Raiders

Raiders takeaways: What we learned from 42-24 road loss vs. Packers

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USATSI

Raiders takeaways: What we learned from 42-24 road loss vs. Packers

BOX SCORE

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- The Raiders rode a wave of positivity back from London. They were 3-2 and feeling great after consecutive wins over the Colts and Bears, entering a bye week with a chance to get healthy and prep for another big game against another playoff contender.

This one didn’t go as well as the previous two. The Raiders made too many mistakes, without the raw talent on defense to negate them, in a 42-24 loss to the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field.

The Raiders fell to .500 at 3-3, still a solid record despite this missed opportunity. The Raiders will have to do better avoiding pratfalls next week against the Houston Texans or risk losing a second straight.

This game changed in the red zone, where the Raiders turned it over thrice. That included a second-quarter meltdown where Derek Carr fumbled into the end zone and out of bounds for a touchback. They turned it over on downs and then Carr threw a late interception in the end zone, cementing this loss for good.

Everything had to go right against Aaron Rodgers, who was awesome while scoring five touchdowns in this one, and little did at critical moments.

This result will force the Raiders defense to regroup and rally before playing Houston next week. Here are my three takeaways from a tough loss on the road.

Killer second-quarter swing

The Raiders were 2 yards from pay dirt with roughly two minutes left in the second quarter when Carr took off running. He sprinted to his right, angling for the pylon with a defender bearing down. He reached out for the goal line and … lost control of the football. The football sailed into the end zone and out of bounds.

Touchback. That’s exactly what happened in a 2017 loss to the Dallas Cowboys. Carr reached out and fumbled it out of the end zone on the Raiders’ final play. He did the same thing reaching for a first-down marker in Week 2 against Kansas City and couldn’t hang on.

The Raiders, who have a virtual sure thing in Josh Jacobs scoring near the goal line, lost possession without points, and then made things worse by giving up an 80-yard touchdown drive to Rodgers just before the first half.

The 14-point swing was a brutal turn in a competitive game, creating two scores separation with the Packers getting the ball to start the second half.

The Raiders can’t make mistakes like that and expect to remain competitive against tough teams, especially on the road. They were moving the ball well the entire half but really hurt themselves at the end of the second quarter.

Josh Jacobs is something special

The Raiders made an excellent selection at No. 24 overall, bringing the Alabama running back into the fray. Jacobs seems to look better each week, with maybe his best run as a professional on Sunday against the Packers.

He eluded several on a 42-yard run where he sliced through the Packers secondary, showing great wiggle, change of direction and burst. That came two plays after his opening salvo, a run to the right that he finished by smashing a Packers defender to bully for extra yards.

He’s clearly the team’s MVP and a sure thing near the goal line, with everything you’re looking for in a running back. He finished with 21 carries for a career-high 124 yards against the Packers, showing well regardless of game situation. The Raiders will continue to use him heavily, which gives them a real chance to win games.

[RELATED: Mahomes' reported return gives Raiders no room for error]

Can’t make mistakes facing greatness

The Raiders have three victories this season, with Ws coming against Joe Flacco, Jacoby Brissett and Chase Daniel. Aaron Rodgers is a bit better than that trio, even if you combined all of their best qualities into one quarterback.

The Raiders gave Rodgers too much time too often and paid dearly for it. Rodgers picked the Raiders defense apart all day, especially after that disastrous end to the second quarter.

Rodgers finished with 429 yards and five touchdowns on 25-of-31 passing and had a 3-yard touchdown run in the third quarter.

The Silver and Black mounted stiffer resistance early, but the offense and defense made too many mistakes to keep up with Rodgers on this day. They can get away with some miscues against lower-tier quarterbacks, but they’ll struggle to compete against the good ones. That’s a hard lesson to learn and advice they must heed with Deshaun Watson up next on the schedule.

Jason Witten's leadership crucial for Raiders during 2020 NFL season

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USATSI

Jason Witten's leadership crucial for Raiders during 2020 NFL season

Two notable Raiders additions in the offseason, tight end Jason Witten and linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski, met with the media via a Zoom call Monday.

Here are five takeaways on what was said.

1. One major reason the Raiders brought in Witten, who became one of the NFL’s top tight ends over 16 seasons with the Dallas Cowboys, was for his veteran leadership. Coach Jon Gruden even asked Witten to speak to the team a few days ago about the importance of high character.

“It’s vital,” Witten said. “This league’s too hard regardless of how talented you are, and I shared this with the guys. … The margin for error is so small in this league that’s how you have to approach it. I was blown away by the skill set. You can see it. I’ve also seen the guys love football. They work hard. They’re accountable.”

Read more at the Las Vegas Review-Journal

 

Raiders rookie Henry Ruggs' insane one-handed catch shows potential

Raiders rookie Henry Ruggs' insane one-handed catch shows potential

It's no secret how fast Raiders rookie receiver Henry Ruggs is. With his 4.27 40-yard dash speed, he's in the end zone in the blink of an eye.

The Raiders were enamored with Ruggs' speed, and rightfully so. That certainly played a big role in the Silver and Black selecting the former Alabama receiver with the No. 11 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. But it wasn't the only reason. 

Ruggs had some of the best hands in the draft, and he proved that with an insane one-handed grab for a touchdown early on in Raiders training camp. 

It's easy to see why the Raiders fell in love with Ruggs before the draft. He tallied 86 receptions for 1,487 receiving yards and 18 touchdowns his final two years for the Crimson Tide. Ruggs should have a big role in the offense, and the hope is he connects right away with quarterback Derek Carr. 

So far, so good. 

Ruggs should be used all over the field as a rookie, as the Raiders find ways to get the ball in his hands. And it appears he will start off in the slot. 

[RELATED: Raiders rookie Edwards compared to two Pro Bowl wideouts]

“We’ll start with Ruggs III in the slot and do some things with Ruggs III," offensive coordinator Greg Olson said to reporters last week, via Raiders Wire. "But those guys (Ruggs and Bryan Edwards) are very multiple in what they can do and that’s the goal is to be able to move all of them around to different spots; the one, two or three position at the wide receiver.”

Whether it be on the inside or outside, Ruggs will play a big part in the Raiders' offense right away. His ridiculous one-handed grab was just another preview of what's to come.