Raiders at Bills 2023 Week 2: Studs and Duds

The Las Vegas Raiders were manhandled by the Buffalo Bills in Week 2. Here are the Studs and Duds from a humiliating loss in New York.

Sep 17, 2023; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Las Vegas Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels looks on from
Sep 17, 2023; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Las Vegas Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels looks on from / Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports
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Raiders Duds: Patrick Graham and the Defense

If we really wanted to we could pick out individual defenders on this Raiders defense, but the performance was so atrocious that they all deserve to share the blame. Even star defensive end Maxx Crosby was completely ineffective, though he was the victim of several uncalled holding penalties.

One of the issues with not having a reliable pass rush partner to pair with Crosby is that he can be shut out of the game by more talented offensive lines in the league, and they did just that this week.

Aside from Crosby, the rest of the defense provided little resistance to the Buffalo offense, and it was a mercy that they only gave up 38 points on the day. The lone bright spot of the day was a goal-line stand in the first half, but aside from that and a stop on the first drive of the game, the Buffalo offense scored and moved the ball at will.

Through a combination of poor play, missed assignments, even more missed tackles, and general incompetence, the Raiders defense provided little resistance to this high-powered Buffalo offense. We knew going in that it was unrealistic to expect them to shut down Buffalo the way the Jets did, but it's not unreasonable to expect the unit to at least be competitive.

Patrick Graham's defense was near the bottom of the league in 2022, and it looks like not much has changed despite a whole host of new faces. Obviously, the issues with Chandler Jones are not helping things, but we have seen that he is not a consistent difference-maker at this point in his career anyway. If the defense continues to play like this, then even the most optimistic projection of six or seven wins may be too much for this team.