DETROIT — While Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo had a pithy summation of his play in the Raiders’ 26-14 loss to the Detroit Lions Monday night at Ford Field, All-Pro receiver Davante Adams was nearly speechless.
It was that kind of game for the Las Vegas offense, which was outgained by the Lions 486-157.
“You have good days and bad days,” Garoppolo sighed. “Today was a bad day, there’s no sugarcoating it. It is what it is. So, I’ve just got to play better. Myself, I have to play better. A bunch of little things that will solve a lot of problems.
“It starts with me. We’ve got to be better, and we will be.”
After suffering through a 10-for-21 passing night for 126 yards with an end zone interception and enduring a career-high-tying six sacks, Garoppolo’s 46.9 passer rating was the third-lowest passer rating in a start of his career.
And Garoppolo, who was returning after missing last week’s loss at the Chicago Bears with a back injury suffered the previous week, now leads the NFL with nine interceptions. This despite missing 2½ games (he missed the Raiders’ Week 4 loss at the Los Angeles Chargers with a concussion).
“We can’t win if we give the ball away, period,” said Raiders coach Josh McDaniels, who reiterated that he wasn’t singling out Garoppolo.
Adams, meanwhile, had just one catch on seven targets for 11 yards, and his 14% catch rate was tied for the worst reception percentage in a game with five-plus targets in his career, per ESPN Stats & Information research. And while Garoppolo did look for Adams deep, he missed with four off-target throws.
“Honestly, I don’t know what to say at this moment,” Adams said softly. “I truly don’t. I wish I had the words to say something that’s not going to get blown up in the media and taken out of context, so I’m going to just, I truly, I just don’t know.”
Adams, who said he was frustrated, has just 142 receiving yards over the past four games, his fewest in a four-game stretch since the 2015 season, when he was in his second year in the NFL, with the Green Bay Packers.
He also has not caught a touchdown pass since Week 3.
“It’s not hard to maintain the confidence in our offense,” Adams said. “It’s just hard to curb your frustration when you can’t put it together, when you know you should.
“Just keep trying to get better. Keep trying to get better.”
It was hard for Garoppolo to get untracked against the Lions.
Consider that Garoppolo was just 2-for-7 with the interception on throws of 15 or more air yards downfield. He went 3-for-10 on second, third and fourth downs, was 1-of-7 on throws outside the numbers, and ultimately, was a mere 4-of-12 targeting receivers, including 1-for-7 when targeting Adams.
In fact, no receivers touched the ball in the first half.
The Lions pressured Garoppolo on 12 of his 28 dropbacks, including on eight of 11 in the fourth quarter, and the game percentage of 43% is the highest rate of pressure Garoppolo had faced in a game since he saw a 45% rate in Week 8 of the 2020 season against the Seattle Seahawks, when he was with the San Francisco 49ers.
“A little pissed off from the game,” Garoppolo said, “but physically, I’m fine.”
Signed to a three-year, $72.75 million free agent contract to replace nine-year starter Derek Carr, the oft-injured Garoppolo underwent surgery on his left foot in March. He sat out the on-field portion of the Raiders’ offseason program while rehabbing and was on a “pitch count” in training camp before suffering the concussion and back injuries.
Asked if he felt he was still playing catch-up, Garoppolo shrugged.
“I mean, I’ll never make an excuse like that,” he said. “It is what it is. We’re in the season now. People don’t care if you have excuses or not, so you’ve got to go out there and play. I’ve got to play better. It’s just a bunch of little things, man. Man, it’s frustrating.
“You have the good days, you have the bad days, but we’ve just got to string things together. I’ve got to play better. There’s just so much love in that locker room and it sucks that we performed like that tonight.”
McDaniels, the Raiders’ offensive playcaller, acknowledged he had to continue tinkering with his offense.
But when asked if that might include considering a change at quarterback, McDaniels quickly said, “I’m not going to talk about that right now.”