If the Oakland Raiders were going to win their first playoff game since 2002, it wasn’t going to be on the back of Derek Carr, who led them to 12 wins this season. After Carr broke his leg, everyone knew that if the Raiders were going to pull off the upset, it was going to be thanks to others on the team stepping up.
And no, I don’t mean Connor Cook. Expecting a rookie quarterback to lead Oakland to a playoff win in hi first ever start was not reasonable. But expecting other portions of the team to play outside of themselves was not.
Just ask defensive back David Amerson who said the Raiders defense was confident they would lead the team to a win:
To be honest man, as a defense we should’ve really held them to nothing…. At the end of the day there ain’t nothing about the offense that scared us or that we were worried about or that were going to give us problems. That’s how we felt.
And that’s how much of Raider Nation felt as well. This Texans offense is one of the worst in the NFL and was starting a quarterback that they had benched earlier in the year.
It’s not like the Raiders defense had been a juggernaut this season, but one would hope they would show up in the most important game of the year. Unfortunately for the Raiders, the defense didn’t show up enough.
They weren’t bad nor were they the cause of the loss. Sure, the defense gave up a few big plays, weren’t able to record a sack and didn’t force a turnover but they were also saddled with poor field position and an offense that couldn’t get a first down.
You definitely cannot blame this loss on the defense. But at the same time, the defense had an opportunity to step up and be the heroes. If they had been able to force some turnovers or put more pressure on Brock Osweiler, maybe, just maybe the Raiders could have pulled off the upset.
Again, you can’t pin the loss on them but you can also understand David Amerson’s frustration as this was a big opportunity for the defense to prove they are better than what the statistics say.