Las Vegas Raiders Overmatched in Heartbreaking Wild Card Loss

Las Vegas Raiders overmatched
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The most controversial season in Las Vegas Raiders history has finally come to an end. Las Vegas was simply overmatched in its Wild Card loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. The gap in talent was the biggest factor in the loss, but a few other things went wrong as well. The offensive line struggled with penalties all day. Also, the Las Vegas wide receivers struggled to separate from Cincinnati’s cornerbacks. These issues, to include the talent difference between rosters, will be examined thoroughly below.

Las Vegas Raiders Overmatched in Heartbreaking Wild Card Loss

Talent Gap Prevalent in Loss to Cincinnati Bengals

If one thing was apparent in this game, it was the gap in talent between both teams’ rosters. The Las Vegas Raiders were overmatched against a Cincinnati squad that features weapons all over the offense. The talent on Cincinnati’s defense proved to be extremely under-recognized due to the attention Joe Burrow and the offense garner. The Las Vegas receivers were not getting any separation from a cornerback group led by Chidobe Awuzie. You are not doing yourself any favors going into a playoff game with Zay Jones and Bryan Edwards as your outside receivers either. Unfortunately, that particular circumstance was out of Las Vegas’s control due to controversy earlier in the season. In the end, the void of any outside receiving threats finally caught up with Las Vegas. The team was just not able to generate any big-time plays down the field.

Offensive Line Struggles

The offensive line struggles are not something exclusive to this playoff game. The entire offensive line, aside from Kolton Miller, has struggled for the majority of the season. First-round rookie, Alex Leatherwood, looks like a bust. Brandon Parker is a backup player thrust into the starting lineup due to Leatherwood’s early struggles at the tackle position. Both players struggled mightily in the loss to Cincinnati. Regardless of what happens with the coaching situation, the offensive line needs to be a priority this off-season.

Rushing Attack Abandoned Early

There is absolutely no reason for Derek Carr attempting 54 passes in a game that does not feature overtime. Las Vegas simply does not have the talent on the outside to do such a thing successfully. Josh Jacobs only carried the ball 13 times for 83 yards. That averages to a little over six yards per carry. With Jacobs running the ball like that, you would have liked to see him receive more carriers. Instead, Las Vegas forced themselves to dink-and-dunk down the field every drive. The offensive line struggles certainly may have contributed to this. However, Jacobs still should have seen more carriers in the latter part of the game. Who knows how things would have turned out had that been the case.

Conclusion

Las Vegas has nothing to be ashamed about with this playoff loss. This team was in the middle of a controversy-cyclone for almost the entirety of the season. It took a total-team, Herculean effort to even get to this spot. Now Las Vegas enters one of the most important off-seasons in team history. Rumors are already out about the team’s intention to move on from interim coach Rich Bisaccia. If that is the case, then Las Vegas fans should be expecting another coaching staff turnover in the coming weeks. Whoever ends up coaching this team will take over a roster that is a few explosive pieces away from being considered a Super Bowl contender. It also helps to have an incompetent Denver Broncos team and poorly coached Los Angeles Chargers team in your division. The foundation is strong in Las Vegas.

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