A week after being blown out by one NFC East opponent, the Raiders fell to another team from the same conference. The New York Giants defeated the Raiders 24-20 in the Week 10 matchup. The Raiders blew a 20-14 third-quarter lead by allowing the Giants to end the game scoring 10 unanswered points.
The Raiders head to Houston next week to take on a struggling Texans team that has lost seven games in a row, but before that, we take a look at what was trending up and down in Week 10.
Moore now has 26 tackles on the season, 16 coming in the last three games, and 3.5 sacks in nine games. The rookie out of Connecticut continues to get to the ball and make plays. The Raider defense has been spotty the past couple weeks but not because of the effort from Moore.
The 23-year-old has become a pleasant surprise for the defense this season and should continue his strong play for the rest of the season.
Jennings has had two productive games since starting running back Darren McFadden has been out and has Raider fans noticing his play. Do not be surprised if Jennings continues to get carries once McFadden does come back, as he has proven to be effective in his limited time.
The 28-year-old has 190 rushing yards and 93 receiving yards combined the past two weeks and has looked comfortable running the ball in this offense. Jennings will continue to start if McFadden is not ready or ineffective.
The touchdown gave the Raiders a 17-14 lead heading into the half and changed the momentum after the Giants had taken the lead. The interception was Porter’s second of the season and first returned for a touchdown. Porter has been solid in the secondary with 46 tackles and the two picks in nine games.
Porter gave the team exactly what it needed at the time; however, it
was not enough in the end.
It may be wrong to place all the blame of the offense on the third-year quarterback, especially in a week where he had a knee injury, but Pryor is the leader of the offense and has had trouble doing so the past few weeks. He finished the day with just 122 passing yards, an interception and a lost fumble.
It was clear that Pryor was not at full strength but if he was healthy enough to keep playing then he should have been healthy enough to be effective. If Pryor was not healthy enough to make plays, then he should have let the team know and possibly give backup quarterback Matt McGloin a chance. The Raiders were in a position to win the game multiple times and the offense sputtered, leaving them with a 3-6 record and a very slim chance of making a playoff push.
Hopefully, Pryor is at full strength next week and has a breakout game that the team desperately needs.
Raider Run Defense
The Raiders’ run defense has been the team’s biggest bright spot this season coming into the game as the sixth-best run defense and failing to allow a 100-yard rusher this season. That ended this week when Giants’ running back Andre Brown made his first start of the season and ran for 115 yards against the Raiders.
Brown ran all over the Raider defense, especially in the second half, when he continued to extend drives with his runs. A few times, the Raiders allowed Brown to get the first down on third down and continue to keep the clock running. The Giants came into the game as the 30th-ranked rushing team but the Raiders had no answer for Brown and the Giants’ rushing attack.
The Raiders dropped to seventh in rushing defense, which is still very strong, but last week’s efforts cannot continue moving forward. The run defense must shake this game off and continue to play how they have played all season.
The Raider offense has struggled all season and much of the blame had been placed on injuries; however, after another week of questionable calls, it seems as if the Raiders might have to change the play-calling. The Raiders were able to run the ball effective with Jennings against the Giants, yet he only received 20 carries all game. The team was never down by more than four points all game and could have used Jennings more often.
In the first drive coming out of halftime, the Raiders had an eight-minute drive that mixed runs and passes and gave the Raiders 1st-and-goal at the one-yard line. The offense would fail to score a touchdown and had to settle for a field goal. Instead of running the ball three times and trusting your run game to be able to get the score, the Raiders ran the ball once, attempted a pass that was incomplete, had a false start take them back five yards and unsuccessfully attempted another pass. The drive could be considered a failure after using up almost half the quarter and only getting three points.
The Raiders must do a better job of calling plays in the red zone, especially inside the five-yard line. Substitute a touchdown for a field goal on that drive and the Raiders would have had a 24-14 lead and changed the outcome of the game.