Updated September 21, 2023 - 7:16 pm
The game film indicated there were big plays for the taking in the Raiders’ lopsided loss Sunday at Buffalo.
To some, that creates optimism that better days are ahead. The theory is that the problem isn’t talent but execution.
To which star wide receiver Davante Adams rolls his eyes.
“I mean, it’s not a relief, honestly, not for me,” he said. “I don’t know how the next man would answer that, but it’s almost more disappointing when it’s not the talent and you go out there and you don’t execute.”
Now 19 games into his Raiders career, Adams is challenging teammates to be part of the solution rather than the problem. In other words, when 10 other players are doing their jobs at a high level don’t be the one who blows the whole thing up.
“The thing with us is just every play having everybody on the same accord,” Adams said.
Two weeks into the season, that’s been a hit-and-miss proposition on both sides of the ball.
The offense has been sluggish and one-dimensional because of a nonexistent running game and missed opportunities in the passing game. After a promising defensive start in a 17-16 win at Denver, the defense reverted to old habits and got pushed around by the Bills in a 38-10 loss.
The point was clear: What might have been enough against a Broncos team still trying to find its way wasn’t nearly good enough against a much more talented Bills team.
“Some lessons are harder to learn than others,” coach Josh McDaniels said. “And we needed to learn them.”
Getting off that roller-coaster ride means demanding a more consistent level of execution, one that doesn’t deviate from game to game. It’s not necessarily fail-safe, but as Adams pointed out, when 11 players are doing their jobs at the highest level, more good things happen than bad.
“You need everybody in football. That’s the thing that makes it the most special and why we celebrate the way we do as a team — because it takes so much in one play for the play to turn out the right way,” Adams said.
Up next is a “Sunday Night Football” matchup at Allegiant Stadium against the Steelers, who are 1-1 and look vulnerable, especially an offense that has generated only 19 points.
It has all the makings of a get-right game for the Raiders. But the opportunity will be wasted if they can’t avoid committing what quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo described as “a lot of self-inflicted wounds.”
As Adams alluded to, it’s time for a bunch of Raiders to not be that “guy.”
Or, as McDaniels said: “If you want to have a successful play, you’re going to need 11 guys to do what’s asked of them or at least do it competitively.”
Garoppolo was quick to point out that the self-inflicted wounds were fixable. A crisp practice Wednesday might have been a step in the right direction.
“It’s about getting guys on the same page, getting us into a rhythm, and things will take care of themselves from there,” Garoppolo said.
Who: Steelers at Raiders
When: 5:20 p.m. Sunday
Where: Allegiant Stadium
Radio: KRLV-AM (920), KOMP-FM (92.3)
Line: Raiders -2½; total 43