DETROIT – The Raiders offense was one of the most productive units in the league. Quite recently, in fact.
That unit has hit a bit of a rough patch. They’ve been shut out in five of the last six quarters, scoring 13 points in that span.
They all came in the third period of Sunday’s 18-13 loss to the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. As you can tell from the score, the Raiders went dormant in the fourth quarter, when they needed a jolt to pull ahead of a beatable team.
They couldn’t do it at the end, but seemed out of sync from the start.
“Things were just a little off in certain situations,” head coach Jack Del Rio said. “I thought we had some opportunities and didn’t hit on some plays. Whether we missed the throw or we dropped the ball, we’re just not firing on all cylinders right now.”
That’s been true of late, especially in the fourth quarter. They have scored 20 fourth-quarter points in the last five games, a sum that has hurt the team in key moments. It certainly did on Sunday, when the Raiders were down three points and couldn’t sustain a drive.
That effort was particularly bothersome after a productive third period where the Raiders got back in the game.
“We got production from the first three drives of the third quarter, and then it’s almost like we hit a shut-off switch,” Del Rio said. “It just went off and we didn’t generate much after that.”
It seems strange Del Rio is describing an offense with personnel that scored at least 34 points in three straight games before last week’s loss to Minnesota.
The Raiders were a top 10 offense in several categories entering Sunday, but have dipped out due to a recent slide. They had just 214 yards against a statistically poor Lions defense. Del Rio cited third-down conversion issues (they were 4-of-11) and clock management (two delay of game penalties), as why the Raiders weren’t able to score and generate enough points. All associated with it agree the effort is unacceptable.
“When we come out and score zero points in the first half – we just can’t have that,” said quarterback Derek Carr, who had just 169 yards passing without a touchdown strike for the first time in nine games. “…We started to score points in the third quarter, we started to move the ball (in the third quarter), but then we started hurting ourselves again."