with Derek Carr, Darren Waller, and the team’s pass-blocking leading the way. The Raiders, despite all of the stress, do possess a fair amount of positives heading into Sunday.
Expectations for the Jets defense remained low. Carr’s performance leads to the firing of Jets defensive coordinator Gregg Williams. Carr threw for 381 yards on 28 completions. However,threw the ball 47 times for a 59 percent completion percentage.
Big Game Waller
To start the game, fans started to see the Carr of Christmas past, as he heavily targeted Darren Waller. Waller had a career day recording 200 yards receiving on 13 catches while adding a pair of touchdowns as the Jets truly never had an answer for the tight end/receiver hybrid. With his monumental game, Waller tied the lead league for receiving touchdowns as a tight end (7) and now only trails fellow AFC West tight end Travis Kelce in receiving yards.
The Carr-Waller connection is significant not only because Waller is an athletic anomaly, but also because of Carr’s inability to find Nelson Agholor. The formerly exiled Philadelphia Eagle has been Carr’s bread and butter on deeper throws, but Carr missed multiple throws to Agholor with no one between him and the endzone.
Carr’s inability to throw downfield was incredibly unusual and the only negative part of his game. RaiderNation has grown accustomed to Carr finding Agholor deep, with apparent ease, so Agholor’s four receptions for 38 yards may surprise some. In spite of Agholor’s measly four catches, he also logged 11 targets, crushing his previous career-high with the team. Agholor’s high amount of targets shows he was open and the Raiders wanted to get him involved, but Carr simply could not find him.
On the plus side, Agholor’s 11 targets (on mostly deep passes) show that Carr had time to let plays develop. This comes from the offensive line waking back up, as allowing two sacks to Gregg Williams’ blitz-heavy defense is not something to be celebrated, but it is definitely not something to be looked down upon. Behind this offensive line, Carr also did not fumble, a feat that both Carr and the line deserve credit for.
The Raiders’ faltering defense continues throughout the season. The Jets showed the team that this Raiders defense is not stopping anyone. Fans witnessed this offense put up 30 points on just about any team. Yet, that does not help when the defense surrenders 30 points to just about anyone.