The Oakland Raiders were humiliated on national television Sunday Night. Though the final score was 27-10, anyone who watched knows it felt muc more like 52-10. The Raiders did absolutely nothing on offense and both scores came on extremely short fields thanks to turnovers by Washington. The defense tried to keep the Raiders in the game, but with no help from the offensive side of the ball, the defense couldn’t get the job done by themselves.
It was the worst performance I’ve seen by a Raiders team, maybe since the Gruden Bowl. During the game, my mind went back to the London game right before Dennis Allen was fired but to be honest, I think the Raiders may have played better in that game than they did in Washington Sunday night.
So who is to blame for the terrible showing?
Without a doubt the team’s most important player, when Derek Carr isn’t playing well, the Raiders don’t play well. And Derek Carr had the worst game of his young career on Sunday. His first pass was an interception and it only went downhill from there.
Carr finished 19 of 31 for 118 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions. And much like the score, that stat line is deceiving because believe it or not, it makes Carr look better than he did. The Raiders did not even eclipse the 100 yard mark as a team until late in the fourth quarter thanks to garbage time stat padding. Carr looked off all night long and was never able to turn the ship around. Lots of factors contributed to the loss but Derek Carr was first and foremost.
Jack Del Rio
It’s my belief that any time your team gets blown out, and especially when they get blown out after entering the game as favorites, much of the blame has to fall on the shoulders of the head coach. The head coach is the CEO of the team, responsible for the big picture. And in football, the big picture is Sunday. Jack Del Rio, like any other head coach, is responsible for having his team ready to play when the whistle blows but the Raiders were about as far away from being ready as I’ve seen them under Del Rio’s leadership.
It felt like we were watching a 10 a.m. East Coast game five years ago. The Raiders were sleep walking through the game, looking completely unprepared. And what’s worse, Washington looked like they wanted it way more than the Raiders wanted it and that’s a very bad look for a head coach.
After calling two pretty good games against the Titans and Jets, Downing laid an egg in week three. At times it felt like we were watching the Gruden Bowl all over again. It felt like the Washington defense knew exactly what the Raiders were going to do and stopped them with ease. Unlike the first two opponents for Oakland, Washington had two full games of tape on Downing’s scheme and that, apparently, was enough for them to put together a perfect game plan.
It was a very bad day for Downing as he’s faced his first major piece of adversity as an offensive coordinator. It will be critical that Downing adjust as a result of this game. And even more critical that he learns to adjust mid game when things aren’t working. Because on Sunday, nothing Downing did worked.