For back-to-back weeks, the Oakland Raiders fell flat. This time, though, it was a divisional opponent that got the better of them.
Derek Carr and the Raiders’ offense stalled for much of the game once again prior to Carr going down with a back injury in the third quarter. The injury was reported on Sunday as only back spasms, but coach Jack del Rio announced Monday that Carr has a fracture to his spine and will require anywhere from two to six weeks to recover.
The Denver Broncos defense held Marshawn Lynch and the rest of the Oakland backs in check as they limited the Raiders’ rushing attack to just 27 yards on the day. Carr went 10 for 18, threw for 143 yards and a touchdown in the second loss of the season for Oakland.
If fans are looking for a bright spot after a tough couple of weeks, look no further than the Raiders’ defense, which limited the Broncos, albeit a weak, offense to just under 300 yards. The Raiders run defense wasn’t as strong as it needed to be and timely stops just didn’t come at the necessary rate as the Raiders dropped to a .500% record for the first time this season.
Offensively for Oakland, Todd Downing and his players have plenty of work to do. They faced an incredibly potent defense and we’re outworked, especially at the line of scrimmage. If we set the record straight game that the big boys up front weren’t able to control the front. It didn’t help that the offense wasn’t willing to air the ball our as they settled for Denver giving them short three and four yard passes. In addition, there were plenty of drops that stalled drives and thwarted any type of momentum the Raiders tried to get.
Another positive was the Raiders’ backup. EJ Manuel came in after Carr’s injury and led the Raiders down the field two times. The first drive ended in a field goal after wide receivers dropped three catchable passes in the red zone and end zone. After the field goal brought the Raiders within one score and Broncos kicker Brandon McManus missed his own field goal, the Raiders had hope.
However the Raiders, who were steadily driving, decided to test their luck and Manuel threw into double coverage and was intercepted to ultimately end the game. The Raiders now head home and will prepare for the Baltimore Ravens who haven’t looked like much of a factor this season. It’ll be an important week for the Raiders as they look to get back on track.
Featured image: 2016 Panini Instant Football card #19