Raiders’ redzone offense struggles in 23-16 loss to Giants

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The Raiders headed to East Rutherford to take on a very game New York Giants team with hopes of improving to 6-2 for the first time since 2016 and for a chance to pad their lead in the AFC West.

The Raiders are coming off a bye week but more importantly, the team continues to wade through tumultuous circumstances. The tragedy of the Henry Ruggs III situation is still fresh in everyone’s minds and comes just mere weeks after the Jon Gruden debacle.

Unfortunately for the Raiders, the offense couldn’t convert on numerous redzone opportunities and would fall to the Giants 23-16.

Game Recap

The Giants received the ball to start the game and took very little time to put the first points of the game on the board. A seven play drive ended with Giants QB Daniel Jones tossing a 30-yard touchdown pass to TE Evan Engram over Raiders safety Johnathan Abram.

The Raiders were able to answer right back. On 3rd and 4, Las Vegas WR Hunter Renfrow caught a big 19-yard reception. A few plays later, Renfrow was rewarded with a 2-yard touchdown reception to tie the game at 7-7.

The teams would exchange a few punts until Raiders DE Yannick Ngakoue forced a Daniel Jones fumble and DT Darius Philon was able to jump on it, giving the Raiders the ball back at the Giants 27. The New York defense would stiffen, however, as the Raiders were forced to settle for a 25-yard field goal.

The ensuing drive for the Giants looked to be a fruitful one until Ngakoue would again come up big, sacking Daniel Jones on 2nd down for a 4 yard loss, forcing the Giants into a third and long situation. A 5-yard scramble by Jones would force the Giants to settle for a 35-yard field goal, tying the game at 10-10.

With 3:24 left in the second quarter, the Raiders would drive up the field with hopes of breaking the tie before the half. Las Vegas would make it all the way down to New York’s 14 yard line but would be stopped once again. The Raiders settled for a 32-yard field goal to take the lead at the half, 13-10.

“We moved the heck out of the ball,” Derek Carr said after the game. “We had things that we wanted. We just can’t turn the ball over.”

“Honestly, at the end of the day, we just need to be better as players. Coaches did a great job, all of those things, but I gotta be better. This one is on me.”

The Raiders would receive the second half kickoff and it could not have started any worse for the Silver and Black. Just three plays in to the 3rd quarter, Giants safety Xavier McKinney jumped a Derek Carr pass and returned it 41 yards for the defensive score. The Raiders found themselves down 13-17 in a hurry.

Looking to shake off the turnover, Derek Carr would lead his offense down the field. On a pivotal 4th and 1 on New York’s 35 yard line, QB Marcus Mariota would have a six yard rush off the right end to keep the drive alive. However, the drive would stall at the Giants 7 yard line, forcing the Raiders to settle for their third straight field goal to pull within one point at 16-17.

The Giants would drive quickly down the field as the third quarter wound down to a close. On 3rd and 4 on the Las Vegas 14 at the start of the 4th quarter, DT Solomon Thomas would come barreling through to put pressure on Daniel Jones, forcing an incompletion. The Giants would kick a field goal to push their lead to four points and the score to 16-20.

Darren Waller would make his first big play of the day to kick off Las Vegas’s ensuing drive, catching a 25-yard pass to put the Raiders up near midfield. The next drive, rookie RG Alex Leatherwood made a massive block to create a clear lane for RB Kenyan Drake to run through for a gain of 20 yards. Drake was not finished as on the next play, he would take a Derek Carr pass for 22 more yards. Despite Drake’s heroics, the Raiders were again shut down in the redzone and forced to settle for three points.

This time however, the Raiders would come up empty-handed. Daniel Carlson would miss a 25-yard field goal attempt to keep the score 16-20 in favor of the Giants. Carlson’s 25-yard miss is the shortest miss of his career and the shortest miss of any kicker in the league this season. That miss could not have come at a worst time for the Raiders, as the Giants would take over at their own 20 with less than 10 minutes left in regulation and a chance to pad their lead.

The Las Vegas defense, however, was more than game for the challenge. The Giants would be able to get to midfield before the defense clamped down and forced a Giants punt with 6:21 left in the game.

Raiders fans would hold their collective breath on the ensuing punt return as Hunter Renfrow would fumble the punt but Las Vegas would jump back on the loose ball.

Two plays later, the Giants would get that turnover back. On 1st and 10 on their own 24, Carr would launch a ball towards receiver Zay Jones, only to have safety Xavier McKinney to snag his second interception of the day at midfield.

The Giants would drive down to the Las Vegas 20 only to settle for a 38-yard field goal, pushing the New York lead to 16-23. While the Raiders were able to crucially keep the Giants out of the end zone, the Giants did force Las Vegas to burn all three of their timeouts in order to conserve time.

It would only take the Raiders six plays to get into the redzone with a chance to tie the game. With 1st and 10 at the Giants 13-yard line, New York pass rusher Quincy Roche would beat Raiders LT Kolton Miller off the edge to force a blind side fumble on Carr and Giants defensive lineman Leonard Williams would recover the ball to end the game.

On the Raiders inability to finish drives and having to settle for field goals, interim head coach Bisaccia had this to say: “There are certainly things in the red zone we’d like to do better and we will certainly look at that and address it as we go.”

“We didn’t execute the way we have been. I thought we had a really good week of practice as we talked about during the week. We were just off a little bit on some of throws and we just didn’t execute the way we have been.”

The loss to the New York Giants drops the Raiders to 5-3.

Looking Ahead

The Raiders will play host to their AFC West rivals Kansas City Chiefs next week in a pivotal primetime divisional showdown. The 2021 Chiefs have been far from the Chiefs we have seen over the last few years but a win over a divisional opponent is always important, especially one as potent as Kansas City. Week 10 may prove to be one of the most important games the Raiders have played all season.

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