Oakland Raiders: A Few Keys To Beating The New York Jets

OAKLAND, CA - NOVEMBER 01: Derek Carr /
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Oakland Raiders
NASHVILLE, TN- SEPTEMBER 10: Defensive end Khalil Mack /

Eliminate Mistakes

To be fair, penalty-wise, the Raiders had a pretty decent game by Raiders standards. Against Tennessee, they were flagged just five times for a total of 49 yards. Which is certainly a vast improvement over last season when they were being flagged nearly 10 times a game for around 100 yards in penalties.

Baby steps, right? It’s progress. It’s improvement.

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It was the timing of some of those penalties against Tennessee though, that cost the Raiders last week. Just as a for instance, on a third and eight at the Tennessee 32-yard line, Carr completed a 14 yard pass to Amari Cooper, which would have given the Raiders a first down.

But center Rodney Hudson was flagged for illegal use of hands, taking a first down way and giving the Raiders a third and 18. On the ensuing play, Carr had to scramble for a couple of yards before he was pushed out of bounds.

On fourth down, the Raiders punted the ball away, which would have killed a promising drive. Except for the fact that Tennessee was flagged for running into the kicker, which moved Oakland five yards closer – five important yards as it turned out, since kicker Giorgio Tavecchio was able to nail one of his two 52-yard field goals on the day.

Another poorly timed penalty cost All-World Everything Khalil Mack a strip sack and the Raiders a fumble recovery.

Bad penalties at inopportune times were a staple of last year’s heavily flagged squad. And is something HC Jack Del Rio said they’d work on. With just five penalties on the day, it’s clear that some progress is being made. But the timing of those penalties needs to stop being an issue.