The Oakland Raiders had a chance to claim part of first place in the AFC West with a win this week, but instead, the only thing the Raiders claimed was the title for "ugliest performance of Week 12."
The Raiders haven't been great on the road this year (1-4), and they reached a new low on Sunday in New York as they fell flat on their face in a 34-3 loss to the Jets. It's fitting that the game kicked off at 10 a.m. PT, because the Raiders looked like they were sleepwalking through all four quarters.
Raiders coach Jon Gruden didn't try to make any excuses for his team after the loss.
"If you're not on your game, especially us, if you're not on your game, you're in for trouble," Gruden said after the loss, via the team's official Twitter account.
Week 12 is almost in the books and there's a lot to go over. Fortunately Will Brinson, John Breech, Ryan Wilson and Sean Wagner-McGough are here to break everything down on the Pick Six Podcast. Listen below and be sure to subscribe right here for daily NFL goodness fired into your eardrums.
Although Derek Carr has had plenty of success this season, he really hasn't been asked to do much. For the most part, Gruden has designed an offense that mostly asks Carr to make short, safe throws, which is a big reason why Oakland throws so many screens.
So what happens if you take the safe pass away from Carr? Well, we found out that answer on Sunday.
Most quarterbacks will look to throw deep if the short pass is taken away, but Carr rarely makes the deep throw. Against the Jets, Carr kept making short passes even though New York was blowing them up, as you can see below.
Carr was hellbent on throwing short, and it ended up being costly for the Raiders. Not only was it ineffective, but Carr also gave the Jets seven free points when he threw a pick-six in the third quarter.
Including that pick, Carr finished 15 of 27 for 127 yards in the loss. Carr struggled so badly that Gruden ended up pulling him in the third quarter.
The good news for the Raiders is that this loss isn't going to ruin their season. If they can go into Kansas City next week and upset the Chiefs, then the Raiders will be tied for first in the division with just four weeks left to play, which is something that any Raiders fan would have been ecstatic to hear before the season started.
If the Raiders are going to beat the Chiefs, Carr is likely going to have to start taking shots downfield. If he doesn't get more aggressive, there's a good chance that game is going to turn out like the first meeting between the two teams, which Kansas City won 28-10.
N.Y. Jets 34-3 over Oakland
|This game was basically a disaster from start to finish for the Raiders, and it wasn't just Derek Carr who struggled. Raiders rookie Josh Jacobs rushed for only 34 yards, which was a new career-low. The Raiders secondary, which has been a major liability at times this year, was definitely a liability in New York as Sam Darnold torched them for 315 yards and two touchdowns. Even kicker Daniel Carlson struggled in the rain and cold at MetLife Stadium. The kicker missed a 43-yard field goal in the first half that would have cut the lead to 10-6. The missed field goal, which came with 7:16 left to play in the second quarter, would mark the final time in the game that the Raiders would drive inside of New York's 45-yard line.|
|Sam Darnold has suddenly turned into one of the most unstoppable quarterbacks in football. For the third straight week, the Jets scored more than 30 points; this time around, it was because the Raiders had no answer for Darnold, who threw for 315 yards while also totaling three touchdowns (not only did he throw two TD passes, but he also scored on a four-yard run). One reason Darnold was so hard to stop is because he got everyone on the Jets offense involved, completing passes to nine different receivers. The only group that might have been more impressive than Darnold was the Jets defense. Not only did Brian Poole come up with a pick-six, but the Jets limited the Raiders to just three points, marking the first time since 2011 that the Jets have held a team to three or fewer points. |
Cleveland 41-24 over Miami
|This game couldn't have started much worse for the Dolphins, who fell flat on their face coming out of the gate. After going three-and-out on their first two possessions, the Dolphins tried to spark things with a fake punt on fourth-and-7 from their own territory, and as you can probably guess, that turned into a disaster. On their next possession, Ryan Fitzpatrick got picked off, and by the time the Dolphins touched the ball again, the Browns already a 28-0 lead, which is insurmountable for most teams, but especially so for the Dolphins. |
