Coming into 2023 the Las Vegas Raiders offense was considered to be a top five unit by some. That notion has not come to fruition yet. Through five games this season the Raiders offense is averaging a mere 14.5 points per game. They've cracked the 300-yard mark just once in those five affairs. Monday night was no different.
Las Vegas did get Michael Mayer a couple of early touches, but it didn't last. Hunter Renfrow caught a pass and nothing else. Getting more production out of these two could be the clue to help cure this Josh McDaniels unit that is not living up to its standards, but he has proven to be incapable of doing so. Josh Jacobs, Jakobi Meyers and Davante Adams can't be expected do it all week in and week out.
This time though it was the defense that won the fight. They forced Jordan Love to throw a season-high three picks, along with his awful completion percentage. He didn't throw a touchdown pass for the first time this season either. His QBR was was a putrid 13.2 compared to 35.7 for Jimmy Garoppolo.
Raiders defense setting the stage for a strong 2023 season
Robert Spillane had arguably his best performance of the year. He now leads the Raiders with two interceptions, which is not ideal in regards to the secondary. However, it shows how he is always around the ball on any given play. His relentless effort is being rewarded.
Speaking of relentless effort though, how about Maxx Crosby? The Packers had no plan or made any adjustments for him. He made Love's night very stressful. He jumped back into the top 10 with another sack and is on pace for around 15 sacks if he stays healthy. Not to mention he had four tackles behind the line of scrimmage as well.
Others stepped up too. Without Nate Hobbs and Jakorian Bennett to lean on, Amik Robertson sealed the win and Tyler Hall got some valuable playing time. The pass defense allowed under 200 yards for the second consecutive outing and third time in five weeks. For all the flack he received, it was Marcus Peters who made the play of the game with his horse collar penalty that saved a touchdown.
Perhaps this defense is better then we have given it credit for and the offense is not as good as we all had hoped. The jury is still out, but if and when the Raiders can figure it out, then that's when they can become a complete football team.
Now the Raiders can set their sights on realistically winning four of the next five. New England is an absolute mess. The defense should be able to hold them down, while the offense won't have to see Matthew Judon or Christian Gonzalez. The funny thing about the Patriots is that their old coordinator can put his pupil directly on the hot seat with a third blowout in a row. Who could have predicted that in their preseason prognostications?