OAKLAND — With a play on third-and-11 at the Jacksonville 32 with 1:55 remaining, the Raiders could have ended the game. Instead, Tyrell Williams had a critical drop.
It was the end of a significant sequence. The Raiders were up 16-13 and the Jaguars had no timeouts. Instead of keeping the clock rolling with a run, head coach Jon Gruden elected to call a pass play that could have netted a first down.
Quarterback Derek Carr took a snap from shotgun and fired over the middle to Williams. The pass was a few yards short of the sticks. Even if Williams caught it, there’s a good chance he may have been stopped short. But the fact that he didn’t catch it meant the clock kept running. The drop also made Daniel Carlson’s field goal attempt longer.
“I just couldn’t see it,” Williams said. “I don’t know. There was a light in my eye. I couldn’t see it. I’ve got to make the catch, though. It is what it is.”
Raiders coach Jon Gruden also pointed to the play when addressing Carlson’s subsequent missed field goal.
“We had a chance to handle a ball, perhaps for a first down,” Gruden said.
Williams said that light was not related to the officials halting a snap to ask fans to stop shining lasers in the faces of players and coaches.
The drop epitomized the Raiders’ performance on offense. The club finished with 27 first downs, 364 total yards and no turnovers. But aside from Williams’ 40-yard touchdown catch on the opening drive, the offense could not make plays in the most critical situations and got shut out in the second half for the second week in a row.
“I think it was more what we were doing to ourselves,” Williams said. “They’re a really good team, good defense. Their pass rush is crazy. But we just have to have more confidence in ourselves to be able to get things done.”