|This win will forever be known in Cleveland as the Jarvis Landry revenge game, and that's because Landry embarrassed his old team in this blowout. The former Dolphins receiver caught 10 passes for 148 yards and two touchdowns, which probably felt especially good for Landry, considering he only went over 140 yards one time during his four seasons in Miami. Landry wasn't the only Browns offensive player who had a huge game. Going up against an overmatched Dolphins defense, the Browns were basically able to move the ball at will as Baker Mayfield (327 yards, three touchdowns), Nick Chubb (21 carries for 106 yards) and Odell Beckham (six catches, 84 yards and a touchdown) all had their way with Miami. The biggest positive for the Browns in this game is that they finally had some success in the red zone, scoring four touchdowns on five trips inside of Miami's 20-yard line in the game. |
Tampa Bay 35-22 over Atlanta
|Chris Godwin had one of the best games of his career, but unfortunately for him, most people probably aren't going to remember his 184-yard, two-touchdown performance thanks to Vita Vea. The Buccaneers defensive lineman became the heaviest player in NFL history to catch a TD pass when he caught a one-yard score from Jameis Winston that put the Bucs up in the second quarter (Vea also tallied one of Tampa Bay's six sacks). It was that kind of day for the Bucs, where nearly everything was working. Although Winston threw two interceptions, he rebounded with a 313-yard, three-touchdown game. The only real issue the Bucs had in this win was the fact that Matt Gay couldn't hit an extra point. The Bucs kicker finished an abysmal 2 of 5 and was lucky the game wasn't closer.|
|This game was a total failure for the Falcons, who couldn't do anything right. Most of the problems started with an offensive line that just couldn't protect Matt Ryan. The Falcons quarterback got sacked six times, and when he wasn't getting sacked, he was either being hit or running for his life. Due to all the pressure, Ryan completed just 50% of his passes (23 of 46), marking just the second time over the past seven years that he's been held to 50% or less. Defensively, the Falcons secondary regressed into its early-season form when it couldn't stop anyone. The Falcons gave up 313 yards through the air, with 184 of those coming from Tampa receiver Chris Godwin. |
Buffalo 20-3 over Denver
|Although the Broncos offense has struggled for most of the season, it definitely hit rock bottom in Buffalo. The Broncos couldn't do anything right, starting with Brandon Allen, who completed just 10 of 25 passes for 82 yards. Allen's performance was a big reason why the team finished with just 134 yards, which goes down as the team's lowest offensive output since 1992. The Broncos were so bad that they didn't even reach the Bills' 20-yard line a single time in the game. |
|The Bills defense might as well have been a brick wall on Sunday because the Broncos couldn't do anything to get through it. The Bills held the Broncos to just 134 yards, marking just the second time since 2006 that they've held an opposing offense under 140 yards. A big reason Buffalo was so successful was because the Bills kept constant pressure on Brandon Allen. The Bills sacked him a total of four times, with two of those coming from Shaq Lawson. Offensively, the Bills' gameplan was to run the ball straight down Denver's throat and that plan worked to perfection as Buffalo finished with 244 yards on the ground, thanks in large part to rookie Devin Singletary, who carried the ball 21 times for 106 yards. |
Chicago 19-14 over N.Y. Giants
|This game probably wasn't an easy one to watch for Giants fans, who had to sit through multiple ugly mistakes. One of the worst ones came from Daniel Jones, who lost a fumble in the third quarter that the Bears would recover on New York's 3-yard line. The fumble led to a Chicago touchdown that ended up icing the game. Of course, this loss wasn't Jones' fault. Although his numbers weren't great (21 of 36 for 150 yards and two touchdowns), he didn't get any help from his teammates, including Saquon Barkley, who dropped an easy third-down pass in the first half. Even when Jones was able to move the ball, the Giants weren't able to put any points on the scoreboard due to an ugly performance from Aldrick Rosas, who missed two field goals (42, 43). |
