The Raiders’ win streak came to an end when they traveled to Foxborough to face Cam Newton and the New England Patriots.
It was an extremely ugly game once the first quarter ended with the Raiders run defense being nonexistent. The Raiders run defense allowed 250 yards which made Patriots RB Rex Burkhead and Sony Michel look like top five running backs in the National Football League with Burkhead and Michel combining for 238 yards in total with both receiving and rushing yards. The Raiders also allowed Burkhead to get the ball seven different times through the air and Michel getting the ball through the air twice.
Johnathan Abram recorded his first career interception but other than that, he looked extremely off. It looked like he completely forgot how to wrap up and tackle anyone to save his life. This does not mean that Abram won’t return back to what he was originally but he had a very off game. Another issue was the time of possession. The Patriots had the ball offensively most of the game and did what the Raiders did to the Saints in the win last week.
A major contributing factor in the Raiders loss is the offense. The Raiders only converted on third down 3-9 times. The offense also couldn’t seem to hold on to the ball and was dominated by the time of possession by New England.
Now those two fumbles are extremely controversial as Jacobs’ fumble in the red zone was clearly recovered by the Raiders and the Tuck Rule reared its ugly head with Carr’s fumble which Raider Nation made sure to make known over Twitter. These fumbles should in no way have happened at all and is something that Coach Gruden and Offensive Coordinator Greg Olson need to fix immediately if they want to push to the playoffs this year. The Raiders discipline issues reared its ugly head as the team racked up six penalties that gave the Patriots 40 yards as a result.
The final issue that plagued the Raiders is the ongoing problem with Defensive Coordinator Paul Guenther. The defense has been a problem with the Raiders for years, ranking near the bottom of the league every time. It’s clear to see that Guenther’s days are up and he needs to be replaced. His scheme just isn’t working like Gruden wanted it to.
The fix to this big issue is the Raider should hire Defensive Line Coach Rod Marnelli and let him lead the Raiders’ defense. If not Rod, my personal go to pick would be Falcons Head Coach Dan Quinn if he is fired soon which is extremely likely. Quinn led the Seattle Seahawks and the infamous “Legion of Boom” to a win in Super Bowl 48. Quinn has always been a more defensive minded coach and I have no doubt that he would lead the Raiders defense to the top. The talent is there just not the coaching.
Now this loss is something that can be used as a huge learning tool. I will give them some credit, as they went up against a team that just found it’s new identity in Cam Newton and would be a hard team to beat. The only issue I have is that if these mistakes were avoided, they would’ve had a shot against the team that has a lot of unfinished business. Instead they move to 2-1 on the year and have an extremely flashy and tough team coming to Las Vegas in the Buffalo Bills.