And the Beat Goes On…
It’s been said before, but after last week’s debacle, it’s a point that apparently has to be made yet again. And that point is the penalty problem. It’s been a problem all season long, but it was a problem on steroids last week in their win over Tampa Bay.
Coming into the game, the Raiders were averaging more than 11 penalties a game. Against the Buccaneers, Oakland was flagged 23 times. 23. Those 23 accepted penalties represent a brand spankin’ new NFL record, in case you’re scoring at home.
And if you want to be super technical about it, Oakland was actually flagged 26 times – three of those flags were declined.
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The Raiders coughed up 200 yards in penalty yardage. It’s actually quite stunning when you think about it. Oakland’s solid defensive performance – limiting Jameis Winston and Tampa Bay to 270 total yards of offense – was overshadowed by the fact that they were flagged for almost as many yards in penalties.
Yes, you read that right. The Raiders had almost as much penalty yardage as the Tampa Bay offense had in total yardage.
HC Jack Del Rio is doing everything he can to downplay and minimize the issue. He’s choosing to not dwell on it publicly and is simply saying they obviously have things to clean up. Yeah, obviously.
They got away with it against a mediocre Tampa Bay team. Mainly because the offense put on a fireworks show unlike anything seen in Raiders history. Derek Carr’s 513 passing yard, four touchdown performance made up for a lot of those penalties.
But against a team as rigid, disciplined, and good as Denver, they are not going to get away with it. If the Raiders are flagged 23 times against Denver, there’s a really good chance they’re going to be on the wrong side of the box score.
This has been an ongoing issue all season long, but this is a problem the Raiders need to find a fix for – real fast.