|The Bears defense is so good that if Mitchell Trubisky can play just average football, that's usually enough for Chicago to win, and Trubisky finally came through with one of those average performances on Sunday. It wasn't pretty -- Trubisky threw two interceptions -- but he did come through when it counted the most, as he threw for 278 yards and a touchdown while also rushing for another score. Trubisky's rushing touchdown came on a third down in the third quarter and basically iced the win for the Bears. The score was set up by Khalil Mack, who pulled off a strip-sack on Daniel Jones that set up the Bears inside the Giants' 5-yard line. |
Washington 19-16 over Detroit
|If the Lions learned one thing from this loss, it's that they're probably not going to win very many games with Jeff Driskel at quarterback. With Matthew Stafford injured, the Lions once again turned to Driskel, who threw three picks in this game, including two that came in the final minute of the game, and no, that's not a typo, Driskel literally threw two interceptions over the final 60 seconds, which was especially painful considering this game was tied with one minute left. One of the few bright spots for Detroit was Bo Scarbrough, who averaged 5.4 yards per carry (18 carries for 98 yards), but even he wasn't perfect as he lost a first-half fumble that led to a Redskins field goal.|
|The Redskins offense struggled to move the ball against Detroit, but that didn't matter, because Washington's defense and special teams did enough to earn the win. The biggest play Redskins came in the second quarter when Steven Sims Jr. returned a kickoff 92 yards for a touchdown for Washington's only touchdown of the day. Dustin Hopkins scored the rest of the points for Washington with four field goals, including a 39-yarder with 16 seconds left that ended up winning the game. The 19 points from Sims and Hopkins proved to be just enough thanks to a Redskins defense that had its way with Detroit. Not only did the Redskins pick off Jeff Driskel a total of three times -- with two of those going to Fabian Moreau -- but they also sacked the Lions quarterback six times.|
Seattle 17-9 over Philadelphia
|A win is a win in the NFL, but the Seahawks' win over the Eagles won't be getting any style points. The Eagles offense without their No. 1 running back, All-Pro right tackle and top three wide receivers, and the Seahawks should have won that game by more than eight points. Russell Wilson was off, missing an easy touchdown pass to Jacob Hollister that would have put the Seahawks up two scores in the first half, and DK Metcalf dropped a wide open pass for a touchdown later in the third quarter that would have put the game away. Fortunately for Seattle, the defense forced five turnovers against an anemic Eagles offense and Rashaad Penny had 14 carries for 129 yards and a career-long 58-yard touchdown early in the fourth quarter that got the Seahawks to 9-2. Not impressive, but it's a win ... and the Seahawks are still in the hunt for the NFC West title. |
|It was a lackluster performance by the offense, no matter all the injuries on the unit. Franchise quarterback Carson Wentz was atrocious for the second consecutive week, throwing two interceptions and fumbling the ball three times (losing it twice) in another humiliating performance. The Eagles offense averaged just 4.8 yards per play, committed a season-high five turnovers, and finished 4 of 12 on third down. Their touchdown didn't come until under a minute was left in garbage time as players looked to be checked out, especially after Wentz was missing wide open receivers on flat and wheel routes. The defense did enough to keep the Eagles in the game, making Russell Wilson look mortal for the entire affair. If there was a grade lower than a F, the Eagles offense (especially Wentz) deserved that mark. |
Seahawks-Eagles grades by Jeff Kerr (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
Pittsburgh 16-10 over Cincinnati
|The Bengals offense showed life at the end of the first half, with Tyler Boyd recording catches of 41 and 15 yards just before halftime while giving Cincinnati a 7-3 lead. Cincinnati's offense could not sustain that level of success in the second half, however, turning the ball over twice and posting four three-and-outs in the game's final 30 minutes. Ryan Finley struggled, going 12 of 26 while being sacked four times. Cincinnati would been better served to utilize their rushing attack. Joe Mixon gained 86 yards on just 17 carries, as the Bengals attempted just 21 carries against a Steelers defense that was intent on shutting down Finley and the Bengals' passing attack. Defensively, the Bengals forced the Steelers to replace Rudolph, who completed just half of his 16 attempts while throwing a red zone interception to Shawn Williams during the first half. Cincinnati's breakdown in the secondary on James Washington's 79-yard touchdown run and their inability to stop Benny Snell down the stretch overshadowed the overall strong performance by Cincinnati's defense.|
