You can't win 'em all.
The Silver and Black suffered their first loss of the season against New England Sunday. It was a pretty good game going into the second half, but things unraveled against a tough, experienced Patriots team. Things like that can definitely occur when you're a young team still going through growing pains.
A lot of people in the comments were really brutal on the defense this week. I can understand that, but there were definitely some positives we can take away from the defense, especially how they played in the first quarter.
Many of you asked some great questions and these are just a few that stood out from the rest. Once again feel free to ask me more questions @theleviedwards on Twitter.
Justin McGovney asks:
"How is our defensive line going to handle Josh Allen?"
The rise of quarterback Josh Allen has been intriguing to watch to say the least.
The 6'5", 235-pound quarterback has a very similar frame to the man the Raiders had to go up against last Sunday in Cam Newton. The Wyoming product has been enjoying his most successful season to date, throwing for over 1,000 yards and 10 touchdowns in three games.
When I asked Jon Gruden about the Bills biggest strengths he said that Allen's ability to scramble and make throws on the run reminds him of Hall of Fame quarterback John Elway.
John Freaking Elway.
The Raiders pass defense is starting to turn a corner as seen against the Patriots. The Silver and Black defense held Cam Newton to 27 rushing yards and sacked him twice. Trayvon Mullen also turned in a stellar performance causing havoc in passing lanes for Newton.
If the pass coverage can keep up a level of consistency throughout the game, it will give time for guys like Maxx Crosby, Maurice Hurst and Carl Nassib to get behind the line of scrimmage and make it difficult for Allen. That may be easier said than done as rookie cornerback Damon Arnette appeared to re-injure his thumb against the Patriots and his status is still unknown.
From Saul Hernandez:
"What is the game plan to stop the run this week?"
Anyone who watched the game in New England could see that it wasn't a good day for the Raiders run defense.
After giving up 250 rushing yards to the Patriots, the Raiders will now have to worry about containing Josh Allen and speedster Devin Singletary.
Both Gruden and Maxx Crosby have spoken regarding the mistakes of the run defense against the Patriots. These mistakes included missing tackles and gaps on plays.
While this was discouraging to see this past week, these are mental mistakes that can be fixed. A good week of practice to zone in and refocus themselves can only help the Raiders going into Week 4.
Antonio Rand asks:
"How do we get Waller more involved regardless of defenses preparing for him?"
That's a great question Antonio.
The Patriots definitely made a blueprint to stop the Raiders top receiver in tight end Darren Waller Sunday. After going for 12 catches for 106 yards and a touchdown against the Saints, the Patriots held Waller to two receptions for nine yards.
Throughout the game Waller was also covered by at least seven different players which included linebackers, safeties and cornerbacks. The Patriots also did a great job of disguising coverages on Waller.
With that being said, you can't keep a good man down for long.
Derek Carr acknowledged after the game there was at least one time Waller was open and he didn't have enough time to make the play. With Henry Ruggs (hamstring) out and Bryan Edwards (ankle) missing most of the second half, Waller was definitely public enemy number one in Foxborough.
With these injuries, Carr will be looking for Waller even more moving forward. Waller has proven that he is an elite tight end in this league and Gruden and Olson will certainly game plan for Waller to be more involved against the Bills at Allegiant Stadium.
From Justin Rodriguez:
"When is Trent Brown coming back?"
Trent Brown went down against the Panthers after a few snaps with a calf injury. The right tackle position has been held down by Denzelle Good, who was moved over from guard after Brown's backup went down in the same game.
Gruden seemed very positive about Brown's recovery at Monday's press conference, saying he was moving in the right direction. That doesn't mean that Brown will be back in time to face the Bills, but it definitely seems we won't be missing for much longer.
I must say though, I will miss Brown's hilarious and insightful Twitter commentary during games once he returns. Hell, he might be in line to take my job if he wants it.
View director of photography Michael Clemens' top picks of black and white photos from the Raiders' Week 3 matchup against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium.