The Las Vegas Raiders were untouchable in the first three weeks of the 2021 NFL season.
They opened their campaign with a thrilling 33-27 win over the Baltimore Ravens on Monday Night Football.
The Raiders quarterback finished the game with an impressive 34 completions for 435 yards and two touchdowns.
— Barstool North Carolina (@BarstoolNCdavid) September 14, 2021
Jon Gruden’s crew proved that their win was not beginner’s luck when they won against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 2.
Carr had another stellar game with 28 completions for 382 yards and two touchdowns.
However, it was Henry Ruggs III’s time in the spotlight with five catches for 113 yards and a score.
3rd & 10, 4Q. Bunch right, Henry Ruggs III runs the post. Steelers bring 6 man pressure with Cover 1 behind. Carr pumps to Waller, who is isolated at top, to try and affect the FS. Carr trusts Ruggs to outrun the coverage, which he does for the touchdown.#RaiderNation pic.twitter.com/OHjbjDf2gh
— Ryan Holmes (@Rholm22) September 21, 2021
The Raiders pillaged the Miami Dolphins with a 31-28 victory in Week 3.
Daniel Carlson converted a 22-yard field goal to maintain Las Vegas’ win streak.
Once again, Carr led the way with 26 completions for 386 yards and two touchdowns.
Peyton Barber also added 111 rushing yards and a touchdown.
So happy for former player Peyton Barber and his performance today for the Raiders against the Dolphins in a 31-28 win. 26 touches for 142 yards. Outstanding player, but an even better person! pic.twitter.com/WTtptWNXdv
— Tim Horton (@CoachTimHorton) September 27, 2021
Despite the win, the Miami game started an alarming trend for the Raiders, especially on defense.
They gave up 28 points to a Dolphins team that scored 17 against the New England Patriots.
A week later, Miami failed to score versus the Buffalo Bills.
Surrendering 28 points to a team that lost its starting quarterback to injury indicates blown defensive coverages.
Since scoring TDs on 3 straight drives vs Dolphins, #Raiders have 3 TDs on their last 25 drives
— Josh Dubow (@JoshDubowAP) October 11, 2021
But while Gus Bradley had to make adjustments in stopping their opponents, the Raiders offense got infected by the defense’s woes as well.
The descent was evident during their showdown against division rival Los Angeles Chargers.
Raiders Can’t Generate Points
The Chargers raced to a 21-0 halftime lead because the Raiders defense couldn’t figure out Justin Herbert.
Las Vegas tried to mount a second-half comeback but came short after scoring just two touchdowns.
Meanwhile, Ekeler added a rushing touchdown to make the final score 28-14.
The Chargers defense also got active with four sacks and an interception courtesy of Derwin James.
— HERBIE'S MOMMA! 😍🏈⚡💙 Don't disrespect my child! (@RiversGirl17_) October 8, 2021
Carr finished the game with 196 yards, a far cry from his average of 401 yards in the first three games.
The Raiders had 213 total yards while the Chargers finished with 380.
Los Angeles also dominated the run game, 168-48, while the Raiders gained a paltry 3.8 yards per play.
Week 5 was a nightmare for Carr and the Raiders because they failed to score a passing touchdown against the Chicago Bears.
Worse, he threw an interception to DeAndre Houston-Carson.
The Bears were at a disadvantage because David Montgomery did not play.
#Bears RB David Montgomery, who left with a knee injury, will have an MRI tomorrow, source said. The initial belief based on early tests is that the hyperextended knee did not lead to a major injury. But the additional tests will tell the full story.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 3, 2021
However, they still scored a rushing touchdown courtesy of Damien Williams.
Weeks ago, the Raiders were lighting up the scoreboard and filling the stat sheet.
Now they can’t beat a team that averages less than 17 points per game and without their top backfield option.
The Raiders are hoping to shake off their struggles in Week 6 against a solid Denver Broncos defensive unit.
#Broncos open as 3-point favorite vs #Raiders, per @SuperBookCO. Feels like must-win if Denver is to post winning record, contend for playoffs. Until Broncos beat good team, questions will remain about their legitimacy. Denver has been outscored 34-13 in first half last 2 weeks
— Troy Renck (@TroyRenck) October 11, 2021
Otherwise, they will suffer a three-game losing streak after looking impressive in their first three games.