The Raiders vs. Patriots game was a disaster from start to finish. The Raiders committed far too many costly errors against a team that will beat you if you commit any, and the Raiders just kept right on making them as if it didn’t matter at all.
I suppose I have to come up with four good things to start with, so let’s just jump right in.
1) Tom Brady
We like to give Tom a hard time around here, because his entire career is an accident of nature, but I’d be hard-pressed to say he isn’t the best NFL player in existence right now. If you remember the Brett Favre game, where Captain Dick Pic’s dad had just died and Brett could do no wrong, this was a lot like that. Brady’s line was an ultra-efficient 30/37 for 339 yards and three touchdowns. As is their custom, the Raiders did not pick off Brady in the game.
It may have been the last gasp for the Dallas Cowboys as they fell to the Philadelphia Eagles 37-9. They sit at 5-5 now, and would have to win five of their last six games to have any chance at all at making the playoffs. And even with some players returning from injury, that is not going to be easy in any way, shape, or form.
If there was one thing that really made this game impossible for the Cowboys to win, it was that Dak Prescott had very bad performance. While he had a few catchable passes dropped by receivers, there were many other times when he was just horribly off target, including the pass that resulted in his second interception of the night. It certainly appeared that he was jumpy after the terrible beating he took against the Atlanta Falcons. It was perhaps the worst performance of his career. Meanwhile, in the second half at least, Carson Wentz was extremely good.
When the Raiders headed to Miami prior to the bye, I would have put money down that they were going to make a move to add a corner to the roster. My money was on activating a cornerback from the practice squad.
My reasoning was they were down to three cornerbacks. Gareon Conley, David Amerson, and Demetrius McCray were all injured, and they had sent Antonio Hamilton to injured reserve after week five. That left just TJ Carrie, Dexter McDonald, and Sean Smith as the only corners on the roster.
They did make a move. They activated rookie safety Obi Melifonwu from injured reserve. That was expected. Head coach Jack Del Rio said they would be making that move. But he’s a safety, not a cornerback. And yet the Raiders were done.
They managed to survive the game in Miami without any of their cornerbacks getting injured, but it wasn’t pretty.
A few weeks ago the Raiders shocked the world when they beat the Chiefs 31-30 in Oakland. It seemed to come out of nowhere, stopping a 4-game slide by the Raiders. As shocking as that performance was by the Raiders, their no-show in Mexico City against the Patriots was even more shocking.
We’ve seen the Raiders look terrible this season before. In several of their losses this season, they’ve looked downright incompetent on offense. But even those rough outings couldn’t have prepared us for how poorly they played in the thin air in Mexico City.
To fully grasp the shock of this, let’s go back to that big win over Kansas City. That was a huge monkey off their back. Not just because it ended their 4-game losing streak on the season, but because it ended a 5-game losing streak to the Chiefs.