Raiders search for answers following ‘embarrassing’ loss
(AP) - By the time the Las Vegas Raiders crossed midfield for the first time all day, Derek Carr and Davante Adams were spectators and the New Orleans Saints were putting the finishing touches on a dominating win.
Whatever good feeling a victory over the hapless Houston Texans provided a week ago was wiped out by one of the most inept performances by the Raiders in years in a 24-0 loss to the Saints on Sunday.
“It was embarrassing,” Carr said after the game. “We are so much better than that, but we didn’t earn that today. You take a look at it, there are a lot of guys who care about it in that locker room. We will be very self-critical. I promise you, we will try to do better next week.”
It would be hard to do worse.
The Raiders (2-5) didn’t enter Saints territory until the final two minutes of the game — the second longest a team has waited to run a play in opposing territory in 16 years — and were shut out for the first time since 2014.
The defense wasn’t much better, recording no sacks, no takeaways and forcing only one punt until the score was 24-0.
The performance left coach Josh McDaniels puzzled as to why so much went wrong a week after a 38-20 win over Houston left the Raiders thinking they had gotten on track.
“We need to coach and play better to earn better results,” McDaniels said. “Consistency is going to be what we’re going to try to push for. If we can do that and start playing our best football here and start stringing together some wins, you look up at the end of the year and a lot of things can happen. Certainly, that’s our goal.
“Our goals are still out there. We’re going to need to play better, coach better, to earn them.”
Punting. Almost nothing went right Sunday, but A.J. Cole had a 42.8 yard net average and pinned the Saints inside the 20 on four of five punts.
WHAT NEEDS HELP
Offense. The Raiders were shut out for the first time since a 52-0 loss to the Rams in 2014 and the numbers only got worse from there. They didn’t run a play in Saints territory until after the two-minute warning, nearly becoming the fourth team in the past 30 years to do that for an entire game.
Their 3.27 yards per play were their lowest in a game since 2017 and their 1.19 yards per play on first down were their fewest in a game since they had 1.08 in a 7-6 win over Chargers on Oct. 11, 1998.
Rich Bisaccia. Maybe last season’s interim coach should have gotten another chance. The Raiders went 7-5 under Bisaccia and made the playoffs for the first time since 2016. McDaniels has already lost five of his first seven games.
Pass rush. The Raiders failed to generate a quarterback hit or a sack for an entire game for the first time since 2010, giving Dalton time to pick apart a suspect secondary. The duo of Maxx Crosby and Chandler Jones was supposed to be the strength of Las Vegas’ defense. Crosby has been productive until this week, but Jones has mostly been missing with just a half-sack all season.
TE Darren Waller missed his second straight game with a hamstring injury. He tested it out pregame, but was unable to play Sunday. The Raiders are hopeful he can return this week.
3 — Adams had only 3 yards receiving, catching one pass on five targets. He also had one run that lost a yard, with his 2 yards from scrimmage his fewest in a game when he played at least 10 plays since getting blanked in the final game of his rookie season in 2014. This marked the third time this season Adams was held to fewer than 40 yards receiving. That happened just three times in his last 56 games with Aaron Rodgers as his quarterback in Green Bay.
The Raiders will spend the week practicing in Florida before finishing the trip at Jacksonville on Sunday.
Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.