Raiders Rewind: Falcons Embarrass Las Vegas In A Blowout Loss In Week 12

Originally published by

Matt Ryan

It’s an annual tradition for the Las Vegas Raiders, really. I call it the “turn off the game” week. Last year, it was a 34-3 trouncing at the hands of the New York Jets (yep, same Jets who are currently 0-11). This year? It was Sunday’s debacle in Atlanta that ended in a 43-6 scoreline against the Falcons.

Both opponents were 3-7. Both were road games. Both were 10 a.m. East Coast specials. And both, believe it or not, were Week 12.

What’s wild is that I titled my preview last week “East Coast Trip To Face Falcons Could Be A Trap”, and then, because I’m a moron, I predicted the Raiders to win by two touchdowns.


It was a nightmare and a travesty no matter how you slice it. It was an embarrassing performance and one that, honestly, did force me to turn off the television (apologies to Nathan Peterman, who allegedly played in this game unbeknownst to me). The Raiders turned the ball over five times — three Derek Carr fumbles, a Carr pick-six and a Josh Jacobs fumble — went 3/12 on third down, and committed 11 penalties for 141 yards. In honor of all this, we’re going to award LEAST Valuable Players this week…

Offensive LVP: Derek Carr

Carr has been fantastic this season and so I’m not at all taking any of that away from the guy, but Sunday was a nightmare. Fumbles have always been an issue for Carr, and on Sunday he single-handedly cost the team the game. You simply cannot turn the ball over four times and expect your team to win — no matter how bad the opponent — and Carr didn’t give the Raiders a chance.

Runner up: Jon Gruden. The Raider offense never got into a rhythm, in part because the play-calling was all over the place. The Raiders went for it on fourth down on their opening drive (yay!), but rather than let Jacobs run behind Alec Ingold, they called a toss play to Brandon Parker’s side of the field and it was blown up in the backfield. The first half was marred by short passes nowhere near the first down marker and a couple of deep shots, with no commitment to the run. Five possessions in and the Raiders were 0/5 on third down, 0/1 on fourth down and had just five carries for six yards.

Defensive LVP: Penalties

I’ll say this: the Raider defense was put into impossible situations all morning, and they actually performed pretty well. Yes, 43 points allowed is unacceptable, but consider the poop platter they were handed: Atlanta’s first two scoring drives gained a combined 25 yards! The Raiders turned the ball over three times in the first half (including the turnover on downs), and all three were followed-up by field goals — mostly due to field position. In total, the Falcons ran 72 plays and only gained 304 yards.

The downside to all this? The penalties. And this wasn’t just the defense, but it was mostly them. The Raiders finished with 11 penalties for 141 yards, some of which came at the worst possible time: they had an interception wiped off the board because of a facemask penalty on Nevin Lawson, they had a missed field goal wiped out because of a roughing the kicker penalty and then Maliek Collins got a roughing the passer penalty late in the first half that put Atlanta in field goal range. And that was all in the first half!


All in all, this was a brutal game. As I sit here today, I’m confident it was a fluke. I’ve seen too much good from this group all season to think that it was anything more than that — and with the Jets (fittingly) on the docket next, there’s ample opportunity to wash the bad taste out of their mouth in a strong way. Anything less than a dominant performance on Sunday, however, and I’ll be concerned.

The post Raiders Rewind: Falcons Embarrass Las Vegas In A Blowout Loss In Week 12 appeared first on Raiders Newswire.