Raiders/Patriots: Studs and Duds

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New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady
Nov 19, 2017; Mexico City, MEX; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) throws a pass against the Oakland Raiders during an NFL International Series game at Estadio Azteca. The Patriots defeated the Raiders 33-8. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

In one of the roughest games to watch as a fan, the Oakland Raiders were humiliated in Mexico City and lost to the defending Super Bowl Champions New England Patriots, 33-8. In a game full of mistakes on both sides of the ball for the Raiders, the Patriots dominance was in full display and their ability to take advantage of those mistakes was a thing of beauty for New England fans.

Dropped passes, balls bouncing off shoulder pads, fumbles in the red zone and failed fourth down conversions were a few of the mistakes and plays that doomed Jack Del Rio’s bunch. The Patriots took advantage of those miscues and scored 10 points in the last five minutes of the first half to take a 17-0 lead and never looked backed.

Let’s look at this past weekend’s best and worst performers.

Stud: Tom Brady

Tom Brady was brilliant as usual, going 30/37 with 339 yards and three touchdowns in Mexico City. At one point, Brady started the game with 12 straight completions and distributed the ball to seven different players. The two-time NFL MVP controlled the game, from the line of scrimmage and numerous audibles, to always put the Patriots offense in the best play possible. None more clearly than the games second touchdown pass to Julian Edelman, where pre-snap, Brady signaled a new route pattern to each receiver. On top of that, the 40-year old quarterback felt the pressure on that same play and stepped up perfectly for the five yard touchdown pass to Edelman. Whether it was hitting his various running backs in the flat or striking deep to Brandin Cooks to open up the second half, Brady was dominate in his performance Sunday.

Dud(s): Raider WRs

It was a rough day all around for the Raiders wide receivers. The group had five total drops: two from Michael Crabtree, one from Seth Roberts, one from Amari Cooper (now has 10 on the season) and an embarrassing one from Johnny Holton. Holton, who only has two catches on the season (both for long touchdowns), ran a go route late in the first quarter. Carr then threw a perfect pass, which would have put the Raiders in scoring position, hit off the shoulder pads of Holton and fell in the arms of Duron Harmon.

Roberts, who’s struggled mightily the last few weeks, had a costly fumble inside the five yard line and a key drop on third down. Not to mention, a careless penalty as well. Carr, in true leader fashion, took the majority of the blame and told reporters Monday morning regarding the drops, “I got to throw the ball better; it’s got to be something to do with me”. Once regarded as a top WR group in the entire NFL, the wide receivers did not do anything in this game to help their franchise quarterback out.

 

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