Video Credit: NFL

Game Recap: Raiders vs Patriots – Week 3 – 9/27/2020

Las Vegas Raiders (2-1)  |  New England Patriots (2-1)


New England’s running back committee power the Patriots with a 36-20 win over the Las Vegas Raiders.


Raiders vs Patriots
Photo Credit: Kathryn Riley/Getty Images

We witnessed a strong defensive first half from both sides. The New England Patriots forced two fumbles and held the red hot Darren Waller to zero targets. The Las Vegas Raiders also held their own as Johnathan Abram picked up the Raiders’ first interception of the 2020 NFL season and his career.

It was not until each team’s last drive where both quarterbacks racked up yards through the air and moved downfield for touchdowns. You can credit the Raiders’ defensive line for putting a lot of pressure on Cam Newton, not allowing him time to find wideouts or space in the pocket to escape.

The play of the first half came from a 27-yard reception from second-year wideout Hunter Renfrow that put the Raiders at the 1-yard line with 9 seconds left in the second quarter. From there, Derek Carr moved up to 2nd all-time in passing touchdowns in Raiders history with a pass to tight-end, Foster Moreau to make things 13-10 at the half.

However, both teams had the rushing game going. The New England Patriots utilized three backs, with rookie J.J Taylor leading the pack with 36 yards. Sony Michel and Rex Burkhead also contributed 50 yards on the ground.


New England’s gameplan edges past Gruden and the Raiders.



Photo Credit: Charles Krupa/AP

One thing New England does well as a franchise is make adjustments, and that’s what they did. The Patriots came out the 2nd half with a Vegas offensive scheme. Newton kept all completions within 10 yards, but it was their running, led by Sony Michel, that created chances. Michel had two long runs, one for 38 and another for 48, which was a career-best.

Derek Carr finished with 261 passing yards to go along with two touchdowns. Waller was contained for the majority of the game, but this did not phase Carr as he was able to get Renfrow involved a lot more. He had 84 receiving yards with a touchdown.

Overall, the offense had good production throughout the game. The Silver and Black just could not keep up with the Patriots on the scoreboard. Despite the last possession where New England kneeled to ice the game, they were successful on all their drives in the second half. They finished with 250 yards on the ground, which really made the difference in this game. Not only did the backs move their team downfield, but it also took a lot of time off the clock.


Turnovers are costly…


The Raiders coughed up three turnovers, with all three being fumbles. With less than 5 minutes left to play in the game, DC was sacked in their own end zone while the fumble was recovered by lineman Deatrich Wise Jr. The defensive touchdown for the Patriots extended their lead to 36-13. While a twenty-three point deficit is not impossible, unlike last week, time was not on Las Vegas’ side.


Raiders vs Patriots
Photo Credit: NY Times

Heading into week four and so on, the Raiders need to improve their rushing defense and stay consistent on pressuring the quarterback. In all three weeks, they have allowed too many yards on the ground. If they limit those two long runs by Michel, we may have seen a different outcome in today’s game. If you limit the turnovers, you give the ball club a good chance of staying in the game as well.

The Raiders go against a team next week in Buffalo that is built very similar to New England. They have a quarterback who can scramble around the pocket and has a rocket for an arm. The Bills receiving core is very underrated, and their defense is one of the NFL’s best. If Las Vegas is going to win, they need to control the Bills run game and run the ball effectively themselves.


Next Sunday the Las Vegas Raiders return back home to Allegiant Stadium to take on the undefeated Buffalo Bills. Game time is 1:25 pm PT on CBS.

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Justin Brooks – Franchise Sports Media

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