1. The Secondary
After the first two weeks of the season, the Raiders had allowed an astounding 808 yards through the air. That was, uh, not good.
After some improvement the next two weeks, Oakland regressed back towards those first two awful weeks, getting torched by Philip Rivers for 359 yards and 4 TDs.
Travis Benjamin caught 7 passes for 117 yards. Tyrell Williams hauled in 5 passes for 117 yards, and he added a touchdown. Hunter Henry caught 3 balls for 74 yards and a touchdown. And then Melvin Gordon and Antonio Gates added touchdown receptions.
Sean Smith and David Amerson were both beat on a handful of plays, as was Reggie Nelson. All three players had stepped up in recent weeks, and all three had rough games on Sunday.
Now, to be fair, Rivers is very good. Say what you want about the guy, but he has torched the Raiders for the last decade, and that continued in Week 5.
With Alex Smith and the conservative Chiefs passing attack on deck, hopefully the Raiders secondary can get back to the play of weeks prior, and not what we saw on Sunday.
2. Pass Protection
How valuable is Lee Smith? That’s a question that was answered against the Chargers, as it was the first game this year without Smith, and it was Oakland’s worst showing in pass protection.
Carr was sacked three times for a loss of 17 yards, and he had been sacked only twice in the previous four games (really just once, but credited for two).
The Raiders tried to get creative in replacing Lee, deploying Denver Kirkland as the sixth blocker. But he was beat badly on several plays, and failed to make much of a positive impact.
And to a lesser extent, the absence of Latavius Murray was missed in pass protection, as he has proven his worth as a blocker. At least in 2016.
While also on the topic of the offensive line, even though this isn’t what the critique is about, they also had a hard time getting any push in the run game.
So it was certainly the worst showing of the season for what has been the best offensive line in football so far this year.
3. The Run Game
With Latavius Murray out with a toe injury, this was a huge opportunity for DeAndre Washington and/or Jalen Richard to step up and to earn more work. But neither was able to capitalize.
DeAndre was given 9 carries and managed 23 yards, good for an average of 2.6 yards per carry. His longest gain was 8 yards.
Jalen Richard saw 8 carries and totaled 31 yards, with an average yards per carry mark of 3.9. Better, but still not a good enough performance to warrant reducing Murray’s workload.
Both backs also had a hard time in pass protection, which is an area Latavius has excelled in so far in 2016.
The best part of the day for either running back was Richard’s 6 catches for 66 yards, with a long of 22. Jalen had three drops coming into the game, so it was great to see the rookie step up in the passing game.