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Raiders’ humbling film review lays bare lack of execution

Updated September 18, 2023 - 1:11 pm

One day after their debacle in Buffalo, the Raiders found little solace during a humbling film review back at their Henderson headquarters. Turns out the 38-10 loss to the Bills was every bit as ugly in retrospect as it was in real-time.

Not to say there wasn’t value in reliving an experience that evened their record at 1-1 and revealed a handful of problems that need fixing.

In what Raiders coach Josh McDaniels described as a “good day for us to learn,” his team scoured over game tape that pinpointed plenty of instances in which execution played the biggest role in their demise.

“Our football team will see that clearly today,” McDaniels said.

One area in particular was a non-existent run game that produced just 55 yards on 15 carries. Josh Jacobs was held to minus-two yards rushing on nine carries.

Jacobs was consistently met behind the line of scrimmage and held to no gains or thrown for losses. Among them, the four-yard loss he absorbed on the first offensive play from scrimmage and a three-yard loss on a first down immediately after Jimmy Garoppolo threw 21 yards to Davante Adams.

In each instance, the failure to produce either positive yards or not get thrown for losses resulted in unfavorable down and distance situations.

It would be easy to pin most of the blame on Jacobs, who is obviously working his way back to form after sitting out all of OTAs and training camp in a contract dispute. Two games into the season, the reigning NFL rushing champ has accumulated just 46 yards on 28 carries.

But McDaniels pushed back on the idea that the run-game struggles are entirely on Jacobs.

“It’s not one thing,” McDaniels said. “We gotta block the right people. We gotta sustain our blocks. We gotta finish. If we have an opportunity for double teams, we’ve got to do a good job of moving our double teams and creating an entry point. We’ve got to read the runs, the way J.J. reads them, and get downhill. Receivers gotta block. We got to get a body on the linebackers.”

The Raiders did not do a good job in any of those areas.

“You name it, we took a turn not doing it nearly well enough,” McDaniels said.

That wasn’t exclusive to just the run game, either. The Raiders’ lack of precise execution covered all levels of their operation. It resulted in a fairly competitive game turning ugly by the middle of the third quarter.

“Based on a number of factors, the game can flip on you,” McDaniels said. “And when the game flips on you, it feels like it gets out of hand. But when you watch the tape, you’re going to see the why.”

The key now is learning from it.

“The opportunity is there for our team, if we want to take advantage of it, to try to avoid this from happening again. Because there’s certain things we can do a lot better than what we did yesterday. We can learn from this and be better for it, and that’s the hope and goal for today.”

On the positive side, McDaniels said wide receiver Davante Adams is fine after taking a big fourth-quarter hit and that wideout Jakobi Meyers, who sat out Sunday’s game with a concussion, is “headed in the right direction.” That puts both in line to play on Sunday in the Raiders’ home opener against the Steelers.

Contact Vincent Bonsignore at vbonsignore@reviewjournal.com. Follow @VinnyBonsignore on X.

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