|The Steelers, playing without James Conner, JuJu Smith-Schuster and Maurkice Pouncey, made the necessary offensive plays during the second half of Sunday's 16-10 win over the Bengals. Devlin "Duck" Hodges, who replaced a struggling Mason Rudolph at the start of the third quarter, gave the Steelers a 10-7 lead on his 79-yard touchdown strike to James Washington. Benny Snell, a fourth-round pick who started in place of Conner, rushed for 98 yards on 21 carries that included several key runs down the stretch. The Steelers' defense again came up big, with the Steelers holding the Bengals to 11 first downs and 2-of-12 efficiency on third down. Pittsburgh's defense came up with the game's biggest play: Devin Bush's forced fumble of Tyler Boyd that was recovered by Minkah Fitzpatrick with the Bengals threatening to take the lead. Bud Dupree iced the game when he sacked, forced and recovered a fumble of Bengals quarterback Ryan Finley on Cincinnati's final possession. The Steelers special teams were also rock solid. Chris Boswell made each of his three field goal attempts, while Jordan Berry continued to pin the Bengals in unfavorable field positions.|
Steelers-Bengals grades by Bryan DeArdo (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
New Orleans 34-31 over Carolina
|Carolina took the Saints down to the wire in New Orleans, which in and of itself is an achievement. Kyle Allen, Christian McCaffrey and D.J. Moore all did their parts, too, which is more than you can ask for, honestly. But they also got gashed on the ground for the umpteenth straight week, they failed to capitalize on a late and successful goal-line challenge, and Joey Slye, well, kicked the game away with two missed extra points and a missed 28-yard field goal. As a whole, they were good. When it counted, they couldn't come through.|
|It wasn't always pretty, but the Saints were a powerhouse when they needed to be on Sunday. We know their offense is loaded with weapons, but pretty much every weapon delivered. Drew Brees had a couple of potentially dangerous misfires, and the defense gave up a lot of untimely plays, but at the end of the day, they were too explosive to stop. It's hard to criticize them after seeing them win in so many different ways. This was close, yes, but as a whole, they are darn balanced and darn good.|
Panthers-Saints grades by Cody Benjamin (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
Tennessee 42-20 over Jacksonville
|This was a huge game for the Jaguars. They came into Sunday in last place in the division at 4-6, but with Nick Foles back, there was a chance a late-season run could get them into the postseason. Despite being down just four points at halftime, it seemed like the Titans were dominating. That became apparent on the scoreboard in the third quarter, as Tennessee reeled off 28 straight points to acquire a demanding 32-point lead. The Jaguars didn't throw downfield much until the end and struggled to stop the dominant Henry. Foles looked OK, but certainly not like the savior many Jaguars fans were hoping he would be this season.|
|There's no getting around it. The Titans looked like one of the best teams in the NFL with their 42-20 win over the Jaguars on Sunday. Derrick Henry looked like one of the best backs in the league, as he rushed for 159 yards and two touchdowns. Ryan Tannehill was outstanding as well, as he passed for 259 yards, two touchdowns and also rushed for two more scores. The Titans have been inconsistent all season, but many tabbed their emotional win over the Chiefs in Week 10 as a potential turning point for the 2019 campaign. The bye week last Sunday didn't dampen the Titans' excitement, and they look like a team motivated to earn a playoff bid. They play three more divisional games over the next five weeks, so if they keep up this kind of play, we will be seeing the Titans in the postseason.|
Jaguars-Titans grades by Jordan Dajani (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
New England 13-9 over Dallas
|This was a winnable game for the Cowboys, and one they needed if they wanted to send a message. Well, they certainly sent a message, but not the one they intended to attach to the raven's leg. It was mistake after mistake by the Cowboys, including penalties, drops, and questionable coaching decisions, and instead of proving they can be an upper-echelon team -- they showed they simply aren't ready to be in that conversation. The maligned defensive unit came up big to force several field goal attempts and hold the Patriots to 13 points, but the Cowboys offense suffered drive-killing penalties and routinely stepped away from what was working, which was namely Ezekiel Elliott. They paid for it in the end, but not before Jason Garrett and Kellen Moore opted to kick a field goal to shrink the lead to four points -- in a situation when they needed to score a TD. Just stamp this effort an F and let's move on.|
