Unfortunately, the Las Vegas Raiders have built themselves a ginormous hole. Their offense sputtered, and the defense struggled early in this week’s loss to the Titans. There is a root at the cause of their troubles. Today, it was clear. The Raiders were horrible on third down.
#Raiders went 1 for 12 on 3rd downs today. Only games worse w/ Carr at QB:— Josh Dubow (@JoshDubowAP) September 25, 2022
0 for 11 vs Washington in 2017
0 for 10 vs Miami in 2020
Their best third-down target, Hunter Renfrow, did not play today due to injury. That showed up in a big way, and it is the main reason that the Raiders lost once again. They needed conversions on third down, especially in the first half. They rarely got one. In fact, the Raiders only got one during the entire game.
Even late in the game, the Raiders struggled to convert. That led to plenty of tough fourth down attempts.
For the Raiders, they have to improve in that area. It is all an uphill climb now. If they want to get back into contention, third down will be vital. Offenses in the AFC are too explosive to fail so consistently on third down when in a matchup with them.
Getting Renfrow back will help, but the Raiders should not be so reliant on that. Davante Adams and Darren Waller must step up on third down. QB Derek Carr has to be more willing to take what the defense is giving him on third down as well.