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Raiders Play Prey to Falcons

Another slow start from the Oakland Raiders’ offense and another abysmal performance by the defense.

That isn’t a recipe for many wins in the NFL and the 35-28 loss to the Atlanta Falcons was proof. Enough proof for any Raiders fan to need as the team must find a way to clamp down and put together some solid football.

The Raiders once again were forced to climb their way out of a hole they dug, but this time the clock ran out on a potential comeback.

The Raiders got their first lead of the game on a Latavius Murray touchdown in the first quarter to make the score 7-3, but they’d trail once again in just over three minutes after Matt Ryan hit Julio Jones for a touchdown.

The score would change only two more times the rest of the game and the Raiders would lead for just over 11 minutes in the game altogether.

Khalil Mack was once again neutralized, at least in the passing game, as the Raiders’ zone was picked apart by Ryan and his tight ends and their man-to-man was shredded by Jones.

Ryan had a 131.5 rating against Ken Norton’s defense, but Dan Williams and company did everything but put the blame on Norton, even after Jack Del Rio took the play-calling out of his hands for Oakland’s final drive.

While the Raiders’ secondary was a problem in both of their first two games, the team’s run defense hasn’t exactly been the best in the league, allowing 113 yards per game, which is good enough for 12th in the league.

Oakland’s total defense is 32nd in the league currently.

Altogether, the Raiders’ defense through two weeks has given up more than 1000 yards of offense and is giving up more than 60 yards more per game than the 31st defense.

The Raiders can’t continue to give up 517 yards per game if they expect to even contend for a Wild Card spot let alone the AFC West, but they’ll have a great opportunity to get back on track against the Tennessee Titans, whose offense is just 22nd in the league.

Player of the Game:

It would have been easy to go with Derek Carr for this week, but the true player(s) of the game had to be the offensive line. Carr dropped back 47 times and was sacked just once. The sack came on a play where Carr ran out of bounds behind the line of scrimmage, as a matter of fact. The offensive line also led way for 155 rushing yards and more than six yards per carry. The offense is first in total yards per game at 470.

Room to Grow:

Sean Smith has not done the job he was paid about $40 million to do. So far this season Smith has been not only burnt, but even benched. After sitting on the sideline week one after being torched for a 98-yard touchdown, Smith once again gave up multiple big plays to Jones as well as Mohamed Sanu. Through two games, Smith has been targeted 13 times and has allowed 10 completions, according to a Fan Vice article. Smith has allowed 252 yards and three touchdowns, as well as a QB rating allowance of 157.9, which is .4 less than perfect. It’s safe to say Smith has some room to grow.

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