I don’t know if it’s something about big-cat teams or what, but the Raiders turned in their worst all-around effort since the season opener against the Bengals. Really, it’s a wonder the Lions didn’t beat them more badly, and if they hadn’t been a 2-7 team still learning their new offense under a guy named (seriously) Jim Bob Cooter, it probably would have been more of a beatdown. The offense seems listless and inept, while the defense did a decent job in the first three quarters, only to have the inevitable late-game letdown, allowing Matthew Stafford (who is not exactly Steve Young when it comes to scrambling) to lumber five yards for a game-winning touchdown.
Every loss seems to hinge on the failure of one or both units, and this time it was the offense’s turn. They did not have an answer for Ezekiel Ansah or Stephen Tulloch. They could not get anything going, either running or passing. Maybe the Lions, fresh off winning at Lambeau Field for the first time in nearly a quarter of a century, just wanted it more.
Whatever the case, this was a lackluster effort that did the team no good. Right now, it’s less about playoffs and more about progress, and after losing three straight against increasingly flawed teams, we’re not seeing the progress anymore. Admittedly, the Jets and Chargers are both half-assed teams, but the Raiders dominated those games, just beat those teams into submission (for the first three quarters anyway). But neither the Vikings nor the Steelers are significantly better than the Jets, and the Lions are nearly as bad as the Chargers. It’s one thing to lose in a solid effort, quite another to derp it up against a 2-7 team that will be lucky to win six games by the end of it all.
Amari Cooper had an especially bad day, and he seems like he has the work ethic to pick it up and pull it together. The real problem is that the coaches and team failed to have a contingency plan. Then again, since the offense only had the ball for 23:58, they really didn’t have enough time to come up with one.