|It wasn't pretty for the Patriots, but they know how to win ugly games, and so they again did just that. Their defense contained the No. 1 offense in the league -- aided by inclement weather -- but they were bailed out by the Cowboys'' decision to pull back on feeding Elliott. The All-Pro running back was having his way whenever he touched the ball, and the Patriots had no answer for him, but they didn't need one because the answer was the Dallas coaching staff; opting to pass at inopportune times and refusing to take what the Patriots defense was giving them. They used the poor decisions by the Cowboys to land a four-point win, and it didn't have to be their most polished outing to do it. All they had to be was average, and they were, against a Dallas team hellbent on being graded an F in Week 12.|
Cowboys-Patriots grades by Patrik Walker (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
San Francisco 37-8 over Green Bay
|This game got off to a disastrous start for the Packers when Aaron Rodgers fumbled on Green Bay's first possession, and then things only got uglier from there. The Packers offensive line got overwhelmed by a 49ers defense that pressured Rodgers six times while also sacking him five times. No matter what the Packers tried to do on offense, the 49ers had an answer for it. Green Bay's biggest problem was probably the fact that they just couldn't keep any of their drives alive. The Packers went 0 for 13 on third-down conversions while Rodgers was in the game (He got pulled in the fourth quarter). Rodgers threw for just 104 yards, which was the lowest total of his career in a game where he threw 25 or more passes.|
|Although the 49ers have been dominant this year, their win over the Packers on Sunday night as easily their most impressive performance of the season. The 49ers defense had Aaron Rodgers running for his life the entire game. The defense racked up five sacks with Arik Armstead tallying two of those. The defense didn't allow the Packers to ever get into a rhythm, and they forced Green Bay to go three-and-out five times. Offensively, one of the stars of the game for the 49ers was George Kittle, who had a big return after missing the past two games due to injury. Kittle caught six passes for 129 yards, including a 61-yard TD in the third quarter. The 49ers simply dominated this game in every way that an NFL team can dominate a game, and the impressive part is that they did against an NFC contender like the Packers.|
Baltimore 45-6 over L.A. Rams
|If Lamar Jackson wasn't the frontrunner for the MVP before Week 12, he definitely is now. In his first ever game on ''Monday Night Football,'' the Ravens quarterback was unstoppable. The Rams simply had no answers for Jackson, who threw for 169 yards and five touchdowns while also tacking on another 95 yards on the ground. It was a masterful performance from Jackson, who led the Ravens to a touchdown on each of their first six possessions, marking the first time since 2008 that an NFL team has scored a touchdown on its first six possession. Whether it was through the air or on the ground, the Ravens moved the ball at will. Baltimore totaled 285 yards on the ground, which is the fifth-highest total in franchise history. The Ravens defense was almost as impressive holding the Rams to under 225 yards. |
|This game was nightmare for the Rams from start to finish. Although the Rams' defense got lit up, the bigger concern for Los Angeles was probably the fact that Jared Goff couldn't get the Rams offense moving against Baltimore. The Rams gained a total of zero yards on their first two possessions combined, and by the time they touched the ball again, they were already trailing 14-0. Over the past three weeks, the Rams have now averaged just 11.7 points per game, which isn't ideal when you just gave your quarterback a $134 million contract like the Rams did with Goff, who threw two ugly interceptions against Baltimore. The Rams offense totaled just 221yards, which is the third lowest total of the Sean McVay era. Defensively, the only good news for the Rams is that they don't have to play Lamar Jackson again until 2023. The 39-point loss was the Rams' biggest since 2009.|