The Las Vegas Raiders offense started sluggishly and came alive too little too late, as they fell to the Washington Football Team 17-15 in Week 13.
Following their significant win over the Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving, the Las Vegas Raiders had an opportunity to make serious ground in the chase for the playoffs in Week 13. To inch closer to a postseason berth, they would have to first overcome the Washington Football Team, who entered Sunday afternoon with a three-game winning streak largely built off the improved play of their defense (even without Chase Young).
The Las Vegas Raiders came out sluggish to start the first quarter, being forced to punt on their first two possessions, while the Washington Football dominated the first 15 minutes. Antonio Gibson sparked the momentum with a 22-yard run out the gate, and Taylor Heinicke connected with Logan Thomas for a seven-yard touchdown to give Washington the early 7-0 lead.
The Raiders’ offense failed to gain any momentum into the second quarter, and Las Vegas was dealt a significant blow with running back Kenyan Drake being carted off with an ankle injury, with the team confirming he would not return. Though Washington held the time of possession advantage in the first half (17min to 12min), Las Vegas’ defense kept the Football Team out of the endzone.
Derek Carr, the league leader in passing yards coming into Week 13, used his legs to guide the Raiders in their two-minute drill, setting up a Daniel Carlson field goal to put Las Vegas on the board, 7-3.
After another Daniel Carlson field goal brought Vegas’ deficit to just one point, Taylor Heinicke and the Washington Football team answered back with a nine-play, 75-yard drive to extend their lead to 14-6 to begin the fourth quarter. In what was reminiscent of their early-season success, the Raiders answered back with a quick five-play 57-yard drive. Carr and Hunter Renfrow sparked the drive with a 28-yard connection through the air, Josh Jacobs rushed for the goal line touchdown to that cut the deficit to 14-12 (following an unsuccessful two-point conversion).
Raiders offense comes alive too little too late, fall to .500
Nate Hobbs continued his bright rookie campaign, intercepting Taylor Heinicke with seven minutes left to go in the fourth quarter. The takeaway helped set up a Carlson field goal to give Las Vegas their first lead, 15-14 with a little over two minutes left to go in the game. That proved to be more than ample time for Heinicke and the Football Team, with a Washington field goal securing their 17-15 victory and bringing Las Vegas to .500 on the season.
The hope for a postseason appearance has not diminished after Week 13, but Las Vegas has taken another step back following Sunday afternoon’s loss. At 6-6, the Raiders were unable to overcome a stagnant start after keeping Heinicke and the Football Team in check for the game, and one thing is for certain: Las Vegas will not survive the same story next Sunday. The Raiders travel to Arrowhead in Week 14 to face the division-leading Kansas City Chiefs.
The last time these two met, Kansas City dominated Las Vegas 41-14 in Week 10, but the Raiders knocked off the Chiefs the last time these two met at Arrowhead (40-32 back in October 2020). Las Vegas tends to play up (or down) to their competition, and with a postseason appearance hinging on a win next week, the hope is the Raiders are motivated to match the Chiefs pound for pound if anything to wipe the memory of their Week 10 loss.