SANTA CLARA -- A disastrous showing against the Seattle Seahawks in London a few weeks back felt like the Raiders’ rock bottom.
There was farther left to fall. Turns out this canyon they're in actually is an abyss.
This 34-3 loss to the 49ers seemed to be as bad as it can get, given the ease of opponent, but that’s not so certain anymore.
With this team playing this way, there’s no telling how bad it can get.
The Raiders got all Fs against the Seahawks, but they were worse in every way Thursday night, so we’ll have to find a new low with this report card.
Doug Martin hurt his side early in this game, but he returned and ran decently well for a second consecutive game. He had 49 yards on 11 carries, and the Raiders as a whole had 23 rushes for 102 yards. That ain’t bad, and will stand as the long exception to the failures below.
It didn’t help turn any tides, however, and was inconsequential despite decent numbers.
The offensive line got beat up by another injury plague, and were left to mix and match in unorthodox ways just to finish a game. That prevented Derek Carr from doing much of anything. He finished a second game in the last three tries without throwing a pass at least 10 yards in the air. He was sacked seven times and barely had time to throw.
There was no rhythm after the opening series, and there was no chance of a comeback with the team grounded and forced to complete short passes.
The Raiders' run defense stinks, and couldn’t handle any part of 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan’s zone scheme that often ventures outside. The 49ers compiled 143 yards and one touchdown on 32 carries, an effort that set up easy play-action passes for young quarterback Nick Mullens.
The Raiders gave up four runs of 12-plus yards, and it was those big runs that called the team's effort into question.
The Raiders should’ve had an easy day against Mullens, who made his NFL debut after spending most of his two-year professional career on the 49ers' practice squad.
The Southern Miss product looked like Dan Marino out there, completing sharp passes to wide-open receivers while completing 16 of 22 for 262 yards and three touchdowns for a 151.9 rating.
George Kittle went off as expected. Even Pierre Garcon was wide open all night, often due to missed assignments and blown coverage.
Daniel Carlson made one field-goal attempt and missed one. Not great for a rookie who just got here. And we’ll keep it simple when it comes to Johnny Townsend. The Raiders need a new punter.
The Raiders are simply awful in all phases, but they played some of the worst defense in recent franchise history. Execution can be questioned, and frustrations are running high. Even good friends and colleagues Jon Gruden and Paul Guenther are arguing on the sidelines. This team can’t play any worse … or can it?