3 Takeaways from Raiders' Week 12 Loss
The Las Vegas Raiders did not look like the team that competed with the Kansas City Chiefs a week ago in their Week 12 defeat to the Atlanta Falcons.
The Raiders failed to find the end zone in their 43-6 loss at Mercedes-Benz Stadium that pushed them behind most of the other AFC wild-card contenders.
Jon Gruden's team committed 11 penalties and turned the ball over on five occasions in what can only be described as a disastrous performance.
Las Vegas still has a path to the playoffs with a favorable December schedule ahead, but the margin of error is slimmer after Sunday's stinker.
Raiders Had Too Many Penalties and Turnovers
Sunday's performance was brutal in so many ways.
Las Vegas committed 11 penalties for 141 yards and gave the ball away on five occasions through four fumbles and an interception. It also turned the ball over on downs on its first offensive series.
Each of the five turnovers led to Atlanta points, with one of them being an interception return for a touchdown by Deion Jones.
Derek Carr's first fumble occurred on the opening play of a drive and led to an Atlanta field goal. His second giveaway was more costly, as Las Vegas drove down to the Atlanta 30. The Falcons turned that into three more points.
The Raiders still had a chance to come back at the start of the second half, but that was ruined by the pick six the quarterback gave up on the team's second series of the third quarter.
To add to the misery, Carr and Josh Jacobs fumbled on first down on second-half drives. The Falcons scored their final two touchdowns off those turnovers.
Prior to Sunday, the Raiders turned the ball over three times in their last five games. If they rebound from Sunday's abject showing with a more consistent performance against the New York Jets in Week 13, their playoff chase may be in decent shape.
Josh Jacobs Was Ineffective
Jacobs' struggles against the Atlanta defense were baffling given the poor numbers put up by the Falcons in recent weeks.
They allowed over 100 rushing yards to each of their past three opponents and let up a season-high 166 ground yards to the New Orleans Saints in Week 11.
Jacobs managed to run for 27 yards on seven carries, with 16 of those coming on a single carry. Sunday marked the first time this season in which the second-year running back carried the ball fewer than 10 times.
The lack of support for Carr hurt the Raiders' offensive approach as they attempted to rebound from all the turnovers.
Jacobs can't afford to have another low total in the coming weeks with the Raiders fighting to keep their playoff chances alive.
However, the 22-year-old and his teammates have the best remedy possible in the form of the New York Jets in Week 13. They have allowed all but one of its opponents to reach 20 points this season.
Raiders Suffered Wild-Card Setback, but Playoff Berth Still Within Reach
Las Vegas could not afford to lose ground in the AFC wild-card race.
The Cleveland Browns and Miami Dolphins created some separation with victories, and the Indianapolis Colts are still one game in front after their loss to the Tennessee Titans.
The Baltimore Ravens are also ahead of the Raiders since they have not played yet in Week 12 and have one fewer loss than the AFC West side.
Sunday's loss delivered a blow to the Raiders' playoff hopes, but a wild-card berth is not lost yet with the Jets and Colts ahead in the next two weeks.
Las Vegas can use the Week 13 trip to MetLife Stadium as a get-right game before the biggest matchup of its season to date against the Colts that could serve as a wild-card tiebreaker.
The Raiders already own a head-to-head tiebreaker over the Browns and could earn one over the Dolphins in Week 16.
If Las Vegas bounces back with a few victories in December, it can recover from Sunday's loss, but it sits in an unfavorable spot in the wild-card standings right now.