The weirdest part about the Vegas loss to the Los Angeles Chargers on Thursday night actually came from the offense. Everyone knew the defense disintegrated and did not expect much from Rod Marinelli. The Raiders need immediate help.
Scared Once More
Once again, the Raiders played scared in the red zone, seemingly content to have made it that far and settle for three points. Las Vegas had two drives that brought them to the Chargers’ 5-yard line and, frustratingly, kicked two field goals where the ball was placed at the 5-yard line. Day in and day out, it is proven that the Raiders’ defense is not up to the task of shutting down teams and holding them to less than 20 points, so why is the offense facilitated like it is?
Las Vegas sits at the point where if they can get seven points, they must. The first incredibly short field goal occurred in the first quarter. The Raiders could have tied the game, but instead elected to kick a field goal. Normally, a Darren Waller touchdown would be in the cards on any of those four downs. Yet, the Raiders handed off to Josh Jacobs twice before attempting a pass on third down, which would lead to Carr’s injury. Going for it on fourth with a quarterback getting his first real rep of the season felt risky. As a result, not going for it that time seems understandable.
But, it is not just the fourth-down calls that remain questionable. Also, the plays leading up to them that deserve questioning. On the first drive, the Raiders fail with Jacobs. However, they ran it twice needing just two yards. In doing this, they almost forget how well Carr throws short passes and continue to hold focus on doing the predictable.
While the first-quarter field goal is understandable, the overtime field goal essentially cost the Raiders any the playoffs. First and goal from the Chargers four-yard line, four yards to win the game. The Las VegasRaiders run an incredibly familiar set of plays. First, two rushes with Jacobs, then a designed quarterback rollout. They attempted this to no avail in the first/
Where is the novelty? Where is the creativity? Why is Jon Gruden reverting (if not slipping into his shell) from an offense that got things done? And most importantly, why has this offense been playing for field goals when the defense has been handing out touchdowns like candy on Halloween?