The Raiders backed up their first win in Vegas with a convincing loss to the New England Patriots
Vegas came crashing back down to Earth against an established coaching veteran in Bill Belichick. It’s not necessarily surprising, especially given even with Jon Gruden, the Raiders aren’t on the same playing field as the AFC’s elite. A win over New Orleans in their first game at Vegas is a tremendous story, and set up an intriguing matchup against the Patriots this week.
After taking an early first quarter lead, the Raiders folded in the next two frames, getting outscored 23-7 by a better team in New England. Josh McDaniels play-calling was perfectly made for this aggressive Raiders defense, and Cam Newton moved the ball down the field thanks not to any explosive plays, but the same stable rushing attack they’ve been riding to their 2-1 start.
Where do the Raiders go from here?
Vegas is by no means dead after just one defeat, but the defense needs to look in the mirror. Derek Carr was still effective enough, throwing for two touchdowns and over 250 yards in the air, while Vegas’ rushing attack combined for 126 yards. It wasn’t a perfect showing, but the loss certainly cannot be directed at Carr, who is on the chopping block for Gruden this season.
Thus far, Carr has played up to par and then some, while Josh Jacobs gives the offense a stable bell-cow back. What’s missing is a defense they can count on, and even though Vegas knew they’d face a run-heavy scheme this Sunday, Paul Guenther was still helpless to stop it.
250 rush yards allowed isn’t a recipe for success. It sounds like a cliche, but Vegas took their eye off the prize after a franchise-changing victory last Monday night.