Raiders winners and losers in 23-16 defeat vs. Giants

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The Raiders traveled to New York to face the Giants with more than usual on their minds after an emotional week. On the trip home, they’ll likely wonder how they didn’t score more touchdowns.

Quarterback Derek Carr and the offense got inside the red zone six times but hit paydirt just once, and Las Vegas took the loss, 23-16. The defeat dropped the Raiders’ record to 5-3, with Las Vegas missing an opportunity to win after the bye week and increase its slim lead in the AFC West.

As always, some players performed better than others. Here are this week’s winners and losers in a tough loss for the Raiders.

Winners

Yannick Ngakoue

Raiders’ defensive end Yannick Ngakoue had another two-sack game and forced an early fumble that gave the Raiders prime field position.

The play was early in the game, coming after the Giants and the Raiders had just traded punts and were tied at seven. Unfortunately, Carr couldn’t connect with tight end Darren Waller on the ensuing drive, on a well-defended play at the goal line. Las Vegas settled for one of its three field goals from kicker Daniel Carlson.

But Ngakoue came to fight for his team on Sunday. He also had a tackle for loss and two quarterback hits on the day. Early on, it appeared the pass rush from Ngakoue and DE Maxx Crosby would push the Raiders to a win, but the day ended much differently

Josh Jacobs

The Raiders were 5-2 entering this loss, but running back Josh Jacobs had yet to have an impact performance. An NFL Top-100 player, Jacobs finally had that day in New York.

He finished with 76 rushing yards on just 13 carries and added 19 receiving yards on four receptions. But most of all, he simply looked like himself, making defenders miss with ease in the open field. Also, he would have had an even bigger day if wide receiver Dillon Stoner had not committed a penalty in the third quarter on a long Jacobs run.

Jacob’s play was a welcome sight, however, even in this surprising loss. Today’s “win” for Jacobs could pay dividends for the Raiders down the line.

Darren Waller

Raiders tight end Darren Waller led Las Vegas in receiving in New York, with 92 yards on seven receptions. More than that, however, he kept his focus as Carr struggled for much of the game, especially after Carr missed Waller in the end zone just before halftime.

Waller appeared unbothered, however, and kept getting open for his quarterback. The two connected on a 19-yard gain on the Raiders’ last chance to tie the score, a drive that ended in another disastrous turnover, one of Carr’s three on the day.

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Losers

Derek Carr

Carr’s leadership duties over the week, after the Henry Ruggs incident, were no doubt demanding. On Sunday, it appeared he needed more time to adjust to his team’s altered reality, an unfortunate result of a real-life catastrophe that occurred just days ago.

He threw two interceptions, including a pick-six on the Raiders’ opening drive of the second half. His second came late in the fourth quarter with the Giants clinging to a 20-16 lead.

That play was especially rough because it appeared that Carr changed the play presnap. It also appeared the safety, Xavier McKinney, who had both of New York’s interceptions, knew what Carr would do with the ball.

And of course, the Raiders’ wide receivers group has been diminished with the absence of Ruggs. That’s Carr’s new reality, which may change again soon with potential free-agent receivers on the market.

Carr also had a fumble in New York, and that play ended the game for good.

Kolton Miller

This is a tough one. Raiders offensive tackle Kolton Miller had not allowed a sack all season. But on a last-gasp drive by Las Vegas, Miller lost his streak of keeping Carr clean.

Miller was also called for holding on the play, adding insult to injury. That was rookie Quincy Roche that made Miller look silly, in a sign that this was simply not the Raiders’ day.

Bryan Edwards

Wide receiver Bryan Edwards had an opportunity to step up on Sunday, and it simply didn’t happen. Carr’s play didn’t help, but Edward didn’t help Carr much either, hauling in zero catches on four targets. He’ll have more opportunities though, preferably after a normal week of practice.

Still, a win was there for the taking for the Raiders, especially considering they held the Giants to 245 yards of total offense.

But it wasn’t to be. In a sequence that typified the game, coach Rich Bisaccia opted to kick a short field goal on 4th-and-3 from the 7-yard line, down 20-16 midway through the fourth quarter. Carlson missed the kick, the shortest miss in the NFL this season.

Next week is a new game for the Raiders, however. With a 5-3 record, they’re still in the AFC mix. But to rise in the standings, they’ll certainly have to score more of those elusive touchdowns.

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