FSM Essential Recap: Week 13- Raiders vs WFT

Franchise Sports Media

Las Vegas Raiders (6-6) | Washington Football Team (6-6)

 

The Raiders dropped this home battle to a red-hot Washington Team who’s now won 4 in a row, 17-15.

 

The Las Vegas Raiders welcomed the Washington Football Team to Allegiant Stadium for a Sunday showdown between two teams looking to keep their footing for a playoff position.

With the Raiders coming off a thrilling Thanksgiving Day victory over the Dallas Cowboys, they took on another NFC East foe in the red hot Football Team who came into the game on a three-game winning streak.

A win was crucial for either team in maintaining their playoff hopes as the season wears on and teams establish their footing in the seedings.

 

It was a defensive struggle throughout this tightly contested battle.

 

Raiders vs WFT
Photo Credit: Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports

It was a tough outing for both teams offensively as the defensive units came to duke it out.

The Raiders got off to a rocky start as they didn’t cross the fifty-yard line until the second quarter. Washington had a touchdown throw from quarterback Taylor Heinicke to tight end Logan Thomas but couldn’t get much else going themselves.

Both teams struggled to find their rhythm for different reasons. Washington would succeed running the ball but wouldn’t keep drives going with missed passes. Whereas the Raiders couldn’t get much going down the field as Washington’s defense stifled the Raiders forcing them to short passes and not many holes to hit through in the run department.

Quarterback Derek Carr couldn’t get the ball to wide receiver DeSean Jackson in the first half, who had at least three different plays where he was open down the field. Credit to Washington’s defense for applying pressure upfront and not allowing the league-leading passer to get into rhythm passing. Carr was able to keep several drives alive by using his legs, with one run going for 17 yards. But it wasn’t enough as the Raiders finished the first half down 7-3.

The Raiders would still struggle in the third quarter, which has usually been their best quarter through the season. They could only manage 3 points going into the fourth, still down 7-6. Heinicke would throw another touchdown pass to wideout Antonio Gibson, giving Washington a 14-6 lead. Running back Josh Jacobs was able to find the end zone on a 1-yard touchdown run that brought the team within two after a failed two-point conversion attempt. As the Raiders tried to muster up a late drive to win the game, Carr couldn’t connect with wideout Zay Jones on a deep pass and was forced to check down, which put the team in a Hail Mary situation with 3 seconds left in the game.

Another loss that makes the Raiders 1-4 in their last five games as the same issues continue to plague the team. Slow starts, not making adjustments, being unable to push the ball down the field consistently, and not establishing a quality rushing attack continues to hold the Raiders from taking that next step forward in hopes of getting into the postseason.

 

Another valiant effort from the defense fell flat as the offense struggled again.

 

Raiders vs WFT
Photo Credit: Rick Scuteri/AP

It was another decent showing from the defense, but it wasn’t enough as the offense’s struggles continuously put the unit under challenging positions to defend. The defense looked to shift the momentum to a victory with an interception by Nate Hobbs with seven minutes left in the game. But the Raiders could only manage a field goal to give them a 15-14 lead with 2:26 left in-game.

The defense saw its usual standouts as linebacker Denzel Perryman led the team in tackles once again. Maxx Crosby was again a nightmare in the backfield but had a roughing the passer called, which extended Washingtons’ drive and halted the Raiders‘ moment. Hobbs not only got the interception but was involved in several tackles as he’s shown he doesn’t shy away from contact.

Rookie linebacker Divine Deablo had his best season showing with eight tackles in an extended role. Another rookie was able to make an impact as Malcolm Koonce racked up the first sack of his career. He has the look of a promising edge rusher looking to build off this game and keep progressing as the season continues.

The defense wasn’t perfect, but they certainly didn’t make it easy for Washington to get things going themselves and had several highlight moments that would’ve been even bigger standout plays if capitalized by the offense. Nevertheless, the unit will need to tend to their wounds and focus on another arduous task next week.

It’s another week that the Raiders’ offense struggled to keep up a consistent pace through all four quarters. These mishaps have caused fans to overlook some good defensive performances. This is becoming a trend for the Las Vegas Raiders as they have a solid start to their seasons only to falter and come apart as the season wears on. If they are to take that next step into being respectable contenders, they have to find some consistency and continue their strong play into the later months of the season.

 

This week the Raiders will play the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium next week. The kickoff will be at 10 am and can be seen on CBS.

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-Kalani Lua – Franchise Sports Media

Follow Kalani on Twitter @klua11

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