The Las Vegas Raiders were plagued by inefficiencies in the red zone as they fell to the New York Giants 23-17 in Week 9.
After another eventful week for the Las Vegas Raiders off the field, the Silver and Black traveled to the East Coast for a cross-conference matchup with the New York Giants, coming off a tough loss to the Chiefs Monday night.
The Raiders and Giants traded shots early on, with both teams converting on successful first drives of the afternoon. New York converted on a seven-play drive, largely fueled by the running of former Raider Devontae Booker. Daniel Jones connected with Evan Engram for a 30-yard touchdown to put the Giants on the board early, 7-0. Las Vegas answered back immediately, executing a 10-play drive with Derek Carr finding Hunter Renfrow in the endzone, tying the game 7-7.
The Giants were unable to make any ground in the second quarter, stifled by Las Vegas’ defense. Yannick Ngakoue forced a Daniel Jones fumble in the quarter, but the Raiders had to settle for a Daniel Carlson field goal as a result. Carr missed Darren Waller with an overthrown ball in the red zone to close the quarter, forcing Las Vegas to settle for three points. After exchanging a pair of field goals, Las Vegas entered halftime with a 13-10 lead.
The Raiders got off on the wrong foot at the start of the second half, with Derek Carr throwing his second pick-six of the season. Carr threw behind Hunter Renfrow and the Giants’ Xavier McKinney took advantage, returning the interception 41 yards to give New York a 17-13 lead.
On the ensuing drive, Las Vegas marched down the field to the Giant’s seven-yard line, but red zone issues continued to persist. Carr was unable to connect with Waller, forcing Vegas to settle for another field goal. After a Graham Gano field goal built New York’s lead to 20-16, Las Vegas had an opportunity to take the lead again at the Giants’ seven-yard line. But red-zone struggles continued to persist, and a Daniel Carlson missed field goal (the shortest of his career) summed up Vegas’ struggles all afternoon.
Raiders struggle in red zone, with turnovers
Derek Carr proved to be off with his passing all afternoon, evident with his second interception of the game (again picked off by Xavier McKinney) with a little over five minutes left in the game. Vegas’ defense managed to hold the Giants to a field goal, setting up the Raiders offense, down 23-17, with one last chance to send the game into overtime or potentially take the lead. Carr and the Raiders marched to the Giants’ 13-yard line, but a Quincy Roche forced fumble sealed the Giants victory.
This proved to be the deciding stat line of the game: six red zone opportunities for the Raiders, with only one touchdown, three converted field goals, a missed field goal, and a fumble to show for it. Carr proved to be off with his passing all afternoon, but the red zone inefficiency was the nail in the coffin after Vegas’ defense kept the Giants in check. New York carried the momentum from last week’s close loss to the Chiefs, and it led to a Giants win over the Raiders. Speaking of the Chiefs, the Raiders must now shift their focus to Sunday Night Football for Week 10, as they welcome their AFC West rival to Allegiant Stadium for a matchup with potential implications to the division standings.