A couple weeks ago the Raiders offense did something they hadn’t done all season long — they scored 20 points. In fact, they scored 30 points.
Since then they have come back to earth with a thud, scoring 16 points and 13 points in the past two games.
On the defensive side of the ball, it’s been a very different story. Not only did the Raiders manage to pull out a win over the Jets last week despite scoring just 16 — their lowest output in a win this season — but they followed that up by keeping the Raiders within a score of the Dolphins until the final seconds.
This offense simply doesn’t deserve this defense.
Four times in this game the Raiders offense got the ball off of a turnover — three on takeaways and one on a turnover on downs. And on the possession that followed they managed just one first down. One.
The offense jumped out to a 10-7 lead in the first quarter when they drove for a touchdown. That drive went 75 yards in four plays, capped off by a 46-yard touchdown from Aidan O’Connell to Davante Adams.
After that the Raider offense closed up shop the rest of the day.
The remaining three quarters saw the offense with ten more possessions. This is what happened on those possessions:
* possession off of turnover
*Three-and-out FIELD GOAL
One play INTERCEPTION
One first down, 10 yards PUNT
One first down, 19 yards DOWNS
Two first downs, INTERCEPTION
Three first downs, INTERCEPTION
The last four of those possession came in the fourth quarter. And it was the defense that made that possible. The offense responded with utter failure every time.
The first possession ended with Aidan O’Connell missing Davante Adams then getting sacked. The second with O’Connell throwing an ill-advised pass to Jakobi Meyers who was well-covered by Jalen Ramsey. The third with O’Connell throwing an interception as he was being sacked. And the final one a desperation heave for the end zone that was picked off by Ramsey.
O’Conell finished the game going 24 for 41 for 271 yards with 1 TD and 3 INT for a passer rating of 56. His worst outing of his four starts this season.
Yet, somehow, the Raiders were never behind more than one score in this game. Why? Because the defense stepped up big time again.
“I’m learning how hard it is in the NFL and how hard it is to win,” said O’Connell after the game. “Just kudos to our defense. Just played so well in the second half, kept us in the game — I think [the Dolphins] scored six points in the second half — and obviously I don’t think we scored. So our defense did an awesome job keeping us in the game, so it’s really going to come down to our offense and watching the film. Just be better all around and it starts with me.”
Despite their offense’s inability to stay on the field, the defense only seemed to get stronger late. They kept the Dolphins out of the end zone in the second half, and in the fourth quarter they held them to just a single first down, three punts and a net of only 19 yards.
The offense even got a gift in the fourth quarter off a shanked punt that gave them possession at midfield. And they got one first down and a turnover on downs out of it.
Fair to say while Antonio Pierce has his defense playing with fire and relentlessness, only slightly bending and rarely breaking, the offense is just flat broken.
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Title: Raiders defense gave their offense far more opportunities than they deserved in loss in Miami
Author: Levi Damien