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Can Raiders’ problems be fixed vs Cowboys in NFL Week 12?


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Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr during an NFL game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Sunday, Nov. 21, 2021, in Las Vegas.

AP

The Las Vegas Raiders haven’t done well on third down and in the red zone.

That is not the only problem for the Raiders.

Penalties has also hurt the Raiders in key situations, such as the defense getting off the field after a key stop only to be called for a penalty.

The Raiders (5-5) hope to correct those mistakes beginning with the Dallas Cowboys (7-3) at AT&T Stadium on Thanksgiving Day. Kickoff is set for 1:30 p.m. PST in NFL Week 12.

The three-game losing streak can be contributed to glaring mistakes that have been plaguing the team.

In Sunday’s 32-13 loss to the the Cincinnati Bengals, the Raiders were up 6-3 and had the Bengals facing a third-and-12. Yannick Ngakoue picked up a sack, but an offsides penalty was called on Quinton Jefferson. The Bengals made the Raiders pay six plays later with a touchdown. Jefferson’s offsides was the second for the Raiders defense this season.

Another key penalty was an unnecessary roughness call on Brandon Facyson on third down in Raiders territory. That also led to a Bengals touchdown. The Raiders have been flagged seven times for unnecessary roughness this season.

The Raiders have been penalized 75 times for 675 yards. Of the 75 flags, 35 were called against the offense (313 yards) and 30 against the defense (311 yards). Special teams wasn’t included.

“We call them foolish because that is exactly what it is,” Raiders linebacker Cory Littleton said. “We’re shooting ourselves in the foot and putting ourselves in harder situations. These offenses that we’ve been playing have been capitalizing off of that. Once we find a way to stop making these mistakes, we’re going to show a totally different defense because we’ll be able to get the (opponent’s) offense off the field.”

The Raiders are the seventh-most penalized team in the NFL this season.

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Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr during an NFL game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Sunday, Nov. 21, 2021, in Las Vegas. Rick Scuteri AP

On the offensive side, the Raiders have been called a combined 28 times for a false start and offensive holding. Guard Alex Leatherwood has been called for a false start six times and John Simpson holding five times.

It doesn’t end there for the Raiders.

The struggles also come from third-down conversions and being in the red zone.

The Raiders are 42 of 118 on third downs this season. Las Vegas was just 1 of 7 (14.3%) in the loss to Cincinnati and 1 of 3 (33%) in the red zone.

Las Vegas is just 28th (51.35%) in the red zone and last in the past three games at 27.27%.

On third-down conversions, the Raiders are 25th (35.59%) in the league and in the past three games at 21.43%, which ranks last.

“Just be better on third down,” Raiders quarterback Derek Carr said. “I’ve got to be better. If I’m better, we’re all better. Yards don’t get you points.”

Homecoming for Tre’von Moehrig

Raiders rookie safety Tre’von Moehrig is going home for one game.

Moehrig said Tuesday he grew up a Cowboys fan because his mom, Kandace, rooted for the hometown team.

Moehrig was born in Spring Branch, Texas, 245 miles south of Dallas. He played for Smithson Valley High near San Antonio before enrolling at Texas Christian where he starred for the Horned Frogs for three seasons before being named the Jim Thorpe Award winner.

The Raiders selected Moehrig in the second round (43rd overall) in the 2021 NFL draft.

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Las Vegas Raiders free safety Tre’von Moehrig during a game against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday, Nov. 21, 2021, in Las Vegas. John McCoy AP

He said friends and family will be at AT&T Stadium rooting for him.

“It’s going to be a big game going back home,” Moehrig said. “Seeing some familiar faces. I think it will be another surreal moment looking around taking it in.”

Who did Raider Nation blame for the Raiders loss in Week 11?

Fans voted and said Carr was to blame for the Raiders’ loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.

Forty percent went with Carr and offensive coordinator Greg Olson had 32% of the votes.

The offense picked up 21% of the votes.

While the defense could’ve been posted in the poll because of the penalties, the glaring spot belong to the offensive side of the ball.

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Anthony Galaviz writes about sports for The Fresno Bee. He covers the Las Vegas Raiders, high schools, boxing, MMA and junior colleges. He’s been with The Bee since 1997 and attended Fresno City College before graduating from Fresno State with a major in journalism and a minor in criminology.
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