Programming note: Tony Sparano is scheduled to address the media starting at 2 p.m. this afternoon. Watch the live stream right here.
OAKLAND – The Raiders completely lost control of the Denver Broncos on Sunday afternoon, when a competitive affair turned into a 41-17 thrashing in the blink of an eye.
Peyton Manning orchestrated five straight touchdown drives from the end of the first half to the start of the fourth quarter, a dismantling of the highest order. While the defense couldn’t sustain early success, the offense couldn’t do anything right from the outset. There are plenty of negatives to take from this loss, we’ll focus on three of them:
1. Passing game can’t produce. : The Raiders haven’t been able to run much this season. As we all know, the ground game is on pace to post the worst rushing attack since 1946. The Raiders couldn’t run against Denver’s front seven, but they couldn’t throw either.
Quarterback Derek Carr threw just one completion that travelled more than 10 yards in the air, and averages 2.51 yards per pass attempt heading into a garbage-time touchdown drive.
The Raiders hit season lows in several offensive categories and Carr had his worst game as a professional.
2. Defense can’t negate offensive miscues: The Raiders defense had done a decent job of mitigating damage from offensive mistakes. That didn’t happen on Sunday. The defense gave up a touchdown after every Raiders turnover. They were put in awful positions at times, but didn’t respond well even with plenty of ground to give.
That was evident on what most consider the tide-turning play. Carr threw an interception near midfield and, just two plays later, C.J. Anderson turned a short pass into a 51-yard touchdown. Worst part: The reception was on third down, well short of the sticks. Miles Burris missed an easy tackle, Khalil Mack couldn’t wrap him up and then Charles Woodson got juked in the open field on a play that opened the floodgates.
“There seems to be a play every game that happens to us, and then everything kind of snowballs from there,” Woodson said. “I know there were a couple of missed tackles, mine included, which I feel like, ‘Man, I’m part of the play that really turned that game around.’ So that’s one I’ll be thinking about all night.”
3. Turnovers piling up: The Raiders must play smart, efficient football to win games with their level of talent. That hasn’t happened in recent games. The Raiders have committed nine turnovers in their last three games, virtually eliminating the possibility to beat the good teams they’ve been playing.
Carr threw two interceptions and a wacky shovel pass to left guard Khalif Barnes that was ultimately fumbled. Those are mistakes the Raiders can’t afford, especially when they’re not taking the ball away enough. The Raiders have a minus-11 turnover ratio this season and are minus-7 over the past three games.